Windows Tip Sheet

Lights, Camera ... No Action

Like IE, Microsoft's Movie Maker app is integrated into Windows. Here's how to disable it.

This tip is part 3 in a series of 5 on living with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

One of my customers is in the habit of removing unnecessary software from his/her company’s computers. Much to our surprise, months after installing WinXP SP2, Movie Maker 2.1 was installed on every computer. Oops—not exactly an approved corporate application.

Unfortunately, you can’t exactly fire up Add/Remove Windows Components and get rid of Movie Maker. Like Internet Explorer, it seems to be an integrated part of the operating system or something. Even so, I was shocked to discover that Movie Maker comes with a set of Group Policy settings for controlling it! Have these always been in there? Regardless, they’re sure useful.

You can apparently control the automatic download of new codecs, the display of links to Web sites, and the ability to save movies to an online video hosting service—all of this in case, I suppose, your corporation’s users are busy making home movies and you just want to lock down their capabilities a bit. Even better, though, is the setting that totally disables the application: Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Movie Maker. There’s a setting named “Do not allow Windows Movie Maker to run” and we quickly turned it on for all computers in the domain. Poof! No more lunchtime movie editing in that company.

While I’ve always found it a bit annoying that a “Professional,” corporate-grade operating system has such a non-corporate tool built in, I do appreciate Microsoft giving us administrative templates so that the thing can be centrally controlled.

More Resources

Read Microsoft’s word on the subject.

About the Author

Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is an Author/Evangelist for video training company Pluralsight. Don is also a co-founder and President of, a community dedicated to Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell technology. Don has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, and specializes in the Microsoft business technology platform. He’s the author of more than 50 technology books, an accomplished IT journalist, and a sought-after speaker and instructor at conferences worldwide. Reach Don on Twitter at @concentratedDon, or on Facebook at

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