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How to install FFMPEG on Windows 10

FFMPEG is a collection of programs that can handle various audio and video encoding, recording, and conversion functions. It does a lot but it is a command-line tool which means there is no GUI for you to use it from. If you’re unfamiliar with how command-line tools work or unsure about how to install FFMPEG on Windows 10, you should know that it is simple to set up, and little more than a file download.

This article points you to the most suitable build of FFMPEG you should use on a Windows 10 system, and how to add the tool to PATH so you can run it from any Command Prompt window.

Download FFMPEG

This is the official FFMPEG website where you can download the tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Click the Windows logo and you will see a link just below it ‘Windows builds by Zeranoe’. Click it and download either the 64-bit or 32-bit build.

Running FFMPEG

Once you’ve downloaded the build, extract the zipped file. Inside the extracted folder, you will find a folder called ‘bin’. In it is the EXE for FFMPEG. To run it/use the app, you need to open a new Command Prompt window and use the ‘cd’ command to move to the ‘bin’ folder. After that, you can run a command and it will execute.

Add FFMPEG to PATH

If you intend to use FFMPEG often and as a regular part of your daily tasks, using the ‘cd’ command to move to the folder its EXE is in, is going to get tedious. You should instead add it to PATH.

First, move the folder somewhere you know you won’t delete it.

Next, open a new File Explorer window and paste the following in the location bar, and tap Enter.

Control Panel\System and Security\System

This will open Control Panel. In the column on the left, click Advanced System Settings.  A new window will open. Go to the ‘Advanced’ tab on this window, and click the Environment Variable button at the very bottom.

In the new window that opens, select ‘Path’ under ‘User variables for [Your username]’ and click Edit. Another window will open. Click the ‘New’ button and then use the Browse button to go to the ‘bin’ folder, and add it. Click OK, and close all the windows.

You can now use FFMPEG from any Command Prompt window. You will not have to use the ‘cd’ command to first change the directory that Command Prompt is in. Make sure you do not move the folder that FFMPEG is in. If you do move it, you will have to update the path or it won’t work anymore.

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