If you’re still using Windows XP, here’s how you can take screenshots

If we want to take a screenshot of any element that we have in view on the screen of our Windows XP computer, we can do it with the Print Screen key on our keyboard or in a more complete way with various programs developed by third parties, which follow offering compatibility with the classic Windows operating system.

Capture screen in Windows XP

Unlike later versions of Microsoft’s operating system, Windows XP does not have its own screen clipping tool. However, this does not mean that it is not possible to take screenshots in XP natively without having to install additional programs, since we can do it using a button. Of course, it is probably not as easy or intuitive as it should be, but it is equally valid, since we will only need to use a “Print screen” button on our keyboard.

Make the capture with the ImpPnt key

The first thing will be to know what image we want to capture. In this case, as an example, we will take a screenshot of the popular Windows Solitaire game. Once located on the screen, we will press the button Print Screen (ImpPnt) of our keyboard, which is usually located in the upper right.

Pressing this key will cause the system to take care of making a copy of the entire screen image to the Clipboard. If we don’t want to capture the whole screen, we will do the following. We select the window that we want to capture (in this case Solitaire) and keeping the key pressed ALT on the keyboard, simultaneously press the Print Screen button. In this way, the capture only will be made of the selected window and will also be copied to the Clipboard. This one, unless we have it personalized, can only save one copy at a time, so it will always save the last one we make, deleting the one that was previously.

Once the capture is saved, either full screen or in a window, the next thing we are going to do is save the image on our hard drive and the easiest way is to use the classic Microsoft Paint.

Paste it and save it as an image with Paint

To open Paint, we have several ways, such as clicking on Start and then on Run. Here we write mspaint and press Enter or the OK button.

Once opened, we can now paste the capture saved on the clipboard in the editor. To do this, we can choose to click Edit inside the menu tab and then in Paste. We can also use the key combination Ctrl + V to directly paste the image into Paint.

Windows XP paste into Paint

Once the capture appears in Paint, we only have to save it as an image file. To do this, click on Archive and later in Keep. Now, we give it a name and a file type (JPEG, BMP, PNG…) and click Save.

Windows XP Paint save

In this very simple way, although somewhat more laborious than it should be, we have been able to take a screenshot in Windows XP, without the need to install any additional software and save it as an image file.

Use third-party apps

Despite the fact that currently the new applications that are being developed are not usually compatible with such old operating systems, the truth is that we can find some software that continues to offer compatibility with Windows XP and that can be of great help to carry out the screenshots.

Gadwin PrintScreen

This program allows us to carry out different combinations of quick accesses with which to make a capture full screen, a specific area and make cuts. We can save the captures in JPEG, GIF and BMP format, as well as perform basic editions on them, such as rotating, cropping or adding a border or shading. The application is free for home use and we can download it from its official website.

Gadwin PrintScreen hotkeys

By default we can take a full screen capture by pressing the print screen button, to choose a capture of a window press Shift + Print screen. Finally, if we want a screenshot of a selected area, we click Ctrl + Print Screen. Once the capture is taken, we can do basic editing tasks such as adding text, cropping the image or rotating it, as well as adjusting its size and adding some effects and filters.

Gadwin PrintScreen editor


It is a useful all-in-one application that will allow us take screenshots and edit them to modify the captured image quickly. It has features like color picker, color palette, whiteboard, ruler, etc. The captures can be full screen, in an active window or from an area that we make of our desktop. It has a portable version that does not require installation and that we can download for free.

PickPik interface

Once we run the application in its upper part, it allows us to create a new image or open an existing one. Via the button Screen Capture we can choose different types of screen to make, whether full, a window, scrolling capture, an area or free capture. It runs in the background and integrates itself into the taskbar, so just right-click its icon in the taskbar and a list of functions will drop down. In this way it is not necessary to access the application to be able to carry out each and every one of its functions.

Applying filters with PicPick

Once the capture is done, the editor opens where we will find different options to perform such as adding effects, rotating the image, adjusting the size, adding text, etc. Each one of the tools that it incorporates has its own functions that will appear to us as we press its icon.

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