How to Convert Windows Movie Maker Project to AVI, MPG, MP4 or Other Video Formats

Written by Pavan Kumar on April 24, 2009


One of the esteemed readers here Ankush after reading the post on video to audio extraction services shared his problem on converting Windows Movie Maker format (mswmm format) to avi and then to any desired format like 3gp / 3g2 for mobile phones, asf, avi ( includes DivX, H263, H263+, H264, Xvid, MPEG4, MSmpeg4 and others), also dat, fli, flc, flv (normally online videos in this format – flash movie format), mkv, mpg (includes Mpeg I, Mpeg II), mov (for quicktime player includes H263, H263+, H264, MPEG4, etc), mp4 (latest format with high compression – H263, H263+, H264, MPEG4), qt, ogg, real media formats (rm, ram, rmvb), str (Play Station), swf (Flash), ts (HDTV), viv, vob(dvd format) etc.

Though this is a simple solution, I thought dealing with it here would benefit a large user community rather than solving for one. To begin with, let me make it clear mswmm is not a movie format which you can play with any media players, it is the format of movie maker project which should be opened with Windows Movie Maker and not any players.

If you want to convert it to your favorite format for using with different systems, you should first export the project into a movie format and then you may use different video format converters to convert videos from one format to other. After you open the project with Windows Movie Maker, click on Publish Movie.

Windows movie maker publish movie

Now, you will be presented with a window where you can follow the first two steps accordingly and to carry on the third step, you have some options for settings like if you want to keep it in default wmv format (it recommends it as best quality one!) or if you want to compress it to certain file size or otherwise you may also pick the option to convert to avi or also you can change the settings to some preset values in wmv format. It’s better to go with recommended as the quality and size would be better.

convert windows movie maker to avi settings

Now, you have got the movie in the wmv format with you. Half of the work is now done. Next, you can make use of any video format conversion tools to get it converted into your required format. Choose any best tool for you and convert movie maker video into any video format.


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16 Readers responded to this post

Hello Pavan,
However what you told is applicable only for Vista users because in XP there is no task like “Publish Movie”. In XP we have to click on “Make a Movie” in the “file” option.

@ Pramodh

Thanks for updating, I am not aware about XP.

there is no publish movie button in movie maker. i have been using this for ages and have never successfully been able to convert the files.

what should i do to publish it on youtube?????????????

For some reason i am not able to click on “Publish Movie” like you have in the picture. It is faded and won’t let me push it so what am I supposed to do now?

@ Mike @Lindsey

I hope you can get solution to any Move Maker related problems by joining here:

@ adam,

Login to youtube and go to My Videos ( – there you can upload your video…

my windows movie maker when i go to save my file it`s closes and does not save

thanks for the help

Don’t forget to drag our video down to the bottom, that row of boxes, called the Storyboard. The option to Plublish Movie didn’t appear until after I had done this!! Thankyou!! Happy Holidays!! xoxo.

it never works, even though all the files are there and I have plenty of storage space

then wat about windows 77777777

my movie’s file are well reference. but my project not convert into vedio file. error is used file are not in right place but they are…..
plz tell me other way to save my valuable projects

its work for me.. thanks!

i have already the WMV format it has 72.2mb how come the other picture doesn’t show anymore but the audio still continue playing please tell give me a solution for my project asap. thanks!

thank you for sharing this. now i know how to convert movie maker to avi.

Hey, I get so freaked out dealing with technical issues (even though I am an engg myself 😀 ). Had this 3-min movie with me which I shot last year, as a windows movie maker project. Had no idea how to convert it to a proper format. Just saw it on your blog, din’t know it was so bloody easy. I feel so awesome seeing my movie in wmv format, and getting to play it full screen with no idiotic ‘checking project files’ thing appearing :) thanks a ton! love you man…

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About The Author

    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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