digital media cookbook

Recipes for your Digital Media Kitchen

Capture a Still Frame from a Video Using VLC


1 – Computer (Mac or Windows)

1 – VLC Software

1 – Video File (anything that VLC can open)


  1. Navigate to the video file on your hard drive.
  2. Right click on the file and select Open with… and select VLC. Alternatively you can open VLC and from the File Menu choose Open File… and select your video.
  3. Advance the video to the frame you’d like to capture (Note: the “e” key will advance forward a frame at a time).
  4. From the Video menu, select Snapshot, or use the keyboard shortcut Option-Command-s.
  5. The snapshot (still frame) will be automatically saved to the Pictures folder.

Related Posts





  1. Dave

    Are these screen captures or the actual video frames? I have run it on a 4k video and the image is about 7.5 megs.

  2. David

    Thank you!!!

  3. Chris

    very helpful thanks

  4. Kostas

    Version 3.0 now won’t include subtitles in the captured image 🙁
    Any workarounds?

  5. Heidi

    Thank you for the clear instructions – especially where the captured frame ends up!

  6. Rick Deckard

    What Pictures folder??

  7. Eva

    What happeded? This used to be a piece of cake before, but now on my computer (Windows10) I just can’t find the video menu anymore? No choices except pause, stop i. e.
    Had to do it via my phone.

  8. Digital Media Chef

    Update! Even though this post is more than 4 years old, this feature still works on Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.14 (Mojave). Both Windows and Mac have a default “pictures” folder that the image gets saved to.

  9. Doug Cutler

    What settings would give the highest resolution?
    I want to capture stills. Would I slow the frame rate way down?

  10. Ansum

    Note: In Windows the key combination is Shift+s.

  11. Digital Media Chef

    Doug – Stills are captured at the resolution of the video – i.e. 640×480, 720×480, 1280×720, 1920×1080, etc.

    • Todd Hochman

      Hi there,
      If the “e” key advances the video frame by frame, which key can move the video “back” one frame at a time?

      • Digital Media Chef

        Yeah. So, funny story… to the best of my knowledge there is no “back” or previous frame keyboard shortcut.

        • Todd Hochman

          Thank you for your quick reply…much appreciated.
          I have been slowly going thru a 2 hr concert footage and looking for those ideal frames to take a snapshot or capture the perfect still image…While I have had some good success, it would be so much easier and a lot less time if we could move the frames back and not just forward…when trying to find the best frame of a video we often need to see them all first and then go back to the best one which is difficult to do with just the normal slider…anyway, just my observation and thought…surely I can’t b the only one to b a bit frustrated by this deficit.
          Thx again digital media chef and have a great day and most of all Stay Safe!

          • Digital Media Chef

            Cheers, Mate, and you stay safe as well!

  12. Kal Jorel

    this is awesome! Thanks for posting this. VLC is great. Being able to do this is just another reason why.

  13. David

    When I press the camera icon all I get is a green square in the top L/H corner, can you help solve this.

Leave a Reply