Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

How to take a snapshot in VLC player and where to find them

Save your favorite video frames as images to share with friends or family.
August 30, 2023

Is there a frame of a film you want to extract as a picture? Then VLC is the right tool for the job. VLC has an inbuilt option called snapshots, which lets you export your favorite parts of a video as images with just the click of a button. You can also use VLC to rotate or cut videos. Here’s how to take a snapshot in the VCL Media Player and choose where to save them.


To take a snapshot in the VCL player, press Shift + S on Windows or Command + Alt + S on macOS. To find your VCL snapshots, navigate to C:\My Documents\My Pictures on Windows or Desktop/ on Mac.


How to take a snapshot in the VLC player

Open a video file in VLC and pause the video on the frame you want to capture. Then, select Video > Take Snapshot from the top menu.

vlc media player take snapshot
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Shift + S on Windows or Command + Alt + S on macOS.

You’ll know that the Snapshot was successful when you see a thumbnail of the photo at the top of the player, along with its saved file location and file name. The white text will fade away quickly.

Where does the VLC player save snapshots?

Snapshot files automatically save to the default location of your operating system. For Windows, this will be C:\My Documents\My Pictures. Your Mac will save them in Desktop/.

If you want to change the file format or location where VLC saves your screenshots, select Tools–> Preferences from the VLC Media Player.

Adam Birney / Android Authority

In the Simple Preferences window, select Video and click Browse beside Directory to choose where you want to save your video snapshots.

vlc media player video format directory options
Adam Birney / Android Authority

You can also change the Prefix file name to make finding your images in your folder easier or change the Format you save your snapshots between png, jpg, and tiff.


On Windows, you can find your saved snapshots in C:\My Documents\My Pictures. For macOS, you can find your saved snapshots on Desktop/. 

To extract stills from a video in VLC:

  1. Open the video in VLC.
  2. Pause at the frame you want to capture.
  3. Click on Video in the menu, then Take Snapshot.

VLC media library is stored in the following locations:

  • Windows: %APPDATA%\vlc\ml.xspf
  • macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/org.videolan.vlc/ml.xspf
  • Linux: ~/.local/share/vlc/ml.xspf

VLC snapshots are saved in the PNG format by default.

A snapshot is an image file that captures a single frame or moment in time, typically in formats like PNG, JPEG, or BMP.

To save a VLC screenshot as a JPEG:

  1. Go to Tools > Preferences in VLC.
  2. Choose Video from the left side.
  3. In the Video snapshots section, change the Format to jpg.
  4. Click Save and restart VLC. Snapshots will now be saved as JPEGs.