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. Jan said on July 29, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    Is there a package for linux that both takes automatically screenshots at regular intervals AND uploads them automatically to a server, all in the background ?
    Thanks !

  2. Swapnil said on March 31, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    Not supporting Windows 10

    1. Anonymous said on August 2, 2022 at 9:36 pm

      It would be nice to have been told it doesn’t support Windows 10 in the first place, another three hours of my life wasted.

  3. PwrSrg said on February 5, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    Here is the REAL link in case you miss the tiny URL all the way at the bottom of the page like I did. ?


    1. Anonymous said on September 30, 2022 at 11:31 pm

      bless you

  4. Squelchtone said on January 5, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    It would be cool if there was SMTP setup to email screenshots which helps monitor remote systems.

  5. richard said on December 11, 2020 at 10:58 am

    there is no executable file in the download. How to install / launch?

    1. scorpion2097 said on December 30, 2020 at 3:26 pm
  6. Artem78 said on June 30, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    > This tool needs to be more granular than one minute intervals

    Added in version 1.4. Check out download page. From now you can set interval up to 1 second.

  7. Artem78 said on June 27, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Decimal minutes interval will be added soon.

    > Another question – how does it handle dual screens?
    No support for this.

  8. BM said on June 20, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Agree on comment above. A minute seems somewhat too long with the pace that some presentations go, or even shifting paces within a presentation.

    This tool needs to be more granular than one minute intervals (though I don’t know if one can enter, say, “0.5” in the field? – bypassing the arrow buttons).

    Another question – how does it handle dual screens?

    Otherwise, a great find Ashwin.

  9. Anonymous said on June 20, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Too bad we are limited to intervals of minutes and not seconds. I don’t suppose it is a technical limitation, so why the need to restrict?

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