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How to take screenshots from Command Prompt on Windows 10

Screenshot tools are often feature rich apps that can annotate the images they capture, convert them to various image formats, upload them to select cloud drives, and more. Some even come with screen recording capabilities and a low to mid range image editing suite. Where there’s room for feature rich screenshot tools, there are users who also need something that’s simple without any bells and whistles. On Windows 10, you can use the Win+PrintScreen shortcut to save screenshots, or you can take screenshots from Command Prompt.

Screenshots from Command Prompt

Windows 10 does not let you capture screenshots from Command Prompt out of the box. You need to download an app called NirCmd to do that. It’s a free app that can do quite a few things including taking screenshots.

Download NirCmd and extract the file. If you intend to use this often, it’s a good idea to either add it to the Path environment or to move it to the System folder. If you only need to use it for a few select scenarios, you can run it from the folder you extracted it to.

Visit the folder you extracted NirCmd to in File Explorer. Click inside the location bar and type ‘cmd’. Tap Enter and it will open a Command Prompt window in the same folder.

Now all you need to do is run the command that will take the screenshot. The command syntax is below and the second you tap Enter, it will capture whatever is on your screen and save it as a PNG file to the same directory.

Syntax

nircmd.exe savescreenshot screenhotfilename.png

Example

nircmd.exe savescreenshot screen1.png

To take time delayed screenshots, you can use the following command. The 2000 is time in miliseconds so convert it according to the delay you want to add before the screenshot is captured.

nircmd.exe cmdwait 2000 savescreenshot screenhotfilename.png

To take screenshots of a multiple-monitor setup, use this command. It’s worth mentioning here that if you’ve applied scaling to your screens, it will impact the screenshots. I’ve applied scaling to one of my screens and it resulted in a portion of that screen being cut off. Set scaling to 100% for all screens and then use this command.

nircmd.exe savescreenshotfull screenhotfilename.png

The screenshot resolution, regardless if it’s of the current screen or all your screens, will be impacted by scaling. If you want the screenshot to be the exact same size as your display, set scaling to 100%.

Realistically, taking screenshots this way isn’t exactly easy however, if you need to capture screenshots of Command Prompt without leaving it, this is a pretty easy way to do so.

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