How to Install FFmpeg & Add FFmpeg to Path in Windows 10 / 7 / 8

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.

To put it 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.

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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.

9-18-2020_08-25-38

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 unnecessary but makes it easy when you are adding it to the Windows path.

Extract FFmpeg to a folder or drive

 

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.

Search For Environment Variables

4. Go to the “Advanced” tab and click on the “Environment Variables” button.

Click on the Environment Variables button

5. Select the “Path” variable and click “Edit.”

Select Path and click on the Edit button

6. Click “New.”

Add FFmpeg to Windows path - 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, change the directory path accordingly.

Add FFmpeg to Path

8. This is how it looks like in the main Environment Variables window. Click on the “Ok” button to save changes.

Install FFmpeg in Windows 10 - FFmpeg Added to Path

9. That’s it. Close the main window and you are good to go.

Add FFmpeg to Windows 7 or Windows 8 Path

Adding FFmpeg to Windows 7 path is similar to Windows 10, but the user interface is 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.

Install ffmpeg select path to edit windows 7

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 stored FFmpeg in some other folder, then change the path accordingly.

Install ffmpeg add ffmpeg path windows 7

 

Verify FFmpeg Path

To 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.
Install FFmpeg Windows 10 - Verify FFmpeg Installation

Video Tutorial

That’s all there is, and it is that simple to install FFmpeg in Windows and add FFmpeg to the 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.

42 thoughts on “How to Install FFmpeg & Add FFmpeg to Path in Windows 10 / 7 / 8”

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      Sorry, I didn’t get it. If the command prompt is showing FFmpeg version number that means it is working. If you think you are not using the latest FFmpeg version then download it from the official website and replace ffmpeg folder in your C drive with the downloaded one.

      1. Avatar for Yves Ligot

        No, I had downloaded latest FFmpeg version and done exactly what you explain, but Command Prompt was still showing a 2016 version number. But I wasn’t starting Command Prompt with Admin rights. When I start it WITH Admin Rights, it indeed show the latest version number (4.02). Why ? I don’t know at all 🙂

        1. Avatar for Bashkarla

          Maybe check if you have multiple versions of FFmpeg. Also, see where you’ve added the FFmpeg path and to what location. If you look at step 8 you see that there are two places where you can add the path. The first one is for your user account and the second one is for the entire system.

  1. Avatar for seikology

    Hi, I need to know how to download raw file using ffmpeg and download the subtitle also. I need to download raw video and audio without convert to mp4. Please help me. Thank you.

  2. Avatar for J. LOPEZ

    do you have a tutorial to add ffmpg to linux mint i canot find anything to help me download
    HLS video I HAVE NO IDEA AS TO HOW TO DO THIS, CAN YOU HELP?

  3. Avatar for Taterz

    I’m still having a bit of trouble on the part where it says “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.” and I don’t know how to link it from the downloads area… sorry if you can’t answer this, but it’s SUPER hard

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      No matter where you place the FFmpeg folder, assuming you’ve extracted it, just open FFmpeg folder, go to the “bin” folder inside it and then click on the File Explorer address bar. It will reveal the actual folder path. Copy that path and follow the instructions again.

  4. Avatar for Jerry

    Thanks. These instructions helped me solve my problem getting FFMPEG to work. However, the CMD still doesn’t recognise it as a Command.
    I also found that manually entering in the File Path to edit the Environment Variables didn’t work for me, but using the Browse option (not mentioned) did.

  5. Avatar for John P

    THANKS. That’s an EXCELLENT tutorial with a very effective mix or text and graphics. The screen graps clearly show where and what to click and expect to see next. The text explains without loosing the key steps in the process.

  6. Avatar for Jenny

    Thanks! It worked for me! I am so happy – I have spent a few hours looking elsewhere today and now everything is working great!

  7. Avatar for Rose

    Hi, i downloaded ffmpeg bcoz i thought i needed it for audacity. Audacity says my mp4 “file is an Advanced Audio Coding file. Without the optional FFmpeg library, Audacity cannot open this type of file. Otherwise, you need to convert it to a supported audio format, such as WAV of AIFF.”

    Do you have any idea why Audacity is still saying the same thing even after I installed ffmpeg? I already verified it with Command Prompt. Thanks

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      It might be that Audacity is not detecting the FFmpeg library. Try to set it in the preferences window. Go to “Edit > Preferences > Libraries”, click on the “Locate” button and select the FFmpeg.

      If that did not work, assuming that you’ve already added FFmpeg to the Windows path, you might have to completely uninstall and reinstall Audacity. This will force Audacity to recognize FFmpeg.

      I hope that helps.

  8. Avatar for yergov

    FFmpeg official site will no longer be available and i guess thats why i am not able to download file. so i am stuck at first step only. now what to do? is there any other alternative and free of cost?

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      Thanks for letting me know. The official ffmpeg Windows builds are usually supplied by zeranoe. com but now it is being shifted to gyan. dev. I’ve just updated the article with new official link.

  9. Avatar for dai

    This is great! My path variable thingy was changed recently because I used another tutorial that didn’t specify to add onto it since it was a windows 10 i think. do you know how to get my path variable back to normal?

  10. Avatar for Steven Nani

    How do I completely uninstall previous versions of ffmpeg. I don’t know when I installed it but I have this: ffmpeg version N-89980-ge752da5464. I can’t find the install folder.

  11. Avatar for jeff

    You probably want to include that a system reboot is required after installing the system variable before you can test it in the command prompt or shell. Great tutorial otherwise.

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