5 Simple Steps to Install FFmpeg on Windows 10

FFmpeg is well known framework to handle multimedia files effectively across any number of platforms including Microsoft Windows 10 to Linux, Mac, BSD, Salaries and many more. The vast set of libraries and programs that FFmpeg offers, makes it easy to encode, decode, mux, demux and much more to any video and audio file format that have ever been created. Any video/audio player or converter that you have been using or come across on internet, chances are high that it could be using one or all the libraries of FFmpeg.

What is FFmpeg?

FFmpeg Logo

FFmpeg framework is developed by MPEG Video Codec which is mainly known for its multimedia tools such as FFmpeg tool, FFplay tool, FFprob Tool, etc. FFmpeg is portable and open software which is used for performing several different multimedia file conversion, audio file splitting or streaming and downloading HLS videos. It can do things like encoding, decoding, transcoding, multiplexing, de-multiplexing, streaming, filtering, etc. And it can perform all of these functions on video, audio and even image files stored in your Windows PC.

FFmpeg being command line tool, it offers set of powerful commands that you can run on Windows Command Prompt to perform different operations. Also the commands are same across any host platform on which you are using. The only downside of FFmpeg is there is no GUI tool and you have to perform some simple steps to get FFmpeg working on Windows 10. Go through the following installation guide to know how you can install FFmpeg on Windows 10.

How to Install FFmpeg in Windows 10?

As FFmpeg is targeted towards advanced users, the installation process can be a bit complicated for some users. Since it a command line based tool and uses the Command Prompt in Windows to execute operations, the whole installation process consists of different parts. First, you have to download the tool and then extract it on your computer. Once that’s done you have to place the FFmpeg files in your Windows drive at the correct location (mentioned in below guide). Finally, you have to add FFmpeg to Windows 10 path (Environment variables) so that Windows command prompt can execute commands.

For the sake of simplicity, we have divided the whole installation process into three major parts. So, if you are also interested in successfully installing FFmpeg on your computer, go through the following guides one by one:

Download and Extract FFmpeg Installation Files

  • First, go to the download page of FFmpeg’s official website by following this link.
  • Now, download the correct version of FFmpeg according to your operating system and processor architecture.
  • Once the download is completed, you will find an zip file in your downloads folder. Right-click on this file and select Extract which will extract its contents into a new folder.
  • After that, right-click on the newly created folder and select rename and change its name to FFmpeg. Once this is done, you can move to the next portion of the installation process.

Place FFmpeg Files in your Windows Drive

  • Right-click on the folder which you renamed to FFmpeg and select copy.
  • Now, open This PC on your computer and open Local Disk C or your default Windows installation
  • In here, right-click in an empty area and select Paste which will copy the FFmpeg folder in the Windows Drive. This step is important as if the FFmpeg are not placed in this exact location, Command Prompt will not be able to successfully run the FFmpeg commands.

Add FFmpeg to Windows Path

  • The next step required for the installation process is to enable FFmpeg in Command Prompt via Advanced System Settings.
  • To do this, first, open This PC on your computer and open Properties from the option in the upper left corner of your screen.
  • In here, click on Advanced System Settings from the left side panel on your screen.
  • Once you are inside the Advanced System Settings, click on the Environment Variables option under the Advanced
  • Now, double-click on Path under the Variable (User variables section) column which will allow you to Edit Environment Variable path of your PC.
  • After that, click on New and type C:\FFmpeg\bin and click on OK to save your changes
  • On Windows 7 and Windows 8, you will need to add “;” semicolon at the end of the directory path. C:\FFmpeg\bin;
  • Here is how it will look after you make changes,
  • That’s it, close the environment variable windows and you are ready to use FFmpeg.

The above steps that you just performed were meant to add the FFmpeg files to your system path which your Windows 10 can use to locate the FFmpeg executable when you invoke it via command prompt.

Verify FFmpeg Path

Now you have to check whether the whole installation process was successful or not.

  • To do this, open Command Prompt as an Administrator using Windows Search in Windows 10.
  • Inside the Command Prompt type ffmpeg -version which will show you the version of currently installed FFmpeg if the whole installation process was successful.

If failed to add or incorrectly added ffmpeg to system path then following message will be displayed at command prompt.

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