Microsoft Edge has a hidden feature that’ll please YouTube addicts

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

Microsoft has sneaked in a feature under the radar with the latest version of its Edge browser, one that allows you to easily capture screenshots of YouTube videos at their native resolution.

Windows Latest spotted that this feature is now available in the stable (finished) version of Edge (116), but Microsoft didn’t announce it in the release notes for some reason.

When playing a YouTube video (or with it paused), all you have to do is double-right-click on the video, and from the context menu that appears, select ‘Copy video frame.’

This puts a copy of the current frame being played (or paused) into the clipboard, and you can then paste it into your image editor (or wherever) to use it.

Why not just hit ‘Print Screen’ to take a screenshot? As Windows Latest points out, if you take a grab this way, the resolution of the resultant image will be that of your desktop. However, if you use the new copy frame option with Edge, the grab will be in the native resolution of the video (if you’re watching a 4K clip, the resolution will be 4K, even if you’re viewing the content at 1080p on your monitor).

Analysis: Another slight edge over Chrome

A further advantage of using the new frame capture ability is that you don’t need to faff around making sure the YouTube video is full screen, or that bits of menu aren’t in the shot, and so forth. With a minimum of effort you just get the single, whole, video frame extracted at its native resolution.

It’s not a huge feature, no, but it is a useful one for those who do occasionally like to get a screenshot from YouTube. It seems quite odd that Microsoft’s release notes make no mention of this new ability, but then again, it is fairly niche – though it’s still a way of differentiating Edge from Chrome (as part of the ongoing battle of the best web browsers).

Microsoft has been busy adding a lot of features to Edge this year, and in the past we’ve observed the danger of bloating the browser. Something Microsoft is apparently aware of, seeing as it has just announced plans to cut some functionality from Edge with its next incarnation (bits and pieces that weren’t used much). Perhaps going forward, we’ll see as much trimming as adding new features, at least for a time.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).