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How to fix screenshots appear black on Windows 10

The PrintScrn key on the keyboard can capture whatever is on your screen and copy it to the clipboard on Windows. You then have to save the image by pasting it inside an image editor like Paint. Windows 10 is the first Windows version to have a smarter, easier to use screenshot tool. You can tap the Win+PrintScrn keyboard shortcut and a screenshot is captured and saved to a Screenshots folder in the Picture library.

The screenshot tool is basic but it works. If you’re trying to capture screenshots on your system but they all appear black i.e., nothing is captured, here are a few things you can do to fix it.

Screenshots appear black on Windows 10 (FIX)

Try the following to fix screenshots appear black on Windows 10.

1. Third-party screenshot tools

The screenshot tool on Windows 10 is basic and the Snipping tool is only slightly better however, there are lots and lots of third-party screenshot tools that you can use instead of the native solutions. Try using Greenshot or IrfanView.

2. Check for DRM protected content

Apps on Windows can mark themselves as such that they are excluded from the screenshot tool. Additionally, apps like Netflix prevent screenshots and screen recording all together to prevent piracy, among other things.

  1. Open Notepad and use the Win+PrntScrn keyboard to capture it.
  2. Open your user folder, go to Pictures>Screenshots folder.
  3. Check if Notepad was captured in a fullscreen screenshot.
  4. If Notepad is being captured, but a particular app is consistently appearing black in screenshots then it is highly likely that is blocking them. You can still capture it by running the app in a Sandbox.

3. Check for screenshot blockers

Apps can block screenshotting not just for themselves but for other apps. An antivirus app might do something like this, or a security app. If you suspect an app is blocking screenshots on your system, you should exit or uninstall it.

  1. To uninstall an app that is blocking screenshots, open the Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  3. Select the app that is blocking screenshots, and click Uninstall at the top.

4. Screenshot games

Some games block external screenshot tools but they often have their own built-in tools for capturing game-play. If you’re trying to screenshot in a Steam game, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Go to Library and make sure the game you’re playing appears there. Click Play.
  3. Once the game has loaded and you can play it, tap the F12 key to capture a screenshot.
  4. You can access the screenshot from inside the Steam folder. Look for the following folder.
D:\Steam\userdata\UserID\760\remote\AppID\screenshots

5. Fix from Registry

It is possible that a problem in the registry is preventing screenshots from being captured.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the Run box.
  2. In the Run box, type ‘regedit’, and tap Enter.
  3. In the registry editor, navigate to the following key.
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\DCI
  1. Double-click TimeOut in the right pane and set its value to 0.
  2. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  3. Go to the Processes tab and select Windows Explorer.
  4. Click Restart at the bottom right.

You will now be able to take screenshots.

Conclusion

Taking screenshots is easy on Windows 10 though, for any sophisticated needs, you will need a third-party tool. Windows 10 doesn’t actively block these tools from working so if you’re having trouble with screenshots, it is highly likely something to do with the app or the tool that you’re using.

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