How to edit Videos in Windows Movie Maker

Many times while shooting a video, we keep the camera on and continue to record some events that may not be useful. Consequently, we end up with a longish video which includes some unwanted footage or long pauses where no action is  taking place. And these things do happen in shooting Home videos. .. and we wish we could remove these unwanted portions present  in between.

Edit Videos in Windows Movie Maker

To do all the editing we have the excellent Windows Movie Maker. Actually people just add photos, videos in Windows Movie Maker and create a final movie without editing. This doesn’t look professional and I have come across many users, though they wanted to remove some footage but find it bit confusing to do. Let us see step-by-step how its done.

To edit videos we will make use of ‘Split’ and ‘Trim tool’ options on the ‘Edit’ tab of Windows Live Movie Maker.

Open the video in Windows Movie Maker. Before you start editing, watch the video and make a note of what you want and what you don’t in terms of time. That is to make note of what all footage you want to be removed. Here in this example I have used a video and noted down as follows:

  1. 00:00 – 00:38 ————  OK
  2. 00:38  – 01:45 ———— Remove
  3. 01:45  – 01:57 ———— OK
  4. 01:57  –  2:14 ————- Remove
  5. 02:14 –  end ————-  OK

Note that this single video is shown as one continuous icon in the storyboard on right side. Now from this video we want to remove those above mentioned portions. So we want to split this movie into 5 portions.

So for splitting the movie, let us begin with the 1st split point, where we want to keep portion from 00:00 – 00:38 sec. For doing this, drag the ‘vertical line’ in the storyboard till the ‘Current location in the Movie’ shows 00:38. The above image will guide you for doing this.

Once the Vertical line is dragged till that 1st split point,  click on the ‘Split’ button in the Edit tab to get what’s shown below. Now you see 2 icons in the Storyboard. First icon is the first 38 sec of the video and the 2nd icon is the rest of the video.

Next, again drag the Vertical line as per the 2nd noted point,

00:38  – 01:45 ———— Remove

So drag the Vertical line till 01:45 and click on the Split button.

Follow the same procedure for rest , splitting the portion as was noted down. So in the end,we get 5 smaller videos as shown below. I have also added the text with timings against each  portion just to make it more clear.

Once its done, we want to remove the video clipping 2 and 4 as was required. So click on the 2nd video to select it, now keeping the ctrl button pressed, also click on the 4th video to select it. Now both are selected. Now right click on any of the selected videos and click the Remove option.

After removing the unwanted video portions, we now have :

The video can be previewed by clicking on the ‘Play’ button in the Preview pane on the left side. Now, if everything is fine and you are getting what you wanted then you can save it in any format you want.

Before saving, if you still find some portions to be removed from start or end then you can make use of ‘Trim tool’.

Select the video which you want to trim, drag the Vertical bar to the time you want to set the new start point and click on the ‘Trim tool’ –

In the preview pane you can see the play bar which has that has handle on each end. If you drag the left handle, it’ll move the start point of the video farther. And dragging the right handle will clip the end of the video. So you can move either one or both handles as per your requirement. And after that if you ‘Save trim’, you’ll get the video between those handles, trimming the start or end or both as you had done. The start and end point can also be adjusted by changing the values in the Start and End Point boxes, its kind of fine tune. Either use the Up/Down arrows provided or enter your own values.

Please note the values has to be in seconds, so convert those minutes into seconds. Once you have set, you can preview the trimmed video by clicking the Play button.

After you have set new Start/End points, do not forget to Click on ‘Save Trim’ else click on cancel to start again. Once you have Saved, you’ll again be returned to main Storyboard. So save the movie in the required format.

So we have seen how to remove the unwanted footages in between the video by using the ‘Split’ option by splitting the video into smaller video . And using the ‘trim’ option to trim the Start or End of the video. I hope this Step-by-Step guide will help you to prepare good videos.

Some Points to note:

  • As you split the video into many smaller videos, you can rearrange the videos by just dragging them in any order you want if required in the Storyboard.
  • In the Preview pane, apart from Play/pause button, you also have Previous and Next frame buttons. These can be used to snip a video to a Single frame as pressing them moves the video by a frame.
  • Also keep an eye on the total time of video to get an idea as you use Trim option, your total length of video will be reduced once trimmed.
  • You can also make use of slider provided at bottom right of Windows Live Movie Maker for zooming the time scale in the Storyboard. Also you can change the thumbnail size of the icon in the Storyboard if required.

Your Editing process will improve as you practice. Once you understand it, it’ll be a very easy job that can be done very quickly in Windows Live Movie Maker. Apart from these options, explore various other options like transitions (there are lots of transitions provided), adding text, titles, audio etc.

So Enjoy shooting a Home Video and edit it to make it look like professional video very easily, in Windows Live Movie Maker.

All the above screenshots provided are of Windows Live Movie Maker Beta version 15.3.2804.0607.

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The author has been a Microsoft MVP awardee in various Windows categories (2006-2016) and currently a Windows Insider MVP. A Technology Enthusiast, interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.


  1. Jashar

    A fantastic app, except for the fact it only exports to a wmv file which limits it somewhat.

  2. Kyler Windows Outreach

    Great walkthrough! This is an excellent way for Windows Live users to brush up on the basics of video editing in Windows Live.

    Windows Outreach Team

  3. Thanks Kyler for the comments !! It encourages a lot !! Since I had come across many people wanting to have step-by-step Howto guide for removing unwanted video clips from their Home videos, I posted this.

  4. stmerchant

    Superb step by step detailed explanation; thanks very very much. god bless.

  5. Mike Barnhart

    I accidently added music to a 7 minute portion of my movie when I didn’t want to. It’s now on top of wedding vows and other important dialog. I saved this in the quick save but not the save options at the top right. How can I get rid of the music without taking out the dialog?

  6. Vasudev

    Hi Mike, What do you mean quick save? With the Save icon from Top left? If that’s so , it’s Save Project and will have file extension of .wlmp and check if your original file still be there.
    So if you open that project file (.wlmp) in Movie Maker, it’ll have the added Sound . While your original Movie, play it in Media player & see if it has the original dialogs only. Pl check and see this first . Else we will try with Edit options next.

  7. Rahul Seth 2012

    You saved my day with crystal clear instructions on how to manage my video….Thanks!

  8. Vasudev

    Thanks Rahul!

  9. Sabiqoon

    I am really grateful. I had been trying to understand all this without success so far till I reached this page. You have gone into great details to really fully explain the stuff. I admire your hard work that you have done to help others. Many thanks.

  10. Nunya Busi

    This movie maker sucks! You can’t even see the video when you put it in the movie maker so how the shit can you edit it????? You can’t even tell what you did until AFTER you save it and play it. You should be able to see it as you edit it assholes!

  11. Yasmin

    When I go to ”add music’ to the video it only put 38 seconds of the song up, even tho I have the full song, how can I put the whole song on the video?

  12. vasudevG

    Can you pl provide more details? Which ver of Movie Maker/Windows? What’s the length of the video/photos of the project. From where are you adding the music?And what’s format of the music.

  13. Sichuan

    Not true; I export to mp4 files all the time.

  14. Rémi Allard

    Ok now how do I crop the frame?

  15. Padma

    I am new to use this movie maker s/w. Please help. after I add the video file, I am not able to see the frames as time line on right side. the video is almost 1 hour in length. Is this trial version and I need to buy this for the feature. Please help.
    best regards

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