Black Screen or Box Appears When Taking Screenshots of Videos in Windows Media Player

Posted July 19, 2005 by MickeyMouse in Windows

Many video players like WMP will show a black box when trying to take a video capture. Here is the fix for that problem.


The hardware acceleration and screen overlays that video cards and software use to show videos can prevent screenshots from easily being taken. By temporily disabling this feature, you can take a screenshot without a black box appearing. Using the steps described in this tutorial, you will have no more black boxes on your vidcaps.

Two main changes work on most systems. Besides making the screenshot possible, both of them will impact your video performance. Therefore, you might want to try each one separately.

Complete the steps below to have no more black boxes on your video captures:

    1. Open Windows Media Player (WMP).
    2. Click the Tools menu.
    3. Click Options.
    4. Click the Performance tab.
    5. Slide the video acceleration to none.
    6. Click OK.
    7. Start your video, and try to take a screenshot.

If you still have problems, use the following steps:

    4. Click the Performance tab.
    5. Click the Advanced button.
    6. Uncheck Use Overlays.
    7. Click OK twice..
    8. Try your screenshot

After you take your screenshots, return everything back to normal by clicking the Restore Defaults button under the Performance tab. You may also wish to try to turn off overlays first before your reduce your video acceleration. This is just a temporary fix to allow you to take some screenshots of your movie.

Editor Note:

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  • Carrot

    Cool. Thanks. You solve my problem of taking screenshots of videos.

    And I thought I needed to download some program to take screenshots of videos. XD

  • RealBanda

    ThanX man!! it Really works..

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, that helped.
    Just thought I should add that it’s way easier on Linux, my main OS.
    The media player in Ubuntu has a screenshot button. lol

  • Daniel

    Thanks this helped took me a few trys but i got it Thanks!