Preview video in Windows Movie Maker

You can preview whole projects or smaller components such as audio or video clips, transitions, and effects in Windows Movie Maker. Periodically previewing a project in the monitor as you work on it is useful to see how it looks and sounds and to check your editing. Or, to ensure that you have imported the content that you want to use in your movie or to change individual clips, you can view or listen to an individual video or audio clip.

You can also preview video effects and transitions to see what they look like before you add them to your project. To do this, click an effect or transition in the Contents pane, and then click Play under the preview monitor.

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To preview a project

  1. Add one or more clips to the storyboard/timeline.

  2. Click the Play menu, and then the click Rewind Storyboard or Rewind Timeline, depending on the view that you are using. This ensures that the preview will start at the beginning of your project.

  3. Under the preview monitor, click the Play button.

To preview a clip

  1. In the Contents pane, click the audio or video clip that you want to preview.

  2. Under the preview monitor, click the Play button.

To pause previewing a project

  • When video, audio, a video effect, or a video transition is playing in the preview monitor, under the preview monitor, click Pause.

To play video in full-screen mode

  1. Click a video clip on the storyboard/timeline or in the Contents pane to select it.

  2. Click View, and then click Full Screen.

    To exit full screen and continue previewing video in the preview monitor, press ESC.

To change the preview monitor size

  1. Click a video clip on the storyboard/timeline or in the Contents pane to select it.

  2. Click View, point to Preview Monitor Size, and then click Small or Large.


  • To make the preview monitor larger or smaller, you can also click and drag the line between the preview monitor and the collections window to the left or to the right.

  • The actual size and aspect ratio of the preview monitor depends on the video properties and settings for the video format and aspect ratio. These settings are in the Options dialog box on the Advanced tab in Windows Movie Maker. For more information about video formats and the aspect ratio settings in Windows Movie Maker, see Change the aspect ratio and video format.

  • The preview monitor size that you can choose to use in Windows Movie Maker depends on your current screen resolution settings for your computer and monitor. For example, if your display is set to a lower screen resolution, the preview monitor size in Windows Movie Maker cannot be set to Large. For information about changing your screen resolution, see Change screen resolution.

To jump to a frame

  • When video is either playing or paused in the preview monitor, click the Previous Frame or Next Frame buttons under the preview monitor.

To jump to a clip in a project

  1. Click a clip on the storyboard/timeline to select it.

  2. Click the Play menu, and then click Back or Forward.