Why are my screenshots black? Or, why don't my screenshots work? - SpyShelter

When SpyShelter users uninstall our app, they are asked to give an optional reason why they are uninstalling.

I was sad to see today that one person said they had to uninstall SpyShelter because they can’t take screenshots.

The reason the person couldn’t take screenshots is because they had turned on our “Screenshot Protection” feature. This feature is for people who think they might have spyware, and want to prevent the spyware from taking screenshots.

However, if you don’t need this feature to be on (it’s off by default) then right click our icon and uncheck “Screenshot Protection” in the Windows bottom right tray. Or, go to our “Protection” main window, and scroll down and switch it off there.

As a point of interest, Screen Phantom, the blackout, was implemented in SpyShelter v12.1 in April, 2020. The ability to enable/disable via a tiny checkbox needed an inconvenient drill into Settings > Security. The Screen Protection toggle under the Protection tab has no influence on the Screen Phantom setting.

A significant improvement in user experience, the v15 methods are far more accessible if one chooses to enable full-time the Screenshot Protection module.

I suggest a more detailed warning for the toggle field. Something like, “This is off by default; if set to on, it evokes a blackout for spyware AND your screenshot app. YOU will need to turn it off temporarily here or in the tray icon context (right-click) menu in order to take screenshots.”



Yes, I think that’s a good idea. The last thing we want is people to uninstall SpyShelter due to a misunderstanding. Thanks for your feedback.

I will share your comment with our team.

In the meantime, I remembered that when one ticks the Screen Phantom checkbox in v12.1 > v14.0, a message appears, “Be careful! The feature will disable screenshot ability and disable screen recording.”

That greatly understates the feature’s impact as some screenshot functions (e.g. capture region) will blackout the entire screen, which really disturbed my calm the first time it evoked.

How about “Press Esc to exit a blackout,” included in the warning, too?

All that’s a bit wordy, but this screen feature has the most direct impact on the user’s “every day” experience.

I’ve always left it off due to the unfriendly checkbox toggle. But I can keep it enabled when I switch to v15 because of the convenient icon context menu.

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Yes, that’s a good message that’s very clear! I will let my team know that we can just re-use this text string probably.