Video filters in Windows Movie Maker: frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about video filters.

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What are video filters and what do they do in Windows Movie Maker?

Video and audio filters are pieces of software that are installed on your computer that help interpret video files so that they will display and play properly. Windows Movie Maker uses them when you import video and audio, preview your project on the storyboard/timeline, and when you publish a movie.

How do other video filters get installed on my computer?

Some video and audio programs install filters when they are installed or used on your computer. Examples of programs that might install filters include digital media player software, DVD player software, DVD-writing software, video and audio-editing programs, and video and audio codec installation software packages.

How can I tell whether issues in Windows Movie Maker are because of video filters?

Unfortunately, not all of the video and audio filters that are installed by other programs are compatible with Windows Movie Maker. This can cause problems when you're importing video and audio, previewing audio and video on the storyboard/timeline, or publishing a movie.

The symptoms of problems with video and audio filters vary in Windows Movie Maker. Some possible issues with video filters can include:

  • Video appearing upside down or distorted when you preview it from the storyboard/timeline.

  • Video displaying black with no audio.

  • Audio playing back quickly and distorted.

  • Problems when you try to add transitions, effects, or titles.

Again, these are only a few symptoms.

What can I do if I am having problems with video filters in Windows Movie Maker?

If you are having problems that could be associated with video and audio filters not installed by Windows Movie Maker, you can try to turn video filters off in Windows Movie Maker. Turning off the video and audio filters only affects how they are used (or, in this case, not used) in Windows Movie Maker, so they can still be used by other video and audio programs. To turn filters on or off or to restore the default list of filters, do the following:

  1. Click Tools, and then click Options.

  2. Click the Compatibility tab.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To turn off a filter, clear the check box next to the video filter name.

    • To turn on a filter, select the check box next to the video filter name.

    • To restore the default list, click Restore All Defaults.

      When you restore the default settings, the list and settings for the filters are reset to the last known good setting.