How to Edit Video Clips in Windows Movie Maker

Make movies without extra software

What to Know

  • Select Import Video > choose video file > drag to storyboard to add.
  • Rename imported clips: Double-click video title > enter new name > Enter.
  • Split clips: Move playhead to desired split location > select Split icon. To merge, select clips > Ctrl+M.

This article explains how to edit videos within the Windows Movie Maker program.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows Movie Maker. We've left the information below for archival purposes. Try one of these alternatives instead.

Import Video to Edit

Before you begin editing in Movie Maker, you need to import some video clips.

woman editing video on a computer with 2 screens

 woman working on video program

Title the Video Clips

Generally, Windows Movie Maker will save your imported clips with generic titles. You should rename the clips with titles that refer to their content. This will make it easier to find specific scenes and will keep your project better organized.​​

To rename a video clip, double-click on its current title. This will highlight the text, which you can delete and replace with the new title.

Split Clips Into Separate Scenes

Windows Movie Maker usually does a good job of identifying scene breaks in your video and then splitting the video up into clips accordingly. However, you'll occasionally end up with a clip that contains more than one scene. When this happens, you can split the clip into two separate scenes.

To split a video clip, locate the playhead at the first frame after the scene break. Click the Split icon, or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + L. This will break the original video clip into two new ones.

If you accidentally split a clip in two, it's easy to restore the original, full video clip. Just select the two new clips, and click CTRL + M. And, voila, the two clips are one again.

Delete Unwanted Frames

Splitting clips is also a handy way to get rid of any unwanted frames at the beginning or end of a video clip. Just split the clip to separate the part you want to use ​everything else. This creates two clips, and you can delete the one that you don't want.

Storyboard Your Video

Once you have your clips cleaned up and ready to go in the movie, arrange everything in the storyboard. Drag the clips and drop them in the order they should appear. You can preview your movie on the monitor, and it's easy to rearrange the clips until you get the order of the movie right.

Trim Clips in the Timeline

After you have arranged your video clips in the storyboard, you may decide that you want to adjust the length of time some of the clips play. Do this by trimming the video clips in the editing timeline.

First, switch from Storyboard to Timeline view. Then, place your cursor at the beginning or end of the clip that you want to adjust. A red arrow appears, with the instructions ​click and drag to trim clip. Drag the arrow to trim away the beginning or end of the clip. When you release the mouse, the highlighted portion of the clip remains, and the rest is deleted.

By trimming your clips, you can fine-tune your video so that the scenes flow smoothly together.

Finish Your Movie Maker Video

Once you've edited the video clips, you can add the finishing touches to your movie by adding music, title, effects, and transitions.​​

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