The Snipping Tool Is Not Working On Your Computer Right Now.

In a previous post, I described a screen capture application included with Vista, called Snipping Tool.  Since then, I started using it regularly for my screen capture needs. That is, until I realized an interesting flaw: the application, after a few uses, stops working. Here’s the error message I get:

The Snipping Tool is not working on your computer right now. Restart your computer, and then try again. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.

“The Snipping Tool is not working on your computer right now. “

It eventually appears when you try to launch the tool, preventing you from using it. The advice the dialog offers (restarting your computer and then trying again) is totally unacceptable, in my mind. Because of this problem, I could not rely on the tool – so I instead started using Jing more often. Eventually, I tried to see if I could do something to fix this problem whenever it occurred.


The solution I found was to kill the Snipping Tool process, and then re-launch it. This way, rebooting isn’t necessary. Simply fire up Task Manager, right-click the SnippingTool.exe process, and select End Process:

End the "SnippingTool.exe" process using Task Manager

Killing the process via Task Manager allows you to avoid rebooting.

Once the process has been killed, you can try re-launching Snipping Tool – it should now start up correctly.

If that doesn’t fix it, and rebooting also doesn’t, you might need to run Office Diagnostics – other users have had success with that.

See Also

Adil Hindistan’s Blog – Vista snipping tool error

Forum Post: Snipping Tool/Sticky Notes Cannot Start

Technet Forum Post: Snipping Tool Fails

Microsoft Office Help Article: Diagnose and repair crashing Office programs by using Office Diagnostics