Microsoft is getting ready 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 own Snipping Tool instead of capturing an image of your entire screen and copying it to the Clipboard. Microsoft has started testing this change in recent beta builds of Windows 11.
While Windows 11 already has a setting to allow you to change Print Screen to open the Snipping Tool, Microsoft will set this as the default behavior in the upcoming KB5025310 update. If you have previously modified the option in Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard then Windows 11 will keep the setting you chose, but for many this will be switched over.
Print Screen has always been in need of an overhaul though, especially if you’re using a multi-monitor setup as it captures all screens unless you hold ALT + Print Screen to grab the active window instead. Many third-party apps have also attempted to intercept and use the button over the years. Microsoft’s own OneDrive tries to save screenshots made using Print Screen, Dropbox attempts to do the same thing, and apps like ShareX also default to using Print Screen to capture screenshots.
Microsoft’s choice to default Print Screen to its own Snipping Tool may surprise or anger some Windows 11 users, but it’s easy to switch the behavior back and IT admins should be able to control how this rolls out to machines in the coming months.