The best free video editing software, Windows Movie Maker, can help you make a wonderful video with your pictures as well as videos. With the best free video editing software, you can save your Movie Maker project to MP4, but you can also publish it on OneDrive, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and Flickr.

Windows Movie Maker, a free video editing software released by Microsoft, can help you effectively and quickly create your own videos for your friends as well as family. However, do you know how to save Movie Maker project after finishing editing your movie?

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to save Movie Maker to MP4. Now, this post will tell you how to save a Movie Maker file as a video as well as show you the steps for creating your own custom settings for exporting video.

Note: As of January 10th, 2017, Windows Movie Maker was officially discontinued. Now, fortunately, MiniTool Solution Ltd., a professional company based in Canada, has saved the links to the archived files for you. You can download the best free video software from MiniTool.

Windows Movie Maker offers the recommended settings for you to save Movie Maker to MP4 video which can be uploaded, shared and burned.

As long as you choose the recommended settings free Movie Maker will take a look at the size and bit rate of your source videos and choose settings according to what it thinks will produce the best balance between file size and video quality.

Now, let’s look at the detailed steps on how to save a Movie Maker file as a video.

Step 1. Launch Windows Movie Maker, open a new project, import your videos and pictures, split and trim your movie, add transitions as well as effects to enhance your movie, and add Titles and Credits to complete the movie as you like.

Watch Video

Click the Play button to learn how to split and trim a video.

Step 2. Go to the ribbon and then click the Save movie button found in the Share section on the Home tab. This will bypass all the complicated video settings that you might not understand and bring you right to the Save Movie dialog.

save movie maker project

You can click the triangle next to Save movie and hold your mouse over the Recommended for this project to learn the detailed information if you are curious to what video settings Windows Movie Maker deemed optimal for your project, as shown below.

recommend settings

Step 3. Type your file name and choose your video file type: MPEG Video File (*.mp4) or Windows Media Video File (*.wmv).

choose video file type

For most people, the recommended settings will be sufficient for most purposes. You can convert Movie Maker file to MP4 or WMV, and then you are able to share it, upload it or burn it as you see fit.


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However, if you plan on sharing your movie via a specific means such as email or a DVD, you are suggested to check out some of Windows Movie Maker’s pre-set video settings. Now, I guess you might be wondering:

“How can I save Movie Maker videos by using the pre-set video settings?”

Want to know the answer?

How to Save Movie Maker Project Using the Preset Video Settings

The best free video editing software offers a few pre-set video settings and these settings are optimized based on what you plan on doing with the file once they are saved.

The steps as follows:

Step 1. Click the small triangle on the Save movie button. After that, you will find these pre-set video settings in the drop-down menu. These settings are optimized for a number of devices as shown below.

 Preset Video Settings

Common settings: For high-definition display, For computer, Burn a DVD, and For email.

The Burn a DVD option is available only in Windows 7. If you choose this option, the file will be saved to the location of your choice and then loaded into a new Windows DVD Maker project.

Phone and device settings: Android phone (large), Android phone (medium), Apple iPhone, Feature phone (large), Feature phone (small), Window phone (large), Windows phone (small), Zune HD (for 720p display), and Zune HD (for device).

Tablet settings: Android (1080p), Android (720p), Apple iPad, Windows 7(720p), and Windows 8(1080p).

Website settings: Bilp.TV, Dailymotion, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, OneDrive, Vimeo, and YouTube.

Audio only settings: Audio only.

Step 2. Hold over yout mouse over an option in order to see the details, and then choose a suitable setting like For high-definition display, and pick a location to save the file and then click or tap Save button.

high-definition display

See! it is very easy to save a Movie Maker file as a video.

However, what should you do if you don’t want to choose the existing present settings to convert Windows Movie Maker video to MP4 or WMV? Is it possible to publish your video by using more specific options?

Of course, you can!

