Windows 11 Snipping Tool Not Working: 12 Possible Fixes

Is your Snipping Tool not working in Windows 11? Microsoft replaced its classic screenshot grabber by merging its features with Snip & Sketch. The newer Windows 11 app looks like a simple change from Windows 10, but users have reported bugs such as “the app can’t open” error and a lack of response while grabbing screen caps. The following is a list of possible fixes to make Snipping Tool work on your device.

Tip: Are you dealing with a BSoD? It could be because of a "Bad System Config Info" Error in Windows. Read on to learn how to fix it.

How to Fix the Windows 11 Snipping Tool Not Working

The Snipping Tool not working can be traced to faulty Windows 11 security updates, expired digital certificates, or a missing folder/registry value. Each solution covered below will fix a unique error source.

1. Check for Windows 11 Out-of-Band (OOB) Updates

The universal solution to the Snipping Tool not working issue in Windows 11 is to finish an “Out-of-band (OOB)” update: a non-security Microsoft patch introduced past scheduled release dates. One of them is KB5008295, but you should opt for the latest OOB patches whenever they're announced.

  1. From the Start menu search, look for “Windows Update Settings” and check for the latest updates, even if it shows “You're up to date."
Snipping Tool Not Working Windows Update Check For Updates
  1. Wait for the latest updates to install on your Windows 11 PC, which will cover any patches pertaining to the problem.
  2. Restart your device and check whether you can work with the Snipping Tool.

Tip: Snip & Sketch isn't the only missing feature. The classic Volume Mixer is also gone from Windows 11. Find out how to get it back.

2. Disable Automatic Time Temporarily and Reset Its Manual Value

If your Snipping Tool app is breaking in Windows 11 and unable to grab screenshots, then you may have a wrong date/time issue related to the app’s digital certificates.

You need to temporarily change your date and time from automatic to manual and go back to automatic once the error is gone.

  1. Go to "Settings -> Time & Language -> Date & Time."
  2. Turn off the toggle switch for "Set time automatically."
Snipping Tool Not Working Date Time Toggle Switch Off
  1. Select "Change" from the "Set the date and time manually" option.
  1. Regardless of the current date, change the date manually to October 30, 2021. Leave the time section as is.
Snipping Tool Not Working Date Time October3o 2021
  1. Check whether the Snipping Tool is working. If it is doing fine, switch back to automatic timing in "Set time automatically." The correct date will show on your computer.

3. Run the Windows 11 Snipping Tool Directly from "Windows.old" Folder

For those who upgraded to Windows 11 from Windows 10, you might have an older version of the Snipping Tool left behind in the "Windows.old" folder. This is also known as the "classic" Snipping Tool.

Launching the latest Windows 11 Snipping Tool application may cause it to crash, but you can continue to use the classic Snipping Tool application to grab screenshots in Windows 11.

  1. On your C drive, you should be able to see the "Windows.old" folder. If you don't find it there, proceed to the other solutions.
Snipping Tool Win11 Windowsold Folder
  1. Search for an application file called "Snipping" in the Windows 11 file and folder search menu.
  2. Open the application file from its original location. You will be directed to the folder where the older Snipping Tool is located.
Snipping Tool Win11 Pin To Start 3
  1. Pin the Snipping Tool application file to the Start menu or save the entire folder to your Windows 11 taskbar.

With a new Windows update, the old folder issues should be resolved entirely.

4. Keep "Automatically Copy Changes" Enabled in Snipping Tool Settings

The clipboard automatically saves changes when you’re copy-pasting anything on your computer. If you can open the Snipping Tool program, but it is not copy-pasting any images, enable its "Automatically Copy Changes" function.

  1. Open and launch the Snipping Tool.
  2. Click the three-dot option to enable the "See more" option, where you can open "Settings."
Snipping Tool Not Working App Three Dot Menu See More
  1. Make sure the "Automatically copy changes" toggle is turned on. While the other toggles in the menu can be turned off to suit your needs, the "Auto copy to clipboard" option should always be kept on.
Snipping Tool Not Working Automatically Copy Changes Enabled 1

As these screen snips are saved to the Clipboard by default, taking a fresh screenshot would cancel out the old one. You'll have to toggle on another option labeled "Multiple windows" to save multiple screenshots.

