How To Fix Print Screen Not Working: Easy Solutions

Have you ever experienced that moment of frustration when you press ‘Print Screen’ to capture an essential snapshot of your work, only to find it doesn’t work? It’s like trying to catch a butterfly with a broken net – no matter how hard you try, you just can’t capture what you need. This common issue disrupts workflow and can be incredibly aggravating, especially when you’re on a tight deadline or trying to document something important. It’s a small yet significant roadblock in your digital journey as print screen not working.

If your print screen function is not working, start by checking if the keyboard’s F Mode or F Lock key is turned on, which can disable the print screen function. Alternatively, try pressing the “Fn” or “Function” key along with the print screen key. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, updating your keyboard drivers or using the Snipping Tool (Windows) or Grab (Mac) can be effective alternatives. For more details on resolving keyboard-related issues, you might find this guide on updating keyboard drivers helpful.

Fear not! This digital hiccup has a range of straightforward solutions. From simple keyboard checks to software tweaks, let’s explore how you can restore your screenshot capability as print screen not working and get back to capturing your screen moments effortlessly.

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Quick Fixes To Try First

When the Print Screen key plays hard to get, there are a few quick fixes you can try:

  • Check The Clipboard: Sometimes, screenshots are taken but not immediately visible. Before assuming failure, paste into a program like Paint or Word. If the screenshot appears, it’s a stealth success!
  • On-Screen Keyboard Hack: If the physical key is unresponsive, the on-screen keyboard can be a savior. Hence, access it through the Windows Ease of Access menu. Use the virtual Print Screen key here and see if it does the trick.
  • Disabling Interfering Software: Third-party screenshot tools or programs can hijack the Print Screen functionality. Take a peek at your system tray or task manager. If you find such a program running, disable it temporarily and try the Print Screen key again.
  • System Restart: Sometimes, the oldest trick in the book is the most effective. Hence, a quick restart can resolve unseen issues affecting the Print Screen function.

These steps are like detective work – eliminating suspects one by one to find the culprit. Often, the simplest solutions are the most effective, so give these a try before diving into deeper troubleshooting.

Ensuring Print Screen Shortcut Is Enabled

Getting the Print Screen key to work might just be a matter of tweaking a setting or two in Windows as print screen not working:

  • Enable Print Screen Shortcut: Head to the Windows Settings, specifically the Ease of Access settings. Under the Keyboard section, look for the ‘Print Screen shortcut’ option. Ensure it’s turned on to activate the key’s functionality.
  • Check Keyboard Settings: If your keyboard has an ‘F Lock’ or ‘Function Lock’ key, make sure it’s in the correct position to enable the Print Screen functionality.
  • The Importance Of Correct Settings: These settings are the gatekeepers of your screen capturing ability. The correct setup ensures that when you press Print Screen, Windows knows exactly what to do, capturing your screen without a fuss.

In the digital world, where capturing and sharing information swiftly is crucial, ensuring your Print Screen shortcut is properly set up is more than just convenience; it’s about staying efficient and effective in your digital workflow.

Using Hotkey Combinations 

If the standard Print Screen key is giving you the cold shoulder, there are other hotkey combos at your service as sprint screen not working:

  • Alt + PrtScn: This dynamic duo takes a snapshot of your active window only, not the entire screen. It’s like a precision tool for screen capturing
  • Windows Logo Key + PrtScn: Pressing these together is like saying “cheese” for a full-screen photo. The screen dims briefly, indicating a successful capture. These screenshots automatically save in a folder, typically found in Pictures > Screenshots. No clipboard middleman here! Learn more about the various hotkey combinations and their uses.

Understanding these combinations unlocks new levels of screenshot productivity. They offer options for different needs – whether it’s capturing the essence of a single window or the grandeur of the entire screen.

Checking Keyboard Functionality 

When the Print Screen key seems to be on a coffee break, it’s time to check a couple of things when print screen not working:

  • The F-Lock Or F Mode Key: These keys are like the secret agents of your keyboard. They can change the function of other keys, including Print Screen. If your keyboard has these keys, toggle them and try Print Screen again. Hence, it’s a simple fix that’s often overlooked.
  • Online Key Testers: Not sure if the problem is the key itself? Online keyboard testers can help. Websites like allow you to press keys on your keyboard and see if they register in the system. Hence, if Print Screen lights up on the tester, the key is working fine, and the issue of print screen not working lies elsewhere. For more in-depth information on keyboard functionality and issues, this article could be useful.

