Turn a video into a picture on iPhone iPad

Recently someone asked me how to turn a video into a photo on iPhone. It is a sport video and he wants to take photos out of the video for sharing on his blog. The easiest way to extract pictures from a video on iPhone or iPad is to take a screenshot on the iOS device. Just open the Camera Roll or Photos app on the device, find and play the video, then pause at the video frame which you like to grab and save as image file, finally press the home and sleep buttons simultaneously. You can refer to previous linked article for more details about how to capture screen on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The method to capture screen on iPhone X can also be found in the above guide.


This method however has its drawbacks. For example, it is not very easy to find the best picture from the video as you can’t preview the frames one by one. What’s worse, the picture quality is limited to your display resolution. For instance, if you extract a frame or picture from a video on iPhone 7 Plus, the image will be 1920*1080p, it is 1334*750p for iPhone 7, 2048*1536p for iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 2. What you get may not be the actual full resolution of source video file.

Method 1. Extract photos from videos on iPhone iPad using ImgPlay

ImgPlay is a GIF maker and video editor for iPhone which makes grabbing stills from video files snap. No trip to the computer is needed.

Open the app on your iPhone or iPad, you will be prompted to choose source files. You can import and edit videos, photos, GIFs or other compatible formats. Choose Video from the category, then browse to the video albums in Photos and import it to the editor.

imgplay import video from iphone

The Trim screen opens where you can trim clips by dragging the edge of a clip. You don’t have to trim the video. However this trim feature can help you narrow down the search for the frames to export from the video. It is very useful when the source video is very long.

imgplay trim video on iphone

Tap on Next button to proceed to the Edit screen.

On the Edit screen you can find various tools you can make use of to edit the video, such as Canvas, Crop, Text, Filter, Sticker, Border, Speed, etc. At the top right corner, you can find the Save button along with the Frame View button. Tap on Frame View to preview all frames and photos inside the video.

ImgPlay video frame view on iphone

Then inspect the video frame by frame to locate the precise frame you want. Tap on the magnifier icon above a thumbnail to view the frame or image in full screen. Once the frame opens in full screen, tap on the Menu(three dots icon) at the top right corner to bring up the menu at the bottom of the screen. Choose Share or Save > Save Image to save the video frame as image to Photos app on iPhone. The exported frames will be saved as PNG images on your iPhone.

ImgPlay save, export video frame as image on iphone

Method 2. Grab still pictures from videos on iPhone iPad with Google Photos

Google Photos is a free app for both Android and iOS which lets you store, share, view, edit, manage photos and videos. Install the Google Photos app from the App Store if you haven’t already.

Open the app and sign in to your Google account. Tap to open the Photos tab in the lower left corner of your phone screen. Find the video that you want to extract a frame from and tap on it to open and play it.

While you are watching the video, you can tap anywhere on the video to show more options and controls. Tap on Edit button at the bottom of your phone screen. After that, you will see more options to edit the video, such as Crop, Adjust, Filters. The thumbs viewer will appear under the preview window.

Google Photos app to edit video and export frames from video on iphone

Scrub through the video’s thumbs viewer at the lower section until you find the frame you want to export. Once you have found the frame, tap on the Export frame button below. The selected video frame will be exported as JPEG image to your photo library on iPhone. Open the Photos app on iPhone to find the extracted image and use it as you wish.

Method 3. Export frame from videos on PC

I tried several ‘video to photo converter’ app downloaded from App Store trying to get still picture with full HD quality. But none of them can do that unless you upgrade to the premium version. In fact, these free apps I have tried can only export very low quality pictures from videos, even worse than a screenshot on the device. It is difficult to find a really free app that can export photos from videos on iPhone and iPad. Whereas on the computer, we have a lot of free software tools can do that, such as the Photos app on Windows, the Photos app on Mac, QuickTime Player on Mac, and numerous third-party video editors, notably VLC media player. Thus if you still trying to figure out how to export full HD high resolution images from a video on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without any fee, we recommend you export the videos to a computer first, then use one of those free apps to export frames from a video as images.

On Windows 10, or Windows 11, you can simply use the Photos app to save video frames as pictures. Launch Windows File Explorer, browse to the folder where the video is saved, right click on it and choose to open it with the Photos app. Find the video frame you like to save and pause, then click More Options > Save a frame, the Save Photo dialog appears. Follow the on-screen tips to save the video frame to your computer. Keep in mind, the extracted video frames will be saved to the same location as the source video other than the default Pictures folder on PC.

Method 4. Converting video to pictures on computer using VLC player

VLC media player is free, open source and cross-platform. Windows and Mac users can use VLC media player to take a video snapshot and export video frames on computer.

Here we will use VLC media player for Windows to demonstrate how you can export video frames on computer. Open the video in the media player on your PC. Find the frame you like to export, then pause. Click the Video menu, choose Take Snapshot from the drop-down menu. The selected video frame will be saved in PNG image format to the default Pictures folder on your PC.

Method 5. Save video frame as image on Mac

On Mac, you can use the Photos app to grab frames from videos. Open the video in Photos app. Then play the video and pause when you find the frame. Select File > Export > Export Frame to Pictures. The video frames will be saved in TIFF format to your photos library.

export video frames to pictures using Photos app on Mac

Method 6. Convert video to photo using Photoshop?

Photoshop is a very popular image editor with web designers. It is best-known as a image editor, in fact we can also find some very useful video editing features, such as converting photos to slideshow video, making animated GIF pictures, extracting frames from videos.

Run Photoshop on your PC or Mac. Go to File > Open to find and open the video in Photoshop. Drag the play head on the timeline to quickly locate the frame you want to save. Then head to File > Export > Quick Export as PNG, select a location on your computer to save the frame.

use photoshop for windows to export video frames as PNG images on PC

5 thoughts on “Turn a video into a picture on iPhone iPad”

  1. I like to use iOS Apallication: Cut Frame – video to photo. For me is the easiest and the best application for choose frame from video and change it into great quality photos. You have also really good presets there.

  2. Taking a screenshot of a frame in a video results in having a photo with the arrow for playing the video imbedded in it. If you open your video in the free iMovie app, you can look at each frame. The arrow isn’t in the photograph. Take a screenshot. Edit as necessary to crop the borders of your picture. It will save to your Photos.

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