A screen capture tool is a type of software that allows you to capture images of your computer screen. This can be useful for a number of purposes including recording your screen when making a training video or writing a tutorial. Alternatively, you may just want to snap screenshots of your screen as part of a blog post or review. Whatever the reason, there are many good options available. In this article, I am going to cover some of the top Windows tools that are and free.
After installing screen capture software, you can take screenshots of your computer or laptop for the purpose of recording video or editing images. I am writing this article to introduce you to the best free screen capture tool windows because it can be really hard to find a legitimate and working screen capture software for Windows.
Screen capture is a method for copying the content displayed on the computer screen and saving it to another file. If you want to share your ideas, thoughts or experiences with other people, you can create a presentation using the program PowerPoint. To keep a copy of your presentation, your only option is to print it on paper. But if you want to put it on the Internet for anyone to see immediately, then you will need a better method to do so. The best way to do this is by using screenshot tools.
If you are seeking to capture screenshots and images on Windows PC, there are several of free screen capture tools and free screenshot software that will help you record your desktop, as well as other applications, including full window screenshots, scrolling screenshots, and more. There is no need to buy a program when these software can be found for free.
What makes for great screen recording software?
The best screen capture software makes it really easy to show how things work—or, if you’re filing a support ticket, how they don’t work. But different people are going to be looking for different things. In our research, we tested around 30 apps, ranging from minimalistic three-button windows to complex apps overflowing with tools. The options are priced from free all the way up to several hundreds of dollars. Each of our picks for best screen recorder app offers a unique feature, but they all meet some basic criteria:
- The ability to record your whole screen, one window, or a specific area
- The option to superimpose a webcam feed over the screen capture
- Simultaneous microphone and system audio recording
- Built-in video sharing and/or convenient exporting tools
- An intuitive, friendly user interface
Of course, the process doesn’t end with the screen recording. The quality of the final product can make or break user engagement, so we also considered the post-capture editing features. Here’s what we found.
Best screenshot tool for fast and secure business communication
ScreenRec is a lightweight, no lag screen recorder and a screenshot tool with an easy-to-use interface. This is enough to make it the best screenshot apps but there’s another department where it outranks many other screenshot programs—instant private sharing. More about that below.
The Screenrec app is very minimal. It isn’t crowded with unnecessary features and it does not require a 100-page user manual to get it working. Heck, it doesn’t require even a 1-page manual!
Just press Alt + S or the Photo Camera button to take a screenshot. In addition, ScreenRec also has video capture capabilities which essentially makes it a screencast tool and a streaming video recorder, among other things.
This screenshot software comes with the basic tools to edit and annotate screenshots such as comment boxes, arrows, rectangles, text boxes. You also have the option to save the screenshot as a digital image file and open it in a professional image editing program of your choice.
When you click the “Get Link” button, ScreenRec will upload your captured image to the cloud and copy a sharing link directly to your clipboard. You can paste this link in an email, a private message or even publish it to your website.
Also, you can copy the screenshot to your clipboard and paste it directly inside of an email.
ScreenRec is an extremely lightweight screen capture tool. It has a minimal interface and comes with an intentionally small feature set. That’s why it doesn’t take a toll on your computer system and can be used even on older machines.
Bonus: Free private cloud storage
Screenrec has a feature that no other screenshot software provides—free cloud storage. Currently, you get 2Gb with each ScreenRec install (enough to store tons of screenshots).
It’s worth noting that the cloud storage that comes with ScreenRec is more than a convenience. It also protects your privacy. Your captures are always stored safely, encrypted with an enterprise-grade algorithm. This means that no one can access your screen snapshots without your permission.
Windows Snipping Tool
The built-in Windows screenshot software that’s so well hidden
If you’re tired of pressing the “Print Screen” button and pasting your screenshots in Paint, the Windows Snipping Tool can help.
We don’t expect much from a built-in Windows screen capture tool, but we must say the Snipping Tool is a nice surprise. It is well organized and user-friendly. A particularly nice option is the delayed screenshot which allows you to capture menus that appear on hover. Also, like ScreenRec, the Windows Snipping Tool has a “Copy to Clipboard” button that saves you mouse clicks.
