How to Save a Windows Snipping Tool Image (Auto-Save)

Get Snip & Sketch to Save Photos

By default, Windows Snipping Tool may copy screenshots to the clipboard but not save them to disk. Find out here how to save an image on Windows with Snipping Tool (or Snip and Sketch)—and which format to use for saving.

First, Gandhi Has Lots to Do

“I have so much to accomplish today,” Mahatma Gandhi purportedly said, “I shall meditate for two hours instead of one.”—

“Three to four weeks of coding,” programmers say, “can easily save you two or even three hours of planning.”

Now, meditating is not planning, but the trains of thought do run on similar (if not parallel) lines. With that in mind, want to save not seconds and sanity but screenshots and scribbles?

How to Save an Image with Windows Snipping Tool (Snip and Sketch)

Set Up Snipping Tool (Snip and Sketch) to Auto-Save

Time needed: 2 minutes

To set up Snip and Sketch on Windows 10 or the Windows 11 Snipping Tool to prompt you to save screenshots as photos:

  1. Click the three dots See more menu button in Windows Snipping Tool (or Snip & Sketch).

  2. Select Settings from the menu that shows.

    Select "Settings" from the three dots "See more" menu in Snip and Sketch

  3. Turn on Automatically save screenshots.

    What this means: This will auto-save screenshots in Snipping Tool or Snip and Sketch as you make them to the default screenshot location.

  4. Turn on Ask to save edited screenshots as well.

    What this is for: With this setting enabled, you will see a prompt to save the screenshot if you make changes (such as highlighting, cropping, or adding annotations) in Snipping Tool.

  5. Optional: Turn off Automatically copy changes.

    Why you should do so: This option will overwrite your clipboard with the most current version of a screenshot; for control over your clipboard and what image gets saved, turn this setting off.
    From the clipboard: If a screenshot is ever (only) copied to the Windows clipboard, you can easily save it to a disk from there as well.
    Have Windows Snipping Tool save screenshots to disk

  6. Click or tap in the top left corner to exit Snipping Tool settings.

Copying, too: How to Copy a Screenshot with Windows Snipping Tool

Save a Screenshot from Snipping Tool (Snip and Sketch) Manually

To save a screenshot you have taken in Windows Snipping Tool (including annotations):

  1. Click the Save as button in the toolbar.
    Snipping Tool keyboard shortcut: Press Ctrl S to open the saving dialog.
    When exiting: In the Do you want to save your work? dialog, click or tap Save.
  2. Typically, select PNG (*.png) under Save as type:.
    Picture formats: See below for which file format to use for saving in Windows Snipping Tool.
  3. Optionally, change the file name for saving and the folder where the screenshot will be saved.
    Default Snipping Tool file name: The default file name in Snipping Tool is Screenshot YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS (e.g., Screenshot 2020-10-20 185127 for a screenshot taken on October 20, 2020, at 18:51:27).
  4. Click or tap Save.

How to Save an Image with Windows Snipping Tool (Snip and Sketch): FAQ

Where does Snipping Tool save pictures? What is the default save location?

The location preset for saving screenshots from Snipping Tool as pictures is your Windows account’s Pictures folder.

Can I have Snipping Tool auto-save screenshots?

Yes.

You can set up Snipping Tool to save the initial screenshot automatically with Automatically save screenshots.

Note that any changes you make to the image in Snipping Tool are not saved automatically.

Which file type should I use for saving?

Screenshots typically include elements of the user interface and written text. To combine comparably small file size with crisp images and no loss in quality,

  • use PNG as the file format in general.

For compatibility’s sake, you can use GIF as an alternative or JPG for screenshots that are pure images and do not include text.

(How to save a screenshot on Windows tested with Snipping Tool 11.2209–11.2312 and Snip and Sketch 10.2008; first published October 2020, last updated February 2024)

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