How to use Windows 11’s video editor

Windows 11 has some useful built-in features that few are aware of. This includes a built-in video editor that is simple yet surprisingly capable and is more than enough to edit videos to quickly get them social media ready. There’s plenty you can do with this video editing app and it doesn’t require a steep learning curve. Here’s how to use Windows 11’s video editor.

Read more: How to Edit Videos on Android


The Windows 11 Video Editor is a built-in video editing app that allows you to crop, split and split videos and add text, images, 3D effects, video filters, background music and custom audio clips. It’s a relatively basic video editor, but you can do enough with it to make your videos look good.


What is the Windows 11 Video Editor?

Video Editor is part of the Windows Photos app and comes preinstalled on a laptop or desktop computer running Windows 11. It is the successor to Windows Movie Maker from earlier OS versions and has many more features. It allows you to split, crop and split videos. You can also add text, motion graphics, filters, background music, custom audio, title cards, and more. It’s an excellent app for basic video editing, but it doesn’t have multi-track editing features.

Using the built-in Windows 11 Video Editor

How to open the Windows 11 Video Editor and create a project

windows 11 video editor create project

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Use the search bar and type Video editor to open the app. Click New video project and add a name for the file. The layout includes a project library, a video player, and a Storyboard section, which acts as a timeline. Click on the To add button in the Project Library window to import videos from your computer.

windows 11 video editor add video files

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Once you’ve added videos to the library, you can drag and drop them onto the Storyboard. Despite its basic nature, the app allows for non-linear video editing. You can edit individual clips individually, no matter where they are on the timeline, and move them around by dragging and dropping them before, after, or between other clips.

Trim and split videos

windows 11 video editor crop and split videos

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click on trimming in the timeline options to trim videos. Move the two bars at the beginning and end of the clip to trim the video. You’ll see timestamps on the bar and the custom clip length, so you can be pretty accurate with your crop. Click Done once you have trimmed the video.

windows 11 video editor trim videos

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click on Divide to chop the video. Move the marker to the point in the timeline where you want to split the video. The app provides timestamps and the duration of the two clips.

windows 11 video editor split videos

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You now get the split videos in your timeline as individual clips that you can edit individually. The Split feature only allows you to cut videos in half, so you’ll have to repeat the process if you want smaller pieces.

windows 11 video editor split videos in storyboard

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Drag the clips onto the timeline and place them where you want to merge the final video.

Add text, motion graphics and filters

windows 11 video editor add text

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Click on the Text to add text to your clips. Place the marker where you want the image to begin and type your text in the box in the top right corner.

windows 11 video editor text graphics settings

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Use the timeline markers to adjust the duration of the text image. The app has quite a few text animations to choose from, and you can use the layout part to move the text around the clip.

windows 11 video editor 3d effects options

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You can also add 3D effects to a clip from a list of available options or download more from the 3D library. After you select an effect, use the timeline markers to set the duration. You can also rotate, rotate along the X and Y axes, resize and move the image using the on-screen controls.

windows 11 video editor 3d effects adjustments

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Some graphics also have an audio component and you can adjust the volume from the menu on the right. The available graphics aren’t the prettiest, but can be a nice addition in no time.

windows 11 video editor video filters

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The Windows 11 Video Editor also comes with a decent list of video filters that you can use to improve the look of your video. If you plan to use images, please use the Movement setting to add camera shake to photos so they don’t appear static in the final video clip.

Unlike multi-layer video editors, you don’t see a graphic layer on the timeline. If you want the text, images, and filters to carry over to the next clip, you’ll need to add them again.

Add audio

windows 11 video editor add music

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You can add background music for the whole video file by clicking Background music in the upper right corner.

windows 11 video editor add background music

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Select an option from the list, adjust the volume and click Done. If you enable: Adjust your video to the beat of the musicthe app will automatically crop your clips to fit the sound.

windows 11 video editor add custom audio

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You can add custom audio for more detailed control. Choose a clip, click Custom Audioand select Add the audio file to import audio clips from your computer.

You can add multiple clips to the timeline and adjust their duration. This is a great way to add voiceovers and music to only specific parts of the final video. Keep in mind, though, that you can’t record audio with the app, so you’ll need to pre-record narration or voiceovers and edit music clips before adding them to the video editor.

Export a finished video file

windows 11 video editor export video

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After editing and assembling your clips, click Complete video in the upper right corner. Set the video quality (1080p, 720p or 540p) and go to More options enable hardware-accelerated encryption. Click Export to save the video to your computer.

Other Settings and Features

title card settings

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You can add title cards to the video. Click Add title card in the Storyboard settings and use the additional settings to set the title card duration, adjust the background color, and change the text.
windows 11 video editor additional settings

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Other settings in the timeline include Speed, which allows you to set the speed of a particular clip. You can slow it down to 0.02x or speed it up to 64x. You’ll see black bars on the sides of your clip if it doesn’t match the project’s aspect ratio. Click the box icon next to Speed to automatically adjust the clip’s aspect ratio and remove the black bars. You can also rotate specific clips in the storyboard.

Read more: Run Android apps on Windows 11

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the Windows 11 Video Editor is free and already available on your Windows 11 device. Microsoft has a more advanced Windows editor that you can download from the Microsoft Store called Clipchamp.

Click on the three horizontal dots icon in the top right corner (next to Finish video), go to the mentioned aspect ratio (default 16:9 landscape) and go to another option. Choices include 4:3 and a switch to portrait orientation.

You have the option to choose the folder where you want to save the video when you export the video.