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Video Disappears from Windows Movie Maker Project

Yellow Triangle With Exclamation Mark Appears Instead of Video Clip

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Video problems in Windows Movie Maker

Video problems in Windows Movie Maker

© Wendy Russell

A reader questions:
"I was preparing a video using Windows Movie Maker and had saved it. The next time I opened the project to add some audio to the movie, all my videos had vanished and had been replaced by yellow triangles with exclamation marks. It looks like all my efforts have been in vain. Any help or assistance would be appreciated."

Related Article - My Pictures Have Disappeared from My Windows Movie Maker Project

My thoughts on this matter
You need to be aware that pictures, music or videos inserted into Windows Movie Maker are not embedded into the project. They are simply linked to the project from their current location. Therefore if you make a change to any of these variables, the program cannot find these files.

Video Disappears from Windows Movie Maker Project

Here are some possible reasons for the problem.

  1. You are working on a different computer the first day. When you copied over the project file to another computer, you neglected to copy over all the additional video files that you had inserted in your movie timeline.

  2. Perhaps you did indeed copy over all the video files to a second computer. However, if you did not place them into an identical folder structure as on the first computer, Windows Movie Maker does not know where to find them. This program is very finicky and does not like change.

  3. Perhaps you were using your video files from a USB flash drive and had not inserted the flash drive back into the computer.

  4. The video files were on a network drive rather than the local hard drive and now you are not attached to the same network. Once again, Windows Movie Maker cannot find the necessary video files.

Show Windows Movie Maker Where You Have Moved the Video Files

If you have in fact, moved the video files (or photos or audio files) to a different location on your computer, you can let Windows Movie Maker know where the new location is and it will then show the files in your project.

  1. Open your Windows Movie Maker project file.

  2. Notice that there are yellow triangles with black exclamation marks in your project where there should be video clips.

  3. Double click on a yellow triangle. Windows will prompt you to "browse" for the file location.

  4. Navigate to the new location of the video files and click on the correct video clip for this instance.

  5. The video clip should appear in the timeline (or storyboard, depending on the view showing). On many occasions, all the video clips will also magically appear because the new location also contains the remainder of the video clips you used in the project as well.

  6. Continue editing your movie.

Windows Movie Maker Best Practices

  1. Create a new folder that will contain not only your Windows Movie Maker project, but also any photos, music files and videos that will be part of your end product.

  2. Copy all of the files that will be part of this project into this folder.

  3. To move the project to another computer you simply have to copy the complete folder and you can then continue editing your movie from a different computer.

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