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How to Go Through Video Frame by Frame With VLC Media Player

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How to Go Through Video Frame by Frame With VLC Media Player








When it comes to freeware media players, VLC is the undisputed king. It plays everything—files, discs, webcams, streams, and will even work with that odd codec-encrypted file you downloaded from some website in Eastern Europe (but please, don’t download weird files from websites in Eastern Europe). It runs on every platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, iOS, and Android. So if you haven’t already added it to Windows 10, or whatever platform you’re using, click Download VLC at this page.


How to Go Through Video Frame by Frame With VLC Media Player


One handy feature VLC offers is Frame by frame, which enables you to play through a video one step at a time. This can be handy if you need to capture snapshots from videos, or if you just want to carefully examine every frame of that sick skateboard jump you captured on your smartphone.


In this article, we’ll provide you with the knowledge of how to use this great VLC feature.


Going Through a Video Frame by Frame in VLC


To play through a video frame by frame, you can press a hotkey.



  1.  To start, open a video within VLC by selecting Media > Open File; and then play the clip.

  2. Now, press the E key. The video will pause. Now, every additional press of the E key will advance the video one frame. To start the video again, just hit the Spacebar.


E is the default hotkey for the Frame by frame option, but you can customize that keyboard shortcut and others.



  1. Click Tools > Preferences > Hotkeys to open a list of keyboard shortcuts as below.

  2. Then, scroll down to Next frame on that window and double-click that to open the window shown below. Next frame3

  3. Just press the new hotkey for Next frame to configure it.

  4. Click the Save button on the Simple Preferences window. Then, you can press the new Frame by frame keyboard shortcut.


Viewing Video Frame by Frame with the Toolbar Button


You can also activate Next frame with a toolbar button.



  1. If it’s not already on your playback toolbar, click Tools > Customize Interface. VLC Tools Menu

  2. Now, scroll down the Toolbar Elements list until you find the Frame by frame option. VLC Toolbar Elements

  3. Drag that button somewhere onto Line 2 so that you can select the option on playback toolbar.


Next frame2


Reversing a Video Frame by Frame in VLC


For those interested in reversing through a video frame by frame, then you’ll want to download the Jump to time Previous frame v3 extension. Short of using this extension, your only option is to use Ctrl + T to back up a second or two and then use Frame by frame again to go forward.


Video Frames


Now you can go through a video frame by frame either with a hotkey, the toolbar button, or an extension. Whatever way you need to, these options will enable you to capture specific snapshots from video with the Snipping Tool or VLC’s Take Snapshot option. For further details on how to capture screenshots in Windows 10, check out this Tech Junkie article.





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