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Windows Movie Maker Running Super Slow: Tips on Improving Speed

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/9/2014

Windows Movie Maker is a non-linear editing program for beginning home digital video producers. Thus, it can easily become overwhelmed and run slowly if your project is too large-scale. Here are some tips for cleaning up your machine and lightening your project to get Movie Maker to speed up.

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    Windows Movie Maker is just as delicate as any multimedia software, if not even more so. Non-linear video editing is a memory intensive process that can take a lot out of your computer. There are a lot of different factors that can contribute to it running slowly. Here are a few tips to speed up the program.

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    Shut Down Everything

    Since non-linear video editing is such an intensive process it is usually a good idea to limit what is competing with it for processor energy. If you find that Windows Movie Maker is running slower than normal you may want to immediately begin shutting down other programs that are running at the same time, especially anything that is media intensive. This may mean shutting down anything that is utilizing an internet connection, especially web browsers.

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    Clean Up Your Hard Drive

    After you have shut down other applications and find that Windows Movie Maker is still slow then you may want to begin looking into how crowded your computer is in general. This may mean you should start deleting old files, getting rid of unused media, uninstalling unimportant software, and simply eliminating what is not absolutely necessary for this computer. After this, you may want to defragment your hard drive to try and get even the very bare bits out of there. All of these things can slow down your computer in general, and since Windows Movie Maker is so sensitive to computer speed this is going to be of a major effect.

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    Over Stacked

    Windows Movie Maker, like iMovie, is a simple non-linear editing program for beginning home digital video producers. It is not meant to edit large scale projects or match the abilities of programs like Final Cut Pro 7. If you have included too large of video clips, applied too many video effects to individual clips, used animated transitions between most of the clips, imported large amounts of music or audio tracks, and generally overwhelmed your Timeline or Storyboard then you may find that Windows Movie Maker simply will not be able to handle it. The absolute best tip to follow if Windows Movie Maker is running like a turtle is to scale down your project to something that is more manageable.

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    Break Up Large Video Clips

    Oftentimes, your video clips will be quite large, especially if you are editing a documentary film. When you import your video files into collections you may want to just keep one large video clips to work with as this can be easier to wrap your head around for film structure. Working with a mammoth video clip can make Windows Movie Maker slow down fairly easily, so you will want to break it up if this is happening. When you are in the navigation window and bringing in outside clips make sure that the “Create clips for video files" box is always checked so that you will break up the clip into several smaller clips.

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    Reduce Mixed Media

    Mixed media, such as different types of SD and HD formats in the same format, can actually slow down the video editing process and the Windows Movie Maker software. If you want to end up cutting down on the eventual software slow you may want to bring in only similar media types, thereby reducing the complexity of what the software has to process.

Windows Movie Maker Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

This article series will provide you with several Windows Movie Maker troubleshooting tips and suggestions to help make Windows Movie Maker run smoothly.
  1. Troubleshooting Guide for Windows Movie Maker
  2. Windows Movie Maker Running Super Slow: Tips on Improving Speed
  3. Help! Windows Movie Maker Crashes when Opening!
  4. What to Do if Windows Movie Maker Crashes when Trying to Publish
  5. What Does it Mean if My Windows Movie Maker Audio File is Invalid or Corrupted?