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Issue #524: August 6-12, 2017

Q: Thanks for all the great advice through the years. I have been reading since you started the column. This is not really a technical question but I am hoping you have some guidance. I just recently purchased a new HP Omen with Windows 10 installed and have successfully made the transition from the old to the new one, except for 1 issue. I was using Windows Movie Maker on my old computer for creating GoPro videos for friends and family. Since my new system did not have it installed I went looking to download it. The result of my online search tells me that MS no longer supports/offers that program as of January 2017. Any chance that you know of a site to find it? Or can it be cloned off my old computer to the new computer? Or should I not even consider it since the support is gone and switch to a new program? Movie Maker is not that extravagant but it is pretty simple and easy to use and more than satisfies my needs. As always any advice of yours would be greatly appreciated.

– Terry H.
Destin, Florida

A: You’re welcome, Terry. My archives show that I answered one of your questions in 2009, and another in 2012, so thanks for being a long-time reader and contributor. Hopefully you didn’t miss last week’s 10th Anniversary edition. If so, it’s available on my website at, along with the other 523 issues that have published to-date.

It just so happens that I’m about to face the same dilemma as you, since I’m about to replace my primary workhorse laptop, and I’m going to need to reinstall some of my old, obsoleted favorites just like you’re doing. So, let’s see if I can help both of us.

We’ve run into one of the banes of modern commercial software – planned obsolescence. Companies that write software don’t rest for very long after publishing something new. Upgrades and new releases are their life blood, especially with a behemoth like Microsoft. A title is planned years in advance to go obsolete, although it is a rarity that it’s not replaced with something newer. Movie Maker is no exception.

Movie Maker was a component of the Windows Essentials 2012 suite, which, as you said, reached its end-of-life on January 10, 2017. Microsoft’s support pages have an article discussing the suite at in which they explicitly state that it is no longer available or supported. Nevertheless, I took a cursory look around the web and I did find a few sites that are still offering it as a stand-alone download. CNet has it at and I found it on FileHippo at There is also a promising-looking non-Microsoft application entitled Movie Maker that’s available at

Since you’re already faced with downloading and installing something, I recommend you also take a peek in the Microsoft Store. There you’ll find that the latest replacement (perhaps upgrade) for Movie Maker is available as a free download. The description almost makes it sound like the new software is a combination of Movie Maker and another of my now-obsolete favorites: Microsoft Photo Story.

By the way, regarding cloning the software from your old PC, I can say it’s not totally impossible, but the chances of success vary wildly depending on the complexity of the software in question. Some software is encapsulated in a single .exe file, and copying it over gets you everything. With more complex software, there can be a myriad of components to deal with, including .dlls, .ocx controls, registry entries, and 3rd-party add-ins, such as video and audio codecs in the case of video editing software. These components can be scattered all across the system, making it quite the challenge to perform a successful porting operation. My recommendation is to stick with a fresh download and install now that I’ve found a source for you. Good luck.

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