Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is one of the applications that have not been changed much since Windows XP. The new version includes relatively minor updates such as: new effects, new transitions and support for the DVR-MS file format which is used in Windows Media Center to record television. In Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate, Windows Movie Maker offers as an additional feature the capacity to capture video from HDV camcorders. Another difference, compared to the older version from Windows XP is the fact that it no longer supports importing video from analog video sources such as web-cameras.

Windows Movie Maker is a tool that allows users to create and edit video content. The interface is pretty simple and easy to use: you have a storyboard view and a timeline view, a preview screen, collections of imported media and a tasks list. The timeline consist of one ‘Video’ bar, an ‘Audio/Music’ bar and one ‘Title Overlay’ bar. The content from each bar can be edited. You can stretch the content, cut it in segments, etc.

Windows Movie Maker

The tasks practically take you through the features offered by Windows Movie Maker. You can import videos, pictures, audio and, if you have Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate, video directly from your digital video camera.

Windows Movie Maker

When it comes to editing you can add special effects, transitions, titles and credits.

Windows Movie Maker

The list of available effects and transitions is quite big. One nice thing is the fact that you can preview them directly in the Collections area of the interface.

Windows Movie Maker

As you can see in the below screenshot, titles can be added practically anywhere.

Windows Movie Maker

Publishing your videos is very easy. Windows Movie Maker offers you the following options: saving the video on your computer, directly to a DVD, CD, publishing it directly to someone’s e-mail address and to a digital video camera.

Windows Movie Maker

Working with Windows Movie Maker is pretty straightforward. Even though it cannot compare itself to professional video editing solutions, it can certainly get the job done for the average user.

Related articles:
How to connect a video camera and import a movie
How to burn a Video DVD using Windows DVD Maker

48 Replies to “Windows Movie Maker

  1. burning slideshow to dvd
    Hi, I made a picture slideshow…with audio, using windows (vista) movie maker. I am not able to burn it to a disc. I “published movie” and was taken to Windows DVD Maker. When my slideshow appears in the “ready to burn disc” preview window, a majority of the pictures are lost and I am shown a very shortened version of my project. When I burn it to disc, it is this shortened version that burns. I have added my own transitions between each picture, and several title pages/slides. Any suggestions?

    1. reply to burning slideshow to dvd
      this has happened to me before and i was simply a fault with windows vista movie maker.i was burning a movie to a dvd but when i played it it had lost half its pictures.the best thing to do is call someone to fix it.

    2. burning slideshow to dvd
      If your photos are too big you can have problems. I make all of mine jpgs 800×600 @ 95 dpi since video resolution is 720×480. If you are using 5-10 megapixel files you can have problems. I would suggest only using wmv for video, jpgs for photos, and mp3’s for music. If you are having trouble with the mp3 playback or other issues try converting them to wav files. Render the finished product for playback on your computer in wmv file format. They burn to DVD fine using the Windows DVD Maker. I hope it helps. I have had all kinds of trouble using avi files as input and output and that is wierd but true. I have been making mpegs with Adobe Premier Elements and they seem to playback and burn fine so far.

  2. Digital8 on movie maker…
    Im wondering what I can do,
    I want to take footage to be edited into a movie from my digital8 video camera onto windows movie maker.
    The disc that came with my sony DCR-TRV460E handycam isnt compatible with vista.

    Vista tried to make its own adjustments to make the old program work, it appeared to have worked…

    But, when I try to import from digital camera through windows movie maker, it tells me the camera isnt connected. It’s like it doesnt exist or something.

    Thankyou in advance for any help…

    1. digital 8
      Are you using firewire? You need to use the firewire not usb. I have an older Digital 8mm and with firewire WMM sees my camera just fine. I tried to capture some stuff using a Sony camera that burns direct to a mini DVD. It only had a usb connector and I could not get my computer to see it. Sony didn’t have updated drivers or software that support Vista on their website. Vista you have to use what comes with Movie Maker and hopefully a firewire is the solution. Capture in wmv and not in avi. Or find some software that allows you to capture via USB.

  3. movie maker not publishing the way I edited!
    When I publish a movie it does not playback the way I edited it! titles come in late or totally the wrong place, some clips loop etc. any ideas?

