[Repair Guide] Print Screen Not Working on Windows

[Repair Guide] Print Screen Not Working on Windows

/ Shayne Sherman

When using Windows, the print screen button is a handy feature to quickly capture what’s on your screen. However, there might be times when this function suddenly stops working, causing frustration and inconvenience for users.

Knowing the possible reasons and appropriate fixes can help you resolve the issue and get back to capturing screenshots easily. In this repair guide, we will explore several methods to troubleshoot the print screen not working issue and provide a detailed overview of the common reasons behind the problem.

Follow these steps carefully, and you should be able to restore the print screen button’s functionality on your Windows device.

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Common Reasons for Print Screen Button Not Working

Understanding the reasons behind the print screen button not working can help you identify the issue more effectively. Some common factors that may prevent the print screen button from functioning correctly are listed below.

  1. Disabled Print Screen Function: In some cases, the print screen button might be disabled on your device. You can check and enable it from the Ease of Access settings.
  2. Outdated or Corrupt Keyboard Drivers: Old or corrupt keyboard drivers can also cause problems with the print screen button. Updating the keyboard driver can help resolve the issue.
  3. Conflicting Background Applications: Sometimes, background applications and programs can create conflicts, impacting the print screen button’s functionality. Disabling or uninstalling these applications can help fix the issue.
  4. Operating System Compatibility Issues: An outdated Windows version can cause compatibility issues with keyboard drivers and other system functions, including the print screen button. Keeping your operating system up-to-date can resolve such errors.
  5. Hardware Problems: Issues with the keyboard, such as a damaged or unresponsive print screen key, can cause the button not to work. In such cases, you may have to replace the keyboard or use an alternative method to capture screenshots.
  6. Incorrect Configuration in Windows Registry: Improper configuration of system settings in the Windows Registry can also lead to the print screen button not working. Editing the registry settings can help resolve the problem.
  7. Interference with Third-Party Software: Certain third-party software may interfere with the print screen function. Identifying and disabling these programs may help solve the issue.

By analyzing these common reasons behind the print screen button not working, you can target and resolve the problem effectively. Try implementing the solutions mentioned in this guide according to the possible cause, and you should be able to restore the print screen button’s functionality on your Windows device.

How to Repair the Print Screen Button When It’s Not Working

Turn On Print Screen 

Using keyboard shortcuts to launch various apps and built-in features is one of the facilities windows provide. If you cannot use those shortcuts, it could be due to some ongoing error, i.e., software or hardware-linked errors.

The same goes for the print screen button not working issue. The only way to check the keyboard error is to look at whether the print screen key is enabled for your device. Here are the steps to check the accessibility for using the print screen command in this context. 

Step 1: Launch ‘settings’ via windows key+I or get into it through the main menu. 

Step 2: In the settings menu, select the option of ‘ease of access.’ You can directly launch the option via windows key+ U. 

Step 3: In the ease of access window, select ‘keyboard’ from the left pane and navigate to ‘print screen shortcut.’ Check whether the ‘print screen’ is enabled. In case the command is not allowed, toggle the button below the option to ‘turn on.’ 

use printscreen shortcut

Stop Background Programs for the Print Screen Function

Several background apps and third-party software consume the space and, in turn, cause errors. The print screen not working is one of the errors that may occur due to background programs. Stopping the background applications may resolve the problem. Here are the steps to prevent background apps and make the print screen button work. 

Step 1: Launch the ‘Run’ utility with windows key+R and type ‘msconfig’ in the command box. Click ‘ok’ to continue. 


Step 2: Select the ‘boot tab’ in the next window from the header menu. 

Step 3: In the ‘boot menu,’ select the option of ‘safe boot.’ Click ‘ok’ to continue. 

Step 4: Restart your device to boot it in safe mode, and it will automatically stop all third-party applications and software. 

safe boot options

Step 5: recheck if the print screen button is functional by taking a screenshot and checking if it is saved to ‘C:\Users\user\Pictures\Screenshots.’ 

Step 6: Remove your device from the safe boot and click ‘ok’ to complete the action. Restart your device for normal functioning. 

Update Keyboard Drivers to Fix Print Screen Not Working

As a hardware device, the keyboard functions with specific drivers to communicate with the OS. In the case of outdated drivers, an incorrect keyboard driver may cause functional errors in the form of some shortcut keys not working correctly. The same goes for the print screen key not working. Hence, updating keyboard drivers may fix the issue. Here are the steps to follow: 

Step 1: Launch’ device manager’ by right-clicking the windows icon in the main menu and selecting the ‘device manager’ option from the list. Or directly launch the window by clicking the windows key+X. 

windows search device manager

Step 2: In the device manager window, select the keyboard option and expand it. 

