Goodbye Snipping Tool Hello Screen Sketch

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 1, 2018
Updated • Nov 18, 2019
Windows, Windows 10

Windows 10 users who run a beta version of the upcoming next feature update of Windows 10, Windows 10 version 1809, get a deprecation notification when they open the Snipping Tool on the system.

The Snipping Tool is a screen capturing utility that users may use to take fullscreen, window, rectangular, or free form screenshots. It is built-in which means that it is available right away as one the many tools that Windows ships with.

The message reads: Just a heads up ... Snipping Tool will be removed in a future update. Try improved features and snip like usual with Screen Sketch.

Update: Microsoft renamed the tool again to Snip & Sketch.

snipping tool gone

Microsoft provides additional information about the deprecation of the Snipping Tool on the Windows Experience blog:

Currently, we are not planning to remove the Snipping Tool in the next update to Windows 10 and the consolidation work underway will be a feedback and data-driven decision.

Microsoft announced the move to a new "modern" snipping experience in May 2018. The company turned Screen Sketch, which it introduced in Windows Ink Workspace, into a standalone application and plans to make it the new snipping experience on Windows 10 going forward.

screen sketch

All of this is a work in progress at this point in time. Screen Sketch supports most features of the Snipping Tool but some are missing right now. There is no option to delay a capture or capture a window directly. While you can use the rectangular capture mode to capture windows, using a native function for that is faster and often more thorough.

The pen selection options lack functionality as well right now. While you get the same number of pens, Screen Sketch lacks pen customization options which the Snipping Tool supports.

Screen Sketch pushes the screenshot to the Clipboard automatically from where it can be shared or saved. You can save it to the local system, obviously as well.

Microsoft did add a number of new options to start a new screen capture and retained existing ones. You may still use Windows-Shift-S to start a new screen capture process; new options include clicking on the pen tail button if a digital pen with button is used, enabling an option to map the feature to the Print-key on the keyboard, and activating screen snip from Action Center.

keyboard print key snipping

You need to do the following to map the Print-key on the computer keyboard to screen snipping:

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Either type "print screen" and select the only result that comes up, or go to Ease of Access > Keyboard.
  3. Toggle "Use the PrtScn button to open screen snipping" so that it reads on.

The new mapping is active right away. Whenever you press the Print-key on the keyboard, Sketch Screen's capture toolbar will come up.

Microsoft released several screen capturing tools in the past couple of years. The company released Snip Editor as part of a Microsoft Garage project in 2015. The program was compatible with Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows and brings part of the Snipping tool to non-Windows 10 versions of Windows.

Microsoft retired the program in 2018 and asks users to use Windows Ink Workspace instead (which is only available on Windows 10).

Windows users have access to a large number of excellent third-party screenshot programs and video capture programs that offer better functionality that the built-in options usually.

Closing Words

While Microsoft did announce the deprecation of the Snipping Tool, it did not announce a date or release version of Windows 10. The Snipping Tool will remain available in Windows 10 version 1809 released later this year but whether it will remain available in next year's Windows 10 releases remains to be seen.

Now You: Do you use a screen capture tool?

Goodbye Snipping Tool Hello Screen Sketch
Article Name
Goodbye Snipping Tool Hello Screen Sketch
Microsoft revealed in 2018 plans to deprecate the Snipping Tool, a built-in screen capturing utility of the Windows 10 operating system.
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  1. Dave Read said on February 24, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    if you’re going to bother coding a replacement, do a better job. 5 minutes with snip’n’sketchy it’s pants. why not add some useful features and don’t break the popular and *genuinely useful* ones.
    it’s not broken, why bother dragging developers into fixing something that’s not broken?.

    1 the way there’s more steps to instantly start working with the “snipped” image
    2 you can’t instantly email the snip out or print straight-away. (“sharing” has too many steps)
    3 when adding a line around an item, snipping tool makes you look better by tidying up the line – SnS doesn’t

    Can’t understand
    1 why has MS has added a RULER and a PROTRACTOR ??
    2 why waste a coder’s time for a new logo?
    3 why bother adding different pens?

