Here’s the full step-by-step guide to properly install FFmpeg in Windows, add FFmpeg to the Windows path, and verify FFmpeg installation.
FFmpeg is one of the most popular, free, and open-source software to encode and decode multimedia. You can use FFmpeg to convert videos and audio files, split audio files, download HLS streaming videos, etc. The best thing about FFmpeg is that you can do most of these things with single-line commands.
Put simply, FFmpeg is awesome and every user should have FFmpeg installed in Windows.
In this quick guide, let me show how to download and properly install FFmpeg in Windows 10, 7, and 8. When I say “install,” I’m talking about adding FFmpeg to the Windows path so that it is easier to access via the Command Prompt or other command-line applications like PowerShell.
Note: There is also a quick video tutorial at the end of the post if you want to see the procedure in action.
- Download FFmpeg
- Add FFmpeg to Windows 10 path
- Verify FFmpeg installation
- Video tutorial
Install FFmpeg in Windows 10
Being a portable software, in theory, you don’t have to install FFmpeg to use it. However, you have to manually navigate to the FFmpeg folder in Command Prompt to access the ffmpeg.exe file and execute relevant commands.
This is not a problem for the most part. But it is not that user-friendly either. To deal with that, you have to add FFmpeg to Windows 10 Path using Environment Variables. Once added, you can access FFmpeg via Command Prompt or PowerShell from any folder or directory.
Here’s how to do it.
Download FFmpeg for Windows 10
1. To start, head over to the official website and download the current stable build.
Note: Download ‘release full’ build. It will have the largest set of libraries with greater functionality.
2. Once downloaded, extract the contents in the ZIP file to a folder of your choice. In my case, I extracted it to the root of the C drive.
3. Rename the extracted folder to “ffmpeg“. Renaming is not necessary but makes it easy when you are adding it to the Windows path.
Add FFmpeg to Windows 10 Path
3. To add FFmpeg to Windows 10 path, search for “Edit the system environment variables” in the Start menu and click on the result. Doing so will open the System Properties window.
4. Go to the “Advanced” tab and click on the “Environment Variables” button.
5. Select the “Path” variable and click “Edit.”
6. Click “New.”
7. In the blank field, type “C:\ffmpeg\bin” and click on the “Ok” button.
Note: If you’ve placed the FFmpeg folder in some other folder or drive then change the directory path accordingly.
8. This is how it looks like in the main Environment Variables window. Click on the “Ok” button to save changes.
9. That’s it. Close the main window and you are good to go.
Add FFmpeg to Windows 7 or Windows 8 Path
The procedure the add FFmpeg to Windows 7 path is similar to Windows 10 but the user interface is a bit different. Let me show you how to do it.
1. Open the Start menu, search for “Edit System Environment Variables” and click on the result.
2. Next, go to the Advanced tab and click on the “Environment Variables” button.
3. Under the System Variables section, find the “Path” variable, select it, click on the “Edit” button.
4. Go to the end of the line in the “Variable Value” field and add
;C:\ffmpeg\bin. Click on the “Ok” button to save changes. Each path you add in the value field should be separated by
Note: If you’ve stored FFmpeg in some other folder then change the path accordingly.
Verify FFmpeg PathTo check if FFmpeg is properly added to the Windows path, open the Command Prompt or PowerShell window, type
ffmpeg, and press Enter. If everything goes well, you will see FFmpeg details like the version number, default configuration, etc.
That’s all there is and it is that simple to install FFmpeg in Windows and add FFmpeg to Windows path.
I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.