Windows 8.1 Preview and a workaround for your favorite Win+S shortcut key

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UPDATE: On Oct 17, 2013 Microsoft released Windows 8.1.  With Windows 8.1 the Windows + S shortcut now launches Bing Smart Search. To take screen clipping with OneNote on Windows 8.1 use Windows + Shift + S shortcut. 

 Windows + S will continue to work for OneNote screen clipping in Windows 8 and previous versions of Windows.


Today Microsoft released the Consumer Preview for Windows 8.1, also known as Windows Blue. If you try it out you’ll notice a lot of awesome changes. But try out the Windows + S shortcut for screen clipping in OneNote and you’ll find it doesn’t work as expected! Don’t panic, a fix is coming soon and in the meantime, you can use the workaround below.

What is Windows + S?

The most loved keyboard shortcut in OneNote desktop, you can press Windows + S to invoke the screen clipper. This lets you select areas of your screen to send to your notes and puts it on to your clipboard to paste (CTRL + V) anywhere.

Screen clipping

You can read about other OneNote shortcuts here: OneNote 2013 Keyboard Shortcuts

What has changed in Windows 8.1?

New in Windows 8.1, Windows + S brings up a Search experience designed to help you find things more quickly from any application. The new OneNote shortcut key will be Windows + Shift + S, but this won’t be available until later in the year as an update.  We know how useful the old Windows + S shortcut key is, so we’re providing a workaround in the meantime.

How to set a new screenshot shortcut in Windows 8.1

For now, you can manually set a shortcut key to Windows + A. You’ll have to change the shortcut key through your registry. (Note: Unintended changes in your registry can cause problems, so make sure you follow these instructions exactly.)

1. Use Windows + R to pull up this dialog, and type regedit.


2. Now in the folders on the left, navigate down this path:


Note: The path requires the specific version of Office. In the path above, 15.0 refers to Office 2013. If you’re using Office 2010, type 14.0 in place of 15.0 at the end of the path.  Replace 15.0 with 12.0 if you’re using Office 2007.  

3. In the folder named Other, right-click the white space underneath the files in that folder and select New, then select DWORD (32-bit) Value.

 DWORD dialog

4. In the text entry field that pops up, type ScreenClippingShortcutKey. You just created a new DWORD. (If you are in Office 12.0, this DWORD will already exist.)

5. Right click this DWORD and select Modify, then in the Value field, type 41.

Your new shortcut key has been assigned to Windows + A. Now log off and log on again and you should be all set!

Remember, the Windows + Shift + S fix is coming later this year, but hopefully this will help you out until then!

For a full article on this topic, see an earlier blog post: Changing the OneNote Screen Clipping and New Side Note keyboard shortcuts.

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  1. I love screen clipper! Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Thanks for the work around. It would be nicer if you could provide the DWORD value for Windows + Shift + S. It would be easier to not have to re-train my muscle memory twice. 🙂

  3. Mihail Stacanov

    This is called "Collaboration" between Office and Windows Teams


    Windows needs to change their shortcut key. It is an awful experience. Even with the workaround I still get nothing but a search bar and not a screen clipping which just wastes my time setting up the screen clipping again and hopefully using the new keys the next time. Shift+S won’t make that any better. Please tell Windows they can change to Win+Shift+S instead. Besides I can use Win+Q to bring up the search bar if I want to so I don’t even know why they are stealing the OneNote shortcut key.

  5. marybranscombe

    yet another piece of feedback that OneNote users want to keep Win-S for snip; three-fingered key compos are not nearly as easy to use on the kind of keyboards that attach to tablets and I’ve internalised the shortcut. regedit code to overwrite to Win-S anyone?

  6. WHAT?? OH NO! Why is it changing? I use this function ALL the time across all Office apps. I don’t search that way 🙁 I may hold off on upgrading as long as possible.

    • OneNote Team User">

      We realize how useful this shortcut key is too, so the shortcut is coming back in an update soon! Except now it will change to Windows+Shift+S. If you do decide to upgrade earlier, this post outlines a quick and easy way to maintain this function until our update.

  7. I would much rather override the windows shortcut. I see no value over hitting windows and starting to type. Keep WIN+S for screen clips!!

  8. Downloading Gadwin PrintScreen instead of going through this hack…

  9. Thank you for getting me back to One Note. Now when I send to One Note the target starts printing rather than storing on my One Note. What am I doing wrong? Thank you.

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