Take screenshots at regular intervals automatically with AutoScreenshot

Jun 20, 2020
Updated • Jul 10, 2020
Windows, Windows software

Many people are studying online or working from home during the COVID-19 situation. You shouldn't waste time taking screenshots during a webinar or meeting.

Take screenshots at regular intervals automatically with AutoScreenshot

Otherwise, you could miss some important information. But if you want to take some screen grabs for future reference, it's better to use a tool that can do it automatically in the background. Such a tool may also be useful for documentation purposes.

Tip: check out Automatic Screenshotter or Auto Screen Capture as well as they serve similar purposes.

AutoScreenshot is an open source program that can take screenshots at regular intervals. It is a portable software. The program has a compact interface, with all of its options available on a single screen.

It saves the screenshots in the folder it was extracted to. It creates a new sub-folder to store the day's screenshots, for e.g. a new folder for today, one for tomorrow and so on. But you can change the save folder using the browse button next to the "output directory". Click the "Open directory" button to open the current save folder in Windows Explorer.

AutoScreenshot naming pattern

By default, the program uses the following format as the naming pattern for the screenshots: "Year-Month-Day Hour-Minute-Seconds". For e.g. 2020-06-15 10.03.09.PNG

AutoScreenshot examples

Aside from the year which is saved in 4 digits, the others are written as 2-digit numbers. AutoScreenshot uses the 24-hour format for the time. You can customize the naming style using the "Filename Template" menu. It has a few presets to choose from, though you can choose your own. Use the \ separator to specify a sub-folder.

AutoScreenshot naming pattern 2

You may customize the filename template to use words or names too, for e.g. ghacks. The program will add an incremental number to the suffix for subsequent screenshots.

AutoScreenshot saves a new screenshot once every 5 minutes, you can change this by setting a new saving interval. The default format used for screenshots is PNG, but you can change it to JPG, BMP or GIF. The application supports 24-bit and 8-bit color depth.

AutoScreenshot supported image formats

Hit the "Take Screenshot" button to capture the screen once. Though it doesn't appear to be instantaneous, it does save the snapshot at the moment when the button was clicked. To begin the automatic capture which AutoScreenshot specializes in, click on the Start button.

The program will begin saving screenshots once every few minutes, depending on your selected interval. Use the Stop button to end the automatic capture process.

There are three options that you can enable in AutoScreenshot. If you don't want the program to save screenshots when the system is idle, for e.g. when you're away from the computer, you should toggle the option that says "Do not make screenshots when no user activity" (probably an incomplete sentence that ends with "is detected").

Toggle the "Start Auto Capture when program starts" to make the program capture screenshots automatically. The application can be set to run quietly in the background from the system tray if required.

AutoScreenshot is an open source software. There is one flaw in the program which I'd like to point out. It is the lack of an option to select a region or window for the screen capture. Since there isn't any setting, the only screenshots it saves are full screen snaps. And of course, there's no built-in image previewer or editor, though I don't think that's necessarily bad.

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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

    1. Tweakmaster said on September 29, 2023 at 9:57 am

      U are just * [Editor: removed] thats the problem ;p first of all u shall always debloat windows u shall have max 65 services with your drivers for pc and windows own servs. You didnt know what that script did

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved: https://thegeekpage.com/disable-windows-defender-smartscreen/#How_to_disable_the_Windows_Defender_SmartScreen_via_Local_Group_Policy_Editor

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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