    Why not add
    1 shape templates; obvious use is to extract images and annotate around the picture for showing interesting areas with the snip. adding a circle or a rectangle with a fly-out line and arrow is an open goal.
    2 simple text annotation feature, rather than having to have a touchscreen

    Anything good?
    1 the cropping i like
    2 zooming is neat

    they’ve managed to deprecate functionality of a new app….. foot-in-mouth update, successfully installed

    at least i’ve learnt a new keyboard shortcut win+shift+S

  2. Ron said on January 21, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    I fought with snip&sketch for an hour before going back to the simpler snip, and paint to do the job in less than 5 mins. Bigger isn’t always better. And this is something microsoft often doesn’t understand. The problem is that snipper has been hashed out over more than a decade.

    Using Snip&Sketch the cursor was not always visible, my cursor kept dropping out. And, it didn’t always capture what I was snipping correctly. Last, it hashed things out so dark, it was near impossible to snip. (all things that Snipper does well…)

    Maybe someday snip&sketch will be the quality tool that snipper is… but for now I’m gunna call it skip-it’s-sketchy.

  3. Tom R. said on September 10, 2019 at 10:32 am

    If Microsoft takes away Snipping Tool (which it looks like they are), then I’m going to need to find some other alternative for grabbing screen shots. I tried Snip & Sketch, and I absolutely HATE it! One free alternative that I’m considering is LightShot. I’ll probably give it a try in the next couple weeks here; so that I’ll be ready when Microsoft pulls the plug.

  4. Mike Bennett said on August 21, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Bring back the old Snipping Tool !!!

  5. G said on March 1, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Snip & Sketch = Skip it’s S**t… what on earth is MS thinking – a ruler at 45%… possibly the worst replacement I’ve ever experienced.
    All MS had to do was make the ST work as it had in Win 7 and this is what they do – idiots.

  6. Roger said on January 21, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    I tried the new tool and it is a piece of junk, it changes the color of the caption bar of what ever has the focus.

    How can I copy the old snipping tool and related files to a safe place?

  7. Norma McAllister said on October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    A revised Snipping tool that doesn’t allow direct printing of the finished snip.

    Absolutely unbelievable!!!!!

    Who are these people that Microsoft employ???????

  8. chesscanoe said on October 4, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    I find Snip & Sketch 10.1806.2112.0 alpha code not ready for prime time. Microsoft seems to have written it to their requirements to push use of additional applications like Mail from the Microsoft Store. I suspect it still will not be an acceptable tool in 6 months either. There is no indication a focus group ever evaluated S&S for real user requirements in this Windows 10 1809 included application.

  9. Anonymous said on October 4, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    The “Snipping Tool” prints directly, but now we have a new snip tool on Windows 10 v.1809 Redstone 5 (build 17763.1), why the “Snip and Sketch or Screen Sketch” (10.1806.2112.0) doesn’t print directly? RIDICULOUS!!!

  10. Anonymous said on August 20, 2018 at 11:02 am

    As from 1709, Windows “updates” will actually install a new OS and transfer settings across

  11. stan said on July 6, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Did you know that you can press Win-key – Shift – S for a defined area screen shot?
    It will open a + curser (about 2x that size), and you drag it from corner to corner of an area you want to capture and it will save that rectangular area to the clipboard. From there you can paste it (Ctrl-V) anywhere you’d like!

    1. Anonymous said on December 5, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Amazing! Thank you.

  12. Marine Recon said on July 3, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Is there a way to save the Snipping Tool somewhere and then reinstall it after Microsoft fully deprecates it?

  13. Narender Singh said on July 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I’m just so happy and satisfied with SnagIt by TechSmith. If I’m on a slower PC, then I just rely on LightShot.

  14. John said on July 2, 2018 at 7:17 am

    I literally use this so often that I gave it a tile on my start menu so I could call it up without having to mess up the rest of my screen (which I’d want to stay the way it is so i can snip) and didn’t have to open a search or command line and type “snip”. This news bums me out. I mean, sure, some browsers have built in screenshots for the web, or add-ons that accomplish that, and there are probably third-party Windows programs that have a similar function- but there was something nice about having it in the base OS that is just there to use, doesn’t contain ads, isn’t limited to a subset of things (ie the browser), is flexible enough to get whatever portion of whatever screen you want (Protecting your privacy by letting you exclude things, like part of a web page that has details you don’t want to share along with the part you do, or allowing someone to get a more complete picture by showing things some tools wouldn’t, like a taskbar and file menu on a webpage snip), and that you know is safe and being maintained by the same people you are trusting to run your PC’s operating system.

    For core things like that, the ideal OS would to me have a philosophy of including their basic version, but allowing competing versions to be used and set as defaults. So, you’ve got the downside guarantee of the minimum you get, and then if you don’t like it, can use a third party program that can be set as default (I don’t know how you’d set a snip tool as default, I’m speaking in a generalized way :) ) that you feel better meets your needs.

