Microsoft replaced the Snip & Sketch app in Windows 11 with Snipping Tool. You can use this Snipping Tool app to capture the screen and record videos. All your captures will be automatically saved in to “Pictures > Screenshots” folder which you can access any time later. If you need to capture or record the screen frequently, here are 10 different ways to open Snipping Tool in Windows 11.
Open Snipping Tool in Windows 11
The Snipping Tool app will look like below in Windows 11. You can either launch the app and then click “+ New” button to start the screen capture or directly trigger screen capture action using one of the following methods.
1. Win + Shift + S Keyboard Shortcut
Press Win + Shift + S shortcut keys to directly trigger screen capture action using Snipping Tool. This is the default shortcut keys in Windows and Snipping Tool will use your previous capture mode when you trigger with these shortcuts. For example, if you have previously used “Windows mode”, the app will open with the same mode. However, this shortcut will not work for recording video and it will always open with one of the four screen capture modes based on your previous selection.
2. Using Print Screen Key
Print Screen key is the traditional way to capture your full screen window. However, nowadays not all keyboards have a “Print Screen” key in the layout. If your keyboard has that key then you can use to trigger capture action using Snipping Tool. The difference is that you can change the mode to rectangle selection, freeform or window mode in addition to the default full screen function of Print Screen key. Follow the below steps to enable Print Screen key for Snipping Tool:
- Right-click on Start menu icon and select “Settings” option to open Settings app.
- Navigate to “Accessibility” section and click “Keyboard” option.
- Scroll down in the “Keyboard” section and turn on “Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping” option showing under “On-screen keyboard, access keys and Print screen” heading.
Enabling Print Screen key is useful when you have trouble to press Win + Shift + S keys together.
3. Create Desktop Shortcut for Snipping Tool
Microsoft made it difficult to find the application file’s location for Start menu items like Snipping Tool. Due to this problem, you can’t easily create desktop shortcut for the Start menu apps. Follow the below steps to create a desktop shortcut for Snipping Tool if that is convenient for you to access.
- Snipping Tool application file is located in C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\SnippingTool.
- Make sure to replace the Username with your Windows username and navigate to that location in File Explorer app.
- When you are in WindowsApps folder, scroll down to locate SnippingTool application file.
- Right-click on it and select “Show more options” or press F10 key to expand the full menu list.
- Select “Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)” option from the menu items.
- This will create a Snipping Tool shortcut with a name “SnippingTool – Shortcut” in your desktop.
- Select the shortcut and press F2 or right-click and select “Rename” icon to change the name as you like.
You can double click on the desktop shortcut anytime to open Snipping Tool app. Remember, this will open the app and will not directly trigger capture action.
4. Open from Start Menu
This is the most traditional way to open any apps in Windows.
- Click Start menu icon on Taskbar.
- Then click “All apps” button to view the complete list of all installed apps in your system.
- Scroll down and find Snipping Tool under “S” section.
- Click on the item to open the tool. Alternatively, right-click on the item to open last 10 captured images or launch Snipping Tool with 3 or 5 or 10 seconds delay mode.
Note: If you have uninstalled Snipping Tool, you can anytime reinstall the app from Microsoft Store. Check out how to repair, reset and fix Snipping Tool issues in Windows 11.
5. Pin Snipping Tool App Taskbar
For frequent access, it is always a good idea to pin the app in Taskbar.
- When viewing the app in Start menu list as explained above, right-click on it and pin the app to taskbar by going to “More > Pin to taskbar” option.
- Other option is to right-click on the desktop shortcut you have created and select “Show more options”. Now select “Pin to taskbar” to pin Snipping Tool app in Taskbar.
6. Pin Snipping Tool to Start Menu
If you love to open apps from “Pinned” section of Start menu, then you can add Snipping Tool there.
- Right-click on the desktop shortcut created and select “Pin to Start” option.
- Alternatively, find the app in Start menu “All apps” list, right-click on it and select “Pin to Start” option showing on the top.
You can drag the app to change its position or create a folder and put it inside along with your other favorite apps.
7. Search and Open Snipping Tool
If you like the new typable Windows search box, then use that for opening Snipping Tool app.
- Click on the search box in Taskbar and type “snipping”.
- You will automatically see the suggestions.
- Click Snipping Tool from the result to open the app.
- From here also you can open recently captured items or launch the app with time delay mode.
8. Add Snipping Tool to Favorites in File Explorer
The new File Explorer app has a Home section showing quick access links to your Favorite apps. You can also add Snipping Tool under Favorites in Home section for quick access from File Explorer.
- Open File Explorer app and go to C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\ folder.
- Find SnippingTool app, right-click on it and select “Add to Favorites” option.
- Now, navigate to Home page and you will find Snipping Tool under “Favorites” section.
9. Open from Command Prompt
If you are doing some important tasks in command line and wanted to launch Snipping Tool, you can do that easily.
- Type snippingtool in the prompt and press enter key to open Snipping Tool app.
- This works on both Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell windows.
- Though the application name is SnippingTool, you can enter the letters all in small case.
10. Open Using Run Prompt
Final option is to use the Run prompt.
- Right-click on Start menu icon and select “Run” option.
- Type snippingtool in the prompt and click “OK” button.
- This will open Snipping Tool app and the command is not case sensitive.
You can use the keyboard shortcuts to launch Snipping Tool directly in screen capture mode. If you want to open the app, then using a desktop shortcut or pinning to taskbar is the best option. Remember, the app will open only one captured screen by default. This means when you capture the next item, previously captured window will not be shown and the file will be automatically saved in “Pictures > Screenshots” folder. However, you can enable “Multiple Windows” from Snipping Tool’s app settings to keep multiple captured screens on the display.