Is your capture tool not working? Here’s how to fix it


The Snipping Tool is an important feature of any Windows operating system. it allows users to capture, edit and save screenshots directly to their PC.

However, since Windows Vista, the program is not the most stable. Even when we upgraded to Windows 10 and 11, the Snipping Tool tended to encounter weird issues. Such issues cause the snipping tool not working error repeatedly, which can hamper your workflow and slow you down.

We have identified a few reasons why the snipping tool may stop working and how to fix them easily. Let’s see how they can be treated.

1. Restart Windows File Explorer

Let’s start by getting to the root of the problem. Since the Snipping tool is a subset of the File Explorer service, there is a high chance that the problem stems from there. If the file explorer is unresponsive, so is the snipping tool.

As such, restarting File Explorer can dislodge whatever is preventing the snipping tool from working properly. To do this, press Ctrl + Alt + Del, then select Task Manager. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + Shift + ESC to go directly to the task manager.

Scroll down until you find Windows Explorer and right click on it. From the drop-down menu that appears, select To restart.

You will notice that your desktop will undergo some strange changes upon restarting File Explorer. For example, the taskbar will disappear and your wallpaper will turn completely black. However, this is completely normal, since all of these rely on File Explorer. When you restart the service, it forces all of these to restart as well.

Once everything looks good again, try opening the snipping tool and using it.

2. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Restarting Windows File Explorer should have solved the problem for 90% of users. If not, there are two things you can do: find other ways to capture screenshots on your Windows PC or find out why your snipping tool isn’t working.

If you chose the latter, then try running the Windows Update troubleshooter. You can run it by following the instructions below:

  1. Open the Settings menu by tapping Win + I.
  2. Select Update and security.
  3. From the panel on the left side, head to Troubleshooting > Additional Troubleshooting.
  4. Then select the Windows Update Convenience store.

3. Check for interfering third-party software

Sometimes a program you recently downloaded can interfere with the proper functioning of the Snipping Tool. If you want to get to the bottom of this whole mystery, one way to find out for sure is to follow the steps below:

  1. Type ‘System Configuration’ in the Windows search bar and open the System Setup sign.
  2. Go to Services tab at the top, then select the option to hide all Microsoft services basically.
  3. Disable any service you think may be interfering with the Snipping Tool.
  4. Once you disable it, try running the snipping tool again. If it works fine, it means the app was conflicting with the Snipping Tool. It must be disabled for your Windows Snipping Tool to work properly.

If all else fails and your snipping tool still isn’t working, you can always use the scan now command to repair and restore damaged files that cause malfunction. You can achieve this using the Command Prompt feature. Here’s how:

  1. Type “Command Prompt” in the Windows search bar and run it as administrator. To do this, click either on Execute as administrator in the right panel, or right-click the search result and click Execute as administrator.
  2. Once in the command prompt, type:
    sfc /scannow

    …and hit Walk in.

  3. Once done, type:

    …to launch the Snipping Tool manually. Check if the error persists.

Snipping Tool may also not work if it does not have permission to run in the background. This means that the app will only work if you are active in the app window. To fix this, allow the Snipping Tool app to run in the background by following these steps:

  1. Click it the Windows icon and select Settings from the context menu.
  2. Hit it Privacy on the Settings page.
  3. Scroll down to the left panel to locate Background apps.
  4. To research Cut and sketch in the apps list and make sure it is enabled.

6. Update graphics drivers

Sometimes outdated or corrupt graphics drivers are the cause of a capture tool not working. Their primary responsibility is to capture and process the screenshot into a format that the Windows device understands.

If it is outdated, it will not translate images correctly and become incompatible with your computer, resulting in the “Snipping Tool not working” error. Therefore, in this scenario, the key is to update these drivers to their latest version. To do this:

  1. Right click on the the Windows icon and select Device Manager in the pop-up list.
  2. Move towards Screenshot taken, expand it and right-click on the available driver.
  3. Select Update driver > Automatically searches for drivers. The system will quickly search for all available drivers and install them.
  4. Restart your Windows device.

Since the screenshot tool is associated with taking screenshots, its importance cannot be underestimated. Screenshots are an easy way to communicate data and not being able to use this feature can leave you in a lurch.

There is no doubt that the Snipping Tool is an integral part of the Windows operating system; therefore, it is also essential to make full use of this function. Knowing all the useful tips and tricks, shortcuts, and how to create your own hotkeys will make it much easier to capture, edit, and save your screenshots on your Windows PC.


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