    Windows basically does that, but gets a little shady every once in a while with a digital assistant that pushes you to Edge and Bing, or that thing where Windows Mail links don’t use the default browser. Android does it, but with slightly more exceptions than Windows (ie Like some apps that use webview, essentially Chrome, instead of allowing you to open things in whatever browser you select as your default- I would suggest a code language or standard where webview calls from apps launch the default browser rather than webview if a default is set other Chrome). I have no idea where Apple is with its operating systems, but probably even less choice.

    Everyone seems to want to launch you into their entire ecosystem of devices, operating systems, applications, cloud services and storage, etc.. I’d rather pick my favorites at each level and use the mix I like best, with a backbone where if I haven’t yet decided on a program to do some thing I rarely do, there’s something there to handle it. The idea is that no one has to jump through hoops and things should be decent without having to make all those decisons and install and set defaults on everything, so it “just works” when you want that, but where you can customize to your heart’s content when, if, and where you care and have the time.

    Getting back to snipping- my concern is that in the long-term, if Windows drops its snip tool, we’ll be dealing with a bunch of tools that only do certain things, have ads, demand fees, etc., and that may stop being maintained or lose compatibility at any time (Remember, even if someone makes an open-source clone of the current snip tool, Windows does major feature updates every six months now, which means unless that person is able to test his tool with each beta every six months until the end of time, it may just stop working when Windows updates one day. The Microsoft version at least ensured continued compatibility.).

    I know snip isn’t the most widely used thing in the universe, but in some ways those are the things that we need the systems apps for the most. Someone will always code and keep third party web browsers up to date. Snip tools and advanced file system option menus? Maybe, maybe not.

  15. dmacleo said on July 2, 2018 at 12:58 am

    ug wonder if someone can extract and provide it like they have been with some win7 games.
    use snipping tool often, perfect for quickly grabbing a small section of a screen

  16. Deo-et-Patriae said on July 1, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    After all these major updates, I’d like to work for 6 months focusing only on bug fixing without adding anything new. By the way, after the release of 1803, it was time for a clean installation, too. Nowadays with an SSD and USB 3+ takes less than 10 minutes.

  17. Paul(us) said on July 1, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    I am (or was) struggling for decades (Think 1985 ( A year too late George Orwell) ) with really decent tools screen capturing utility’s and there were many (Even tinyTake, Ezvid, Bandicam or Screenpresso) who were almost always not only a lot of money but also they were not doing what I really wanted and expected of a screen capturing utility.
    So for years, I have gone back to the basic with using the standard supplied possibility’s from Windows called paint and ctrl PrintScreen.

    But after reading up on Martin his post and his story about the 5.0 release of PicPick I am a ferry pleased user of PicPick, for screenshots.

    The only thing I am really missing nowadays is a tool from which I can take television internet streamed 720p or 1080p screenshots and also short (think as long as or a bit longer (Bigger) than .gif file of 2Mb up to 5 Mb) who are playing on the computer screen thru the browser Ms.IE-11, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox 60?

  18. Biswapriyo said on July 1, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    It may be possible to backup old Snipping Tool. Copy these two files from old Windows installation in any drive:


  19. ULBoom said on July 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Greenshot, old time context menu style interface but who cares? It works well, very simple, high res.

    1. Anonymous said on July 2, 2018 at 7:33 pm


  20. jack said on July 1, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Well then add the old snipping tool to the Microsoft store. I personally do not want to use the new one.

    1. Mike Bennett said on August 21, 2019 at 10:27 pm

      “Well then add the old snipping tool to the Microsoft store. I personally do not want to use the new one.”

      I agree after trying the new one for 2 weeks!

  21. Bobby Phoenix said on July 1, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I use it all the time. It’s the easiest way to do a quick screen shot of only what you want. Especially if you run a lot of applications on the screen at once, and you don’t want to show everything. As long as the new tool does the same thing, it’s not really going to affect me.

  22. Robert said on July 1, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I’ll stick with Hypersnap. At least it’s not connecting and phoning home to the Microsoft app store, and it has lots of features.

  23. Anonymous said on July 1, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve been running Windows Insider for some time, and have tried out screen sketch multiple times, but always gone back to using Snipping Tool. Screen
    Sketch’s images are extremely blurry in comparison to Snipping Tool. I’m not sure how the tools differ in how they take the images, but there is a difference.

