The Ultimate Guide to Using Snipping Tool Shortcut

The snipping tool shortcut is a feature that was introduced in Windows 7. To use this shortcut, you have to press Win + Shift + S on your Windows PC. Pressing these keys opens the snipping tool. You can use this tool to take screenshots and save the images on your computer. 

The snipping tool shortcut has been featured on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, & Windows 11 PCs. If you regularly take screenshots on your Windows PC, you’ve probably used the snipping tool keyboard shortcut before.

If you haven’t, I’ll tell you all about how to use this shortcut in this article. If the shortcut to snipping tool doesn’t work on your PC – I’ll tell you how to fix that issue as well. Let’s explore everything about the snipping tool shortcut. 

Do you have a particular question about using snipping tool shortcut? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What Does Snipping Tool Do?


Previously, taking a system screenshot meant using the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard. However, the Print Screen tool captured the whole screen. Therefore, users had to manually edit the images using third-party image editing software after taking the screenshots.  

The Snipping Tool was introduced in Windows 7 & it made the screenshotting process more convenient. This versatile screen-grabbing tool can help you capture only certain portions of your screen. In addition, there’s no need to edit these screenshots since the Sniping Tool allows you to edit them on the spot.  

The screenshots are called “snips,” meaning “The Snipping Tool.” The tool’s built-in editor can save your “snips” in JPEG, GIF, or PNG format. Here are the different types of snips you can take with the Sniping Tool:

  • Full-Screen Snip: Screenshot the entire screen.
  • Window Snip: Screenshot a specific window (e.g., only screenshot the browser window or a dialog box).
  • Rectangular Snip: Screenshot a portion of the screen to create a rectangle-shaped snip by dragging the cursor. 
  • Free-Form Snip: Draw free-form shapes around any object on the screen & create custom-shaped screenshots. 

Windows Snipping Tool Shortcut

Now that we know what the Sniping Tool can do let’s learn how to use the snipping tool shortcut. The shortcut for snipping tool on windows 7 is: Win + Shift + S. This shortcut applies to all Windows devices. But, how you use the tool will vary on different versions of Windows. 

Snipping Tool Shortcut Windows 10

The Windows 10 snipping tool shortcut is the same as the shortcut on Windows 8. To manually open the Sniping Tool on either Windows 10 or 8, take the following steps:

  • Click Start 
  • Search for the Sniping Tool 
  • Select the Sniping Tool 

Or you can press the Win + Shift + S shortcut on your keyboard. Either way, the Sniping Tool will open. Once it does, take the following steps:

  • Click the Mode option 
  • Choose one of the four options: full-screen snip, free-form snip, rectangle snip, or window snip
  • Click the “New” button on top of the Sniping Toolbox to start the new snipping action.

Once you’ve highlighted the snip, i.e., the screenshot that you want to save, a menu displaying additional options will appear on the toolbar. Here, you can choose either of these three options: Send Snip, Save Snip, or Copy Snip. You can also custom edit the snip. 

Here’s a helpful video guide on all the things you can do once you’ve taken a screenshot with this tool:

Windows 7 Snipping Tool Shortcut

The keyboard shortcut for snipping tool on Windows 7 is the same as Windows 10 or 8: Win + Shift + S. If you press this shortcut on your Windows 7 PC’s keyboard, the Sniping Tool will open. Then, you can use the instructions mentioned above to take, save, send, or copy as many screenshots as you want. 

Snipping Shortcut for Windows 11

Again, the hotkeys for snipping tool shortcut on Windows 11 is the same as Windows 7, 10, or 8: Win + Shift + S. The sniping tool works the same way on Windows 11 PCs as it does on its predecessors. 

What to Do When My Snipping Tool Hotkeys Won’t Work?

If your snipping tool hotkey (Win + Shift + S shortcut) stops working, don’t panic. People who frequently take screenshots on their PCs often face this problem. Here are the simplest troubleshooting techniques for fixing this issue:

Unplug Connected Devices

Unplug all connected devices from your Windows PC for a minute (e.g., your Bluetooth speakers or your USB gaming controllers). See if the Sniping Tool shortcut works once you’ve done this.

Activate the Clipboard History

The screenshots the Snipping Tool saves get saved to your PC’s clipboard first. If the snips aren’t copied to your clipboard history, you can’t save them as screenshots on your computer. You may have disabled your PC’s clipboard history by mistake. To fix that, take these steps:

  • Press “Win + I” (the settings shortcut) to open the Settings page on your PC 
  • Navigate to System 
  • Enter the page titled ‘Clipboard’ 
  • At the top of the page, you’ll notice an option titled “Clipboard History”
  • Two options will appear once you click on Clipboard History: enable or disable 

Enable the option & exit the Settings app. Try using the Sniping Tool shortcut now to see if it worked.

Reinstall the Snipping Tool


By resetting the built-in Sniping Tool on your Windows PC, you can fix whatever glitch that was causing the shortcut to not work. To do so:

  • Open the Settings window 
  • Navigate to Apps
  • Enter “Apps and Features” to open the list of all apps on your PC
  • Search for Snipping Tool 
  • Select the vertical ellipsis to the right of the Sniping Tool to open “Advanced Options”
  • Scroll down the Advanced Options page to find the Reset button
  • Click Reset & confirm your decision

Once the reset process is complete, the Snipping Tool will be reinstalled on your PC. Hopefully, the shortcut starts working once you do that. 

Clean Your Keyboard

The Sniping Tool shortcut on your PC may not work because of a dirty keyboard. To ensure that’s not the case, clean your keyboard. If that doesn’t help, try using a different keyboard & check whether the problem persists. If not, buy a new keyboard.

Mac Snipping Tool Shortcut

Did you know Apple’s MacBook has its own version of the Windows snipping tool? It also has its own easy-to-use sniping tool shortcut. The shortcut is Shift + Command + 5 on your MacBook’s keyboard to open the Mac Snip Tool. This tool is similar to the Sniping Tool in its functionalities. 

Hopefully, this guide has cleared up all the queries you may have had about the Sniping Tool feature in new-age PCs. Use this guide to become a master of screenshotting!

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

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