The Snipping Tool is good at taking screenshots but, to be honest, the screenshot editor is like a cut-down version of MS Paint. Otherwise, it could have been the best free screenshot software windows 10. If this is a deal breaker for you, here are some Snipping tool alternatives.
Once you take a screenshot of a window, fullscreen or a quick snip, you can crop the image or draw directly on top. That’s it. You cannot insert an arrow or a comment box. Bottom line: We really hope you can draw…
The Windows Snipping Tool could do better at screenshot annotation
You can save the screen snap (or snip, if you prefer) locally or email it from the app window.
The Windows Snipping Tool typically works fast though it has been reported to slow down some computers. Other than that, its simplicity makes it very easy to handle.
The easy screenshot tool that works everywhere
What’s great about Markup Hero is that it works on all platforms. You can use the desktop app on Windows, Mac or Linux and, if you’re a fan of Chrome extensions (or you have a Chromebook), you can opt for the Chrome extension. Markup Hero also has an online version where you don’t have to download anything. You can use it to annotate images or PDFs already saved on your hard drive but you can’t take screenshots with it.
Markup Hero keeps it simple with a dark background and grey icons that won’t distract you. All the tools you need are easily accessible in the feature bar at the top.
The web-based editor offers some interesting features. You can annotate, add arrows, lines, rectangles, and ovals in different colors. There’s also a highlighter and a pen for you to use and you can change the line thickness.
Whether you want to share a link or download your screenshot, you can do both with Markup Hero. You can even copy the image to your clipboard if you want to paste it directly in an email or a chat message.
All features work fast and are easy to find. Markup Hero is an awesome free screenshot tool!
The Photoshop of screenshot capture programs
Snapdraw is a PC snapshot tool with so many editing and annotation features that you can easily start to feel overwhelmed. There is one major issue, however. It is slow.
The interface is well organized and seems to fit its numerous editing options neatly along the edge of the window. This gives you enough space to view and edit your images.
Snapdraw’s image editor may be well beyond what most people would typically use. 3D rotation effects, reflections, watermarks, background images or color. If you really need super-advanced screenshot editing, then you might want to give this screenshot software a shot.
Snapdraw allows you to save your images directly to an FTP server or share via email.
As mentioned above, Snapdraw has an annoying lag and often has trouble rendering images and effects quickly. If you really just want to grab a screenshot and email it, you may find yourself wondering if it’s really worth the trouble.
The fancier version of your PrintScreen key
If you’re looking for the simplest screenshot software for Windows, you might give Gadwin a try. Compared to the Windows Snipping Tool, Gadwin might be called a “barebones” screenshot program because it doesn’t offer any editing tools. But if you just need a Print Screen tool, Gadwin can do the job.
Similar to a remote control, there are several buttons arranged in a circle with a snapshot button in the middle.
Unfortunately the free version of Gadwin only goes as far as free screen capturing. There are no editing options. However, there is the possibility of purchasing Gadwin Professional where you can edit your screenshots and add annotations.
None, really. Screenshots are saved to the My Pictures folder on your computer and you might have trouble finding them at first. You have to go to “Capture History” and right-click a screenshot to get to the actual image file.
Considering that Gadwin is a simple screenshot utility that takes pictures of your screen, there is not much that can slow your computer down. So, it does well in terms of performance.
Best basic screenshot app
Continuing our review of the best software to capture screenshots, we move on to Greenshot.
This is a user-friendly screenshot program that gives you the basic utilities you need. It’s simple, yet quite useful. Like another popular program, Gadwin, Greenshot offers to take screenshots when you press Print Screen. It has basic screenshot editing tools.
Greenshot sticks to plain colors and layout. The tools are aligned on the left and top of the window. Even though there are quite a few tools to choose from, the way they are arranged makes them a bit difficult to find.
The editing options available are very simple; crop, annotate, resize, flip. This helps make Greenshot easy to use and makes it one of the best screenshot apps for Windows.
With Greenshot, you can upload your image directly to Imgur or email it to someone. Keep in mind that Imgur is a public image sharing site which means that anyone can find your screenshot on the web and see it. Not recommended for business communication.