    1. John said on July 2, 2018 at 7:23 am

      I wonder if that’s on purpose as sort of a built in form of DRM on your screen images- like, you can take them, but they’re going to be blurry.

      It wouldn’t be unprecedented, sometimes streaming services will provide lower-def streams or whatever to things they deem less secure against copying than other things.

      Only, here, its just a still image from your PC. If its part of a movie or television show, its just a still frame, not something that would replace watching the thing for the recipent. Its more like free advertising.

    2. KoO said on July 2, 2018 at 6:05 am

      Replace something that works with something that doe’s not .Micro$oft brilliance at work again. Month’s in the planning.
      I can feel a patch coming on.

    3. Anonymous said on July 1, 2018 at 9:15 pm

      Snipping Tool saves picture as PNG by default

  24. _ C _ said on July 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Thank you for your time & effort Martin, greatly appreciated :-)

    Should it be ‘date’ instead of ‘data’, in the Closing Words segment?

    …” While Microsoft did announce the deprecation of the Snipping Tool, it did not announce a data ”

    Thanks again for your helpful info,
    have a great day ahead :-)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm


  25. pat said on July 1, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Another day, Another Doug. (Thor Ragnarök)

    As always, Microsoft is dealing with useless tools.

    In 2018, Microsoft is still not able to provide the accented capital letters required by the French language from the factory. I can capture my screen anywhere, anytime, anyhow, but I still can’t type accented capital letters with a newly installed Windows 10 in French.
    I’m sick of this!
    No problem on Mac or Linux.
    And when I see, among others, the bulk renamer integrated to Thunar (xfce), I’m so happy to have soon the Dark theme for the file manager, really happy!

    Another day, Another Doug.

    1. A different Martin said on July 4, 2018 at 8:38 pm


      I’m not an expert on this by any means, but I have gone from QWERTY to AZERTY and back to QWERTY in my lifetime and I currently use the “US International” layout in Windows and the “US International (with dead keys)” layout in Linux, so I do have a few observations.

      (1) The traditional standard French (of France) keyboard layout is unquestionably subpar, and the French Ministry of Culture and AFNOR standards organization are trying to develop a new standard. Here are some articles on the subject:

      *​France’s epic keyboard fail: End of the line for AZERTY?* | ZDNet
      “Having baffled typists for decades, the flawed AZERTY keyboard layout is facing a revamp after the French government finally steps in.”

      *Clavier fran̤ais : la future norme en 10 questions-r̩ponses* РGroupe AFNOR

      I don’t know what the outcome of the process was (or is going to be?). I *did* find an article that *seemed* legit but that was suspiciously dated 1 April 2018 and had a “poisson” (April Fools’) tag:

      *Exclusif : la nouvelle norme de claviers* –

      (2) In the meantime, you might be happy with a customized French keyboard from SourceForge:

      *Clavier français enrichi pour Windows download* |
      “Pilote pour système Windowsâ„¢ d’un clavier français enrichi”

      It’s easier than rolling your own customized keyboard, plus, you won’t have to remember to bring along a copy whenever you’re going to be working on a different computer. (You can just download it again, wherever you are, from SourceForge.)

      (3) I think I may have seen some favorable comments about the new Canadian multilingual standard keyboard layout, but for you that would involved switching from AZERTY to QWERTY, and I can tell you from personal experience that major switches like that require prolonged fights against muscle memory and can be hell on typing speed and accuracy. *Years* after repatriating to the US, I *still* found myself swapping Q for A and Z for W whenever I started getting tired…

      (4) As much as it pains me to say so (!), you can’t really blame the shortcomings of the traditional French keyboard layout on Microsoft or on Windows. At least they provide you the tools to switch layouts or to create your own.

  26. Yuliya said on July 1, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Never used Snipping Tool. Always found it slower to work with than (Alt +) Print Screen. I also use AeroShot for my pretty screenshots with transparency on Windows 7.

  27. klaas said on July 1, 2018 at 9:22 am

    In Win 8.1 there is Snip which is automatically mapped to the PrtSc key. It is/was experimental but has not been talked about much. Will probably be deprecated too.

  28. g said on July 1, 2018 at 9:02 am

    There seems to be only one problem – you can’t install Screen Sketch without a Microsoft account.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 1, 2018 at 9:10 am

      I think it is automatically included in the next version of Windows 10.

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