This approach is like being a keyboard detective, investigating the functionality of each key. Hence, it helps pinpoint whether the issue is with the key itself or related to software settings. Hence, by ruling out hardware problems, you can focus on software solutions to get your Print Screen key back in action.

Updating Keyboard Drivers 

Updating keyboard drivers can sometimes be the magic touch your system needs. Hence, here’s how to do it as print screen not working:

Via Device Manager:

  1. Open the ‘Device Manager’.
  2. Navigate to ‘Keyboards’ and expand the list.
  3. Right-click on your keyboard device, and select ‘Update driver’.
  4. Choose ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’. Windows will then search and install any available updates.
  5. Restart your computer.

From the Manufacturer’s Website:

  1. If Windows doesn’t find an update, visit your keyboard manufacturer’s website.
  2. Look for ‘Support’ or ‘Downloads’, find your keyboard model, and download the latest driver.
  3. Install the driver by following the instructions as print screen not working.
  4. Restart your PC post-installation.

Updating drivers can resolve hidden issues and enhance keyboard performance, potentially fixing the Print Screen problem.

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Using Windows Game Bar For Screenshots

Windows Game Bar is a handy tool for gamers and non-gamers alike to capture screenshots:

  • Accessing Game Bar: Press the Windows logo key + G to open Game Bar. If it’s your first time, you might need to confirm that the application is a game.
  • Taking Screenshots: Once Game Bar is open, click on the camera icon or press Windows logo key + Alt + PrtScn to take a screenshot. 
  • Finding Your Screenshots: The screenshots are saved in the ‘Videos’ folder, inside a subfolder named ‘Captures’. You can also view them directly through the Game Bar in the ‘Gallery’. If you’re interested in other ways to capture your screen, especially for gaming, check out this comprehensive guide.

Game Bar is not just for gaming; it’s a versatile tool for quick and easy screen captures, storing them conveniently for later use.

Editing Windows Registry (Advanced Solution) 

Tinkering with the Windows Registry can solve the Print Screen issue, but it’s a path treaded best with caution Before making any changes, it’s crucial to back up the registry or create a system restore point. This safeguards against any unintended consequences.

  1. Open Registry Editor: Press Windows key + R, type ‘regedit’, and hit Enter with print screen not working
  2. Modifying The Registry: In the Explorer folder, right-click in an empty area, select ‘New’ > ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’. Name this new DWORD as ScreenshotIndex. Double-click on ScreenshotIndex and set its value to 1.
  3. Restart Your Computer: Lastly, restart your computer for them to take effect.

Remember, editing the registry is for advanced users. Mistakes can cause system instability, so proceed only if you’re confident in understanding the process and implications.

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What to do when Print Screen is not working?

First, check if the screenshot has been saved to the clipboard by pressing Windows logo key + V. You can also try using the on-screen keyboard, disabling any third-party screenshot programs, or ensuring the F Lock or F Mode keys aren't interfering. Updating your operating system might also help resolve the issue .

Where is the Print Screen key located, and what does it look like?

The Print Screen key is usually found in the upper right corner of the keyboard. It captures your desktop screen and saves the screenshot to the Windows clipboard .

How can I solve the Print Screen button not working issue?

First, try stopping background programs like OneDrive, Dropbox, or Snipping tool, as these can interfere with the Print Screen function. Make sure the Print Screen shortcut is enabled in Windows settings. You can also use alternative hotkey combinations like Alt + PrintScreen or WinKey + PrintScreen. If these steps don't work, updating your keyboard driver might be necessary .

How to update the keyboard driver to fix Print Screen issues?

You can update your keyboard driver manually via Device Manager in Windows. Simply expand the Keyboards directory, right-click on your keyboard, and select Update driver.

Are there alternative methods for taking screenshots if Print Screen is not working?

Yes, if the Print Screen key isn’t working, you can use the Snipping Tool, accessible from the Start menu under Accessories, to capture screenshots. Additionally, using key combinations like Fn + PrtScn, Alt + PrtScn, or Alt + Fn + PrtScn might help. Some laptops may require you to use the on-screen keyboard’s Print Screen key .


In conclusion, resolving a non-functioning Print Screen key involves a mix of simple fixes and advanced solutions. From checking basic keyboard functions and hotkey combinations to updating drivers and delving into Windows Registry edits, each step is crucial in its own right. The importance of methodically following these troubleshooting steps can’t be overstated, as it often leads to the root of the issue of print screen not working.

For further assistance and more in-depth troubleshooting, consider visiting tech forums or official support pages like Microsoft’s Support website. These resources can provide additional insights and specialized guidance for more complex scenarios. 

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