Taking a Screenshot on Windows RT

Perhaps one of the thing that tech bloggers and journalists find very handy when covering mobile devices is the ability to capture screenshots. Windows Phone 7 was heavily criticised for a lack of native screenshot capability which has thankfully been rectified in Windows Phone 8.

Anyway, with the release of Windows RT for tablets one might wonder how to take screenshots on such devices. While the Microsoft Surface can be used with a touch cover or type cover, the print screen key is missing unless you use a USB or Bluetooth keyboard. Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to want to connect a proper keyboard every time you fancy taking a screenshot.

Luckily, there is a more convenient method.

All you need to do is hold down the Windows button on the tablet and push the volume down button on the tablet.

Note: This button combination will not work on the keyboard, only by using the buttons on the tablet!

You should notice the screen dim a little temporarily. To find your screenshots, just look in the Pictures hub and tap Screenshots to browse through them all.

Here are some screenshots taken on my Microsoft Surface:

Windows RT Screenshot  (Live TWiT Streaming in IE10 Metro)

Windows RT Screenshot (Live TWiT Streaming in IE10 Metro)

Windows RT Screenshot (Start Screen)

Windows RT Screenshot (Start Screen)


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    • Stephen on November 8, 2012 at 07:58
    • Reply

    Hmm. When I do that on my Surface (with the soft keyboard), all that happens is the volume drops and then I bounce back to the previous screen.

    I’m following the instructions exactly as written; press (and hold) the WINDOWS key, and then a single press on the volume down key.

    Any idea why it wouldn’t be working?



    (p.s. Did you have to edit the iecompdata file to get live.twit.tv to run? I did.)

    • Stephen on November 8, 2012 at 08:26
    • Reply

    Ah! I just figured it out. I was using teh WINDWS key and VOL DOWN key on the *keyboard*. It’s the ones on the tablet you use.


    1. I have made that clearer in the article – thanks for the feedback! 🙂

    • Tommy on April 1, 2013 at 13:25
    • Reply

    OMG………..more than excited to see this…….spent two hours going through the tablet and internet.

    Thanks Boyd……you’re the best

    • Kavita Shukla on April 2, 2013 at 00:06
    • Reply

    I have an Acer Iconia Tab W510 Windows 8 Hybrid Tablet, I tried the way ( hold down the Windows button on the tablet and push the volume down button on the tablet.) you mentioned above to take a screenshot on it but it didn’t worked.

    Is there any way to take screenshot on IE-10 win 8 tablet?


    1. Do you have a PrintScreen key on your keyboard? You could use that instead and paste the image into mspaint 🙂

    • cory on October 9, 2013 at 04:53
    • Reply

    My Asus from at&t responded to each key instead of the screenshot.
    Just informing you that there is still some reason/situation it may not work.
    …a setting perhaps?

    I thought that I had used this feature before on this tablet so I just wanted to share in case anybody was interested in looking into it any further. I’ll try to respond if I come across what it is.

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