Adding fade-in fade-out effects in Windows Live Movie Maker

Recently I needed to add fade-in and fade-out effects to a video using Windows Live Movie Maker (WLMM). By default, you can only apply one effect per clip and I needed to apply two. It is possible to do this in WLMM. I searched the intertubes to find a tutorial on how to do it but did not find any that worked with the Live version of Window Movie Maker. So, after digging around the settings, I found the solution and thought I would create a video tutorial on how to do it. Here it is for your pleasure. Video transcript below, just in case.

This a tutorial on how to add fade-in and fade-out effects to a video clip in Windows Live Movie Maker. Windows Live Movie Maker is a free download from Microsoft and you can get it by going to

Very often you may have a video that has a start and end that may feel very abrupt. You can make it look smoother by adding a fade-in effect for the beginning and fade-out effect for the end. It gives your video a somewhat more professional look and feel.

In order to apply multiple effects to the same clip, first select the Visual Effects tab in the Ribbon menu. Next, click on the more button in the list of visual effects and then select Multiple Effects from the drop down menu.

In the left column, under available effects, scroll down until you find the fade-in and fade-out options. Select the fade in effect you like and click on the add button. Next, select the fade out effect and click the add button. The order that these effects are listed in the right column does not matter. But it might for other effects and you can move an effect up or down by using the move up and move down buttons.

Click on the apply button to apply the effects. You can preview the effects by clicking on the play button. That's it. You are ready to publish or save your video to file. 

Here is a tip if you are interviewing someone or recording yourself speaking to the camera. Start and stop with a few extra seconds of stationary position, that is, without moving or saying anything. It will allow you to add nice fade-in and fade-out effects to your video without cutting of the video while you are still speaking.

UPDATE: For those looking for a little more control over their effects, check out Lightworks, an open-source video editor that is fairly powerful and has a very capable free version. 


Can this be done with audio fading, too?

I mean if there is a single clip, you can apply the following to it:

Video: Fade in from black
Video Fade out from black
Audio: Fade in slow
Audio: Fade out slow

Hi Elliot,

Thanks for your question. I will looking into it and reply as soon as I can (although the earliest would be the week of Nov 28, 2011).


Great tutorial! Thanks so much for posting this!

Thanks for taking the time to explain this. It is funny that such a fundamental effect is buried so deep in the menus.

That's great, but it's typical MS for not building it in correctly - you can't tweak any settings on these 'multiple effects', for instance you can't set a fade out duration, I'd like a really long fade out but you can't do it.
Interestingly you can do a fade out another way, albeit not perfect. You can create an empty black title bolted on the end, and do a crossfade to it. It's still a pain to find the right tweaks to get it going just how you want it, plus by default it'll put in the title as 'Enter Title Here'!
The Linux community can come up with real quality in their free software, how come MS can't, they're funded!

Hi, can you please explain in steps how to create a long fade out, thanks.

As far as I know, the duration of the fade-in/out effects cannot be control in Windows Live Movie Maker.

Thanks so much for this! It's been bothering me that I couldn't figure out how to fade in and out and your instructions were perfect! I hate videos that abruptly start and end - fade is so much better!

*Forehead slap!* So THAT'S how you do it! I was driving myself crazy trying to figure it out! Thanks so much!

I can't believe that this is what you need to go through to do a simple cross fade...the most basic video transition there is. And it's not even a true cross fade because the clips aren't overlapping.

I like your post. thanks a lot for video clips

What a great tutorial! Problem solved in a jiffy. Thanks!

You're my hero for the day!
Thank you!

Thank you very much! You solved my problem!!

Hi Kamal,
Thank you so much. It was driving me crazy until I saw your video.
Cheers from England!

Is there any way to control the duration/speed of some of the effect like fade or the heart/start/etc.?

This is still not possible in WLMM.

Thanks Kamal so much! I was using WLMM yesterday for a movie scene I like & I want to add a song to. Like Elliot Bridgewater though I'm actually trying to find out how to fade out the music (w/out success so far) and happened to come across your site just now. I'm glad I checked it out in spite of my boiling frustration at so many "help" sites online not giving very helpful info in as clear and easy to follow instructions as you gave! So kudos to you! ;-)
So did you ever find out how to fade in or fade out a music soundtrack using WLMM? If so it'd be great if you post up a link to it. Cheers, Jon (from Oz)

Hi Kamal, Thank you kindly for this great advice!

This was incredibly helpful. Thank you very much!

Just what I needed -- thank you for a very easy and understandable tutorial!

I appreciate this. it has already helped me a few times X)

This tutorial is amazing, thanks for your help :)

Cheers! that option is easy to miss.

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