Screen Capture an Active Window:
The Ultimate Guide

Screen captures are vital for anyone who interacts with the internet. They help you prove a case and archive the past. Screen captures are like new age artifacts and act as a perfect way to prove the crazy stuff you come across to others.

For instance, you can use screen capture to keep that weird error notification, a juicy article you don't want to forget, or even how a website appeared before a recent brand refresh. Besides, it is also a way to get the images that have restrictions on downloading. But how can you do it?

This article is the ultimate guide on how to screen capture an active window.

What does it mean to screen capture a window?

Screen capture is an image of the contents of a computer display. It is an image of what you see on your screen that you can share with others or store for future reference. To screen capture, you begin by opening the preferred window and take a screenshot using screen capture tools.

In the past, people would make photocopies, write down text, record information with another device or take printouts of information from their computer screens. Luckily, the screenshot feature has come as a game changer to the user behavior in Windows and other operating systems.

How to screen capture an active window

Windows screen capture window

Window users can take screenshots of their screen using the Snipping Tool. Below is the process for the Windows 10 screen capture window.

  1. You can access the tool via keyboard shortcut 'Windows key + Shift + S' on the list of apps accessible from the start button or in the notification panel. You can also use the search bar to find it.
  2. The notification button or the keyboard shortcut dims your screen and opens a small menu on the upper side of the screen that allows you to select the type of screenshot you want, i.e., free-form, rectangular, window, or full screen.
  3. After taking the screenshot, it automatically saves to the clipboard and emerges temporarily as a notification on the corner of your screen.

It is worth noting that the Snipping Tool won't save your screenshots automatically, so you have to do it manually before exiting.

Mac screen capture window

Mac screen capture active window using screenshot menu

  1. Open the Mac screenshot menu by pressing 'Shift + Command + 5.'
  2. A small bar that emerges at the bottom of the screen has three icons on the left. They help you screen capture a specific window, a highlighted section, or an entire screen.
  3. You can screen capture using the 'capture' button on the right.
  4. Finally, choose where you want to save the screen capture, the duration between pressing capture and getting the screenshot you are taking, and more in the 'options' menu.

Mac OS screen capture window without using the screenshot menu

  1. Click 'Shift + Command + 4.'
  2. Click and drag the crosshair that emerges to create a highlighted section, and your Mac will screen capture that part when you let go of the mouse.

How to screen capture a window using Parallels Toolbox

Inbuilt screen capture tools in Windows and Mac can be tedious, especially when you take screen captures frequently. For this reason, you may want a dedicated screen capture app such as Parallels Toolbox.

Parallels is a world-leading cross-platform Solutions Company that develops top-notch software for Windows and Mac. Its product, Parallels Toolbox, has a screenshots button that offers you instant access to screen capture your entire screen, an area you define, or a single window. Therefore, it is convenient even when you take multiple screenshots.


Parallels Toolbox is a single click, convenient to click tool that eases your daily computing chores whenever you want to screen capture an active window. Visit Parallels today to download Parallels Toolbox.