Windows Movie Maker Crashes When I Open It

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Windows Movie Maker crashes, especially during startup, can have various reasons. When we analyze the reasons for the crashes, we mainly find that the majority of the Windows Movie Maker Crashes are caused by the third-party codecs and systems that are not updated properly.

Possible Crash Reason 1: The System is not Updated

If you are not updating your system then your update program should be the first place that you look. If your automatic updates are disabled, I recommend that you update your entire system. The majority of users who experience Windows Movie Maker crashes are using Windows XP SP2 and have Internet Explorer 7 installed. If you are one of these users, it is best to update your system to SP3. If you want to keep your existing state, then uninstalling Internet Explorer 7 may solve the problem.

Possible Crash Reason 2: Over 100 Transitions Effects are Installed

Windows Movie Maker includes 60 transitions and is designed to support a maximum of 100 of them. If you install more effects than that, then this will crash qedit.dll, taking the Windows Movie Maker down. Microsoft acknowledged this situation in their Knowledge Base article KB969395 and issued a hotfix to solve the problem. Before applying the hotfix, make sure that you are running a 32-bit Windows XP operating system with SP3 installed. You have to download the hotfix for your localized Windows XP system.

Possible Crash Reason 3: Direct Show Filters are Outdated

If you have Direct Show filters installed, then you need to know that one of the filters caches information about the effects and transitions that are installed on your system. When you have a lot of transitions and effects installed on your system, the component cannot handle them and crashes, taking Windows Movie Maker with it. Since the Direct Show filter is called when Movie Maker starts, you experience crashes when you open it. To solve the problem, you can rename the directory which Direct Show filters are installed before you open Movie Maker and rename it back to the original name after Movie Maker is started. Of course this does not sound like an elegant solution, so the better way is to update Direct Show filters, or to put it better, uninstall the additional codecs that are installed on your system and install the latest codec pack. If that does not solve the problem, consider upgrading your Movie Maker to the latest release.

Possible Crash Reason 4: An Old Nero Version is Installed

Nero releases prior to version 7 does not get along well with Windows Vista. There are three possible steps for a solution:

  1. Update Nero to release 7 or higher,
  2. Uninstall Nero with all the codecs and install Windows Movie Maker codecs from scratch,
  3. If you want to keep Nero on your system, first rename the DSFilter directory under C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\ to something else (say DSFilter_Old), open Windows Movie Maker, go to Tools, Options, select the Compatibility tab and untick all the Nero compatibility options.


As we have stated at the beginning, many of the problems with the Movie Maker are due to Windows operating systems not being updated properly or to outdated media codecs. Keeping your system up to date with the updates not only solves problems with Windows Movie Maker, but also takes care of other problems that your system may be experiencing. Plus, you get the latest security patches for your system. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users have to pay attention to the “Optional” updates and install them as well.