Greenshot offers enough features without being heavy on your machine. It’s plain, simple and quick.
So many features, so little space
ShareX is a popular piece of free screenshot software that gives you a plethora of editing and sharing options. The problem? Fitting it all within the interface.
ShareX is good at what it does, but the interface could be simplified. Every option is listed under a tab along the sides of the app, but, with so many features to choose from, it is sometimes difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Where do we even begin? ShareX has everything from annotation to cropping, coloring, flipping, duplicating, watermarking, shadowing.
Normally, having a lot of features is a great quality to have. But, sometimes, you just want to take a screenshot, add quick annotations and be finished. ShareX gives you way more than that. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing but you have to be aware of what you’re signing up for.
Similar to its many, many, whirring features, there is also a list of 80+ sites where you can upload your images directly to. A few of them include Imgur, TinyPic, Flickr, Google Photos, Twitter, etc. You can also share images as files via FTP and Dropbox.
Besides the mildly steep learning curve that is required to become familiar with editing tools, ShareX isn’t too difficult to get set up. You can accomplish what you want with relative ease which is why this program made our list of the best screenshot software.
Bonus: The Screenshot Editor
It’s only fair that we list ShareX’s editor as a bonus feature. This screen grab tool has many options that can turn screenshot annotation into advanced image editing wizardry.
Great features but weird setup
Screenshot Captor is a another free software to capture screen images. With an extensive list of features, it is one of the more advanced programs in this roundup.
We don’t want to be harsh on Screenshot Captor but the interface is reminiscent of MS Paint from the early 2000s. It lacks color and flare. Screenshot Captor may look more like a photo editor than a screenshot app, but all of the tools are well placed and easy to find.
Having extensive screenshot editing capabilities is sometimes wonderful and Screenshot Captor gives you that. From annotation to cropping, rotating and flipping, to blackouts and highlights, you have a lot to play around with. If you want to.
Screenshots can be automatically uploaded to public image hosting platforms (Imageshack, Flickr, etc.), sent to FTP or emailed right from the editing window.
While this screen capture software does well in terms of performance, getting set up and ready to go is a pain, albeit a necessary one. Screenshot Captor is free to use, however they encourage donations. This is nice but, in order to push for donations, they require you to create a forum account and receive an authorization key that’s good for up to six months. After the deadline, you will need to register again.
Best screenshot software for games
Steam is, by design, an app used to purchase and play online games. However, it’s also a great way to take video game screenshots.
Steam’s interface is incredibly simple. The dark theme is attractive and the tabs with options are neatly listed in the left sidebar. It gives you everything you need to quickly make screenshots of games.
Steam offers basic editing options for you to use on your screenshots. Quick annotations, rotating, brightening, pencil tools, just to name a few.
After a screen grab is taken (an edited if you wish), you can upload the file to your gamer profile.
Steam’s popularity has constantly been on the rise , so we can assume that it is user-friendly. However, there are a few flaws we have to mention.
When a snapshot has been captured, it is saved to a random folder somewhere on your computer. You’ll need to know where to find it if you want to edit it . (The save location can be changed in settings).
Another issue is that, in order for your screenshot edits to show, you have to restart the application. This may not be a major problem, but it can be a tad bit annoying.
Chrome extension for easy screen capture
Last in our round-up of the best screen snapshot software is Awesome Screenshot. This screenshot tool is only available as a Google Chrome extension (which may be a downside for some). It offers the basic screenshot capture features. One notable feature is that it allows you to capture an entire web page—scrolling window.
This interface is clean and user-friendly. Out of the way of the recording area, Awesome Screenshot places its feature bar at the top of your screen. It has simple features that are easy to access from the toolbar.
With Awesome Screenshot, you can crop, edit and annotate directly online. There may not be a large variety of tools, but it’s enough for a quick snapshot.
You can share your screenshot within the extension by either uploading it to their sharing platform or sending it via email.
Chrome is known for eating up RAM like crazy and installing new extensions makes matters worse. Awesome Screenshot is a chrome extension and, as such, it can potentially slow down your computer or cause lagging.
