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How to Deactivate the Snipping Tool from the Print Screen Key

The familiar function of the Print Screen key has been a mainstay for users over the years. However, with Windows’ decision in 2023 to integrate the Snipping Tool into the Print Screen key’s functionality, it created the “Print Screen Snipping Tool” feature, which may be useful for some but requires more than one step to take a simple “screenshot” as the print screen used to. While this move added versatility, not everyone might appreciate this fusion.

Print Screen: A Quick Recap

Traditionally, the Print Screen key captures the entire screen display. Press it, and your current monitor’s full screen is copied, ready to be pasted wherever needed. Simple, quick, and efficient.

Snipping Tool: A More “Detailed” Approach

The Snipping Tool allows users to take selective screen captures. Whether it’s rectangular mode, freeform mode, window mode, or full-screen mode, the Snipping Tool provides more control over what you capture. However, this level of precision comes with a price, and for some users, it can be potentially annoying. You have to carefully choose a selection on the screen of what you intend to capture, and this can be overwhelming, potentially causing issues if you accidentally press the wrong key or button. It demands careful attention, but it also offers a new level of control over your screenshots.

Print Screen Snipping Tool Integration

Merging the Print Screen with the Snipping Tool means that when you hit the Print Screen key, it now opens up the Snipping Tool, and instead of a quick button press you now have to move your mouse to select a choice between rectangular mode, freeform mode, window mode, or full-screen mode; It’s an entire process instead of a simple button press.

However, the steps below have you covered and can help return the Print Screen key on your keyboard back to normal by removing the Snipping Tool function. Also, before we proceed, it is important to know that uninstalling the Snipping Tool from Programs/Apps will not disable the Snipping Tool function when you press Print Screen.

Disabling/Enabling the Print Screen Snipping Tool Integration

Method 1: Through Windows Settings

  1. Start by Accessing Settings: Click on the Windows icon at the bottom left of your screen, then select the ‘Settings’ option, represented by a gear icon.
  2. Go to Accessibility: Here, you’ll find numerous features designed to enhance user experience.
  3. Go to Keyboard: This section houses settings related to keyboard functionality.
  4. Locate the Option: Scroll until you find the ‘Use the Print Screen key to open Snipping Tool’ setting.
  5. Toggle the Setting: To disable the Print Screen Snipping Tool function, simply toggle this option to ‘off’. If you wish to enable it in the future, you can return here and toggle it back ‘on’.

use the print screen key to open snipping tool

Method 2: Registry Editing (For Advanced Users)

For those comfortable navigating the Windows registry, you can modify the Print Screen function from there. Before proceeding, always backup your registry to prevent potential issues.

Though the detailed steps for this method aren’t provided here, it’s important to know that this option exists for users who desire a more hands-on approach.

In Summary

The integration of the Snipping Tool with the Print Screen key aims to offer users a more versatile screen capture experience. However, Microsoft ensures that those who prefer the traditional Print Screen function can easily revert to it. Whether you’re a fan of the classic or the new, these instructions will help you set up your Print Screen key just the way you like it.

Sean Doyle

Sean is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. He is featured in several publications.

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