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Windows 11 to change how Print Screen works for the first time since Windows 95

Microsoft is set to change what the Print Screen key does, with the new functionality set to bring up the Windows 11 Snipping Tool.

Windows 11 to change how Print Screen works for the first time since Windows 95
1 minute & 13 seconds read time

The Print Screen key or 'Prt Sc' has been on keyboards since the dawn of desktop computing, where back in the 1980s, it would send stuff on your screen over to a physical printer to print it out while making a loud dot matrix noise.

Windows 11's new Print Screen function, image credit: Windows Latest.

Windows 11's new Print Screen function, image credit: Windows Latest.

With the arrival of Windows 95, though, the functionality changed, and it became a screenshot tool to capture a snapshot of your entire screen to Clipboard that you could then paste into an app to edit or save. Fast forward to 2023, the age of Windows 10 and 11, and the functionality remains the same. Unchanged for decades until now.

As spotted by Windows Latest, referencing Windows 11 version KB5025310 available in the Beta channel, Microsoft is changing the default behavior of the Print Screen key to integrate it with the Windows Snipping Tool.

For those who might be unhappy with the change, there will be an option to disable this and return the Print Screen key to its original "take a screenshot" functionality - but I think it's a great move. The Snipping Tool is one of the great features of Windows 11, as it allows you to select what to capture, whether it's an entire window or a small section of your current screen via a simple interface.

It also means that you will get a visual notification, as even though the Print Screen key captures your screen, there's currently no indication or feedback to let you know that's what it's doing. This makes the update more user-friendly for a function that has been a part of Windows since Windows 95.

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Kosta might be a relatively new member of TweakTown, but he’s a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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