Windows 11 deep dive: Checking out the new Snipping Tool

Windows 11 brought with it a whole slew of changes, based to the core of the OS itself, as well as many of the built-in apps. That includes the Snipping Tool, which has now been revamped with a modernized look, replacing both the old Snipping Tool and the Snip & Sketch app available on Windows 10.

While many changes were available when Windows 11 initially launched, Microsoft has kept delivering updates to the Snipping Tool and other parts of Windows 11, so there’s a good chance you might have missed some of the new features. Let’s take a closer look at everything new in the Snipping Tool on Windows 11.

When you launch the Snipping Tool app on Windows 11, you’re greeted with the window below. This window gives you a handful of options that will be familiar if you use the classic Snipping Tool. You can set a type of snip (fullscreen, rectangle, or freeform), as well as a time delay of 3, 5, or 10 seconds. This is where it’s most apparent that the new app is a merger between the classic Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch.

The biggest news, however, is the ability to record video, which you can do by hitting the recorder icon next to the camera button. Indeed, Snipping Tool can now record videos of your screen, which is a very long-awaited feature. You’ll notice that if you switch to screen recording mode, you’ll no longer be able to set a timer or chose a capture mode in the main window (though you can still choose an area to record, as we’ll explain later). In either case, you can click New to start a snip or a recording.

Taking and editing screenshots

Taking a screenshot with the Snipping Tool is fairly easy. You can click the New button in the top left corner while the capture mode is set to Snip. Once you start taking a screenshot with the new Snipping Tool, everything will feel exactly like how it did in Windows 10. You can change the type of snip using the floating toolbar at the top of the screen, and that’s because you can launch the Snipping Tool with a keyboard shortcut (Windows key + Shift + S). If you do it this way, you’re taken straight to the capture UI, so you can still change the type of capture you want to do without opening the main Snipping Tool window

Screenshot of the capture UI in the Windows 11 Snipping Tool

After you select an area to take a screenshot of, you’ll get a notification in the bottom right corner of your screen, and you can click it to edit the snip. Once in the editor, the tools are pretty much the same as before, except the pencil tool from Snip & Sketch has been removed (the classic Snipping Tool also didn’t offer this option). Some buttons have been moved around, though. The undo and redo buttons are now in the central section of the toolbar, but there are dividers for different kinds of tools. You may also notice that the drawing tools are now sometimes at the bottom of the app window.

The first division includes the drawing tools — pen, highlighter, and eraser. These options are the same as before, but the color picker for the pen and highlighter is translucent now. The second group, in the center, has the ruler, cropping, and finger draw options. On touch-enabled devices, this lets you draw using your finger instead of moving the image around. This is because, usually, you might want to use a pen to draw instead, so finger draw is disabled to avoid accidental lines. Finally, the last division has the undo and redo buttons.

Screenshot of the Windows 11 Snipping Tool editing UI with the color picker for the pen

Just like the main window, the editing tool also lets you set a timer and the snip mode so you can take a new screenshot. These options are up in the left corner, and on the right corner, everything is the same as before, aside from new icons. You can save, copy, or share the snip, but by default, snips are now automatically saved to your Screenshots folder. Through the ellipsis menu, you can also print the image, open a file, or choose to open the snip with a different app for further editing.

As we’ve mentioned, one of the big additions to the Snipping Tool on Windows 11 is the ability to record videos, starting with an update in late February 2023. You can record videos of any area of your screen, though audio isn’t recorded, at least for now. To record a video, you need to open the Snipping Tool, switch over to video mode, and click New.

You’ll then be asked to select a recording area, which can be any rectangular area as long as it doesn’t span across multiple monitors.

Screenshot of the screen recording UI in the Windows 11 Snipping Tool

Once you select an area, click Start at the top of the screen to begin recording. Once you’re done recording, click the Stop button at the top (the red square) to finish. You’ll then see a preview of your video, which you can play to see if it looks good. Unfortunately, you can’t make any edits. Unlike screenshots, videos aren’t saved automatically, so you’ll have to click the Save icon in the top right corner to save it.


Finally, we have the app settings. Here, you can change a few things, starting with whether you want to assign the Snipping Tool to the Print Screen key on your keyboard, replacing the typical screenshot experience, and essentially doing the same as the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut. This takes you to the Windows 11 Settings app, where you can enable the feature.

Other options here include whether you want screenshots to be saved automatically, whether you want to copy edits you make to an image to the clipboard automatically, as well as whether you want Snipping Tool to ask you to save screenshots you’ve edited before closing. You can also choose to automatically add a border to your screenshots, or whether new screenshots should be opened in a new Snipping Tool window if one is already open. Finally, you can change the app theme, in case you don’t want to follow your Windows theme.

That’s all you need to know about using the Snipping Tool in Windows 11. It started as a simple fusion of the classic Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch apps, but now, it’s gained some big new features that make it more useful than ever.