FFmpeg is one of the most popular, free, and open-source software that supports converting almost any multimedia format to any multimedia format. For instance, you can use it to convert videos from one format to the other, convert or split audio files, download HLS videos, etc. The best thing about FFmpeg is that you can do most of the things with single line commands.
Simply put, FFmpeg is awesome and every user should have FFmpeg installed.
In this quick guide, let me show you how to download and properly install FFmpeg on Windows 10. When I say "install," I'm talking about adding FFmpeg to Windows path so that it is easier to access. Let's get started.
I've also added a video tutorial at the end if you want to see the procedure. Click on the jump link below to go to the video tutorial.
- Download FFmpeg for Windows
- Add FFmpeg to Windows 10 Path
- Verify FFmpeg Path on Windows
- Video tutorial on how to add FFmpeg to Windows path
Install FFmpeg on Windows 10
FFmpeg is a simple and powerful software that is also portable. So, in theory, you don't have to install FFmpeg to use the software. However, being a command line tool, you have to manually navigate to the FFmpeg folder from within the Command Prompt or PowerShell to access the ffmpeg.exe file to execute relevant commands.
This is generally not a problem. But it is not that user-friendly either. To deal with that, all you have to do is add FFmpeg to Windows 10 Path using Environment Variables. Once added, you can access FFmpeg from Command Prompt or PowerShell from any folder or directory.
Here's how to do it.
Download FFmpeg for Windows 10
Note: The same procedure can be used in Windows 7 and 8. All be it the user interface may differ a bit. But it is not that much of a difference. So, it should be good.
1. To start off, head over to the official FFmpeg website and download the current stable build.
2. Once downloaded, extract the FFmpeg to the folder or drive of your choice. Rename the extracted folder to ffmpeg for ease of access. In my case, I extracted it to the root of C drive.
Add FFmpeg to Windows 10 Path
3. To add FFmpeg to Windows 10 path, search for "Edit the system environment variables" and open it.
4. Click on "Environment Variables" appearing at the bottom window.
5. Select "Path" variable and click "Edit."
6. Click "New."
7. Here, enter "C:\ffmpeg\bin\" and click on the "Ok" button. If you've placed the FFmpeg folder in other drive or folder then change the directory path accordingly.
Note: On Windows 7 and 8, add the directory path at the end and add
; to the end of the directory path. It should look something like this
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 7/8 Path
The procedue the add FFmpeg to Windows 7 path is similar but the user interface is a bit different. Let me show you how to do it.
1. Follow steps 3 and 4 to open Enviroment Variables.
2. Under System Variables, scroll down, select "Path" variable and select the option "Edit."
3. In the Edit System Variable window, go to the end of the line in the Variable Path field and add ";C:\ffmpeg\bin" and click on the "Ok" button to save changes.
Each path you add in the value field should be separated by ;. That the reason why I added ; in the folder path. If you've stored FFmpeg in some other field then change the folder path accordingly.
Verify FFmpeg Path
To check whether FFmpeg is properly added to Windows path, open the Command Prompt or PowerShell, type
ffmpeg and press enter. If everything goes well, you will see FFmpeg details like the version number, default configuration, etc.
Quick tip: how to always open Command Prompt as admin on Windows
That's all there is and it is that simple to add FFmpeg to Windows path. Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to install FFmpeg on Windows 10.