Windows Movie Maker allows you to create a custom setting of your own to use. Now, I guess you might be wondering:

“How do I create your own custom setting in Windows Movie Maker?”
Please continue reading!

How to Save Movie Maker Project by Creating New Custom Settings

After editing your movie on Windows Movie Maker, you can try the following 6 steps to optimize the video for playback on specific devices.

Step 1. Click on the File button located on the top-left corner of the free video editing software window to open the file panel.

Step 2. Click on the Save movie button to open up a new sub-menu to the right.

Step 3. Scroll down the sub-menu and click on Create custom setting button at the very end of the sub-menu.

Create custom setting

Step 4. Now, input the following information:

input information

  1. Setting: Click on the setting’s drop-down list. You either can choose, “<New>,” to start from scratch or select any of the existing settings from the list.
  2. Name: Give this new export setting a name (for example, Wild China).
  3. Width & Height: Enter your source file’s original width as well as height. If you wish to export your video at a smaller frame size, edit these values. If you aren’t sure, leave them as-is.
  4. Bit rate: This can affect the level of detail in your video. Although lower bit rates lead to smaller file sizes and faster uploads, you had better set this higher for improved quality.
  5. Frame rate: This will affect the smoothness of motion and animations in your video. For basic slideshows you can choose 24fps because photos don’t have to be particularly high. For full motion video it’s not usually necessary to go above 30fps.
  6. Audio format: Click on the drop-down list and select the audio settings you want. The higher the bit rate (kbps), the better the quality, but it also means a bigger file size. 192 kbps, 48 kHz, stereo is considered CD quality, but 128kbps is passable for video.

Step 5. Check the estimated file size.

As long as you make an adjustment on the settings an estimated file size is displayed at the bottom of the window. The higher you set them, the better the quality and the file size will be larger. Of course, the quality won’t exceed the source material.

Step 6. Click Save after you finish these settings. Then, your video will be saved as a Windows Movie Maker video settings file (.wlvs). After saving, you will find that this file will be added to your list of video settings in the Save movie menu as shown below.

save movies 

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3 Useful Tips About Using Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker Supports Many File Types.

Windows Movie Maker is able to support almost any video, audio and photo format.

The formats for import are:

Video Files: mp4, mov, 3gp, avi, rmvb, swf, flv, mkv, mpg, vob, wmv

Audio Files: mp3, aac, amr, flac, m4a, m4r, mmf, wav, wv, ape

Image Files: jpg, png, gif, bmp, ico, jpeg, pcx, tga, tiff, webp

The formats for export are:

mp4, m4a, wmv

Upload A Windows Movie Maker Video

After saving Windows Movie Maker project you can share it with your friends or upload it to YouTube, Facebook, and other famous social platforms. As a matter of fact, with Windows Movie Maker you can directly upload your video to OneDrive, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo, etc.

share video

You can click on the icon of a video-sharing website like YouTube in the Share group under the Home button to directly upload your current Movie Maker video. Then, choose the suitable resolution of your movie to publish it.

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Error – Windows Movie Maker Cannot Save the Movie?

According to a survey, we find some users will get the following error message when they save Windows Movie Maker project:

Windows Movie Maker cannot save the movie to the specified location. Verify that the original source files used in your movie are still available, that the saving location is still available, and that there is enough free disk space available, and then try again.

could not save project

If you encounter this error, you should try the following solutions:

  • Make sure your computer has enough memory for the processing of your project.
  • Close all other tasks before converting the Windows Movie Maker file as a video.
  • Do not edit corrupted file in the free video editing software.
  • Make sure your source files are not locked by any type of, “Folder Lock,” software. Many users of “Folder Lock” software have problems when the locked folders include those with the source files used by a project.
  • Reinstall Windows Movie Maker.

Bottom Line

Now, it’s your time to convert your Windows Movie Maker video to MP4 or WMV.

If you have any questions or suggestions about how to save Movie Maker project, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the following part or send us an email via [email protected]. We provide 24*7 Technical Support.

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