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compress-video-files-for-webWithout a doubt, the advancement in technology and faster Internet connection have enabled people to share their home made video with others more quickly and easily. Be it the video you took during your travel or a video of your baby’s birthday, with few simple clicks, you can get it online and attract thousands of viewers instantly.

One thing though, before you upload that video of yours, it is important to get it compressed to the smallest possible size so that your movie can be more easily watched by people over the Web. Luckily, you do not need to be a tech guru to be able to compress your video files. If you are using Windows XP and above (excluding Windows 7), you already have a great tool in your Start menu that allows you to compress video files for web easily – Windows Movie Maker.

For some reasons, if your computer does not come with the Window Movie Maker, you can download it from the Microsoft website for a price of FREE.

In this tutorial, I am going to illustrate how you can compress a video file for web to half its size with Windows Movie Maker.

As seen for the screenshot below, the video file that I used for this tutorial is of size 61.8MB. Let’s see how much we are able to compress by the end of this tutorial.


Open up your Windows Movie Maker. Click on the Import Video link on the left pane.

compressing video files windows movie maker

Select the video file that you want to compress and import it into Windows Movie Maker.

Drag the movie to the timeline.

compress video files for youtube

If you want to edit and add effects to your movie, you are free to carry on. If not, proceed on by going to File->Save Movie File.


Select a location in your computer.

wmm-save location

wmm- save name

When it comes to the Movie Setting page, check the box “Other settings” and select “Video for broadband (340 Kbps)” in the dropdown option.


Alternatively, you can also choose the Video for broadband (512 Kbps) options, which mean the video will be streamed at a higher bitrate (and a bigger file size).

Click Next to start compressing the video file. It will take sometime while the Movie Maker compresses and saves the video file.

The Result

The following image is the screenshot of the video file after compression. You can see that there is a whopping 64% reduction in the video files.



To say the truth, Windows Movie Maker is nowhere comparable to a professional video editor software. However, taking into account that not everyone is a tech guru, Windows Movie Maker has done a great job in simplifying the process of compressing video file for web and make it easy for almost everyone to use.

As can be seen from the tutorial above, it is VERY easy to compress a video for the web and the result is impressive. Best of all, it comes preinstalled in your computer, so there is no need to search, download and install. Though it is not the best, i don’t have much complaint about it.

What about you?

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  1. TomM
    May 15, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    No good for gaming vids. By doing this you are using a low bitrate so will end up with blotches and pixels everywhere blurring the screen.

  2. jp
    January 16, 2010 at 6:44 am

    hi damien, I'm having loads of problems uploading a video onto youtube. It,s a 3 min video but it's taking 3 hours to upload. I've got vista with it's own movie maker installed but i can't seem to find the compression files you have illustrated.Please help.

  3. susan
    December 13, 2009 at 8:55 am

    thank you damien oh for the video..great info. However, I a problem: the compressed video has a bright green bar to the mid of the screen, horizontally. I do not want to put my videos on youtube but rather, put them on a dvd disc so that I can get many videos on one disc,,,what am i doing wrong?

  4. nia
    December 6, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    this is great. thank you :)

  5. jason
    November 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you, this was very helpful to me!!!!!!!

  6. heroesfan
    October 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks a bunch. This helped a lot in my video editing!

  7. claudiu
    October 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Dude, if you shrink 10GB into 1KB (unless it's a pointer or a db connect file) you're not a genius, you're a f*****g magician!

  8. Metabrarian
    October 1, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Very many thanks Damien

    WMM worked a dream in compressing some .avi files from a Nikon Coolpix from 30MB -> 1.6MB!!! Not to mention the simple (but if you're on a tight budget of £0.00) effective editing options.

    I'm well impressed

    Andy the Metabrarian

  9. Steve
    September 24, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    This was a great help. Not hard to do and very clearly explained. It did the job for me.

  10. Aman
    September 9, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Hello Damien Oh, I am currently working on a compression software application. This application would be able to compress any size of data into just 1KB. Yes!! Any size of data, For example 4GB, 10GB, 100GB and so on into 1KB. I am working very hard at my home on my pc. I am not a software developer. I am a student. But i have a very good knowledge of Programming. But i have something to ask. Actually i want to know that if i succeed in creating this application then, Will i be able to sell this application? How much will i be paid for this application? Can i sell this application to Microsoft or Sun Microsystem or IBM ? Please reply me. I will be waiting for your reply.

    Thank You

    • Padraig
      March 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Are you still waiting for the reply?

      • Padraig
        March 20, 2017 at 10:29 am

        8 years is a long time...
        It seems that you were unable to create this application then? I hope this didn't lead you to kill yourself.

  11. Joshua
    July 18, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Thank you!!!!!!!

  12. Olga
    May 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    thanks very much, it realy helped :)) although I have Vista's Movie Maker and it's a bit different. Just had to pick Publish video (Ctrl+P) instead of Save :)

    • chelle
      November 8, 2009 at 9:24 am

      thanks olga!

  13. pink
    April 27, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Hey, thanks! I just compressed a filewith no hassle-loved your tutorial. I ve been searching for options since the last few days.

  14. Rahmat
    April 23, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Thanks, but how to compress a file with 700 MB (for example) to 50 MB?

    • Damien Oh
      April 28, 2009 at 12:45 am

      Is that too much to ask for?

    • Tom H
      October 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

      Damien Oh, you would instead not click 'Other Settings' and go on the dropdown, but click on the selection button 'Best to fit file size:' and type 50 MB. It works very well, as I just did one from 750MB to 43MB with virtually no loss of quality within mintues.

      • Tom H
        October 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

        Sorry, Damien Oh Rahmat.

  15. illegal3alien
    March 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Most Youtube optimization tutorials have you convert to the Windows Media Video (WMV) format because it does not loose AS MUCH quality when Youtube converts it again.

  16. Doc
    March 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    WMV=CRAP. Let the flame war begin.

    • Damien Oh
      March 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm

      Youtube and several video sites support WMV movie upload, so it is not really that bad after all. If you don't like it, you can still convert it to other format easily. You don't really expect Microsoft to support other video format than their proprietary WMV format.

      • susan
        December 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

        Comments from 12/13/09.......thank you damien oh for the video..great info. However, I a problem: the compressed video has a bright green bar to the mid of the screen, horizontally. I do not want to put my videos on youtube but rather, put them on a dvd disc so that I can get many videos on one disc,,,what am i doing wrong?

  17. Nicholas Francis
    March 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    This is a good alternative method, there are also Video converters in which u can compress videos to smaller sizes without losing its quality to a small extent, I prefer Fox Video Converter