A GIF is a series of images i.e., frames that play in sequence. Think of them as silent movies that are usually low in quality. A good quality GIF normally has more frames than a low quality one. You’ve probably come across apps that can convert a GIF into a PNG or JPEG file. These apps normally isolate a single frame from the GIF and save it to the selected format. If you’d like to extract frames from a GIF, you can do so with IrfanView.
There are a lot of apps that allow you to extract frames from a GIF however, if you want something that’s free, fast, and works exclusively on your desktop, IrfanView is an excellent choice. This app is great at everything it does and we’ve also featured it in our list of alternatives for the Photos app on Windows 10.
Extract frames from a GIF
Install IrfanView on your system and download the GIF that you want to extract frames from. If you do not want to save the frames to the default location that the app chooses, create the folder you want to save them to before you proceed.
Open the GIF in IrfanView. Go to Options>Extract all frames.
This will open a small options window where you can select where you want the extracted frames to go. This window also tells you how many frames, in total, are in the GIF, and you have the option of extracting all of them or just a select range of them. Last, you can also choose which format the frames will be extracted to.
Click start and within a few seconds, all the frames from the GIF will be extracted to the folder you selected. If the GIF is very long and HD i.e., it has a high frame rate, it will take longer for all the frames to extract.
The GIF itself will remain intact. You will still be able to play/watch it whenever you want to.
The extracted frames are named after the source GIF and duly numbered so if you later decide to edit or import them into an app, it will be pretty easy to do that. In fact, it’s possible that the naming convention that IrfanView uses will be directly readable in apps like GIMP and Photoshop.
While IrfanView can extract frames from a GIF, it cannot create GIFs. If you’re looking to create high quality GIFs, you can always use FFMPEG. It’s a good tool though a bit difficult to use since it only works from the terminal.