How to Extract Photos from Videos

With today’s guide, I will explain how to extract photos from videos by acting both from your computer and from smartphones and tablets. To do this, you can take advantage of both the screenshot capture functions offered directly by the operating systems of these devices and some media players that, in addition to allowing the playback of all the main formats of multimedia files, also allow you to extract the scenes you are watching and save them in the form of images in JPG or PNG format.

Happy reading and have fun!

How to Extract Photos from Videos with PC and Mac

Are you interested in understanding how to extract photos from videos from some videos that you have downloaded from the Internet or recorded personally? Then follow the instructions below, intended for computers equipped with the Windows operating system and Macs.

Extract photos from videos via screenshots

The first system I suggest you consider, if you want to extract photos from videos, is to take screenshots using the default features offered by both Windows and macOS.

All you have to do, therefore, is start playing the movie of your interest through any media player installed on your computer (or via the Web), pause by pressing the button and move the progress bar to  the point that it is your intention to “immortalize”.

Now, if you are using Windows 10, use the key combination Win+Shift+S to invoke the screen capture tool, draw the selection rectangle on the part of the video you want to turn into an image and the frame will be added to the system clipboard.

If you are using an earlier version of Windows, the image should be automatically saved in the My Pictures folder on your PC. Alternatively, you can paste it into any image editor (e.g. Paint) using the key combination Ctrl+V.

If you are using macOS, instead, call the screen capture tool using the key combination cmd + shift + 4, draw the bounding box on the frame you want to extrapolate, and the image obtained will be automatically saved on the desktop.

If you want to crop the screen better, take advantage of the editing function associated with the image capture tool, clicking on the thumbnail that appears in the lower right part of the desktop.

However, keep in mind that both in the case of Windows and macOS, the frame captured with the tool to take screenshots will have the same resolution as the monitor and not that of the video.

Extract photos from videos with VLC

As I said at the beginning of the guide, to extrapolate photos from videos you can also use a media player with a function for capturing snapshots.

Among the various solutions belonging to this category, you can try VLC. In case you have never heard of it, it is completely free, open-source software that is compatible with all major computer operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux. It also supports all popular video file formats: AVI, MKV, MP4, WMV and many more.

To download the program to your computer, visit its website and hit the Download VLC button. Once the download is complete, if you are using Windows, open the .exe file obtained and, in the window that appears on the desktop, click on the Yes and OK buttons. At this point, press the Next buttons (three consecutive times) and install, then complete the setup, clicking on the Finish button.

If you are using macOS, instead, open the package .dmg obtained and drag the program icon to the Applications folder of the Mac. Then, right-click on it, select the Open item  from the context menu and press  the Open button  in the window that is shown on the desktop, so as to start the software going to circumvent the limitations imposed by Apple towards applications from non-certified developers (operation that must be done only at the first start).

Now that you see the VLC window on your screen, you can finally move on to the actual action. First, therefore, enter the VLC settings and choose the file format in which you want to save video snapshots and the folder where you want to store them. To do this, go to the Tools menu > Preferences (if you are using Windows) or the VLC menu > Preferences (if you are using macOS).

In the new window that opens, select  the Video tab, choose the format in which you intend to save the screens, through the Format drop-down menu, and click on  the Browse button  located at  the Folder field, to indicate the folder in which to store the images (by default it is the Images folder of the computer). In conclusion, set the default name to be assigned to the screenshots, typing it in the Prefix field, and click on the Save button, to save the changes.

Now, go to the Media menu > Open File (on Windows) or the File menu > Open File (on macOS) and select the video from which you intend to extract frames. Alternatively, if you want to do it first, take the video of your interest and drag it directly into the VLC window, to start playing it within the program.

Once playback is started, click on  the pause button, use  the VLC timeline to get to the  point of the movie you want to “capture” and go to the Video menu  > Screen Capture (if you are using Windows) or Video > Screen (if you are using  macOS) to take the snapshot. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcuts Shift+S on Windows and cmd+alt+s on macOS. The image will be saved in full resolution.

