Though it isn't intuitive to access, Windows 10 has a video editor built-in that serves as a handy replacement to the classic Windows Movie Maker. With it, you can trim, cut, draw on, add text to, and draw on videos.
You can also use it to edit together various clips, add slow-mo, and apply 3D text or music. Confusingly, though, you'll find it not as a standalone program, but as part of the Photos app.
Today, we're going to show you how to use this Windows video editor, walking you through each of its features so you can apply them to your movie or clip. I think you'll find it much more intuitive than its classic counterpart, with a couple of new features to boot.
How to use Windows Video Editor to Trim, Take Photos of, Draw On, or Slow a Video
Before we start this tutorial, you'll want a video clip to play around with. If you don't have one, this free short film made by Blender animation studios should do the trick.
- Open your video clip with the Windows media editor
- Click “Edit & Create”
- How to trim a video on Windows 10
- Trim your video and save a copy
To use the trim function, just click and drag the white dots at either side of the video to select the portion you want to keep. You can grab the little pin icon to see what's happening at a certain point of the video and adjust it accordingly.
Once you're done, play your trimmed clip a few times to make sure you're not missing anything. Click “Save a copy” once you're happy. This way, you'll keep your original video file and can even cut out a different portion to use later.
- Find and play your saved video
- How to add slow-mo in the Windows 10 video editor
If you want to get fancy, you can also use the Windows 10 editor to slow down video. This is useful if you have a clip with a high framerate and want to highlight a certain part of the action. Just bear in mind that if you have a clip that was recorded at 30fps or lower, it will look quite choppy.
To get started, click “Add slow-mo” from the edit menu.
- Speed or slow your video
Slow-mo works similarly to the trim tool, but with an additional slider. Move the yellow pins to select the video you'd like to slow down, then adjust the slider towards the tortoise to slow it down. Once you're done, you can save a copy again.
- How to save a photo from a video
They say a picture tells a thousand words, but a video holds thousands of pictures. If you want to keep the focus on one still image, you can easily save it out separately.
As with all the features here, it starts by pressing the edit button and pressing “Save photos”.
- Find the photo you want to save
Use the slider at the bottom to find the section of the video that's of interest to you. Once you have an idea, press the arrow buttons at the bottom of the screen to move frame-by-frame. This allows you to get to the perfect moment in time – perhaps when someone has stopped blinking and has a smile on their face, or when an object is no longer blurry.
Once you're happy, click “Save a photo” to keep it for the picture book.
- How to draw on a video in Windows 10
Press the edit button and then “Draw” to get started.
Sometimes, your video editing may take a more analytical or creative turn. With the “Draw” tool, you can circle important parts of a video or draw cartoons on top of your footage. Unfortunately, these are static images, not animated ones, but it's still good fun.
- Doodle on your video
Our flower footage is nice, but it's also very…boring. Thankfully, we can use the drawing tools presented at the top of our video to draw a lovely bumblebee. Once you're done, press the save icon to save a copy of the video with the drawing on it.
- Perform more advanced edits
How to Add Text to a Video in Windows 10, Add 3D Effects, or Combine Videos
The advanced Microsoft Photos video editor will be more what you're used to if you're a fan of Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere, or other video editing software. It's essentially what remains of the “Story Remix” application Microsoft created a few years back.
- Create a new video project via ‘Add to'
- OR: create a new video project via the Photos menu
- Start a new video project
- Give your project a name
It's tempting to type a random string of letters, but we encourage you to be descriptive, so you don't get confused later.
Once you've typed a name in the box, click “OK”.
- Add media to the Windows 10 editor
- Drag the video clip or picture to your timeline
The timeline is the blank white section at the bottom of the screen that reads “Drag items from the project library here”.
- Use Windows 10 to cut or split a video
- Move the cursor to the section you want to split
- How to add text to a video in Windows 10
- Select a font and type your message
At the bottom of your screen, move the yellow labels to the portion of your video you'd like to add text to. Then, in the right-side panel, type your text. Look through the “Animated text style” list until you find one you like and click on it.
Finally, select where on the video you'd like the text to appear via the “Layout” menu and press “Done”.
- How to add motion (camera movement) to your video
- Choose your motion effect
- How to add 3D effects in the Windows Media Editor
3D effects and items add a bit of fun to your video and can even look okay professionally if you use them in moderation. You have the choice of the aurora, leaves, balloons, snow, and much more. Some of the effects apply to the entire video, while others let you choose where to place them.
- Select your effect
- Adjust the 3D effect volume and duration
Drag the slider in the playback bar to choose how long the effect should last and change the volume slider to enhance or remove any audio effects that come with it. You can layer multiple effects on top of each other if you wish. Press “Done” when you're finished to save the video.
- How to add a filter to your video in Windows 10
Though Windows 10 doesn't have dedicated color correction tools (you'll have to download professional software for that), it does have quick fixes via its filters. You can find the bottom above your video timeline, in the left middle.
- Choose a video filter
- How to speed up or slow down a video with the Microsoft Photos video editor
We already covered slow motion, but what if you want to change the speed of a clip that's part of a larger project. For that, you can press the “Speed” button above the timeline. Then, just drag the slider towards “Slow” or “Fast” to suit your preference.
- How to resize a video in Windows 10
- How to rotate a video in the Windows 10 Photos app
- How to remove a single clip from your timeline
- How to remove all clips from the timeline
- How to adjust audio volume in the Windows 10 editor
If you have a clips from various sources, there's a good chance they'll have different volumes. This can be jarring for the viewer, but thankfully you can easily remedy this by clicking the clip and moving the volume slider that appears on the right-hand side of its icon.
- How to add a theme to your video project
- Choose a theme and press ‘Done'
- How to change your video's aspect ratio
Landscape videos can be frustrating to view on a phone. To crop videos in Windows 10 to another aspect ratio, you can click the three dots and then press “16:9 Landscape > Make portrait”. You can also switch from 16:9 to 4:3 or from one of those to 16:9.
- How to add music (or custom audio) to a video in Windows 10
- Add your audio or music file
- How to save and export your final video
- Choose your video quality and press ‘Export'
- Name and save your creation
- View your created video
Once your export is complete, Windows 10 will automatically open your completed video file to review. If it didn't come out as you intended, click the “Show in video export issues? Let's fix it.” text.
If you made it all the way through this tutorial, you should have a fairly good idea of how to use the Window video editor to manipulate your clips. However, if you just want to quickly rotate your video, you can check our dedicated tutorial instead. You may also want to learn how to set your freshly created video as a desktop background.