The snipping tool in Windows is sufficient for quick screenshots. The only (and annoying) problem is that it saves all files with a uppercase PNG extension, e. g. screenshot.PNG

As there are no options in the software to change this behavior, can somebody provide a hack to save files with a lower-case .png extension?

Thank you.

PS1: This question was asked in Aug 2009 on microsoft.com. The answer: "Delete the PNG and type in png." -- The reply: "TOTAL FAIL"

PS2: Problem still exists in Windows 10. I used the Feedback Hub to report about it and hope the Microsoft developers will fix this finally.

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    Considering Windows is case insensitive I am not sure why it even matters file extensions are not even displayed by default – Ramhound Mar 26 '14 at 21:40
  • There's probably some resource editor out there that can be used to modify the string, but I don't have a specific suggestion unfortunately. – jjlin Mar 26 '14 at 22:01
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    @Ramhound It matters for example if you're uploading the file to a web server that runs on Linux, which is case sensitive. – yroc Oct 15 '15 at 14:44

The bytes appear to be hard-coded into the executable:

List of orintable strings found in SnippingTool.exe, showing the uppercase PNG


I was able to edit a copy of SnippingTool.exe to have SnippingTool work as you desire:

Hexadecimal values BEFORE my modification: Shows the unmodified bytes

Hexadecimal values AFTER my Modification: Shows the newly modified bytes

My SnippingTool save dialog now: Shows the SnippingTool.exe that saves with lowercase png

Note: I would take extreme care when editing binary files using a hex editor in they way that I have. Please make sure you do not modify any system files directly, and be aware that if you choose to modify your own files you do so at your own risk!

  • Thanks for letting me know. Now the question is, how can I change the hardcoded part ;) – Kai Noack Mar 26 '14 at 22:37
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    I have updated my post to show that this can be accomplished. – wepiha Mar 26 '14 at 23:52
  • Thanks a lot. Problem I face, I can copy the file from the system32 folder to my desktop. Edit it. But copying back does not work, even after taking the owner ship and running Explorer as Admin. I listed the files in the system32 folder from cmd line, the snippingTool.exe does not appear! However, with the explorer I can see it. Now I am stuck. – Kai Noack Mar 27 '14 at 7:41
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    You should be able to repair the component store and fix the missing/incorrect executable using the command sfc /scannow from an elevated command prompt. In the future, I would advise against replacing system files, and instead run a modified copy of SnippingTool.exe... – wepiha Mar 27 '14 at 8:29
  • @wepiha I tried the sfc command and windows said Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Problem is I cannot open the CBS.log to check if the SnippingTool.exe was also effected. I get an Access denied message. ... I still cannot copy the SnippingTool.exe to the system32 folder. – Kai Noack Jul 18 '14 at 11:02

Ah, I found one way! Damn easy and did not think of it until now: When entering the filename just add .png in the end. This requires no hack, and is kind of fast (< 1 second).

Update 2018

Since the hex edit suggested did not work out for me, I changed the screenshot software and use now Lightscreen which is tiny and handy, and provides quick shortcuts (Print saves fullscreen immediately to file, CTRL print opens the dialog to capture a screenarea). The tool gives you previews, screenshot history, can even upload to imgur.com directly and returns the URL, and runs portable.

So turning away from Microsoft's snipping tool after being filename bugged so often over the years.

🚀 Update 04/2019

There is a new "Snip & Sketch" feature in Windows 10, with simple but handy features. To open it just hit Win + Shift + S. And it saves with .png.

  • you should accept this as the answer so the question doesn't remain unanswered. – Jason C Jul 17 '14 at 13:59
  • Actually I tried wephia's solution but failed as the hex editor I was using did not show the same data. I still would like to use his answer and then select it. But which hex editor is he using? – Kai Noack Jul 17 '14 at 14:07
  • It shouldn't matter. A hex editor is a hex editor and the location of the data could easily change with different versions of the snipping tool. You need to do what he's doing conceptually, not precisely. Find the ".PNG" wide-character string in the file and make it lowercase, no matter where it is in the file, using whatever hex editor you please. And make a backup first. – Jason C Jul 17 '14 at 14:10
  • Ah, I was using HxD Hex Editor and searched for .PNG which could not be found. Now I have seen that you can switch from "Text" to "HEX" in its search mode, I found the important part finally searching for 50004E... :) – Kai Noack Jul 18 '14 at 10:55

You can always do this: from the directory where the PNG files are run REN *.PNG *.png from a command prompt.

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    Then I could also hit F2 on the keyboard and rename by hand. I am actually searching for an automated solution that saves me those 5 seconds per screenshot. – Kai Noack Mar 26 '14 at 22:36
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    A more elegant approach would be to wrap this command into a batch file, then run it once whenever you need it. – wepiha Mar 27 '14 at 1:31

As a short term solution there are ways around it. I have experienced this problem with loading images from a windows OS to an apple device. I have used two methods:

  1. Open the file with paint and save as png. It will save as lower case (true for windows 8).
  2. Change the my documents view to show file extensions. You can then rename the document with a lower case file name.
  • Or you could just save it with a lowercase png from the snipping tool, as the OPs answer here states. – Jason C Jul 17 '14 at 14:00

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