If you want, you can also use VLC to take snapshots of the videos contained in any streaming stream. To do this, go to the Media menu > Open Network Stream (on Windows) or in the File menu > Open Network (on macOS), paste the address of the video of your interest in the window that opens and proceed with the capture of the screenshot as explained above.

Extract photos from videos with Windows Media Player

Are you using a PC with Windows installed and would like to understand if there is any system to extract photos from videos with Windows Media Player? Well, unfortunately the default multimedia player of Microsoft’s operating systems does not include any special function to extrapolate the frames of the movies that are given “in meal”, but you can remedy it by using it to play the video of your interest and then capturing the relative screen.

Once you have started playing the movie of your interest in WMP, then pause it, move the progress bar at the  bottom until you reach the scene you want to “photograph” and use  the function for capturing the screenshots offered by Windows.

Extract photos from videos with QuickTime Player

Do you own a Mac and the solutions I have already suggested to extract photos from videos have not convinced you in a particular way? Then rely on the use of QuickTime Player, the multimedia player included in all versions of macOS.

To be able to exploit it for your purpose, right-click on the video of your interest and select the Open with items QuickTime Player from > context menu, to open it in QuickTime. Next, get to the point you want to “capture”, moving the progress bar attached to the program screen, and press the key combination cmd + c on the computer keyboard.

At this point, open Preview, selecting its icon (the one with photos and lens) that you find in the Launchpad, and press the cmd + v key combination on the Mac keyboard. After completing the steps in question, a screenshot of the previously selected scene will appear in QuickTime Player.

To save the image, click on the File menu located at the top left, select the item Export from the latter and indicate the format and location where you want to save the image obtained.

How to Extract Photos from Videos with Android

Do you own an Android smartphone or tablet and would like to understand how to extract photos from videos in this specific case? Nothing could be simpler! You do not need any particular app. All you have to do is use  the screen capture function included on your device,  which, similarly to what has already been seen on the computer in the step at the beginning of the guide, allows you to “photograph” what you see on the screen of the device through a simple combination of keys.

To extract a photo from a video on Android, therefore, all you have to do is start playing the movie of your interest in any app, pause the video  at the time of your interest, hide the player commands (usually just press anywhere on the screen or wait a couple of seconds without doing anything) and press  the key combination for capturing the screen,  These are usually Volume Down+Power or Power+Home.

Once captured, the image obtained will be saved in the Gallery of the device and will have as its resolution that of the screen of the device (not that of the video).

How to Extract Photos from Videos with iPhone

Also  on iPhone (as well as on iPad) you can extract photos from videos using the function that allows you to take screenshots. How so? I will explain it to you right away.

To begin with, start playing the movie using any  app, then pause the  video at the scene you want to extrapolate, hide the app controls (usually you just have to press anywhere on the screen or wait a few seconds without doing anything) and use  the key combination to capture the screen,  which  on iPhone with Face ID corresponds to Side button + Volume Up while on iPhone with Home button corresponds to Power button + Home button.

After that, the image will be saved in the iOS Photos app, with the screen resolution of the device (and not that of the movie).

How to Extract Photos from Videos on YouTube

Would you like to extrapolate a frame from a YouTube video but do not know how? In this case, you can take a screenshot as explained in the previous chapters or rely on the use of an ad hoc service, such as YouTube Screenshot.

YouTube Screenshot is a free online service, requires no registration and is incredibly simple to use, but limits the resolution of the captured images to 720p (although the videos being captured have a higher resolution).

To take advantage of it, connected to its main page, type the address of the YouTube video to “photograph” in the appropriate text field and click on the Show screenshots button. Then use the site player to get to the point of the movie from which you want to get the snapshot and press the Take screenshot button.

At this point, make sure that in the fields at the words Resize the image (width x height) there is set the maximum resolution for screenshots (i.e. 1280 x 720 pixels), otherwise you do it and then press the Resize button.

To conclude, save the image you obtained, visible at the bottom, by right-clicking on it and selecting the Save image as item from the menu that appears. There we go!