How to Capture Mouse Cursor in Screenshot on Windows

On different versions of Microsoft Windows you can capture screenshots using print screen (prt sc) button from your computer keyboard. You can use this print screen key with combination of another key for instance – in combination with the Alt key to capture only the active window as screenshot. But capturing the screenshot with print screen button won’t capture the mouse cursor position. Sometime you may want to capture mouse cursor in the screenshot, lets see how to capture mouse pointer when you take a print screen.


See also: Save Screenshot to a Folder Automatically

Capture Mouse Cursor in Screenshots

Started with Windows 7, there are two built-in tools that allow you to capture screens.

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Snipping Tool

There’s a built-in windows screen capturing tool available in Windows 7 or later called Snipping Tool. This tool give some extended screen capturing option like Free form, rectangle and of course active window and full-screen capturing but the cursor capturing.

Problem Steps Recorder

Another built-in tool “Steps Recorder” that is mainly used to capture and record steps taken on your PC. You can save as a file with text description including screenshots with mouse cursor/pointer of each step.

Windows 7 : Click on Start button and type psr or Steps Recorder in search bar and then select steps recorder from the search results.
Windows 8.x : Press the windows key to go to start screen and type Steps Recorder and open it from the search results.

Once you run Steps Recorder click on the “Start Record” button and perform the steps you want to take screenshots of.

windows-steps-recorder

After recording all steps click on Stop Record button and this will preview all the steps that you performed after starting the recording, as shown below. As you can see it shows the description of your steps and include a screenshot of each step with cursor pointer.

To save screenshot right click on it and choose save picture option.

save-screenshot

Other than that there is no built-in option to capture cursor or pointer in the screenshot when you use print screen button. You have to install a third party utility or software that can capture cursor in screenshot.

Capture Mouse Pointer in Print Screen using other Utility

Download and install ShareX from this url https://github.com/ShareX/ShareX. When you run this utility this will ask you to set short key for capturing. This utility will capture cursor automatically in your screenshot and you can take screenshots of different types.

sharex-screen-capture-utility

6 comments… add one
pnamajck January 1, 2015, 4:22 am

overview:
locate cursor-file … screen-cap … crop/save properties representation of cursor-image.

described in detail:
locate the mouse-cursor file on your hard-drive … for win-8 the folder-path is usually “c:\windows\cursors” … click which cursor you want … choose “properties” … window appears … on general-tab (upper-left corner) you will see a representation of the mouse-cursor.

screen-cap only that window (alt+prt-scrn) … open windows ‘paint’ utility … home-paste (ctrl+v) … choose “rectangular-selection” from select-palette … draw square around the mouse-cursor. now click the ‘crop’ button (ctrl+shft+x). now all you gotta’ do is save the image … go to file-save-as and save in your personal favorite-images/icons folder.

the image you saved can be copy/paste’d into any image you deem necessary … retain transparencies or clip-path or magic-wand can remove any inherited white background.

tips:
• for win-8 … the folder-path is “c:\windows\cursors”
• to view properties, right-click on cursor-file
• screen-cap feature places the copied element into a swap-file (temporary)
• even though win-paint is illustrated … most imaging programs will suffice
• for screen-cap on laptop … (fn+alt+prt-scrn) will do the job
• in most imaging programs, certain formats (png, gif, eps, tif, etc) will retain transparencies.

Ann November 3, 2016, 8:51 pm

The only problem with steps recorder is that the image quality is very low, which is a shame. Otherwise, it would be an outstanding solution.

swag February 23, 2016, 10:17 pm

good job

Lynne McAnulty-Street February 24, 2016, 8:08 am

You mention Snipping Tool. I’ve used it often.
There is one drawback to using that – as you have to start a New snip with marking off with the + cursor the rectangle you want to snip, the snip cannot snap the cursor!
(Going with ShareX)
Thanks for the detailed info – appreciated

jeffcard September 14, 2016, 12:49 pm

Great post, thanks for the sharing. I always use acethinker screen grabber online to capture mouse cursor in my screenshot, it’s a free online app, no need to download or install anything, share it here as an alternative.

Tomas Ericson September 23, 2016, 3:35 pm

Oh my god NOTHING of this works. The snipping tool doesn’t actually allow me to capture a screenshot with the mouse cursor in it.
The Steps Recorder doesn’t do anything. I record, I click stop, and then what? It doesn’t end up anywhere. I get to choose an “output file”, a zip file, but it never gets created.

Another commenter mentioned Ace Thinker screen grabber, I tried it and it was one of the most annoying programs I’ve ever used. Couldn’t use any online version though, had to download it and whenever I tried to capture the screen, I was forced into a mode where I had to draw a square (with my mouse cursor of course) of what I wanted to capture. Even then I couldn’t even capture it, without my mouse cursor *starts drooling and laughing maniacally* how the hell can this small project take up to an hour!!!!

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