Windows

How to Fix Snipping Tool Not Working on Windows 11

The Snipping Tool holds the crown for the best screenshot tool for Windows OS, and for good reason. It’s efficient, the lightest of all existing alternatives, takes up very little disc space, and doesn’t clog your RAM.

However, the Snipping Tool isn’t perfect as it comes with its fair share of flaws and issues that cause major inconvenience. It may begin to malfunction or occasionally crash or freeze, leaving users in a state of frustration.

Here, we have compiled some ways to fix the “Snipping tool not working” error on Windows 11 and resolve it for good.

It is inevitable that once in a while, a bug might cause your programs or system files to malfunction. However, with Windows 11, it is now easier than ever to fix programs.

You can simply troubleshoot and repair an application without any additional third-party software with these few steps:

the snipping tool's settings
  • Open Windows Search by clicking on the search icon on the taskbar.
  • Type Snipping Tool.
  • Right-click on the Snipping Tool app and select App settings.
repair option highlighted in snipping tool settings
  • Scroll down to Reset and click on the Repair option. The system will attempt to repair the software.
  • If repairing the app does not solve the issue, try resetting the app by clicking on Reset. However, keep in mind that by doing so, you’re going to lose all your app data.

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2. Turn Off Focus Assist

Focus Assist is a fantastic Windows feature that filters all unwanted notifications to help you get more done. However, this can cause problems with some helpful apps, such as the Snipping Tool, by preventing them from launching.

You can disable Focus Assist from blocking Snipping Tool by:

  • Head to Settings > Systems > Focus assist.
  • In Focus Assist, select the Priority only option and click on the Customize priority list.
    add app option in priority list
  • Here, under the Apps section, click on Add an app. Find the Snipping Tool from the list of apps and close the window.
  • Try opening Snipping Tool and check if it works now.

The Snipping Tool has been replaced by the new Snip & Sketch tool by Microsoft, and as a result, the former’s stopped working on many PCs. The most straightforward solution is to use some other method for taking screenshots or upgrade to the more advanced Snip & Sketch tool manually. To do this:

  • Find the Microsoft Store pinned on your Windows 11 taskbar and open it.
  • Search Snip & Sketch.
  • Click on the Get button which will prompt app installation.
  • Once the app is installed, you can start using Snip & Sketch by selecting Open.

4. Perform a Clean Boot

Another reason for the Snipping Tool to not work is interference from other apps or third-party programs, especially your antivirus software. Performing a clean boot can help you with this issue and get the screenshot tool working in no time.

To perform a clean boot, you have to disable all the third-party services and programs. For this:

  • Press Win + R to launch the Run dialog box.
  • Type msconfig in search.
  • In the System Configuration dialog box, go to the Services panel.
  • Check the Hide all Microsoft services box and then click on Disable all button.
    system configuration dialog box

After you have disabled all these third-party services:

  • Head over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager
  • Right-click on all third-party programs, one by one, and Disable them.
  • Click Ok on the System Configuration box.
  • Restart your computer.

5. Disable Automatic Time

Some users identified the jump to Windows 11 as the leading cause of Snipping Tool troubles. They pinned down this error on the latest Windows version, however, later, more testing revealed that the app would work perfectly fine on devices if Microsoft Store was not set to auto-update programs, hinting that the issue is due to expired certificates.

To fix the issue and continue grabbing screenshots, you can try these steps:

  • Open Settings app.
  • Navigate to Time & Language > Date & time.
    date and time in Windows settings
  • Toggle the Set time automatically option to off.
  • Now, press Change which will allow you to reset the value manually. You can select any random date before October 30, 2021, however, you don’t need to change the time.
  • Hopefully, this would have straightened any issues you were facing with Snipping Tool. Turn the Set time automatically to On if your app is working smoothly once again.

If none of the above methods work, and you wish to use solely the Snipping Tool in Windows 11 without reverting to Windows 10, follow the steps below to utilize the Classic Windows 10 Snipping Tool.

  • Open Settings > File Explorer.
  • Head to the System drive partition (C:\).
  • Next, open the Windows.old folder followed by the system32 folder.
  • Here, you’ll find SnippingTool.exe. Double-click on this file to launch and use the classic Snipping Tool even in Windows 11.

7. Use Regedit

The Snipping Tool is installed and enabled by default on the Windows 11 operating system, but the Software Restriction Policy prevents some users from using it, or in some cases, restricts them from being able to view the app in the File Explorer.

If you are also facing similar issues and completely confused about what to do next, here’s how what you can do as a last resort:

  • Launch the Run dialog box by pressing Win + R on your keyboard.
  • Type Regedit in the search box and press enter.
  • This will prompt open a User Account Control window asking you permission to continue and make changes to your device. Select Yes and the Registry Editor will be displayed.
  • Scroll down the Registry Editor until you spot HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE & follow the path SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft.
    creating new key in registry editor

  • Locate the TabletPC key. If it doesn’t exist, right-click on Microsoft, select New > Key, and name it TabletPC.
  • Right-click on this newly created key TabletPC > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and rename it to DisableSnippingTool.
    editing value for the DisableSnippingTool key
  • Double-click on DisableSnippingTool and make sure the Value data is set to 0 with Hexadecimal option also selected.
  • Close the Registry Editor, and try searching and opening the Snipping Tool. These steps will have reset and kick-started the app, allowing you to successfully take screenshots on your Windows 11.

Capturing Screenshots on Windows, Quicker

There’s no doubt that Windows’ Snipping tool is quite a handy app to take screenshots on your laptops & PC; however, it is not the only way. Now, you can capture your screen more flexibly (and quickly) with different Windows hotkeys that you probably didn’t even know were at your disposal. Check out these screen-capturing shortcuts and make the most of your Windows experience.

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