If you take a screenshot in Windows 10 or Windows 11, where does it end up? It depends on how you capture the screenshot, but there are a few obvious places to look. We help you find out.
If you are using Print Screen (PrtScn)
Pressing the Print Screen key to take a screenshot does not save the screenshot to a file by default. Instead, Windows copies the recording to the clipboard, a special section of memory for temporary copy-and-paste. To save the screenshot to disk, paste the image into an image editor (such as Paint) and save it as a file.
The same is true if you use Alt+Print Screen to capture the active window, or Windows+Shift+S to capture a portion of the screen. Those results go to your clipboard and not to a file.
If you are using Windows+Print Screen
If you use the Windows+Print Screen keyboard shortcut to take screenshots in Windows 10 or 11, Windows will save the image as a PNG file in your Pictures > Screenshots folder.
You can find it on
C:Users[User Name]PicturesScreenshots† In this case, “[User Name]” is our replacement for the name of the Windows account you were using when you took the screenshot.
With Windows+Print Screen, Windows takes a full-screen screenshot and saves it as a PNG file named “Screenshot (#).png”. The number at the end of the file name adds up over time based on the number of screenshots you’ve taken before.
Windows uses the same
C:Users[User Name]PicturesScreenshots save location when using Windows+Fn+Print Screen on an older Surface device, Power+Volume Down on some tablets, or Windows+Volume Down on other tablets.
Remark: If you manually moved your Screenshots folder to a different location using the Properties window, Windows will save the screenshots to the new location you chose instead.
RELATED: Change where screenshots are saved on Windows 10 and 11
If you use “Snipping Tool” or “Snip & Sketch”
Windows 10 and 11 include a tool called Snipping Tool (and Windows 10 also includes a similar tool called Snip & Sketch) that lets you take custom screenshots. These tools allow you to choose your save location for each file.
While that won’t help if you don’t know where you saved your last screenshot, they do remember the last place you saved a file. To see where that is, take another screenshot, save it and see where it wants to save the new file. Your older screenshots may be present. If not, you can also check your Documents or Pictures folders under “This PC” in File Explorer.
When using the Xbox Game Bar
If you use the “Capture” tool in the Xbox Game Bar (which opens when you press Windows+G), Windows saves your screenshot in
C:Users[User Name]VideosCaptures TRUE “[User Name]” is the name of the user account you used to make the recording.
RELATED: 6 great features in Windows 10’s new Game bar
If you are using a third-party screenshot tool
If you take screenshots in Windows 10 or 11 using a third-party tool created by someone other than Microsoft, you’ll need to refer to that tool’s settings to see where it saves screenshots. Until then, a few good places to look are your Documents folder or your Pictures folder, both of which can be found under “This PC” in File Explorer.
RELATED: The best free screenshot apps for Windows
If you still can’t find your screenshots
If you’re still having trouble finding where your screenshots are stored, there’s a technique that can help. Take another screenshot first, then search for recently changed files in File Explorer. To do this, press Windows+E to open an Explorer window, then type
datemodified:today in the search bar. (You can narrow the search by browsing to a particular drive or folder that you think is the first.)
After a while, you will see recently created files appear in the search results list. When you see the screenshot file you just captured, right-click on it and select “Open File Location” from the menu that appears. File Explorer will open to the location of that saved screenshot and your other screenshots may be there as well. Good luck!