Lightshot is a well-known software for taking screenshots that uses whichever hotkey you register. In most cases, the process is straightforward—you press the key and get the user interface (UI) to crop the image and use a wide array of available tools. However, the UI fails to open occasionally, i.e., nothing happens. While this may leave you stumped, you should check whether you pressed the wrong key. There’s a chance you tried to switch key bindings, but Lightshot failed to register the new hotkey without you noticing. Here’s what to do if you try that again and get the same result.
1. Check the validity of the hotkey Lightshot failed to register
As usual, we begin with simple solutions. Because Lightshot works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, it’s not unusual for people to confuse the two, and try to bind the key to Command + Print Screen on Windows or Control + Print Screen on Mac. We understand they are trying to bypass the Print Screen hotkey other applications use, an issue we’ll tackle in a moment. But because those keys don’t exist on those operating systems, Lightshot cannot register them. You may have used a custom key on a media keyboard or a number on the number pad when the system detected your fancy minimalistic keyboard doesn’t have one.
2. Run Lightshot as administrator before you register a hotkey
If you tried reinstalling Lightshot, and you’re sure the key exists, the next thing to figure out is which application employs that key, as it seems to be occupied. However, that can be time-consuming, as you’ll see in a minute. Before you do a deep dive, you should try a shortcut that would make the Lightshot process superior to others. In other words, it will gain the privilege to use the key. The procedure for giving Lightshot administrator privileges depends on the operating system:
- Windows: Right-click on Lightshot on your desktop and select Properties. Click the Advanced… button. Tick the box in front of Run as administrator. You can also open Task Manager, go to Details, right-click on “Lightshot.exe”, then go to Properties.
- Mac: Are you comfortable using Terminal? If so, you can enter the following command (we only provided an example), press Return, and type your administrator password:
- Linux: Use the Run command (try the Alt + F2 key combination), when it opens, enter kdesu followed by the name of the application. For example, kdesu lightshot. You can also launch the Terminal and type sudo ligthshot
Now that Lightshot has root access, it should have priority over all other applications that occupy the hotkey. Try it and see what happens.
3. Remove or configure programs that occupy your Lightshot hotkey
If nothing worked so far, it’s time to stop sidestepping the issue and go straight to the source. But what is the root of this problem? Well, any application that can use the hotkey you’re trying to register. We’ll demonstrate three common examples to give you an idea. There’s no guarantee this will solve your problem, and you’ll need to analyze installed programs yourself. Let’s start:
Microsoft’s OneDrive is the typical culprit if the key you’re trying to register is Print Screen or a variation. More precisely, the auto screenshot saving feature it offers is the issue. Here’s how to fix Lightshot failed to register a hotkey by configuring OneDrive:
- Launch OneDrive.
- Head over to its Settings menu.
- Switch to the Auto-save tab.
- Find the “Screenshots” section and remove the checkmark in front of Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive.
- Restart Lightshot so it boots with superior privileges.
Windows 10 and 11 Print Screen Shortcuts
Another frequent source of concern is the built-in Windows Print Screen shortcut, tied to “Snipping Tool” and “Snip & Sketch” built-in applications. Here’s how to get rid of that:
- Open the Start menu.
- Search for “ease of access” and select Ease of Access Keyboard Settings.
- Locate the option titled Print Screen Shortcut.
- Toggle the button below Use the PrtScn button to open the screen snipping to Off.
- Restart Lightshot or your computer. Some users suggest reinstalling Lightshot, so the operating system gives it precedence.
Nvidia GeForce Experience
Are you using an Nvidia GPU? If so, you’re likely utilizing Nvidia GeForce Experience, a software that brings many benefits but also takes primacy over several keybinds. There are plenty of similar applications from hardware manufacturers, too. In this case, you can:
- Open Nvidia GeForce Experience.
- Click the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner.
- Find the In-game Overlay option and, if you’re not using it, disable the option.
- If you find it useful, click on the Settings button.
- Go to Keyboard Shortcuts.
- Unbind or change the hotkey for any option that clashes with yours.
- Click on Back, then Done.
Add a boot delay to suspected programs (Alternative)
If you don’t know which application is problematic or don’t feel like taking the time to find out, some users found a workaround. Windows assigns keyboard priority at boot, hence you can delay the launch of presumed programs a tad, letting Lightshot gain that advantage. You’ll need to use third-party software as there isn’t a user-friendly solution built-in. We won’t demonstrate any particular tool because they’re all straightforward. You can set the delay to 30 seconds or so, to ensure Lightshot launches first.
4. Change to a different hotkey in Lightshot if the original one failed to register (Last resort)
We know it sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes you either have no choice or are in a hurry to get the job done. It may be inconvenient if you’re used to pressing Print Screen, but you can change the Lightshot hotkey to something else. You don’t have to look far since combinations such as Alt + PrtScr, Ctrl + PrtScr, Shift + PrtScr, or a combination of any two paired with PrtScr can do the trick in a pinch.