5. Turn Background App Permissions On to Take Pictures

Does your Snipping Tool app have the access permissions to take pictures as a background app? In some cases, it has to be provided manually, otherwise the image won't be captured by the Snipping Tool object memory.

  1. On your Windows 11 device, go to "Settings -> Apps -> Installed Apps --> Snipping Tool -> Advanced Settings." This will take you to the "Apps & features" section of the Snipping Tool.
  2. Ensure the app permissions for the pictures are turned on. Further, enable background app permissions as "Power optimized" or "Always."
Snipping Tool Not Working Installed Apps Background App Permissions

Good to know: Do you want to use Windows 11 without a Microsoft account? You can!

For those struggling with faulty update issues in the Windows 11 Snipping Tool, a nice workaround is to set the PrtScr key on your keyboard to serve as the default launch button for Snipping Tool.

  1. Open and launch Snipping Tool. Select the three-dot menu to open Settings.
  2. In the Settings menu, select "Print Screen key shortcut" and "Change in Windows settings."
Snipping Tool Not Working Prt Scr Shortcut Click
  1. You will see a "Did you mean to switch apps?" notification when Snipping Tool is trying to open Settings. Click "Yes" to proceed.
Snipping Tool Not Working Did You Mean To Switch Apps
  1. Turn the "Use the Print Screen button to open screen snipping" toggle on. You can select various screenshot grabbing options, such as Freeform Snip, Rectangular Snip, and Full Screen Snipping, directly from the PrtScn button on your keyboard.
Snipping Tool Win11 Printscreen For Snipping

The PrtScr key has many related functions that work with other Windows tools, such as PowerShell, Command Prompt, and Microsoft Office. To use them, you will have to temporarily disable the PrtScr key shortcut.

7. Uninstall and Reinstall Snipping Tool

Is your Snipping Tool aborting on launch? Due to a faulty update or other reasons, it may be improperly installed. The flawed installation can cause the program to abort and should be replaced with a new version.

  1. To uninstall the Snipping Tool program in Windows 11, select "Add or remove programs" from the Start menu search or in the Control Panel.
  1. Scroll down to the Snipping Tool app, and from its three-dot menu, select "Uninstall" to proceed with the removal.
Snipping Tool Not Working Installed Apps Select Uninstall
  1. After uninstalling the Snipping Tool in Windows 11, you can reinstall it from Microsoft Store.
Snipping Tool Not Working Microsoft Store App Get

Are you facing issues with Microsoft Store? We have a handy guide on the steps you can take to make Microsoft Store work properly.

8. Repair and Reset Snipping Tool App

Close on the heels of uninstalling Snipping Tool in Windows 11, you can periodically repair and reset the app. This will fix any newly found issues in the app’s processes as shown below.

  1. Go to "Settings -> Apps -> Snipping Tool -> Advanced options." It will open the "Apps & features" menu.
  1. Navigate to the "Reset" menu and click "Repair." Wait a few seconds for it to be repaired.
Snipping Tool Not Working App Repairing
  1. If there are no outstanding issues, you should notice a checkmark next to the Repair button as shown below.
Snipping Tool Not Working App Repairing Checkmark
  1. Repeat the same procedure for the Reset button. Once the issues have been resolved, you should not face any more issues with the app.

9. Use Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 11 to Enable Snipping Tool

Occasionally, you may find the Snipping Tool not working despite no errors with the update. There may be some deep policy settings on your device that have disabled the Snipping Tool without you noticing.

Windows 11 advanced administrator settings have a Local Group Policy Editor that helps undo any policies you don't want on your device.

  1. Go to the "Run" menu using Win + R. Type "gpedit.msc" to launch the "Local Group Policy Editor."
Snipping Tool Not Working Run Gpedit Msc
  1. Scroll down to "Tablet PC -> Accessories" and click on the setting option "Do not allow Snipping Tool to run" to evaluate its status.
Snipping Tool Win11 Tablet Pc Accessories Do Not Snipping
  1. If the dialog box that follows shows that "Do not allow Snipping Tool to run" has been "Enabled," you need to change it to "Disabled."

10. Registry Hack to Enable Snipping Tool

Apart from the Local Group Policy Editor, you can also use a minor registry tweak to kickstart the Snipping Tool on your Windows 11 device. This is helpful when you just don’t see the Snipping Tool application tool and folder in your File Explorer.

