Snipaste Review (2021): Download Free Portable Screen Capture App

Snipaste icon in red, green, blue and yellow grids

What is Snipaste?

Snipaste is an instant and free third-party snipping tool for both Windows and macOS. It was created by a Chinese developer Le Liu in 2017 and hosted by an American cloud infrastructure provider Digital Ocean. Over the last three years, Snipaste has emerged as an excellent choice as a screen-capturing application for Windows 10 users who are looking for a tool that offers more features than the built-in Snip & Sketch.

The developer regularly updates this free snipping tool for Windows. The latest version for Windows 10 was updated on March 20th, 2020.  Interestingly, Snipaste is either available for Windows 10 or XP. The developer hasn’t launched a version for Windows 7 yet. Moreover, the Mac version is still in its Beta phase.

The tool’s responsiveness to Windows desktop makes it one of the best free screen-capturing tool for Windows 10. You can download it in on your device from here. Snipaste is also available in a paid pro version.

How to Install Snipaste?

Unlike the majority of third-party screen-capturing tools available for Windows, this one doesn’t come as an installable program. Instead, you can use it as a portable application.

When you open the Snipaste website, you will see the above menu on the left side of the screen. If you are installing it for Windows 10, click on either Windows Desktop 32-bit or 64-bit as per your system’s versions.

It will download a compressed zip file of around 14 MB on your device. Open the file via any data compression software (WinRAR, etc.).

When you open the zip folder, you will see the above list of files. The real and compressed sizes of its files indicate that the actual size of Snipaste is around 34.66 MB.

Open/extract the above file from the zip folder, and Snipaste will be integrated into your Windows UI automatically. 

The Snipaste icon will start appearing on the taskbar of your desktop. As you can see, the installation of Snipaste on your device is pretty easy. Also, it is a lightweight application that doesn’t overwhelm your processor or hard drive. 

You don’t need any serial key or activation code to use the regular version of Snipaste. It is ready to use upon installation.

Uses of Snipaste

Snipaste can be used to take regional screenshots and snippets on your screen. However, you can do that with the built-in Windows tools as well. So, what makes Snipaste special and a better substitute for the Snipping Tool or Snip & Sketch?

Snipaste is better than them because you can use it to:

  • Take snippets with more precise dimensions
  • Pick up the RGB and HEX color codes from the screen
  • Label the snippet with shapes, texts
  • Censor the content on the taken screenshot

How to Use Snipaste? (Quick Tutorial)

Snipaste is also different from other third-party screen-capturing tools with its hotkey selection. When many of these tools take over the Print Screen key as their shortcut, Snipaste uses the F1 key. When you press F1, it will open the screen-capturing cursor of Snipaste, given that you have already executed its executable file from the zip folder. Moreover, the F3 key has been assigned the role of paste function by Snipaste.

The snipping cursor of Snipaste is far superior to the Snipping Tool or Snip & Sketch. It offers extreme precision.

This is the close grab of the snipping cursor of Snipaste. You can see that it doesn’t just zoom in the selected region for better precision but also displays the pixel dimensions of its current location. Moreover, it also detects the RGB or HEX color coding of the part of the screen that is present at the center of the cross-cursor.

In the above example, it has picked the color of the default folder icon of Windows and shows its RGB coding.

You can capture or snip the part of the screen similar to other screen-capturing tools. As soon as you release the left click of your mouse, an annotation bar appears below the captured image. Let’s have an in-depth analysis of the annotation taskbar of Snipaste since the majority of its features are present there.

Annotation with Snipaste

If you have used different third-party screen-capturing tools before, you will find the annotation widget of Snipaste quite familiar. It is lined with the symbols of all the annotations and edits that you can perform on the captured screenshot. Let’s breakdown this taskbar in its individual features.


From rectangle to ellipse and straight line to arrows, you can add these shapes on to the captured screenshot.

The above view of the annotation widget shows when you select the first option. It further expands the taskbar. From there, you can pick the rectangle and ellipse in both outlined and full-fill forms and can draw them in a range of colors.

The great thing about Snipaste’s color palette is you get to customize the shades in many different ways. You can manually select from the extended color palette as well as pick the exact colors by entering their RGB and HEX codes.

Rectangles and ellipses are drawn on a snip of the Snipaste website in both outlined and full-fill forms.

The next two icons on the taskbar let you draw straight lines and arrows on the taken screenshot.

You can also carry out free-hand drawing/labeling on the taken snippet.

You can also highlight the content on the taken screenshot from the annotation bar. The highlighting marker can be used in two ways. You can either select a rectangular region to highlight or pick a typical marker nib and draw straight lines with it. In the above example, we have highlighted “Free Customizable” with the rectangular selection and “Portable” with the marker nib.

Snipaste also allows you to censor/hide the content on the taken screenshot. When you click on the above symbol, you get to select between the mosaic and Gaussian blur censoring options. In the above example, we have censored the word “Free” with mosaic and “Customizable” with the Gaussian blur.

Any annotation taskbar can’t be completed without the textbox feature. Here, Snipaste doesn’t just outshine the built-in window tools but also many third-party screen-capturing applications as well. It allows you to add text to the snippets in different colors as well as different font styles. You can also bold and italic the inserted text. The annotation bar also features an eraser that you can use to fix the edits you are making on the captured screenshot. You can also pin the taken snippet as a sticky note on your screen.

As you can see, we have pinned the snippet from the Snipaste website on our desktop screen.

The last two options on the annotation bar allow you to copy the taken screenshot on the clipboard and save it in any location on your device.

Snipaste vs. Snipping Tool vs. Snip & Sketch

Since Snipaste offers an alternative for built-in screen-capturing tools. We will have its comparison with the Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch.

Snipaste Snipping Tool Snip & Sketch
Free to use and also available as a paid version Windows built-in tool Windows built-in tool
You can edit and annotate the captured shots You can edit and annotate the captured shots with a few options
Offers precise snipping function with pixel-level control Offers standard snipping Offers standard snipping
Can pick color codes on the screen
Offers time-delay capturing
Lets you censor the content on the screen
Only offers a rectangular selection Only offers a rectangular selection Can also capture snippets in the free-hand form

From the above comparative review, it is clear that Snipaste triumphs over the Snipping Tool by a long shot.  However, Snipaste and Snip & Sketch have a tough completion. Snip & Sketch has the USPs of delayed capturing and free-hand selection. Meanwhile, Snipaste offers precision selection, censoring options, and a color picker that is not available in the former.

In short, Snipaste and Snip & Sketch can make a winning combination for any Windows 10 users for their broad screen-capturing requirements.

Pricing of Snipaste

Snipaste offers its full version free. However, you can opt for a Pro version that comes at the price of $19.99. It offers some additional editing features and offers easier shortcuts to take screenshots. It is primarily introduced for professional users that have to do extensive editing on the taken screenshots, especially for design and research purposes. If you are willing to pay money for a screen-capturing tool, we would suggest you use some other programs such as Snagit.  Read our Snagit Review here.

Download Snipaste for Free:

Get Snipaste Paid Pro Version:


Snipaste is a great tool to be used alongside Snip & Sketch on Windows 10. It is a lightweight program with trouble-free execution and offers many features that are yet to be introduced by Microsoft in its built-in screen-capturing tools. What makes Snipaste a great deal is its full version that is free to use with no terms and conditions. It doesn’t feature any ads and nor does it expire overnight.

Price ★★★★★
Ease of Use ★★★★★
Features ★★★★
Overall ★★★★★
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