How to use Movie Maker

How to use Movie Maker

You have to do the editing of a video on your computer, but since you are full of commitments, you do not have time to use a professional software to accomplish this task. I bet you would like to know how to use Movie Maker; you have always underestimated this program, but now it would be right for you.

If you want to know how to use the well-known editing software, know that I can help you, but first you need to make a small but important premise. Starting January 10, 2017, Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows Essentials 2012 suite of programs, including Movie Maker. With the interruption of support, it is no longer possible to download Movie Maker from the official Microsoft website; consequently, in this guide, I will explain how to download it from unofficial websites, in case the program is no longer installed on your PC.

You do not have to worry about doing this, during this tutorial I will explain step by step how to do it. Before you begin, I also point out that most of the programs in Windows Essentials 2012 have been replaced by other applications and features available on Windows 8.1 or later. Unfortunately, but at the time of writing, there is no official application that has replaced Movie Maker. As a result, as an alternative to downloading the software in question from unofficial websites, you can use similar applications in the Microsoft Store. Try to take a look at the link I indicated to you, there may be some that might be right for you. Without these due premises we can start, I wish you a good read.

How to use Movie Maker – How to download and install Movie Maker

How to use Movie Maker

If you need to download Movie Maker to your computer with a recent version of Windows (Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1 or Windows 10) you can download it from two websites: or While on Winaero you can download the version of Movie Maker in Italian, on MajorGeeks you can download it only in English.

Exceptions indicated separately, I always advise against downloading software from unofficial sources, as the program may have been altered and no longer guarantee those security conditions that were guaranteed by the developer.

From the Winaero website, scroll down the page to find a list of the versions of Movie Maker in different languages. Then click on next to the word English. In the new screen that opens (completely in Russian), click on the button on the top left with a symbol of an arrow pointing down. Put the check in the box beside the word in Russian and click on the blue button to start downloading Movie Maker in English.

Alternatively, click on the MajorGeeks site link I provided above and click on Download @ MajorGeeks to start downloading the Movie Maker installation file automatically. From this point on, the indications of this guide will be based on the use of the Italian version, downloadable through

Start the installation file now and click on the Yes button. You will see the installation screen of the Windows Essentials 2012 program package, on which you will have to choose between two options. Click on the item Select the programs to install and then leave the check mark only on Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, while you will have to deactivate all the other boxes related to software that you will not have to install. Then click on the Install button and wait for the end of the installation process. If you see a message asking you to install additional features like Net Framework 3.5, click Download and install this feature.

Once the software is installed, start the program and click the Accept button for the Microsoft Services Agreement.

How to use Movie Maker – How to create a photo slideshow with music

How to use Movie Maker

If your goal is to make a simple video with a photo presentation inside, with a musical base that accompanies it, then I can explain in a few simple steps how to make it.

The first thing you will need to do after opening Movie Maker is to click on the Add video and photo button (Home tab) located at the top left. You can arrange your photos in the timeline manually or using one of the themes available within Movie Maker. You can find them by clicking on one of the cartoons you will find in the Automatic movie Themes item in the horizontal bar at the top. After you click on one of the available themes, you will be prompted to add the music. Then click on the Yes button and select the audio track to use as a background music for your presentation.

You will be able to edit every single element that has been automatically added to the theme by clicking on the various tabs you see at the top: Video Tools, Music Tools and Text Tools. By clicking on the various elements in the timeline, you will be able to make changes to captions, animations and any other elements you have added.

If, on the other hand, you want to create your presentation manually, then simply add all the images using the Add video and photo button (Home tab). Next you will have to enter the various transition effects by clicking on the individual images in the timeline and selecting the animation effects you will find in the Animations tab, in the horizontal bar at the top. You can set the duration on each individual effect (Duration button) or apply it to everyone (Apply to all button).

To add music, click the Add Music button (Home tab). You can make any changes to the audio track you have inserted, by clicking on the Music Tools tab and setting any fade in or out and the overall volume.

How to use Movie Maker – How to edit a video with Movie Maker

How to use Movie Maker

Mounting a video with Movie Maker is really a simple procedure, which I will explain to you in the following paragraphs. What I want to tell you about is that when you add a video to Movie Maker, it does not necessarily mean that it is in a supported format (such as MKV format files). Whenever you add a video, Movie Maker will scan it (just look at the loading bar at the bottom). If after that you see a symbol with a yellow exclamation mark near the preview of the file in the timeline, then the file is not supported.

After this small, but necessary, premise, we return to our work: edit a video with Movie Maker, maybe even with a background music base. To do this, first, click on the Add Videos and Photos button and select all the files you want to import into your project.

You can now decide how to edit your video, perhaps cutting videos in various scenes, to which you will apply animation or transition effects.

To do this, you’ll first need to select the video file you want to edit in the timeline and click on the Video Tools tab, which is located in the horizontal bar at the top. Now, from the timeline, drag the black navigation bar to the video scene where you want to set the cut. Then click on Split to confirm the video cut.

If you want to crop a video into a smaller one, click on it from the timeline and then click on the Video Tools tab. Now click on the Crop Tool button and use the two levers found in the left preview to set the start and end point of the scene. When you’re sure of your cropping, click the Save Cutout button.

From the Video Tools tab you can also set the video volume and set fades in and out, the video speed and even stabilize the image in the case of a blurry video shot with an unprofessional video camera. All animations and video effects can be entered via the Animation tab, while titles, recognitions and captions can be added by the corresponding buttons on the Home tab.

As I explained to you for photo presentations, to add an accompanying music track to the video, you will have to go through the Add music button and set any changes; then click on it from the timeline and then click on the Music Tools tab.

How to use Movie Maker – How to add audio and video in real time

How to use Movie Maker

Among the most interesting features of Movie Maker, there are two that can be really useful: the use of video recorded in real time from your Webcam and recording a narration in real time through your microphone.

These two features can prove useful. As? Well, let’s make an example: you have to make a video to share on the various social network platforms: you can do it using the Webcam feature to shoot yourself and the narration feature in real time to make the voiceover.

Therefore, to add a video by recording it from your Webcam, simply reach the Home tab and click the Video webcam button. By doing so, you will have opened a new screen with the preview of your Webcam, on which you will have to click on the Record button to start recording the video in real time. Once you’re done, click on Stop to import the video into your timeline and eventually apply changes.

If you want to record a voiceover that accompanies and describes the video, from the Home tab, click Record narration to open a new screen. Now, from the timeline, move the black navigation bar to the scene where you want to start the narration and press the Record button. When you’re done, click the Stop button to import the audio track into your project.

How to use Movie Maker – How to save a project and export it

How to use Movie Maker

We are almost there; Now that you’ve created your video, applying all the changes you needed, you’re afraid of losing all your work, if the software suddenly crashes or your computer shuts down. How to do? I’m going to explain how to save your project and how you can take it in your hands even later.

Click on the File tab at the top left and choose Save project as. In the new window, choose the folder where you want to save your project and click on the Save button.

If you had to interrupt your work and resume it at another time, just open Movie Maker, select the File tab and select the Open Project item or simply double left click on the saved project file, to automatically open Movie Maker with the changes made when saving your project.

Let’s put the case that you have now finished working on your project and wanted to export the video to be able to share it on your social networks or simply store it on your computer. How to do? Find the answer in the following lines.

Click the File tab at the top left and select the Save movie item. You will be offered some settings based on the device on which you want to play your video. Choose one, select the folder where you want to save the video file and press the Save button. Then wait for the end of the saving and click on one of the buttons that is proposed: Play, Open folder or Close.

How to use Movie Maker