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How to extract a photo from video stream

Have you found a particular scene in a video or film from which you want to take a photo? While watching the film of an event, did you notice that one of the shots deserves to become a photo to be framed? In these cases you can use some simple tools to extract a normal photo from a video stream, so that you can share or print them as if they were real photo shoots.

In this guide you will find out how to capture a photo from a video using PC programs or simply using your smartphone.

Guide to extract an image from a video

The following methods make use of PC programs are really simple to use. To extract a photo and save it, just use a video player capable of capturing screenshots while playing the movie.


Definitely the best VLC (aka VideoLan). It is possible to download it for free here:VLC.

Once the program is downloaded to your PC, open it and use it to play any video (VLC capable of opening all types of files) from which you want to extract the photo. Now that the video opened inside VLC open the menu at the top View and activate the item "Advanced Controls":

extract photos from videos

New buttons will now appear at the bottom left, right above the buttons to control video playback.

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To save the photo from the movie, just press the "Capture screen" button, as indicated by the red arrow in the image below.

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Each click will take a photo, saved as a default format PNG and in the folder Images of the system.

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If you want to customize the format and change the destination folder of the photos taken with VLC, just open the "Preferences" menu (in Tools or by clicking on the keyboard with the combination CTRL + P) and go to the Video section, where you can customize every aspect.

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Another very useful and VLC-like program, MPC-HC. Available for free by clicking on the following link:MPC-HC

With this software you will have a valid alternative to the classic Media Player on Windows, with the ability to save a photo from a video with a simple click.

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First of all, start the program and run the video you are interested in (obviously the video must be present on the PC hard drive) and, during playback with MPC-HC, open the menu File and click on the item "Save thumbnails".

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A window will open where you can choose both the destination folder and some settings of the image file (such as quality, format, number of rows / columns and pixels).

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The image will thus be saved ready to be shared or printed.

Extract photos using a smartphone or tablet

It is actually a simple trick; if you want to extract a photo from a video clip using your smartphone, you can take advantage of the video capture system screenshots to get the same result seen on the PC.

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First of all, start the video (present in the internal memory of the device) and use the horizontal orientation to take a photo consistent with the proportions of the video (therefore check that you have not blocked the rotation of the screen); during playback you can pause and use one of the following shortcuts forextract photos from videos:


Press the "Power + VolumeGi" keys simultaneously. On some models it is possible to try with ?Power + Home? or use the quick key in the scrolling menu.

iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

if you have an iPhone or iPad, simply press the "Power + Home" buttons simultaneously. If you are an owner of iPhone X (without Home button) you can shoot by simultaneously pressing the "Unlock + Volume Up" button.