How to Play FFMPEG Videos on Windows 10

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FFmpeg is one of the most popular free and open source software, which can convert almost any multimedia format to any multimedia format. For example, you can use it to convert a video from one format to another, convert or share audio files, download HLS videos, etc. The best thing about FFmpeg is that you can do most things with single-line commands.

In short, FFmpeg is fantastic and every user should have FFmpeg installed.

In this quick guide, I will show you how to download FFmpeg on Windows 10 and install it properly. When I say “install”, I’m talking about adding FFmpeg to the Windows path to make it more accessible. Let’s get started.

Installing and Using FFmpeg on Windows 10

You can find the latest version of FFmpeg on the official website here. You can download the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version that suits your system. Click on the “Download Build” button to start the download.

The program does not run directly on Windows 10, you have to add a program to the system path using environment variables.

  • So navigate to the downloaded folder where the FFmpeg zip file is stored. Right-click on the Zip folder and click Extract from the drop-down menu.
  • Select the folder or drive where you want to extract.
  • Then rename the extracted folder. To rename the folder, right-click a folder and, in the drop-down menu, click Rename FFmpeg-20180424-d9706f7-win64-static to FFmpeg.
  • Copy the FFmpeg folder and navigate to drive C. Paste the folder into the root of drive C.
  • Once this is done, the next step is to enable FFmpeg from the command prompt.

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Playing a Video with FFMPEG in Windows 10

There are two ways to play a video using FFMPEG; from the command line or by a GUI application that can execute commands from the command line. We will show you how to do both.

To simplify things, you need to add FFMPEG to your path variable. This allows you to use the request from any folder. Open the file explorer and navigate to the folder containing the video you want to play. In the location bar, type cmd and press Enter.

In the command prompt window that opens, issue the following command.


ffplay “name-of-video.ext”


ffplay “My video.mp4”

The video will open and start playing in full screen mode. You will not see any video controls as you are essentially using a command line tool. To close the video, press the Escape key.

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