Back when DOS (Disk Operating System) was the main operating system for computers, ages ago, the Print Screen keyboard key used to capture the screen and directly print it on the default printer. Nowadays, Windows 10 does not do that anymore. Instead, pressing the Print Screen key takes a screenshot and puts it inside the system's clipboard. Sure, you can paste it from the clipboard in any image editing app and print it from there. What if you don't want to take all those steps? What if you want to Print Screen directly to a printer? In other words, how can you automatically send your screen to the printer? Here are two ways to do that in Windows 10:
1. Print Screen and directly send the screenshot to the printer, using our PrintScreenToPrinter tool
One way to make your print screens go directly to the default printer in Windows 10 is to use a tool that we made for you, called PrintScreenToPrinter. Download PrintScreenToPrinter using this link. Save it somewhere on your Windows 10 PC, and then double-click or double-tap on it.
When you first open PrintScreenToPrinter, the SmartScreen filter warns you that it is an unrecognized app. That happens because only our readers download and use it. Our little tool is safe and will not do any harm to your computer. The tool is based on a PowerShell script saved as an executable file. To be able to use our PrintScreenToPrinter tool, click or tap on "More info" and then choose to "Run anyway."
Each time you open PrintScreenToPrinter, you receive a message that reminds you how it works: "Press the PRINT SCREEN key to capture screen and send it directly to the PRINTER. Press the PAUSE / BREAK key to stop."
Click or tap on OK.
Every time you want to take a screenshot of the screen and send it directly to your printer, press the Print Screen (PrtSc) key on your keyboard.
In an instant, Windows 10 should capture the screen and show you the "Print Pictures" dialog, as illustrated below. Choose how you want the screenshot to be printed and click or tap on Print.
When you no longer want your print screens to be automatically sent to your printer, press the Pause / Break key on your keyboard.
As soon as you do that, the PrintScreenToPrinter tool stops and notifies you that it "Stopped sending screenshots directly to the printer."
NOTE: When you use PrintScreenToPrinter, it resides in your computer's RAM, where it should take only a small amount of memory. If you want it always to run, you can automatically load it at the Windows 10 startup using: 4 ways to enable an app to run at the Windows 10 startup.
P.S. If you encounter any issues with our PrintScreenToPrinter tool, let us know via the comments section at the bottom of this article.
2. Install a third-party screenshot app and configure it to print your screenshots automatically
Another way to send a screenshot directly to your printer is to use a specialized screenshot-taking app and configure it, so that it prints screenshots immediately after you take them. There are many such apps available on the internet, so we can't cover them all in detail. However, regardless of the app you choose to use, the steps involved should be similar.
For this tutorial, we chose to use Screenpresso. It's a free app that is designed to capture screenshots and make screen recordings. You can get it from here: Screenpresso. After you download and install it, launch its main window by clicking or tapping on its icon from the system tray.
Then, open Screenpresso's menu with a click or tap on the small wrench button from the top-right corner, and select Settings.
In the settings window, go to its Screenshot tab, select Print as the "Action to perform on screenshot," and click or tap on OK.
From now on, each time you use Screenpresso to capture screenshots, they are automatically sent to your printer, with no additional confirmation.
Do you know other ways to "screenshot to printer"?
When we first thought about this, we didn't know how to print screenshots directly. We thought that Windows 10 had a way of doing it easily. Unfortunately, we found out that it doesn't. That is why we decided to do something about it, so we developed the PrintScreenToPrinter tool. The other option we found for sending screenshots directly to the printer was easier to find, but it implies having to install more complex apps. Do you know other methods to send a screenshot to the printer directly? Let us know in the comments section below.