Awesome Screenshot is an extension for browsers like Chrome and Firefox that can capture a certain section of the screen (of a website), the visible section in the browser window, or the complete web page at one attempt. The software features an integrated editor that helps you to add shapes, pointers and annotations providing blur effect to the graphics.
Bonus – it features customizable keyboard shortcuts. In addition, it allows you to save the images in JPG or PNG formats to a certain directory, or to its own free cloud storage space.
Nimbus Screenshot is another great option that’s browser based and goes with all the major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and as a Windows desktop app. It allows you to not just take screenshots of the complete browser window, but also a selected section of the webpage or the full webpage. In addition, it lets its users edit and annotate screenshots using its integrated tools.
What’s more? You can also get printouts of images, save images to the system drive or clipboard, upload to cloud storage and share them easily. The desktop app includes screencasting features for those who wish to record video clips.
The FireShot software allows its users to screen capture a selected section of the page, an extended screenshot of a full web page, or across the visible area of the browser window. It’s compatible with all major browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and the Internet Explorer.
The best part about this software is that it allows you to save the screenshots in multiple formats. You can also share the screenshots to different social media platforms. What’s more? You can also add arrows, shapes or text, or even draw over the images using the software’s internal editor. Moreover, you can set the tool to automatically open your favorite external image editor while taking screen captures.
Price: Free version available; Pro version available for $39.95
Screenshot Captor is an aesthetic looking screen capturing tool that’s not just free of cost, but is also feature packed. It offers a multitude of screen capture options and integrated editing tool. It allows the users to take screenshots from the complete screen, active window, selected section, or even extract images from a scanner.
You can then apply different special effects, crop, rotate, blur, or even annotate these images. The best part is, the tool is also available in a portable version for free. However, to access the software, you must sign up to DonationCoder’s forum for a free license key.
SnapCrab is a useful screen capture tool for Windows that helps you to capture screenshots at any place on your desktop. It allows you to save the images in different formats such as, JPEG, PNG, or even GIF. Best of all, it allows you to highlight the screen area that you wish to be captured or capture the full screen.
The software enables you to capture translucent windows and web pages from your browser by connecting via Sleipnir. It also features a self-timer option that helps you keep track of every moment. Bonus – its integrated social features allow you to share your screen across different social media platforms.
Snippet is a screen capturing tool that’s multipurpose and allows you to capture the complete window or a selection. It allows you to either use, edit, or annotate it in the same manner as the regular screenshot, or paste it back onto your desktop in the form of a floating image window.
This screen capturing tool features a magnifier, and colour picker, while the image editor features basic annotation utilities like the shapes, texts, blur effects, and markers. Snipped images can also be pasted to the desktop in the for of image windows, and translucent or click-through windows for quick reference.
LightShot is another addition to the free screen capturing tools that works wonders on your PC. It features a responsive and easy to use interface that lets you capture screenshots in just two clicks. All you need to do is to hot up a hotkey, and the software will capture a screenshot of a portion of your screen or the complete screen.
This tool also features an editor tool for adding text annotations and other edits, just like the other screen capturing programs. Moreover, you can also create a free account helping you to have your own online gallery for quick and easy reference, link sharing, and for online backup.
Screenpresso is a free screen capturing program with all features available. The best part about this tool is its integrated image editor that allows you to add arrows, balloons, numbered steps, and more.
It’s a lightweight program offering options for capture and good captured screen editor. M, it can create video sin MP4 format.
Price: Free version available; Upgrade starts from 28.89 €per user.
Gadwin Printscreen is one of the well-known screen capture apps that comes packed with state-of-the-art image editing and annotation functions, all covered in a user-friendly interface. While the default key is PrintScreen, there are a host of other hotkeys combos to work with.
The tool allows you to capture either the compete screen or a portion of the window. Once you have finalized your favorite combo, you can skip to the Destination tab to either have get the screen printed immediately, copy to the clipboard, or store it on a particular folder. Not just that, the tool also allows to choose from the 6 customizable image formats. What’s more? You can also share the screenshot via email.
