Multiple Monitors and PrntScrn in Windows 10

The PrntScrn or ‘Print Screen’ keyboard function has been around a long time, coming into existence well before multiple monitor setups were all the rage. Now that multiple monitor setups are much more common we thought we’d take a quick look at how the PrntScrn key operates with multiple screens in Windows 10.

1) PrntScrn

A straight PrntScrn command captures a full ‘screen dump’ incorporating all the monitors, no single/window capture here. Of note is that it also captures dropdowns plus the Start Window as seen on the image below which displays the Firefox options menu highlighted in the centre monitor screen.


2) Alt + PrntScrn

Using Alt with the PrntScrn key narrows down the focus of the ‘screen dump’ to the current window, even if this window is reduced.


3) Win + PrntScrn

In terms of what is captured, using the Win key with PrntScrn is no different than using the PrntScrn key alone. However, there is a screen flicker when the capture is made and a png image is automatically saved to a Screenshots folder in your default Pictures library. The first file is named ‘Screenshot.png’, and subsequent images ‘Screenshot (x).png’ with x increasing numerically as your screen shot collection increases.

We couldn’t spot any other variations using the Shift, Ctrl, and Func keys, so this appears to be about it.

Quick Tip for single monitor screen dump in multiple monitor setup

Ensure the application you wish to screen dump is maximised and has focus. Then use the Alt + PrntScrn option to capture just that monitor.