What if Windows 10 is not saving screenshots to Screenshots folder?

November 15, 2018 |

greater than 7 minutes

As far we know, users with systems running Windows 7 still have to rely on third-party applications to take screenshots. Everything changed with the release of Windows 8 and the more recent Windows 10. On these newer builds of Windows, Microsoft finally introduced a standard setup or tool users can employ to grab the images displayed on their PCs screen.

The built-in utility for taking screenshots on Windows 10 works fines most of the time. Some, though, might prefer to refer to it as the screenshot setup given the fact users do not have to launch an app before they carry out the operation. On the vast majority of computers, the following combination of keys get the job done:

  • Windows Key + PrintScreen or
  • Windows Key + Fn + PrintScreen

Generally, when you try to take a screenshot (using any of combination of buttons above), Windows is expected to dim the backlight of your display very briefly to indicate that your system has executed the operation you initiated. More importantly, Windows is supposed to save the captured screen image in the Screenshots folder (usually under the Pictures library).

A problem, however, arises in scenarios where users believe Windows captured their PCs screen successfully (perhaps, with the screen dimming event occurring as proof), but they cannot find the screenshot file where it is supposed to be.

In this guide, we will show you how to fix screenshots not being automatically saved to the Screenshots folder on Windows 10 problem. We might find it difficult to say precisely why this problem occurs, but we do know a couple of things you could do to make things right.

How to resolve the system not saving screenshots to the Screenshot folder problem on Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8 devices?

We would prefer you start with the first fix on the list, and if the need arises, we want you to continue with the remaining solutions in the order they have been listed here.

  1. Check if Windows is saving your screenshots to OneDrive:

If the screenshots you take do not appear in the Screenshots folder, then there is a good chance your system is storing them in a specific folder in OneDrive. However, if OneDrive is disabled or not in use at all on your PC, then the fix we are about to propose does not apply in your case, and you will do well to move on to next solution.

Moreover, if our assumption is right, your system is actually supposed to inform you about the screenshots it saved somewhere in OneDrive by displaying a notification to this effect. Or perhaps, you disabled the notification setup sometime in the past.

Anyway, we are going to guide you to go through OneDrive settings to find out the state of things as regards the storage location of your screenshots. Follow these instructions:

  • Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the system tray on your desktop screen. Some options will show up from which you must click on More. Now, click on Settings.
  • The Microsoft OneDrive window should be up by now. There, you must navigate to the Autosave tab. Untick the checkbox for the Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive option (if it is selected).
  • Click on the OK button and Windows will take note of the changes. Now, you have to close the window you opened. Try making a screenshot and check if Windows stores the new image in the Screenshots folder.

If the problem persists, you must continue with the instructions below:

  • Launch the Settings app by pressing (and holding) the Windows button on your keyboard, then continuing by giving the letter I key a tap. From the menus or options displayed, select System
  • You should see some sections on the left pane from which you must select Storage. Click on the New pictures will save to option to view the choices Select This PC (C:).

This way, you have just overridden any other setting or instruction that might have been forcing Windows to save your screenshots somewhere on the cloud.

  • Take a screenshot and see if Windows stores it where you want.
  1. Find out where Windows is saving your screenshots:

This fix applies to you if a single condition can be met—you must ensure that Windows has actually been taking the screenshots. If the screen-dimming event is enough confirmation for you, then fine.

Now, if you somehow verified that Windows is not saving your screenshots somewhere in OneDrive, you are probably interested in finding out the location where the screen-captured images have been residing. The point regards curiosity still stands even if you are one of those users who nothing to do with OneDrive.

After you finish going through the instructions below, you will have learned where Windows has been saving your screenshots, and you could use this knowledge to your advantage.