Price: 30-Day free trial available; Upgrade starts from $6.45
ScreenTake is another efficient yet free screen capturing program that not just allows you to upload your screen captures to cloud and create a shareable link, but also allows capturing animated GIFs.
Adding to it, it allows annotations, smart sensing (automatic selection of the screenshot), moving resizing, or modifying the drawings added, easy to share by simply clicking “choose a picture and upload” option from the program icon and share, support for Google WebP, adding transparent effects to your drawings, fast, simple, and handy interface, support for multiple languages and screens, and so on.
Icecream Screen Recorder helps you highlight specific areas or sections of a captured image. It’s a highly innovative, professional, and up-to-date screen recording software for Windows. it’s a great alternative to the usual screen capture tools available in the market. This tool is perfect for those using multiple browsers while surfing internet daily.
Some of its best features include, the option to capture an image of a selected portion of the page or the full window, all standard screen capture functionalities, recording of online videos, ability to capture different video formats from sources like YouTube, Vimeo, or Dailymotion, ability to capture videos in a single click, ability to add annotations like arrows, and circle line boxes in videos, ability to save screenshots directly to hard drive, and the option to save the screenshots in different file formats.
Price: Free version available; Pro version available at $29.95
If you are looking for a user-friendly tool rich in features, then there could be nothing better than Pick-Pick. Apart from helping you capture and edit screenshots, it’s known for the host of editing features that all come packed in the same interface. All you need to do is to simply select from the list that includes screen capture tool, protractor, color picker, pixel ruler, whiteboard, image editors, etc.
From adding text annotations or drawing arrows to even drawing shapes, or apply advanced edits, you can do a lot with the integrated editor. Moreover, the software is free to use and is portable. This helps you to save it on a flash drive and use it on any machine without any installation.
Price: Free version available; Pro version available at $29.99
Although its neither a free nor a cheap tool, but Snagit justifies its price tag every bit with its features. Its one of the best screen capture software around that has improved a lot with its new version 11 that also works with Windows 10. It offers a Smart Window Detection feature that crops images for you to automatically select to capture an entire window or just a portion of the window.
This tool also offers a unique feature that is, OneClick tool that can be pinned at the top of all windows. This makes it convenient for you to capture screenshots and a host of annotation tools. Moreover, it also offers a wide range of features that help you with sorting, tagging, and screen sharing.
FastStone Capture is another screen capturing utility that comes with great capture flexibility, from entire screen to any part of the screen. It’s an extremely lightweight and intuitive tool that offers a perfectly functional scrolling window, in-built image joining, scanner support, favourable magnified preview as you set boundaries, and support for video capturing and editing.
What’s interesting is, that it’s always available via hotkey, and doesn’t impede with any other programs or operations. It features onboard editing or output to external programs.
Price: 30-Day Free Trial; Upgrade available for $19.95
OBS is a free and open source screen capturing software that offers you the closest experience to a studio quality, business level solution, free of cost. It offers complete support for multiple scenes, simple and effective overlays especially for a new product with easy learning curve but tough to master, chroma keys, and built-in animation.
Best of all its easy to use, and also available for Mac and Linux in addition to Windows.
With tons of screen capturing tools for Windows around, it can be a tough choice to choose the right one. But, if you know your requirement and want to avail the best features at lowest price or for free, you can choose from the above list and get going with your screen capture mission.You can also download this PC Repair tool to Locate and Fix any PC issue:
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Finding the best screen recording software
The best screen recording app is the one that saves you the most time and produces the most worthwhile content for your audience. Make sure you know your target audience and use case before selecting an app. All the options we’ve listed are either free or come with trial versions, so give your top contenders a whirl, and see which you like best.
Best Free Screen Capture Tool Windows, a powerful screen capture and image editing software. You can use it to capture screen in many ways, including full screen capture, region capture, window capture, scroll capture, directx capture and more. You can also edit the captured images and add annotations, save as bmp, jpg, png formats.
Most people have something to say that may benefit others. Sometimes it’s a question, sometimes it’s an answer, and sometimes it’s a review. However, you can use tools for business purposes or for personal reasons.