How to Capture Screenshots from Windows Media Player

By 09-03-2005   Computers

Grabing a screenshot from Window Media Player is not so easy as it seems. Yesterday I tried to use the extremely useful screen capture by ‘Print Screen Key’ to try to capture a wmv running file on my Windows media player classic V10. But whenever I tried to use the print screen, a blank image was captured from the windows media player.

Windows Media Player Screenshots

Then I thought maybe the running video was posing a problem with capturing a frame. So I paused the movie and tried the print screen technique. But still got a blank screen.

Then I tried to capture paused and running movies in full screen (Full screen shortcut – using Alt+Enter). But again no luck.

So I decided to tweak some advanced options of Window media player. After lot of different combinations of tweaks, still had no luck.

Looking to buy a professional multimedia software to do the job? There are several shareware and paid professional image capture software available which can do the job. But why should I pay when I should try to get a freeware or get a tweak to fix it myself. I tried to see how professional paid software’s for this worked, but I was disappointed the moment I captured the screenshot. It had a big logo on every image it captured. Of course it was shareware and you needed to pay to remove the text messages.

Free simple way to capture Images from Windows Media Player

  • Open Window Media Player
  • Then go to Tools | Options
  • In Options, select the Performance Tab
  • Way below you click on the Advanced Button
  • Uncheck “Use Overlays’
  • Click Ok
  • And you are ready.

video acceleration settings

Now run your movie in any size or screen resolution. Use the standard ‘Print Screen Key’ Method as described and you have captured a snapshot from your favourite movie on windows media player without using any special multimedia software. Enjoy!

More Ways to Capture Screenshots from WMP

Some users have given excellent suggestions in the Comments below which provide an alternate method if this does not work.

  • Instead of the Print Screen Method – try pressing “CTRL+I”. This pops up a save as window after capturing the screenshot
  • After you open Window Media Player. Go to Tools | Options | Performance Tab. You will see a picture similar to the first image above. Reduce the “Video acceleration” from the default Full to None, click ok and then close down media player. Next open the file you want to take a still using the Print Screen method – from press ALT and the PrintScrn key to copy an image of media player to the clipboard.

279 comments on “How to Capture Screenshots from Windows Media Player

  1. Lex says:

    It’s people like you that help make the Internet great! I knew someone would have a an answer on how to do this for FREE!

  2. Anonymous says:

    An easier way: In WMP, at least since version 9, you can use Ctrl-I to capture a frame, either when playing or when paused for greater accuracy. It brings up a Save Captured Image dialog which handily defaults to a jpeg.

  3. Arthur says:

    Well, since this doesn’t work for BSplayer, RealOne player, winamp and other players, i made another thing to do (Windows 2000 and Windows XP ONLY!!)

    1. Click Windows Start > Settings > Control Panel, the Control Panel displays.

    2. Double-click Display, the Display Properties dialog box displays.

    3. Click the Settings tab.

    4. Click the Advanced button, the Advanced Settings dialog box displays.

    5. Click the Troubleshoot tab.

    6. Click and drag the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left, changing the setting from Full to None. This disables all accelerations.

    7.Click the Apply button to apply the settings to your desktop.

    8. Click the OK button to save your changes and close the Advanced Settings dialog box.

    9. Click the OK button to close the Display Properties dialog box.

    Et voila! Tu n’as pas de PrtScr anymore!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Disabling overlays will result in poor playback performance on some machines. Not a good long term solution.

    If you need to get a full screen shot of everything on the screen, video included, then yeah, disable the overlay and hit the print screen button.

    But if you just need a shot of the video, use CTRL-I. Or use another player like VLC or BSPlayer, which can do this too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I always thought it was something on the hardware level that caused the blank screen to show up. Now I know!

  6. korfobos says:

    can somebody tell me please if is possible to take capture images from a ram or rm file using Real Player? Thank you!!!

  7. peabody says:

    ctrl-I does a fine job. i think setting your hardware acceleration to none also works for the print screen method as well. i don’t recomend keeping those setting tho–

  8. Anonymous says:

    OMG!!! Thank you so much! I’d been fiddling around with my media player for months trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I’m so happy I found your site on google.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please help me? I tried disabling video acceleration, overlays, and I tried using ctrl-i, and nothing seems to work. The first two, in conjunction with print screen, just result in the same problem, and ctrl-i does nothing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    NOW using camtasia capture and yahoo music we may capture dvd music clips hehe, and burn our oun dvds.
    100 BIG THANKS