  1. Go to the "Run" menu using Win + R. Type "regedit" to launch the "Registry Editor" on your screen.
Snipping Tool Not Working Run Regedit
  1. Go down the following path in your Registry Editor:

Right-click on Microsoft to select a new key and name it "TabletPC."

Snipping Tool Not Working Microsoft Key Rightclick
  1. Select the newly created "TabletPC" key and right-click to add a new DWORD (32-bit) value. Call it "DisableSnippingTool."
Snipping Tool Not Working Microsoft Dword Value Rightclick
  1. Right-click to edit the above DWORD (32-bit) value string and set it as "0." The default value is "1," which would disable the Snipping Tool.

Note: try this method only if the Snipping Tool is not visible on your system.

11. Perform a Clean Windows 11 Installation

The Snipping Tool may run into unanticipated issues if the operating system is riddled with corrupt files. It is easy to deal with the problems caused by installed apps by going for a clean installation of Windows 11.

  1. Before going for a clean installation, make a backup of your files first, as they'll be lost in the process.
  2. Download "Create Windows 11 Installation Media" at this link.
  3. Launch the installer. Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach an option that lets you choose the media to be used. Select the "USB flash drive" option that will let you install a USB setup for booting.
Snipping Tool Not Working Clean Installation Windows11 Setup
  1. Once the USB installer is ready, insert it in a USB port on your Windows device.
  2. Restart your PC or laptop and enter boot keys that will vary based on your device manufacturer. Generally, they are F2, F10 or F12, or Esc.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate the latest Windows 11 OS on your device. This should be bug-free, as any old patchy updates are gone.

You may find this detailed tutorial useful, as it covers all the possible ways to install Windows 11 on your device.

12. Do a Cloud "Reset" of the Windows 11 Operating System

If the original copy of your Windows 11 system is genuine and valid, it is easier to fix any issues with a simple Cloud Reset. It works similarly to a clean installation but is much easier to perform, as you don't require a USB drive.

  1. Go to "Settings -> System -> Recovery -> Recovery options."
  2. Select "Reset PC" in the menu options for "Reset this PC."
Snipping Tool Not Working Reset Pc Option
  1. Follow the instructions and choose an option to "Remove everything" rather than "Keep my files." This will guarantee a fresh system devoid of errors.
  2. Select "Cloud download" to reinstall Windows. This will hook your system to the latest Windows 11 version on the cloud.
Snipping Tool Not Working Reset Pc Cloud Download
  1. In the next few steps, you can begin the Reset procedure. Once it starts, you cannot stop its progress.
  2. Leave your device plugged in and connected to the Internet. After the cloud download is finished, a new Windows version is automatically installed.

Learn how to check your hard disk health in Windows 11.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my computer freeze when I use Snipping Tool?

If your PC freezes when using Snipping Tool, it indicates the possibility of corrupt graphics drivers. To fix the problem, start Command Prompt in Administrator mode and run sfc/Scannow followed by DISM.exe.

Once the outdated drivers have been identified through a system scan, you can open them from Device Management (devmgmt.msc in Run menu.) Update and reinstall the drivers as directed on your Command Prompt screen.

Why does my Windows Snipping/Snip & Sketch Tool not cover the whole screen?

If the Windows 11 Snipping or Windows 10 Snip & Sketch tools fail to cover the whole monitor screen, it means the display is not set to its correct resolution. Go to "Settings -> System -> Display -> Scale & Layout" and set the scale to its recommended value on your device.

How do I fix a black screen encountered while using Snipping Tool in Windows 11?

If you're encountered black screens while saving screenshots with Snipping Tool, it means there are some problems with your graphic drivers. Open "Device Manager" using the Run command menu devmgmt.msc and select any graphics drivers related to "Display adapters" and "Integrated monitors." Right-click them to update the missing drivers. They'll sometimes be marked with an exclamation point.

What are the alternatives to Snipping Tool in Windows 11?

In Windows 11, Snip & Sketch has been merged with Snipping Tool. There are a few other free and paid screenshot grabbing options you can use:

How do I capture a scrolling screenshot in Windows 11?

To capture a scrolling screenshot in Windows 11/10, follow the steps covered in this tutorial, which works for Windows, Mac, Linux, and browser-based settings.

Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Sayak Boral.

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox