How-To Geek

Add Folders to the Movie Library in Windows 7 Media Center

Do you have a collection of movie files on your computer? Perhaps you have an external hard drive or two loaded up with AVI or MPEG video files? Well, today we’ll show you how to add those files to the Movie Library so you can watch them in Windows Media Center.

You can add any number of folders to your Media Center Libraries. Even if you have videos or movies stored in a variety of locations, including other Windows 7 computers on your network, they can be added to your Media Center Movie Library.

Supported Video Files

Windows Media Center supports the viewing of the following file formats by default.

Video File Formats File Extensions
AVI files .avi
MPEG-4 .mp4, .m4v, .mov,
MPEG-2 .mpeg, .mpg, .m1v, .mp2, .mpv2, .mpe, .mod, .vob
Windows Media .wmv, .wm, .asf
Windows Recorded TV .wtv, .dvr-ms
Apple QuickTime .mov, .qt
AVCHD files .m2ts, .m2t
MPEG-1 .m1v

Adding Folders to the Library

Open WMC and click on Tasks \ Settings


Click on Media Libraries


Select Movies and click “Next.”


Select Add Folders to the Library and click “Next.”


Now you’ll need to select the folder location of your movie files. Choose “On this computer” if you are adding a folder from a local hard drive, a folder on mapped network drive, or a folder from USB attached hard drives.

You can also choose to add folders from other Windows 7 computers on your network by selecting “On another computer.”

Note: You’ll need to setup media streaming before you’ll be able to view video from another Windows 7 computer. You can find a link to our article on how to setup streaming media below.


Browse the file directory for the folders of your choice. Click on the the plus (+) symbol to view sub-folders. You won’t be able to “see” the video files themselves, only the folders, so you’ll need to know where your videos are located ahead of time. Click to the check box to the left to select each folder.

Click “Next” when you’re finished.


Media Center will confirm your changes. Only the first five media directories are shown on the screen. Scroll to see any additional folders by clicking the up or down arrows. If you want to add more folders, click “No, I want to make more changes” and repeat the process to add your additional folders.

When you are done, select “Yes, use these locations” and then click “Finish.”


Your video files should now appear in your Movie Library. Depending on the amount of files you are adding, it may take a few minutes for Media Center to add and display all of them.


Then simply browse for any of your selections and click to play them.


Now you are setup to enjoy your entire movie collection from directly in Windows Media Center. Check out our previous tutorial if you need help setting up streaming media from other Windows 7 computers.

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 02/22/10

Comments (8)

  1. anton

    how to play flv,mp4 or another video format in WMC

  2. SquareWheel

    You would probably have to convert an FLV, it’s not exactly an audio format.

  3. third

    A neat trick is to add a ‘folder.jpg’ on each movie folder and it will be shown as the album art of that movie. It’s very cool specially if you are browsing your own collection.

  4. DigitalGeekery

    FLV playback is not natively supported, but Media Center will play mp4 out of the box.

  5. chandresh

    I installed XP mode in Vista using VM Player but was not able to integrate with Vista and my dial-up internet connection was interrupted permanently. What is the solution?

  6. weblee

    You are incorrect here. ISO format is not readable in the WMC movie section unless mounted.

  7. David

    I followed this instruction but still cannot get W7MC to find any avi files for the library. Cannot seem to find a solution to this problme. The files all ply with WMP. they just dont appear in the library. Any advice gratefully accepted.

  8. Trina

    How can I set the location (folder) I want the media center to access through my extender (xbox) and the xbox keep the settings? Currently I have to reset the location through Tasks->Settings->Movies… everytime I turn on the xbox. Any suggestions?

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