Microsoft is testing a way to make the Print Screen button more useful

The key may soon open the Snipping Tool by default in Windows 11.

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Microsoft is planning a change to the default function of the Print Screen button for Windows 11 users. Typically, pressing the button sends a snapshot of what's on your monitor to the clipboard. In the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview builds, however, pressing the button launches the more versatile Snipping Tool instead.

The Snipping Tool enables users to capture a section of their screen, rather than the entire display (although that's still an option). You can capture everything in a single window or just a portion of what you see, thanks to the rectangular and freeform modes.

While the Snipping Tool has more utility than Print Screen's traditional function, power users may not benefit much from the switch. The Print Screen button is out of the way on most keyboards and, for many people, it may be easier to continue using the existing Snipping Tool shortcut (Win key + Shift + S). The Xbox Game Bar app can instantly save a screenshot without any extra steps, though you'll still need to move your hand over to the Print Screen button (the shortcut combo is Win key + Alt + Print Screen).

As BetaNews notes, those who aren't happy with the change will be able to revert the Print Screen button's role to the same thing it's been doing for decades through their system's accessibility settings. Moreover, if you've already assigned a custom function to the key, Windows 11 won't automatically change that.

Microsoft is testing the change at the minute and, depending on user feedback, it may reverse course and keep the Print Screen's function as is in retail builds of Windows 11. Still, expanding what the key can do may make it more useful for many folks.