How do I capture an image from a movie in Microsoft Windows Media Player?

When trying to capture an image or create a screen shot from a video in Microsoft Windows Media Player using the print screen button the captured image will be a blank or black image. There are different answers that can apply to this question. Depending on the movie that is being played and what codec it is using may change what will work and what will not work. We suggest going through each of the below recommendations; if a solution does not work, continue down the list.

First solution

While in Microsoft Windows Media Player, press "CTRL + I"; if the video you are watching is using a Microsoft supported movie file, you should receive a "Save Captured Image" window, allowing you to save the image as "capture" or any other name. If you need a bigger image or higher quality image try one of the other solutions.

Second solution

Notice: This solution should only be used to capture images from any video; once done, it should be changed back as it may cause other issues. However, this should work with all video files.

  1. Open Microsoft Windows Media Player.
  2. Click Tools and then Options.
  3. Within the Options window click the Performance tab.
  4. Within Performance click the Advanced button.
  5. In Video Acceleration Settings uncheck "Use Overlays"
  6. Click Ok.
  7. Finally, click Apply, say Yes if prompted, and then Ok in the Options window.

Once the above steps have been completed in Windows Media Player start the movie file and when to the location you want to capture a screen of press the print screen button on your keyboard. You can print the screen in window mode or in full screen mode, although full screen mode may not have the best resolution.

Once you've pressed print screen it should be sent to the clipboard and allow you to paste that file into another program. If it is not working properly in your image editor program try pasting the screen shot into Microsoft Paint.

Finally after you have captured the screen shot repeat the same above steps however check the "User Overlays" box to re-enable this feature.

Final solution

Use a third-party capturing program, a listing of screen shot programs can be found on our screen shot dictionary definition page.

Additional information

  • See our screen shot definition for further information and related links on this term.