The easiest way(s) to capture images from Windows Media Player

Pressing the "Print Screen" key while playing a movie file in Windows Media Player will not allow you to save the current frame.

However, you can do it without spending money on shareware image capture software. Just follow the next steps:

1. Open your Window Media Player and click Options on the Tools menu.

2. On the Performance tab, click on the Advanced... button.

Performance tab

3. Uncheck Use overlays from DVD video, click OK and restart the player.

Video Acceleration Settings

Now you can capture images from any movies played in Windows Media Player using Print Screen (PrintScrn) key (or ALT + PrintScrn key). Once copied, the image can be pasted into Microsoft Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint) or other image editor.

Note: If you have problems taking screenshots from a playing movie try to pause it first, then "print" the image.


Go back to Performance tab (see step 1, 2) and click Restore Defaults button.

Restore Defaults

Now, move the Video acceleration slider to None and restart the Windows Movie Player.

Video Acceleration slider

Don't forget to move the Video acceleration slider back to Full when you are done, because this makes videos play smoother and look better.

Or just try the Ctrl + I combination which seems to work for many people.

Reviews & Comments
on 21 November 2017
firstly I tried to run movies in full screen then pause the movie after that press the alt+enter key. if you want to take a screenshot you enter the ctrl+I then screenshot are done.
Rob Callaghan
on 26 September 2011
My performance tab does not have an advanced button, nor a restore defaults tab. Where else can I find them?
on 01 September 2011
very good explanation, thanks