XDA Basics: How to take screenshots on the Surface Pro 7

XDA Basics: How to take screenshots on the Surface Pro 7

Taking a screenshot is something many of us do often, especially on our phones. On PCs, there have long been ways to capture a still image of your screen, but they usually require a keyboard. The Surface Pro lineup helped popularize Windows tablets and 2-in-1s, but because of that, there also had to be a way to take screenshots without a keyboard.

In this guide, we’ll show you all the ways you can take a screenshot on the Surface Pro 7, which also applies to most modern Surface tablets. In fact, many of these work on any Windows PC. Since Windows lets you use multiple apps at the same time, you can take screenshots of only a specific app. We’ll cover ways to take screenshots of both the entire screen or a specific app or region.

Navigate this article:

Take a screenshot with the side keys on the Surface Pro 7

If you’re using the Surface Pro 7 without a keyboard, you can take a screenshot in a similar way to a smartphone. Press and hold the power button, then press the volume up button on the side of the display. Pressing both at the same time will automatically take and save the screenshots. You can then find them in the Screenshots folder in your Pictures library. Screenshots are automatically numbered and saved as a PNG file.

Screenshots folder in Windows 11

Take a screenshot using the Surface Pen

When you pair a Surface Pen to your Surface Pro 7 using Bluetooth, you can set shortcuts for the button at the top of the pen, including the ability to take screenshots. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Open the Settings app, then go to Devices (Bluetooth & Devices, if you’re using Windows 11), then Pen & Windows Ink.
  • Scroll down to customize the shortcuts for the button at the top of your pen (in Windows 10). In Windows 11, click Choose what your shortcut button does to expand the list of options, then choose the Screen snipping option for any of the shortcut options (single-slick, double-click, or press and hold).
  • You can now press the chosen shortcut to open the screen snipping tool from the Snip & Sketch app. You can choose to take a screenshot of a specific rectangular area of the screen, a freeform area, a specific app window, or the entire screen.
Snip & Sketch region selector in Windows 11

Snip & Sketch region selection in Windows 11

  • Once you choose the area, the screenshot will be taken and you’ll get a notification from Snip & Sketch to edit the screenshot. Tap the notification to open your screenshot and make any edits such as drawing or further cropping the image.

Editing a screenshot in Snip & Sketch

  • The image is automatically copied to the clipboard so you can paste it anywhere. To save the image permanently, click the Save icon in the top right corner.

Take a screenshot on the Surface Pro 7 using Snip & Sketch

If you don’t have a Surface Pen, or any Bluetooth active pen, you can still use the Snip & Sketch tool mentioned above using the touchscreen. Here’s how to take a screenshot using Snip & Sketch on the Surface Pro 7 and other PCs:

  • Open the Snip & Sketch app from your Start menu.
  • In the top-left corner of the app window, click or tap New to take a screenshot immediately (the Snip & Sketch window is minimized to capture what’s behind it).

Snip & Sketch tool before taking a screenshot

    • You can also click the arrow next to the icon to take a snip with a three or ten second delay. This is important if you want to capture things like menus.
  • Choose the area you want to capture.
  • You can now draw or crop the image in Snip & Sketch and save the screenshot.

Windows 10 only: Screen snip quick action

In Windows 10, you can quickly launch the screen snipping tool using the Action Center. However, this quick action was removed in Windows 11. Here’s how to use it if you’re still on Windows 10:

  • Swipe in from the right side of the screen, or tap the notification icon near the bottom right corner.
  • If the Screen snip action isn’t visible right away, click Expand.
    • If you want to reorganize your quick actions, right-click (or press and hold) any of them and then choose Edit quick actions. Move the Screen snip action to the top row if you want it to be accessible without expanding the full list.
  • Tap Screen snip to immediately launch the snipping tool, and choose the area you want to capture.

screen snip quick action in Windows 10

  • Tap the notification to edit and save the screenshot. It’s automatically copied to the clipboard if you want to paste it anywhere else.

Take a screenshot on the Surface Pro 7 with Snipping Tool

If you prefer using the old Snipping Tool for screenshots, you can still do that on the Surface Pro 7. This tool has most of the same basic features as Snip & Sketch, but with different delay timers and some additional options. Here’s how to use it:

  • Open the Start menu and find the Snipping Tool in the All Apps list. In Windows 10, it’s inside the Windows Accessories folder. In Windows 11, it’s listed right after Snip & Sketch.
  • Click Mode to change the type of capture you want, and Delay to choose how long the delay should be before the screenshot is taken (if any).

Classic Snipping Tool in Windows

  • Click New to begin snipping. Choose the area you want to capture according to the mode you selected.
  • You can now draw on the image, copy it to the clipboard, or save it as a file. There’s also a Send button that integrates with Microsoft Outlook for sharing.

Editing a screenshot in the classic Snipping Tool

How to take screenshots on the Surface Pro 7 using the keyboard

There are multiple ways you can take a screenshot using keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 and 11. If you have one attached to your Surface Pro 7 or you’re using another device, here are a few ways to do this.

Take a full-screen screenshot

To take a screenshot of the entire screen, you can simply press the Print Screen (PrtSc or PrtScn) key on your keyboard. This will copy the screenshot to your clipboard so you can paste it anywhere for sharing or editing. If you want to save the screenshot as a file, press the Windows key + Print Screen at the same time. Screenshots are automatically saved to the Screenshots folder in your Pictures library.

Take screenshots of a specific app

If you want to take a screenshot of your current active app window, you can do that with the keyboard too. You can press AltPrint Screen to copy a screenshot to your clipboard, which you can then paste anywhere. If you want to save that screenshot as a file, press Windows key + Alt + Print Screen. This feature is considered part of the Xbox game bar, so the file is saved in a folder called Captures in your Videos library.

Captures folder in Videos library in Windows 11

Launch Snip & Sketch with the keyboard

We’ve already covered Snip & Sketch quite a bit, but you can also launch this snipping tool with a keyboard shortcut if you want. Press Windows keyShiftS to immediately begin a screen snip. You can choose the area or window you want a screenshot of. Click or tap the notification to edit and save the screenshot. Screenshots are copied to the clipboard automatically if you just want to paste them somewhere else.


Those are all the ways you can take a screenshot on your Surface Pro 7, though most of them also apply to any modern Windows PC you might have. It’s all up to the hardware you have, but there’s pretty much always something you can do to take a screenshot on Windows.

If you’re considering buying a Surface Pro 7, you can do it using the link below, knowing all the options mentioned in this article will also work. The Surface Pro 7 is among the best laptops you can buy today, and it’s one of the shining examples of a laptop with Windows Hello support. That means you can sign in using facial recognition instead of having to type in a password. You can also check out other great Microsoft Surface PCs, which might be more suited to your particular needs.

    Surface Pro 7
    The Surface Pro 7 is a tablet with an optional detachable keyboard, making it very versatile. It has powerful Intel processors and a premium design, making it one of the best laptops out there.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.