How to Convert MSWMM to AVI for Free

Written by alexis lawrence
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How to Convert MSWMM to AVI for Free
(Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Windows Movie Maker is a standard movie-editing program that comes pre-installed on many Windows computers. Projects saved in Windows Movie Maker that haven't been turned into video files use the MSWMM file extension. Though MSWMM files contain references to videos that are stored on the computer’s hard drive, the files do not contain any actual video data, which makes it impossible to convert a MSWMM file to a video format in a standard video converter. Instead, MSWMM files must be opened in Movie Maker, the only program that can read them, and saved as AVIs.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Launch Windows Movie Maker by going through “Start > All Programs." Locate Windows Movie Maker in the program list and click on its name.

  2. 2

    Open the MSWMM file you would like to convert into AVI by clicking the “File” menu and choosing the “Open Project” option. When the “Open” window appears, navigate to the folder that contains the MSWMM file and double-click the file to open it.

  3. 3

    Click on “File” again and choose the “Publish Movie” option. Retain the default setting on the first page and click “Next.”

  4. 4

    Enter a save name for your AVI in the box provided on the following screen. To change the save folder, click “Browse” and navigate to the desired save folder in the window that comes up. Click “Next” to move to the last screen.

  5. 5

    Select “DV-AVI (NTSC)” as the movie's format. Click the button beside “More Settings” and pull down the menu next to it. “DV-AVI (NTSC)” appears at the top of the list.

  6. 6

    Click the “Publish” button. A “Publishing Movie” screen displays the conversion's progress. Once the file has been saved as an AVI it can be found in the folder you selected in Step 4.

Tips and warnings

  • If you need to install Windows Movie Maker, you can download the program for free via the Microsoft website (see Resources).

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