What you need to make movies with Movie Maker

Before you start working with Windows Movie Maker, you'll want to make sure that your computer has enough power to handle video editing. Here are some requirements and recommendations for your computer components.

Windows XP and Movie Maker

Are you running the most complete version of Windows XP possible? If not, make sure you download Windows XP Service Pack 3, which includes the latest Movie Maker 2.1 updates.

i.Link/FireWire/IEEE 1394 cable

If your computer doesn't have a built-in memory card reader, you'll want to use an i.Link (also known as FireWire or IEEE 1394) cable to connect your camera with your computer. If you don't have a FireWire port on your computer, you can buy and install an i.Link adapter. Your digital video camera kit should include the proper cable.


While Movie Maker will run with as little as 128 megabytes (MB) of memory, it's better to have at least 512 MB for best performance.


Movie Maker will work on any 600 MHz or higher processor. On older machines, the video-editing process will take longer.


If you do a lot of video editing, a 19-inch or larger monitor can make the editing process easier by allowing you to fit more tools and clips on the screen.

Hard disk

Have at least 2 GB of free disk space before editing videos with Movie Maker. The more videos you save to your computer, the more space you will need. If you begin to run out of free disk space, you can add an external USB hard disk drive or buy a DVD burner with writeable DVD media.


Consider using headphones during video editing. With headphones, you can hear subtle sounds more clearly than you can through speakers.

Is your computer more advanced?

Most computers sold these days have far more power than the basic components required to run Movie Maker. If your computer can handle Windows 7, you'll be able to use Windows Live Movie Maker 2011, a free video editing program with the latest features. To find out if your computer can run Windows 7, use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.