Having problems with Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 Crashing?

rzh0gh0jI know, I know… I said I wouldn't be going back there, but I did...

Something about me wanting to help others in the Windows Live Movie Maker forums; I don't understand why I do it. It's almost self torture to know that Windows Live Movie Maker has all these problems and that if there's no one in the forums the users are just getting jacked around.

It's been a few months and the problems with Windows Live Movie Maker persist. The crashes, the codecs, Windows Live Movie Maker not being able to start at all… and the Microsoft techs working the forums seem helpless at best. Sometimes I wonder if they actually read the peoples submissions at all before they throw a canned respons at them about collecting and sending in a bunch system specifications [to never have returned].

So, here's my list of recommendations if you're having problems...

So what are the top things to check with Windows Live Movie Maker when you're having problems with it…this list is beased on simple solutions to more tedious… PITA stuff.


Windows Live Movie Maker is horrible with the management of system memory resources.


The more you add to Windows Live Movie Maker the more memory the application uses; even more so when you have a large video you're putting efforts in to create. Windows Live Movie Maker can easily consume 1.5Gb of memory for creating a video. This can be proven just by loading a large video and then scrolling down in the story board; Windows Live Movie Maker puts EVERYTHING in memory.

This affects it's ability to read, recognize, render, save and export to YouTube and Facebook; everything. It's already been confirmed in this forum that depending on what you're working on, and how big your video is, you may not be able to save your project or export [render] it for a WMV, DVD, YouTube or Facebook.

This is a good example video:


Windows Live Movie Maker is really bad about handling system resources and can cause plenty of issues. To check on this, if you run in to issues with Windows Live Movie Maker, pull up the Task Manager and see how much Windows Live Movie Maker [the application] is taking/using from your system. If it's using more memory than anything else, that could be your problem…

The standard response from Microsoft techs is to adjust your PAGEFILE; this is to account for the lack of handling system resources properly. You can make an attempt adjust your page file… as a recommendation— In the Initial Size box, enter a value equal to one and a half times the amount of the computer's installed RAM. In the Maximum Size box, enter a value equal to twice the amount of the Initial Size value.



Work in smaller chunks…

If you're working with LARGE Video files, ensure you zoom IN all the way out to prevent Windows Live Movie Maker from loading all the video clips in to memory; refer to the video clip above.

If you need to SPLIT a movie in half or in to multiple parts, you can do this...this will help Windows Live Movie Maker deal with resources a little better and help narrow down where the problem video clip is…

I have illustrated that here:


Display Drivers

Display drivers; if not already, you should visit WINDOWS UPDATE and see if there are any updates to your video card. This might help you. It's not an absolute, but it has helped others; based on responses from the Windows Live Movie Maker forum.




What you need to know about codecs, they dictate whether or not the audio, video or both are recognized properly by Windows Live Movie Maker. And just because Windows Media Player can play the file doesn't mean anything to Windows Live Movie Maker. But it's important to have the right codecs installed or updated. And Windows Live Movie Maker offers no assistance at all in resolving the issues of codecs. And thinking that Windows Media Player might find and download the right codecs is in the 2% of success. 

Windows Live Movie Maker has very little in the way of innate ability to read media files. If you're having issues/problems with audio and/or video on your media, it could be your installed codecs, or the lack of, or maybe you need to update your codecs; ultimately, it's all about the codecs.

Audio and Video, both, require current codecs to play the proper media [correctly].

As a suggestion, you can download the most ubiquitous codecs yourself and installing them fairly easily... They're both FREE, REPUTABLE and updated regularly.



Convert the Videos…

If you're having issues with Windows Live Movie Maker and you can't find the codec you need, or one that'll work, you may need to convert the video to AVI and then import it in to Windows Live Movie Maker.

As a suggestion, I use Video Converter Factory, a video converter that handles lots of different video types [100+] and audio and it's super simple to use. Ultimately, if you can find the codec that works, great; if not, or if your pressed for time, here's a FREE option to convert the data.



Try Reinstalling…

If you want to uninstall Windows Live Movie Maker 2011, you have some options...

» Please note that Windows Live Movie Maker and Windows Live Photo Gallery are a bundle set. Uninstalling Windows Live Movie Maker will remove Windows Live Photo Gallery.

To do this...
Start» Run»
Windows Live essentials [update/uninstall]
Select Windows Live Movie Maker and go through the steps of removing it.


To uninstall Windows Live Movie Maker, click Start » Run, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {9F479685-180E-4C05-9400-D59292A1B29C}

...and go through the steps of removing it.

[recommend rebooting at this point]
Windows Live Movie Maker should be removed.

Now, if not already, download the latest version of Windows Live Movie Maker 2011-
you can download it from here. [Note: XP is not supported]...



I'm not stating that these things are going to fix your problem, but it's things that the Windows Live Movie Maker forums are already telling users to make an attempt. And in lieu of spoon feeding users on try this, try that, now try this type stuff; it's all right here.

