Windows 11 now uses the Print Screen key to open Snipping Tool, but you can disable this new behavior. In previous releases of the operating system, pressing the Prt Scr key captures an image of the entire screen and copies it to the clipboard. This has changed with KB5025310.
The Redmond software giant is planning to make a significant change to the way the Print Screen (Prt Scr) key works in Windows 11. The company has decided to overhaul this default behavior by replacing it with their own Snipping Tool.
This means that pressing the Prt Scr key will now open the Snipping Tool instead of capturing the entire screen. The company has already started testing this change in the beta versions of Windows 11.
The ability to remap the Print Screen key to the Snipping Tool app was first introduced in Windows 10. However, since then it was not enabled by default and remained optional.
KB5025310 that ships Windows 11 Build 22624.1546 to consumers makes the new behavior default.
If you install this update or any subsequent one, the usual function of the Print Screen key will be replaced. Instead of taking a screenshot and saving it to the clipboard without any notification, the key will now launch the Snipping Tool application. It will run in the screen region capture mode. After selecting a specific area of the screen, you'll be able to save it as an image file.
If you aren't happy with the new behavior, here is how to disable the Print Screen key from opening the Snipping Tool app. Do the following.
Disable Print Screen From Opening Snipping Tool
- Press the Win + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.
- On the left, click the Accessibility item.
- Now, click on the Keyboard button in the right pane.
- Finally, disable the Use the Print Screen button to open Snipping Tool toggle option.
Note: In Windows 10, the toggle option is named Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping.
You are done!
Once you disable the new behavior, you can use the alternative Win + Shift + S shortcut to launch Snipping Tool from any app. Disabling the Print Screen key doesn't affect that shortcut.
Alternatively, you can apply a Registry tweak that can be of help for various automation tasks. It works in both Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Turn off Snipping Tool for the Print Screen key with a registry tweak
- Open the Registry editor app by typing regedit in Search (Win + S).
- Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Keyboard key. You can paste this path to the address bar of regedit.
- On the right, create or modify a new DWORD (32-bit) value PrintScreenKeyForSnippingEnabled, and set its value to 0 (zero).
- Close the Registry editor.
From now, Windows will no longer open the Snipping Tool every time you hit the Print Screen button on the keyboard.
Ready-to-use Registry files
To save your time, I have prepared two Registry files. Download them in a ZIP file, using this link, and extract the archive to any folder of your choice.
Disable Print Screen Key From Launching Snipping Tool.reg file, and confirm the User Account Control prompt by clicking the Yes button. Next, click Yes in the Registry Editor prompt to confirm the Registry change. The file will set the above reviewed PrintScreenKeyForSnippingEnabled value to 0, and disable Print Screen from opening Snipping Tool.
The undo tweak,
Use Print Screen Key To Launch Snipping Tool.reg, will restore the new defaults.
The command prompt method
In addition to the REG files and manual Registry editing, you may find useful changing the Print Screen key function from the command prompt. For that, you can use the inbox reg.exe app, which is a console registry management app. This
Open a new Terminal by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Terminal(Admin).
In the Command Prompt tab (Ctrl + Shift + 2), type one of the following commands.
- Make Print Screen launch the Snipping Tool:
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Keyboard" /v PrintScreenKeyForSnippingEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f.
- Restore the classic Print Screen function:
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Keyboard" /v PrintScreenKeyForSnippingEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f.
You can use these commands in your batch files or scripts for fine-grain OS setup.
The classic Print Screen key behavior was indeed not perfect. It was created when PCs had a single display. These days, multi-monitor setups are quite common, but Print Screen silently captures their content as one big image in the clipboard. This may create some inconvenience. That's my Microsoft is changing its default function .
There are also third-party apps that may intercept it. So even if you disable the Snipping Tool assignment, Microsoft's OneDrive, Dropbox, or screen capture apps like GreenShot or ShareX may handle the key. Sadly, there is still no way to specify a custom app for the Print Screen key, or select one from known installed tools.
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