Step 3: From the list, select your keyboard and right-click it to choose the option of ‘update driver.’ 

update keyboard driver

Step 4: In the next window, select the option of ‘Search automatically for updated driver software.’ The system will choose and search automatically for compatible drivers and the latest driver updates.

update keyboard driver automatically 1

Step 5: Complete the wizard and restart your device to install the driver’s update. Once installed, check for the PrintScreen key by saving the screenshot. If it gets held in ‘C:\Users\user\Pictures\Screenshots,’ the button is functional again. 

Run Hardware troubleshooter for the Print Screen Function

As the keyboard is the hardware device connected to the PC, one can always run the hardware troubleshooter to scan the root cause of errors in hardware devices and appropriate solutions to resolve the functionality problems. Hardware troubleshooting can fix the print screen button not working error. Here are the steps to follow: 

Step 1: Launch the ‘settings’ menu from windows key+I or select ‘settings’ from the main menu. 

windows i keyboard shortcut

Step 2: In the settings menu, select the option of ‘update and security.’

Step 3: In the ‘update and security’ window, select ‘troubleshoot’ from the left pane. In troubleshot options, locate ‘keyboard’ and click the option ‘run the troubleshooter.’ Wait for the scan to complete. 

keyboard troubleshooter

Step 4: Restart your device and check the print screen key to see if the error is resolved. 

Update Windows for the Keyboard Driver Settings

Just like outdated drivers, outdated versions of operating systems (windows) may also result in errors. ‘Print screen button working’ is one of the errors that may occur due to outdated versions of Windows working in compliance with hardware devices.

Hence, see if you can update the keyboard driver settings. Here are the steps to check for the latest windows updates so you can adequately update keyboard driver settings.

Step 1: Launch ‘settings’ via the main menu and select the option of ‘update and security’ from the settings window. 

windows update and security

Step 2: In the update and security window, select the option of ‘windows update.’ And check for updates—select update to resolve errors. 

check updates

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Use a Hotkey Combination Instead of the Print Screen Keys

The print screen key works like a screenshot on a cellular device, do so with a click of a button. If the print screen button is not working, use another shortcut combination from the keyboard, i.e., hotkey, to help capture screenshots. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Start by clicking ‘Alt + PrtScn’ to capture the screenshot.

alt printscreen keys

Step 2: Alternatively, use the ‘windows logo key +PrtScn’ to capture a screenshot. It would be saved in the screenshot option of pictures in file explorer. 

windows printscreen keys

Step 3: You can use ‘Fn+ windows key+PrtScn” to capture the screenshot. 

Step 4: If your device doesn’t have a print screen key, then the ‘Fn+windows key+Space bar’ can capture a screenshot. 

Use Game Bar to Automatically Save Screenshots 

If the print screen key is not working, using a game bar for capturing screenshots is still an option. The game bar is a built-in feature provided by windows that allows users to record and capture screenshots while playing games on the device. Here is how you can use the game bar for capturing screenshots. 

Step 1: Launch’ game bar’ with windows key+G and capture a screenshot. 

launch game bar

Step 2: Select the screen capture option in the game bar menu.

screen capture in gamebar

Step 3: In the ‘screen capture’ option, click on the ‘camera’ icon to capture the screenshot. 

Step 4: Check the screenshot in the ‘captures’ option of ‘videos’ available in the “users’ list of ‘local disk (C). 

check screenshot folder

Edit the Windows Registry

Information associated with various system files and folders of applications, user profiles, etc., are stored in the Windows registry editor, where they can be configured if and when required. If the print screen button is not working, then using the windows registry editor to edit the print screen button configuration settings can help to resolve the error. Here are the steps to follow: 

Step 1: Launch the ‘Run’ utility by clicking windows key +R, and in the command box, type ‘regedit’ and click ‘ok’ to launch the registry editor. 

explorer folder regedit

Step 2: In the registry editor, locate the following key:


select new option

Step 3: In the next step, click on ‘explorer’ to select the option of ‘new’ followed by clicking ‘DWORD.’ 

Step 4: Rename the utility with ‘screenshotindex.’ Now in the DWORD box, set the value data to 1 and click ‘ok’ to continue. 

configure value data

Step 5:Now locate the following key:

‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders.’

Step 6: Check if the string value data is ‘%USERPROFILE%\Pictures\Screenshots’ for {B7BEDE81-DF94-4682-A7D8-57A52620B86F}. 

Step 7: Restart your device after exiting the registry editor. Check whether the error linked to the print screen button is resolved. 

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Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.