    1. Adding Pictures
      You need to take the two photos into a Photo Editing Program like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel Painter or ??. You can add the text there or add credits or text in WMM. Photoshop Elements is well worth the price sometimes it comes free with some scanners or cameras or tablets. There are so many good graphics programs now. I am sure your computer came with at least one. There are even some good FREE or Shareware ones out there.

      1. free photo editing software
        Gimp is one that’s been around for a long time. As a pro I’ve never gotten familiar with it, but those who’ve never known photoshop have gotten great results with it. I’ve seen it done. It’s one of these open source projects.

  4. How come when I drag a video
    How come when I drag a video clip onto the video timeline, it doesn’t allow me to? It just goes to the audio timeline instead.

    1. WMV File olny
      I am guessing it is a mpeg file of some kind. My suggestion is to capture video in WMV only. I have had a lot of trouble with AVI and I have seen other apps capture as mpeg. Like Roxio. If you are making the Movie in Movie Maker use it’s video capture software to get the video into your computer. Capture in wmv only avi. Dp Not the sotware that came with the camera unless you are going to edit the movie using that software.

      Wow you posted in June with no reply. I bet you don’t even need/want this help any more.

  5. HELP!!!
    I’m trying to burn my movie made in Windows Movie Maker onto a DVD but when I “publish movie” it will not give me the option of burning it to a DVD. What can I do so I am able to burn my movie onto the DVD to view in our DVD player on the TV?

  6. Windows Movie Maker Project wont play back!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have a hp laptop and it came with the movie maker.
    I have been using Movie maker Project for a couple days now for my wedding. Now all a sudden its not replaying! its not replaying on Storyboard OR timeline, all it has is a black screen and the play button does nothing. Is it a problem? can you help me fix it? If i burn it on a DVD will it still not play on the DVD???

    please answer me ASAP with every answer possible!
    thank you!!

    1. did work once and won’t work now? misc WMM Issues
      Hmmm.. I am not sure you gave enough info. But… things I would try are…

      First I would empty my Temp Directory. Sometimes a program will write a file there during rendering or saving and that file will go corrupt. The computer crashs or locks up while saving or rendering or just during normal use. So try to empty that first.

      Second; Are you sure you didn’t move or delete the a source video file or files that you used to make the movie using Windows? My bro did this thinking he was just making room and that all the files are now in Movie Maker but they aren’t you are working with the source files you haven’t copied them into Movie Maker?

      Third: How much space do you have left on your HD? Windows needs room to work. My laptop starts to complain with less than 300mb but I know it works its best with 1gb of free space.

      Fourth: How many clips and how many minutes? Shorten a long movie into smaller segmets and then clip them together later using Movie Maker or DVD burning software. Maybe you added just 1 too many cliip for you Memory pr Graphics Card to handle. I work with 20-30 mins at a time. Start with a full length file and remove parts from the timeline and do a “save as” then open the orginal again and repeat. Maybe try cutting it in half first to see if it fixes it. Then you can build all future videos in 20-30 min segmants.

      There are MovieMaker Forums and other sources of support. I think this site is for Vista Beginners so there is probably not a lot of experience browsing around up here. And it is hard to get folks with experience to take the time to help. So do a Yahoo or Google Search for Movie Maker User Groups or Discussion Boards or goto the Microsoft Support page.

      Last comment: Movie Maker isn’t as bad as some make it sound. Use wmv files for video and MP3’s or Wav for music and jpgs for photos and you should be fine. Make sure you didn’t add a bad clip, song or photo to the work area. AVI’s have given mne nothing but trouble.

      I just found this site and I try to pop in. I am not sure any of this helps but at least I tried. I am gonna try to get some sleep. Good luck with your video.

      1. Today is my first day with
        Today is my first day with Movie Maker……or any other video editor for that matter. Your tips were excellent! What some posters sometimes forget is that not only will the knowledge they post here help the person that it is directed to, but it will also help probably thousands of others that are looking for the same info. So your post is always helpful for months or years after you write it!

        Thanks for your time and help!

  7. can’t publish movie maker
    after an hour of editing, inserting clips and everything, when i WANT TO SAVE IT ALREADY LIKE PUBLISH – IT’S not publishing…. any ideas guys??? thanks!

