All Windows users probably have experience working with the Windows Movie Maker.
It’s a simple app that allows you to import videos and arrange them in a particular order, crop them, add effects and titles, share them to online platforms, and so on.
This app doesn’t have any complicated features you can find in professional video editing apps, but you can still run into issues when working with it.
Read on to discover how to troubleshoot the Windows Movie Maker and solve the problems you might face.
Why Does Windows Movie Maker Take So Long to “Prepare Videos”?
Windows Movie Maker is a multimedia software, causing it to be pretty delicate.
Although it’s a simple app without the bells and whistles of other media editors, non-linear video editing is still a memory-intensive process, resulting in both your computer and the Windows Movie Maker running slowly and taking longer to prepare videos.
Computer processing and memory resources are vital for this software to work well.
When you share these with other apps, you’re causing the Movie Maker to run more slowly than expected, and this gets worse if your PC has viruses or malware.
Moreover, Microsoft officially discontinued Windows Movie Maker in January 2017.
This factor can have a significant effect on the app’s performance.
Plus, many people download the Movie Maker from secondhand websites that offer a free download, but their files contain hidden costs or even malware and viruses.
All these factors could be the reason for your slow Movie Maker app.
How to Turn Off Preparing Video in Windows Movie Maker?
A solution that worked for many people was to turn off this feature of Movie Maker.
Follow these steps for doing so:
1. Open the Windows Movie Maker.
2. Click on the blue File button next to the Home tab at the left corner of the screen.
3. Click on Options.
A new window will pop up.
4. Click on the Advanced tab on the left pane.
5. Find the “Prepare files for faster editing” and uncheck the box next to it.
6. Restart the Movie Maker for the changes to take effect.
Note: Some people reported that they couldn’t find the Advanced tab under Options.
If you run into this problem, you should update the program and get the Window Essentials 2012 Movie Maker.
How to Enhance Windows Movie Maker’s Performance and Speed?
1. Scan Your System
Spyware and viruses can consume a significant number of computer resources, causing not only the Movie Maker but also your whole computer to run slowly.
First, update your spyware scanners and antivirus software. Install some top-rated apps if you don’t have some already.
Then, run a complete scan and make sure there aren’t any threats on your system.
2. Troubleshoot with Task Manager
1. Type “Task Manager” in your Windows search bar at the left corner of the screen.
2. Open the Task Manager app, and on the left bottom of the window, click on More Details.
3. Select the Process tap from the top menu, and then click on the CPU column header.
4. Now, you’ll see the running processes on your system that consume the most CPU.
5. Select the ones with high usage and then click End Task.
6. Now click on the Memory column header, and find the programs using the most computer memory.
7. Select them and click End Task.
3. Shut Down All Other Programs
If the Movie Maker is still running slowly, you need to close any other program that’s still open.
There should be no other software competing for processor energy.
Shut down any program that’s media-intensive, like those that play video or audio.
Close any apps with an internet connection, especially browsers.
4. Free Up Space on the Hard Drive
Are you still having problems? Open up Task Manager again, and this time, click on the Performance tab.
Now, using the graph, you’ll be able to determine how your PC is performing.
If the Windows Movie Maker is taking up most of the computer’s memory, you should consider cleaning up your hard drive or adding more RAM to your computer.
Uninstall unusable software, delete unimportant media and old files, and generally eliminate what’s not vital.
That will help a lot with Windows Movie Maker since it depends on computer speed.
5. Go Easy on the Movie Maker
Remember, you’re dealing with a simple non-linear video editing app.
It can’t match the qualities that professional video editors bring to the table, and you shouldn’t expect it to edit HD movies for you.
If the video clips you import should be so large, you shouldn’t apply too many effects or animated transitions and include too many complicated audio tracks and music.
Scale down your project to something more manageable so the Windows Movie Maker can handle it.
6. Use Small Video Files
If you upload multiple video files with large sizes to Movie Maker, collapsing or slowing down is normal.
Try to stick to one large video at a time, or better yet, break the video up into smaller clips.
You can do this yourself or check the “Create clips for video files” box when importing videos.
7. Use the Same Video Format
Uploading mixed media like different HD and SD formats can slow down the Windows Movie Maker.
Reduce the complexity of your project by importing similar media types.
8. Uninstall Conflicting Programs
If you have other video editing programs on your PC that you don’t use, uninstall them.
They may be conflicting with the Windows Movie Maker and creating issues.
Common Windows Movie Maker Problems and How to Solve Them
1. “Sorry, Movie Maker Can’t Start.”
You may be receiving the following long error from the Windows Movie Maker when trying to open the app: “Sorry, Movie Maker can’t start.
Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements before trying to start Movie Maker again, and then try to update the driver for your video card if Movie Maker still doesn’t start.”
Here’s how you can troubleshoot the problem:
A. Windows Movie Maker Version
If you get this error when you first try to open the Movie Maker after installation, it could be because you haven’t installed the latest version of the software.
Unfortunately, to check the version of Movie Maker, you’ll need to get into the app first.
Then, go to the File menu and click on About Movie Maker.
However, since the app won’t open to begin with, your only solution is to make sure you have downloaded the app from a trusted source.
If you’re not sure, uninstall the app and install it from another source, preferably one with good reviews.
B. Windows Update
If you’ve recently updated your Windows and the Movie Maker began to crash when opening, it could be because of issues with the new Windows update.
You should wait for further updates and hope they fix the issue.
C. Driver Update
As it states in the error’s context, you may need to update your driver.
