Microsoft changes the Print Screen key to open the Snipping Tool on Windows 11

Microsoft is preparing to change how the Print Screen (Prt Scr) key works in Windows 11. For the first time in decades, the default behavior will now open Microsoft’s Snipping Tool instead of taking a picture of your entire screen and copying it to the clipboard. Microsoft has begun testing this change in The latest beta versions of Windows 11.

While Windows 11 already has a setting that allows you to change the Print Screen to open the Snipping Tool, Microsoft will set this as the default behavior in the upcoming KB5025310 update. If you’ve previously modified the option in Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard, Windows 11 will keep the setting you chose, but for many it will swap that setting.

Print Screen has always needed an overhaul, especially if you’re on a multi-monitor setup because it captures all screens unless you hit ALT + Print Screen to grab the active window instead. Many third party apps have also tried to intercept and use the button over the years. Microsoft’s OneDrive tries to save screenshots made with Print Screen, Dropbox tries to do the same, and apps like ShareX default to using Print Screen to take screenshots.

Microsoft’s choice of the default Print Screen for its snippet might surprise or anger some Windows 11 users, but the behavior is easy to switch back and IT admins should be able to control how this rolls out to devices in the coming months.

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