    1. can’t publish not enough info
      what happens when you try to publish? How much disc space do you have? How big is your project? My suggestion is to only publish in wmv. Did you save the project first?

  8. Windows Movie Maker Presentation
    I worked for days on creating a presentation on windows movie maker. I saved my project after every major change. I replayed it for my husband before publishing (to DVD). It was perfect. I emailed it to myself to see how it would come thru and burned it to DVD.

    Now it is gone. Completely gone except for the movie maker logo and the name of the presentation. It says it is 6.0 kb but nothing is there when I open it. It says it burned it to disk but it is only the title of the presentation.

    I have searched my computer and only the name of it exists. Even the name I was saving it under all while editing – nothing is there. Not even bits and pieces. My imported media I used to make the presentation is all there but in its original form before I did anything to it.

    Anyone know where it could possibly be or what happened? I hate to do this over again and if I do, will it happen again?

    1. Where did it go?
      Well… I think it should have rendered it and put it in the Video Folder. Click the Start Button and goto just above Documents there should be a link with your Login Name (Michelle?) click it and it should open a windows with a bunch of folders and Video should be one of them. It is in the darker area of the Starup Requestor. Or just do a searh on Video.

      You can open your WMM Project and goto thru the steps you went thru to pubish it and then you can see where it pubished it. After you click “Publish” the Publish Movie Requestor will ask you for the file name. Right below file name is “Published to:” and the default is “Video” and unless you changed it that is where it went. It should have the same name as the project but with a different extension unless you changed that.

      Also when you did the seach did you do it from the root of the C: drive? Try doing the search with just the extention of the published file like avi or wmv if you can remember what file type you published. Anyway if it finds it you can right click the files icon and then choose “open file location” and it will open the folder containing the presentation.

      Good luck.

  9. help
    i think my window movie maker got deleted from my computer i had window vista and then i download it again it’s giving me the old version i want the new version help please

    1. What version do yo have?
      Vista only has one version so I am not sure what you are trying to upgrade. It should be Windows Movie Maker 6. Try to restore it from your Vista install CD’s or using your Recovery Software. I am not sure you can download a new version from Microsoft. It is a part of Vista. If you computer is still under Warrantee call tech support and get them to help you re-install or recover the software.

  10. Ahmet Semiz
    Ahmet, you have to have Windows vista Home Premium in order to work with your Sony 40Gb HDDD Camcorder. If you just have the basic Vista Version it will not work.

  11. Movie maker and compatible camcorders
    which brand of camcorders are compatible with windows movie maker? i have a jvc hdc but whenever i try to import vids from my cam, i can’t see the video files…why is it like that?

    1. can’t see USB?
      Are you connecting via USB? I am pretty sure you need to be connected via Firewire to see a Digital Camera in WMM. Do you have the camera set to “VCR” mode like you would watch it if it was hooked upto a TV? You can check the JVC Tech Support web site to see if they support Vista and if they have new drivers or software for your camera. You can check your camera and computer for Firewire connections. If you don’t have a wire you can get one just about anyplace of $10 or so. If it’s USB you need to use the software that came with your camera to capture the video. Then bring it into WMM. I suggest wmv files for WMM.

      about firewire:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FireWire

  12. DVD Playback
    I made a video a couple of days ago, but when I publish it to a DVD, it doesn’t play in my DVD player in my tv. Do I need a converter or does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks, Kim.

  13. Publishing – can I republish?
    Hi,

    First time project and it’s for my Grandma’s funeral on Saturday. Crazy, I know.

    Quick question – I’m not completely done adding pictures/songs, etc to my project. But I want to make sure that it will burn onto a DVD and play. If I burn it as is, will I be able to go back and make changes and re-burn/re-publish?

    Any help will be great! Thanks. (Lisa.)

    1. Edit, Publish, Republish
      I am sorry to hear about your grandma. I am sorry I am just reading this tonight on Sat. Sounds like everyone is having a hard time. Yes you can edit the original file after it has been published. You will need to publish it again and then burn that to a different DVD. I donot think you can play re-writable DVDs in a DVD Player. I suggest capturing and publishing in wmv files. Use only jpgs for stills and mp3s for music. If your mp3 is having troubles convert it to a wav file. I use the Windows DVD Maker all the time and it works great with wmv files. I have had a really bad time trying to use avi files and publishing in avi.