However, you should first find out the version:
1. In the Windows search box, type in “dxdiag.”
2. Rig click on the dxdiag.exe icon and select Run as Administrator.
3. Once the DirectX Diagnostic Tool window opens, click on System from the top menu bar.
4. Under the System Information, find the DirectX Version.
The version should be ten or above.
If it reads 9, you will need to update the driver for Windows Movie Maker to open.
This article published by Microsoft Support will show you how to do that.
D. Delete Corrupted Files
Some basic files may be causing the Windows Movie Maker to crash.
Find these two files and delete them:
Go to this location: c:\program files\movie maker\moviemk.exe and try to open the Movie Maker from its base file.
WinDVD was reportedly the cause of Windows Movie Maker crashing in many cases.
Therefore, if you have it installed on your system, try uninstalling it.
If this fixes the error, avoid installing the WinDVD again.
F. Effects and Transitions
Windows Movie Maker lets you download video effects and transitions.
However, it can’t handle too many of them, and it may crash.
If you have over 100 effects saved, you need to delete some to meet the limit.
2. “Windows Movie Maker Has Stopped Working.”
If you receive this error while working with the app, try the Driver Update method explained in the previous section.
If Windows Movie Maker keeps crashing, try the following:
A. Reinstall Windows Movie Maker
This error gets fixed for many users once they uninstall and reinstall the Windows Movie Maker.
Try doing so, and if you still get this error, try the other solutions.
B. Fix the Corrupted System Files
If reinstalling didn’t work, some of your system files may be causing the error.
You should run the system check tool to replace the corrupted or missing system files.
1. In the Windows search box, type in “diskpart.”
2. Right-click on the icon and select Run as Administrator.
3. Type in “command sfc /scannow” and press Enter.
C. Change the App’s Compatibility
1. Right-click on the shortcut of the Windows Movie Maker on your desktop.
2. Click on Compatibility.
Under Compatibility mode, turn on the Run this program in compatibility mode feature by checking the box next to it.
3. Click on the arrow and choose one of the following from the drop-down menu.
- Select Windows 7 if you have Windows 8 installed.
- Select service pack 1 or 2 of Windows Vista if you have Windows 7 on your system.
- Select the Windows XP (service pack 1, 2, or 3) if you have Windows Vista on your system.
4. Click on Apply and then OK.
D. Disable Video Filters
If you’ve downloaded an incompatible or corrupted video filter, Windows Movie Maker will crash.
You should try running the app in safe mode and disable that filter.
1. In the search box, type in Command Prompt.
Right-click on it and select Run as Administrator.
2. In the window that pops open, type in “CD \program files\movie maker,” and press Enter.
3. Type “moviemk.exe /safemode,” press Enter, and Movie Maker should start in safe mode.
4. While inside the app, click on Tools from the top menu.
Then choose Options.
5. In the new window that opens up, click on the Compatibility tab and disable the video effects.
3. Windows Movie Maker Crashing When Publishing Your Video
The most common reason for this problem is the usage of too many filters and effects.
Firstly, you shouldn’t have a lot of video effects installed in the Windows Movie Maker.
It may cause the app to crash both when opening and when publishing a video.
Go through the list of your effects and try to delete as many as you can.
Moreover, don’t use various effects on different clips in the same project.
Windows Movie Maker uses some filters that you might not be aware of.
Follow these steps to turn them off:
1. Click on Tools and then Options.
2. In the new window, go to the Compatibility tab.
3. Find out what filters are selected and deselect them.
Two common Movie Maker filters are probably activated: “AVI Decompressor’’ and “XviD MPEG-4 Video Decoder.”
The second reason for Windows Movie Maker crashes when publishing your work is Nero7.
This is an app many people use along with the Movie Maker, and it could be causing the crash.
Uninstall it if possible.
If the problem continues, you’ll need to encounter a more complex solution:
1. Type in “Run” in the Windows search bar and open the app.
2. In the window that pops open, type in “regedit.”
3. Follow through this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/Driver32.
4. Once you find the Driver32 folder, right-click on it.
Select New and then String.
5. Type in “no.msacm.voxacm160,” and try to republish your project.
4. Error 0x80004003 or Other Errors
If you get one the 0x87160139, 0x80004003, or other similar errors on Windows Movie Maker, here’s how you can troubleshoot it:
- Check your driver’s version and Windows Movie Maker version the way explained in the previous sections and update them if necessary.
- Make sure Windows Movie Maker supports the media files you’re trying to import.
- Gather all the files you’re trying to edit in one place, and then continue with your project.
- The files you’re editing should still be in the original location. Ensure they haven’t been moved or deleted.
- Other programs shouldn’t be using the file you’re editing with Movie Maker.
5. Video Disappears from a Project
When you import files like videos, photos, or music into the Windows Movie Maker, they don’t get embedded into the project.
The app links them to the project from their current location.
When they suddenly disappear, it has something to do with the location.
- Make sure all the files are on your computer and in the same folder.
Don’t move them from their original location.
- If you used an external drive to import the files, you should insert the drive back into your PC to continue your work.
- If you have the files on a network drive, ensure you’re attached to the same network.
6. Video Has Black Screen
If you’ve encountered a black screen in Movie Maker, try the following solutions to fix it.
- Restart the Windows Movie Maker: Restarting the app is highly likely to solve this problem.
- Shut Down other Programs: Don’t open other programs and run other tasks while you’re working on Windows Movie Maker, or else you may get the black screen problem.
- Unmute Audio: If you have no sound in your project either, your audio might have been muted, which may be what’s causing the problem, so unmute the audio.