Using Shift3 or Shift4 won't work -- it will capture a grey window. (I think it is due to the video being displayed using the video card's video buffer).

I think one way is to use an iPad and play the movie and take a screenshot by the Home and Power button together, but other than that, is there a way to take it on the Mac, without installing any additional program?

  • 1
    I've tried the iPad method. Still gives a grey screen. It's a security issue, not a video issue. The best I can offer is taking a camera and taking a picture of your screen - old-school.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


You can't take a screenshot of a protected video with the stock Mac tools. Apple has built-in protection to prevent this from happening (if the video is not protected, then it's ok to take a screenshot).

The only way you'll be able to do this is to use a third-party video player, like VLC, or a third-party image capture, like SnapNDrag.

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    if using VLC, can it play any DRM movies purchased from iTunes? Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 2:46
  • I'm not sure about that, I've never tried it. Hopefully, someone here can answer that question.
    – fsb
    Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 3:31

SnapNDrag Free does not take photos of DRM protected content and VLC does not play DRM protected content. I can't speak on the $10 SnapNDrag.

Right now, there are several programs that are relatively inexpensive to turn DRM content into mp4 files that you can make into gifs and take screenshots as you like.

That is the best workaround I found. There is a $50 program called SnagIt that I have read works but I am not going to take the chance.

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    SnapNDrag doesn't work. I downloaded it and it only produces a grey screen grab.
    – Tim K.
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 5:42
  • I can confirm that the free trial of SnagIt 2021 doesn't work either.
    – Russell G
    Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 17:55

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