  • First, you must take a screenshot. You can use any of the combinations of keys we provided earlier (or do it your way). The most important is that you ensure your screen image gets captured
  • Now, launch the File Explorer app. Here is the quickest way: Press (and hold) the Windows button on your computer’s keyboard, then continue by giving the letter E key tap.
  • At this point, we believe you have the File Explorer program window up and running. Click on Quick Access. Windows should display some items grouped in the Frequent folders and Recent files sections.
  • Click on Recent file (if Windows is not displaying its contents). The item at the top of the list should be the screenshot or image you took only recently. Now, you are going to find out where Windows saved that file.
  • Right-click on the screenshot file, then select Open file location from the list of options that show up. You will end up in the directory to which Windows has been saving your screenshots. Now, you will do well to take note of this directory as the place where Windows saves your screenshots, or you must move on to change it.
  1. Alter the permission settings for the screenshot folder:

Here, we have to assume that your system is trying to save the screenshots to the Screenshots folder, but your computer cannot do so because it lacks the necessary permissions. Of course, we are going to guide you to give back (or restore) the needed privileges.

Go through these steps to make the necessary changes:

  • Open the File Explorer app. We just showed you how to do this in the second step in the previous operation you carried out, so we do not have to repeat the same thing here.
  • Click on This PC. Click on Pictures. Now you should see some folders or items. The Screenshots folder is the critical directory here. Right-click on it, then select Properties.
  • At this point, the Properties window for the selected folder should be up. Now, you have to navigate to the Security tab. There you should see the Edit button, which you must click on to continue.
  • Tick the checkbox for the Full Control option (if a different parameter is currently selected). Click on the OK button.

This way, you have just granted Windows all the permissions or privileges it needs to save items to the Screenshot folder without much trouble. You will do well to reattempt the screenshot operation and see how things go this time.

  1. Make some changes through the registry:

If you are yet to fix the screenshots not being saved in the Screenshots folder problem at this point, you need not care about the location where Windows is currently keeping the screenshots. Here, you are going to force Windows to store the screenshots in your Screenshots folder regardless of the reason due to which it has been doing things differently.

As you are about to perform tasks on the registry ( which is an incredibly sensitive component of Windows), we recommend you take some precautions. You will do well to back up of the contents your system registry.

At least, this way, if things go wrong (which they could), you can quickly restore the backup without you having to deal with the complications and problems associated with a damaged registry.

Follow these instructions once you ready to perform the required task on the registry:

  • First, you must open the Run app. Here is the fastest way of doing this: Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then give the letter R a tap. Once you have the small Run program window up and running as expected, you have to type in the following code into the text field available: exe

Hit the Enter key. Windows will execute the inputted code.

  • At this point, we can safely assume you have the Registry Editor program window up on your screen. Now, starting from the left pane, you have to navigate through the following items: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer
  • After you reach your final destination, look to the right pane and go through the items you see there. Locate the ScreenshotIndex You will probably realize this item is missing soon enough, and given the nature of the problem you are trying to resolve, it is hardly surprising.

You must create the DWORD value. Continue by following the instructions below:

  • Right-click on any area free of objects on the right pane (under the Explorer folder), then select New. From the sub-options displayed, select DWORD value. The name of the newly created value should be ScreenshotIndex

Click on the OK or Save button.

  • Furthermore, you must double-click on the newly-created DWORD value to edit its data. Click on the radio button for Decimal to select this option. Delete whatever you see in the field for Value Data; input 695
  • Click on the OK button to round up your editing work and force Windows to save the changes you just made. Now, you must move to point out the created DWORD and ensure it corresponds to the correct user profile settings. Continue with the steps below:
  • You have to access the User Shell Folders entries. First, you must close the Registry Editor app, then relaunch it. This time, after its program window appears, you must navigate through the following items: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders
  • Once you are at the final destination as required, you must look to the right pane. You should see the {B7BEDE81-DF94-4682-A7D8-57A52620B86F} entry. Click on it and ensure it points to the following data:  %USERPROFILE%\Pictures\Screenshots

Once you are done carrying out the necessary operations, you are free to close the Registry Editor app. Restart your PC. After Windows finishes booting, your system will settle down, and finally, you must try to take some screenshots. Windows will save them to the Screenshots folder this time.

TIP:

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