Again, the items are listed in an order from easy to check/fix to serious PITA stuff.


I hope this helps... someone.

Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.

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  1. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I really impressed by your blog.
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  2. Hi! I have had endless issues with Windows Live Movie Maker! And it's a real let down. It's a let down because it was recommended to me that it works well! It doesn't work at all! I really appreciate this information and will try all the things you put out to try. And you are SO correct about the forums information. My "MS Windows Live Movie Maker" technician stopped trying to assist me! :) They have got no idea on how to treat these issues... If your advice does not work. I'm going to remove it and get something else that will work. I tried to remove it, but the system wont let me? It crashes every time I try! :) Any reason why?

    1. Does your problem still exist? Or have you figured it out? If yes, then how? Kindly share the solution!
      how to convert flv to mov mac

  3. I've been having problems with it as well (Though only lately, but those have been big problems). Basically I tried to make some AMV's (Animated Music Videos) and it was fine for the first one. Then i updated to the latest version of windows live essentialls and everything fell apart.

    Windows Live Movie Maker got progressively slower everytime i used it, and eventually became unable to opening, stating that the application no longer exists. I've tried to uninstall and reinstall, but (even though I've uninstalled it from the control panel and deleted every folder associated with it) Windows Live Essential's still thinks that I've got Windows Live Movie Maker up to date and working on my computer.

    If you can help then that would be great (I've been having a living hell with watermarks on other video editing/creation programs, so if you could recommend me a free one without watermarks that would be a big help too), but thanks anyway.

  4. This action is only valid for product that are currently installed

    but every i reinstalled windowslive movie maker it will say windowslive movie maker that already exist..

    what shoul i do :(

  5. I'm using Windows Movie Maker and I have a video I would like to include in it, but when I try to put a copy of it from my computer in the movie, it plays slower than normal. The only way to get it to play normally is to use the original from a memory card. However, if I take the memory card out of my computer, even if I put re-insert it before I open up the movie again, the video doesn't work. It has a yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside, like it does when a file is missing, but when I click on it, Windows Movie Maker asks if I want to fix it not find it. But when I click "fix," then click on the video, even from the same location on the memory card, nothing changes. I have even tried deleting it from the movie, then adding the same file again, but it still says it needs to be fixed. Once this has happened and I exit out of Windows Movie Maker, and then later try to open the movie, I get a message that reads: "Sorry, Movie Maker can't open this project file. The file might not be compatible with Windows Live Movie Maker or be corrupted. Please select a different file," and I can't open the project again, even to fix the problem. Is there any way to open it again? I do not want to lose this movie.

    1. I don't know the format; but I would notice the codec you're using or maybe convert the video to MP4; something more standard. Again, I don't know some details… good luck.


  6. Hey Larry Henry When I Save My Video And Open It After It's Save The Video Does Not Play You Can Only Hear The Sound...When I Play It Is Only A Black Screen With Sound..And Usually When Am Making A Video WLMM It Like Freezes And Makes The Video Screen Go Black

  7. Because you didn't mention it; I would suggest playing the video with VLC player. If you're having problems playing videos, the first thing, I'd drop Windows Media Player immediately [if not sooner] and use something that's not so lacking in abilities.

    Download VLC Player; VLC plays everything [just about], but it can also tell you the codec that's being used; for both audio and video. In VLC, it's under tools and Codec information [or CTRL-J].


    If the video works with VLC you are good; if not I would focus on codecs and video card drivers.

    I hope this helps...


  8. Has anyone come across this? I made a project in WLMM and it was great, I saved it to my computer and it was great. I shared it with someone and they came up with improvements, so I went back to the project to operate them, and found that:
    - thumbnails don't show up anymore
    - photos are still there when playing through the preview, but video won't show, although the captions are there and the timings too
    - I can operate the changes (a few photos added, some timings modified), and save to the project
    - BUT when I hit "save movie to computer" it goes straight to "not responding" indefinitely
    Any ideas?
    It's WLMM version 2011, build 15.4.3555.0308.

    1. I updated my graphics driver, and then uninstalled the WLMM 2011 and installed the 2012 one, and now I can see the thumbnails of everything in the project, and it has started to save to computer.
      After save: it's saved, but the sound is off... as it is in the project too... uf!

  9. I was having this problem, i don't have a really good video editing computer, but it hasn't failed me in windows live movie maker before. i even made a 1st file of the video, but i went back and edited up more... all the captions i had changed, and also changed the animation of them from basic to a zoom. it had to be the rendering of the caption and the clan tag i had show up with low transparency a few times... i got rid of those and boom, i can do most of what i wanted to do with annotations in youtube.

    Your 'fix' didn't help, but your explaining it did, and all the other fixes you've come across. Thanks

    1. There used to be a link that Microsoft was giving out to fix Windows Live Movie Maker problems like that, but when they moved to the new support forums; the link died with the move. Sorry.


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