Windows Media Player is the preinstalled media player application in the Windows operating system, and it is also the default media player for many Windows users. Although the player application doesn’t have many advanced video playback functions, it does have some basic functions, like the screenshot taker, to meet your daily needs. However, having been using the Windows Media Player for years, there are still many people don’t know how to take a screenshot in Windows Media Player. So today let’s see how to take a screenshot in Windows Media Player, and other alternative approaches to take a screenshot more efficiently.

Part 1: Method 1 (Hot Keys)

The easiest and the most direct way to take a screenshot in Windows Media Player is to use the screenshot hotkeys. For your convenience, Windows Media Player has preset a set of hotkeys for daily tasks like screenshot taking so that you can do them instantly when they are needed. Besides the built-in Windows Media Player hotkeys, you can also use the operating system hotkeys to take the screenshot as well. Both Windows and Mac system has screenshot hotkeys preset in the system and they are convenient as well. Now let’s see how to take a screenshot in Windows Media Player with these hotkeys.

Windows Media Player hotkey

The hot key for screen capturing in Windows Media Player is “Ctrl+I”. While a video is played in Microsoft Windows Media Player, press "Ctrl+I" to save the current screen inside of the player window. If the video you are watching is a Microsoft supported movie file, you should receive a "Save Captured Image" window, allowing you to save the image as "capture" or any other name. If you don't see the "Save Captured Image" window, then your video is not a Microsoft supported movie file and this solution will not work for you.

Operating system hotkey

If the Windows Media Player hotkey doesn’t work for you, you can also use the built-in screenshot hotkey in the operating system. If you are using a Windows computer, you can press the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard to save a screenshot on your current screen. If you are using dual monitor, press “Alt + Print Screen” to only screenshot the active window.

For a Mac computer, you can press the "Command + Shift + 3" hotkey to print the whole screen, or press the "Command + Shift + 4" hotkey to print a specific part of the current screen.

Part 2: Method 2 (Player Setting)

The hotkeys in both Windows Media Player and the operating system are convenient and fast. If you need to capture a snapshot instantly, the hotkeys can really be of great help. However, for various reasons, the hotkeys actually don’t always work. Sometimes it’s due to the wrong settings, other times it’s the old software version or just because the hotkey doesn’t give you an accurate screenshot. So, besides simple hotkey tricks introduced above, there is another approach for you to take a screenshot in Windows Media Player more accurately through the player settings.

In the above we have introduced a “Print Screen” hotkey for the Windows operating system. But the hotkey only works for Windows Media Player when you play the video in Fullscreen. If you play the video windowed, it will capture whatever else in the screen as well. However, you can make the screenshot work for Windows Media Player when playing the video in Windowed mode as well by altering some settings in Windows Media Player. To do that, go to the main interface, navigate to “Tools” – “Options” – “Performance” and then uncheck “Use overlays”. Also make sure the options under “Legacy video renderer” are checked.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check “Use video mixing renderer”. After making sure all of the options are properly set, click “Ok” to close the window. Now you’re able to use the “Print Screen” hotkey to snapshot the video without having to play it in full screen.

However, if you if you need cropping or altering for the screenshot, you still have to paste it into the “Paint” app. So this method is convenient and practical, but still too basic if you have more advanced needs. If you need to do some further decoration or altering tasks to the images you take, then it’s a better idea to get another screenshot taker tool to take the Windows Media Player screenshot.

Part 3: Use Another Tool to Screenshot Windows Media Player

installing a third-party tool to snapshot Windows Media Player video gives you better freedom to do further editing operations to the image you take. You can try Free Screen Capture to capture your screen, as it is easy to use and rich in functions. What makes this tool stand out is the fact that it will automatically detect application windows, so it won’t have a problem figuring out exactly what portion of the screen you want to capture. Of course, if you want to select the desired area of the screen, you are free to do so. What’s more, this tool also has a pro version which comes with 10 screenshot modes, and a powerful image editor and a robust screen recorder. With this tool, you can annotate the screenshot the moment you’ve taken it. The following is a guide for your reference showing how to take a screenshot with Free Screen Capture.

Step 1: Go to first, then click on the “Take Screenshot” button and run java applet to download and install this tool on your PC.

Step 2: play a video with Windows Media Player, navigate to the scene you like and pause the video playback.

Step 3: Press “Ctrl + Q” or “Print Screen” to activate screenshot mode. You will see your mouse turns into a cross-hair and you just need to hover it around the playback window and then click to create a snapshot. Alternatively, you may also drag a region on the video to make a screenshot.

Step 4: Release your mouse to confirm the screenshot, and you will see toolbars on two sides of the screenshot, letting you edit, preserve and share the image.

Part 4: Windows Media Player Alternative for Screenshot

Besides Windows Media Player, there are actually other media player applications that can offer great video playback and screenshot taking functions. As one of the best Windows Media Player alternatives, Leawo Blu-ray Player is one of the few media players that can outmatch Windows Media Player in both video playback function and the screenshot taking function.

Armed with cutting-edge video and audio processing technologies, Leawo Blu-ray Player can provide you quality-lossless picture for even 4K/HD video, stereo audio enjoyment, all regions free DVD decryption. Not only does Leawo Blu-ray Player contain all media playback solutions you need for your leisure entertainment including Blu-ray, DVD, CD, HD (4K), ISO file, AVI, MPEG, WMV, etc. it also has practical bonus features like useful power manager, changeable backgrounds and languages environments. Especially, the virtual remote controller makes it a better choice for all playback choice.

As for the screenshot taking function, you are allowed to capture the screen directly with a screenshot button on the main interface with ease, or take the screenshot with a hotkey. What’s more, this software allows you to make the changes to the screenshots into several different formats including JPG, PNG, and BMP so as to you can view them on other devices, or by other programs. For the detailed steps on how to capture a screenshot in Leawo Blu-ray Player, please refer to the following guide.

Step 1: Download Leawo Blu-ray Player from the website and install the media player on your computer.

Step 2: Import the video you want to play in Leawo Blu-ray player by clicking "Open File" on the interface or drag the video file directly to the main panel. After a second, you can see it on the player.

Step 3: Take a screenshot of your videos and movies. It is quite easy for you to take a screenshot with Leawo Blu-ray Player. You only need to click the picture style icon on the bottom of the screen of the player, or you can just press the shortcut keys "Shift" + "S" simultaneously.

Part 5: Conclusion

Although Windows Media Player is a simple media player application with only basic video playback functions, some daily tasks like taking a screenshot can still be easily done within the player. With the hotkeys built in the application or the hotkeys in the operating system, you can take the screenshot instantly. If you want more advanced screenshot functions, you can try and use a third-party screenshot taker tool like Free Screen Capture. The tool can let you not only take a screenshot, but also do all kinds of customization and editing to the image. Moreover, if you are not satisfied with the functions that Windows Media Player provides, it’s more recommended that you get a Windows Media Player alternative like Leawo Blu-ray Player, which would certainly provide you a more convenient and personalized video playback experience.