Windows 10 has a hidden video editor that works a bit like Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie. You can use it to trim videos or create your own home videos and slideshows. You can even have it create videos automatically.
This feature is part of the Photos app. It’s what’s left of Windows 1
Crop, slow down, take photos or draw on a video
To edit a video file, open it in the Photos app.
You can do this directly from File Explorer by right-clicking the video file and then selecting Open With> Photos.
You will see a variety of video editing tools for you to use. Click on a tool to use it.
For example, if you want to cut a portion of a video, click “Trim” in the menu.
To use the Trim tool, simply drag the two handles on the playback bar to select the portion of the video you want to keep. You can drag the blue pin icon to see what’s showing in that portion of the video, or click the play button to play the selected portion of the video.
When you are done, click “Save a copy” to save a copy of the trimmed portion of the video. To stop editing without saving your changes, click “Cancel” instead.
The Photos app places the edited video in the same folder as the original with a similar file name. For example, we edited a video named Wildlife.mp4 and received a video file named WildlifeTrim.mp4.
Other tools work the same way. The “Add Slo-mo” tool allows you to choose a slower speed and then apply it to a portion of your video file, making it slower.
The “Save Photos” tool allows you to choose a frame from the video and save it as a photo. At the bottom of the window, you will see the “Previous Frame” and “Next Frame” buttons that you can use to choose a specific frame from a video file.
The “Draw” tool provides tools for drawing on a video. You can use ballpoint pen, pencil, calligraphy pen and eraser tools and choose your favorite colors. Everything you draw appears smoothly on the screen during the video, as if you were drawing it, and fades and disappears after a few seconds.
The options “Create a video with text” and “Add 3D effects” both open the more advanced video project interface, which we will discuss below.
Combine videos, add text and apply 3D effects
To start creating a video project, you can click the “Create a video with text” or “Add 3D effects” tool. You can also click the ‘Add to a creation’ button in the top left corner while a video is open, then click ‘New video with music’.
You can also get started with a custom video project by launching the Photos app from your Start menu and then clicking Create> Custom video with music on the app home page.
Updating: With Windows 10, you can now also start the video editor from the Start menu. Open the Start menu, search for “Video Editor” and launch the Video Editor shortcut. This shortcut opens the list of “Video Projects” in the Photos app. To quickly perform smaller edits on individual videos, such as to crop an individual video instead of combining multiple videos together, you need to open those videos directly from File Explorer in the Photos app.
The “Automatic video with music” option also allows you to select your own photos or videos. The Photos app automatically combines them into a custom video for you.
You will be asked to add at least one video or photo to create a custom video. Optionally, you can add photos to create a slideshow or combine photos with a video.
However, you can also add just one video to edit it or more than one video to combine them.
Whichever way you create a custom video project, you’ll be taken to a screen with a project library, video preview, and storyboard window.
To add one or more videos (or photos) to your project, drag them from the project library to the storyboard. Click the “Add Photos and Videos” option under Project Library to add more videos to the library. You can then drag them into the storyboard.
Add a video and you will see some editing tools in the Storyboard panel. In addition to the standard Trim tool, you can resize a video with Resize, add visual filters with Filters, insert text with Text, apply motion effects with Motion, and insert 3D effects with 3D effects.
Even if you only want to edit one video, you can add just that video to your project, use the various editing tools and then export the video to a new file. Or, if you want to combine videos, you can insert them into the storyboard and edit them together.
The editing tools speak for themselves. The Trim tool works in the same way as the Trim tool you see when editing an individual video. The Resize tool can remove black bars from a video, which is important when you combine multiple videos with different aspect ratios in one project.
The Filters tool offers a variety of filters, from Sepia to Pixel.
The Text tool provides different styles and layouts of animated text that you can place in different locations in the video.
The Motion Tool allows you to choose different camera motion styles for the video or photo.
The 3D Effects tool provides a library of 3D effects that you can apply to the video, from autumn leaves and winter snowflakes to explosions, fires and lightning bolts.
You can apply one or more 3D effects, and each has different options you can use to adjust it. Some 3D effects need to be placed somewhere in the scene, while others apply to the entire scene.
In the Storyboard panel, you can click the speaker icon to select a volume level for each individual video. This is useful if you are combining multiple videos and one is louder than the other.
Rather than customizing each individual option yourself, the “Themes” option in the top bar of the window lets you choose different themes. This picks filters, music and text styles that work together, complete with sample videos showing what they will look like.
To apply music to a video, click the “Music” button in the top bar. The Photos app includes a number of music options that you can choose from. You can also select “Your Music” to insert a custom music file.
There is also an “Aspect Ratio” button on the toolbar. You can use it to switch between different landscape and portrait orientations for your video.
When you are done, click “Export or Share” to export your video project to a file.
You can also click the “Add to Cloud” button if you want to upload your video project to Microsoft’s cloud. You can then edit it further in the Photos app on another PC where you have signed in with the same Microsoft account. Your video projects will be listed under “Video Projects” when you launch the Photos app.
The Photos app exports the video and tells you where it is stored on your PC. The Photos app placed the video in the Pictures Exported Videos folder on our PC.
While this isn’t the most powerful video editor you can get on Windows, it’s surprisingly capable, included on all Windows 10 PCs, and can do a lot of the basics with a fairly simple interface. Try it next time you want to edit a video on Windows PC.