  14. Published movie, and it plays only blank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    OKAY, I PUBLISHED A MOVIE, AND THEN I PLAY IT ON WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER. IT JUST SHOWS NOTHING! JUST A BLACK SCREEN! AND ONLY PLAYS THE MUSIC, AND SHOW THE CREDITS. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. publish movie wmv
    Pull down File/Publish Movie then Click This Computer then give it a file name and Publish to a location that you can find (Default is the Video Folder) click next. then Choose the settings for your movie: Best quality for playback on my computer (this is wmv). You can see what kind of fiile type and other useful info in the lower left corner. Hope this helps.

  16. Windows Movie Maker stops working during publishing
    Hi, I have this project to publish but WMM stops working during publishing whether it is to a DVD or my computer. I published projects with only pictures and it worked fine but now I’m trying to publish a holiday movie and i have wmv files in which are blocking the publishing. I know this cos when I removed the wmv files all was normal. How come wmv files are stopping the programm everytime…any suggestions? thanks.

  17. What version of Movie maker is compatible on Vista and XP?
    I’ve been trying to publish my videos (created on Windows XP Movie Maker), but people that have Vista and who visit my webpages, tell me that they only see a black panel rather than the movie. How can I find a patch or newer version of Movie Maker that will show movies and videos on both XP and Vista?

  18. vista movie maker
    how do i get into “make a movie” without creating a new folder each time. the folder with pictures is already in imported pictures so i don’t need a new folder each time.

  19. Playing back a sample of the DVD before you burn
    I successfully completed my timeline with picures and music. I went to view it before I burnt in on a DVD and there where additional pictures added in the beginning alond with some type of sub title. I figure out how to delete the subtitle but not the additional pictures. How can I take it back to the orignial format ?

  20. i’m working with gifs,when
    i’m working with gifs,when u split a gif, how kum it doesnt split it at that second, and carry on with the clip, but splits it apart, and the two gifs( theres 2 because u split one ) start from the same place which is the beginning of that particular gif?? how do i fix it??

  21. title overlay
    I have made a movie with my photos, Put overlays on some then found more pictures that I needed to add. So inserted the photos ,now the overlay is on the wrong picture. How can I remove the overlay to that picture or to all pictures without losing the whole storyboard.
    This is my first movie, so not sure what I am doing. Started on story board but when I wanted to overlay a photo with words it said I needed to go to timeline. Over the last few days of working on this It has jumped between timeline and storyboard. Some of the pictures on storyboard have kept the overlay words, no problem but there are some I need to remove.

  22. Preview won’t play sound
    Okay, I have Windows Vista and I’m trying to use Movie Maker that came with my computer to make a video. When I put clips in the storyboard and want to preview it. I see the video going, but there’s no sound. Any ideas on how to fix this? I decided to try Sony Vegas and have the same problem. So it has to be Vista that’s the problem right? Any assistance in getting this corrected would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  23. Windows Movie Maker Troubles
    How do I add music to windows movie maker ???
    I am going to Import – Audio or Music – I Select 1 of my songs – Import then it comes up saying, (my song) is protected using digital rights managment and can not be imported.
    It is getting very annoying could you please give me some advice???

  24. CANT WMM HAVE MORE EFFECTS AND SUCH?!!
    hey!! many other movie makers have so many stuff to use but WMM is so PLAIN!!! so little effects and transitions… we cant make different colours for each word we use in the slides… cant we have NICE effects like sparkling stars or fire?? something EXCITING ?! I hope that there is …!

  25. capturing video from analog cameras
    Is there any way to capture video from an older analog video camera onto Movie Maker for Vista? I have a video grabber that I use on my computer with XP, and it works just fine, but my son wants to use it on his computer with Vista. Any suggestions?

    1. Use Windows Vista compatible version
      Chances are that there is a newer version of the same video grabber which works on Windows Vista.
      Search on the internet, download it and install it on the Windows Vista PC.

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