How to Use Windows Movie Maker

If you are into making home videos and slide shows of your friends and family, Windows Movie Maker may be a wonderful option for you.

It is free and can be accessed once you have a Windows-based computer system. It allows you to compile and edit music, pictures, and videos into a movie file.

This article will show you how to use Windows Movie Maker for your use

Things you will need

  • PC (Windows System)


  1. First, log onto your computer and put together all the contents you will need to produce the movie file. This may be pictures, music, or a video on your computer or taped with a camera (digital or analog). Go to ‘Start’ ‘Programs’ and select ‘Windows Movie Maker’. If in any case this program is not installed on your computer, you can go on the internet, search for it, download it, and follow the procedure to install it.
  2. Once the contents are organized use your mouse to drag and drop them into the Windows Movie Maker program. To the bottom of the program you will see a timeline on display showing the ‘Video’ ‘Audio/Music’ and ‘Time Overlay’ options. Place the contents into each required field. To the left of the program, you will see some shortcut options such as Capture Video, Edit Movie, Finish Movie, and Movie Making Tips which can be used during your editing process.
  3. You may want to create a slide show video, so put in all the pictures you want in the order you like, along with the music you want. When they are placed in, you can either right-click the picture to apply effects to it or do your editing by going to ‘Tools’ on the main menu. Here you will have access to a list of things you can apply to your movie file to customize it and make it into your creation. There are ‘Video Effects and Transitions’, ‘Title and Credits’, and ‘Options’ just to name a few. These control the type of text in the video, how each content makes a transition, and the different effects that can be applied to them.
  4. Otherwise, you can use a video along with pictures and music. Whichever one you wish, both can be done. If you have a media device such as a camera you can use the Movie Maker to capture the video from it. First, connect the device and go to the menu, click ‘File’ and ‘Capture Video’.
  5. When all your effects and edits have been applied, the time overlay option will be used to determine where and how long each effect will last. To the right side of the program is a video screen, where you can see a preview of what you have done so far so you can make a note of the other changes you may want to make.
  6. When you’re done creating your move, go to the main menu and click ‘File’ to ‘Save Project’ or ‘Save Project As’ to store the movie file so it can be accessed and edited at a later date if you see fit. If you would like to start a new project click ‘New project’ under ‘File’ in the Menu option. Just follow the same instructions to make another movie file.
  7. When you have completed all your moves and it is to your liking, you can now extract it to be either posted up on a website or burn it onto a CD. Go to ‘File’ ‘Save Movie File’ and it will present you with the options you can use to save your movie file. Choose one and follow the instructions to move on.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • If you look beside each option in your Menu Option you will see some keyboard shortcuts that can be used instead of using your mouse. Use this if it proves to be more convenient for you.
  • Make sure you save the movie file in a format that is conducive to what you are using it for. For example, if you are uploading it to certain websites, they require the file to be in a certain format. So you may have to use a different program to convert the movie file, just in case the file is not useful for what you want.