How-To Geek

Create a Slide Show in Windows 7 Media Center

Are you looking for a nice way to create and display a slide show from your photo collection? Today we’ll show you how to create a slide show, how to add music to it, and watch it from the comfort of your couch in Windows 7 Media Center.

Create Slide Show

Launch Windows 7 Media Center and click on the Picture Library tile found under Pictures and Videos.


In the Pictures Library, scroll across to slide shows and click on Create Slide show.


Enter a name for the slide show and click Next.


If you are using a Windows Media Center remote, click on the OK button to bring up the onscreen keyboard. Use the directional buttons to navigate across the keyboard and press OK to select each letter. Click Done when finished.


Select Picture Library and click Next.


Select the pictures to include in your slide show. If using a remote, navigate through the images and press OK to select. If you are using a mouse, simply click on the selections. When you are finished, click Next. 


Now, we can review and edit the slide show. Click the up or down pointing arrows to move pictures up and down in the order.  (more intuitive titles would be helpful in this case as opposed to the randomly generated titles in the example below)

If you are finished, click Create. You can also choose to go back and add music to your slide show. (or even more pictures) We’ll take a look at adding some music in our example. Click on the Add More button.


Add Music to Your Slide Show

Here we’ll select Music Library to add a song. Click Next.


You’ll now be able to browse your Music Library to select songs for your slide show.


Select your songs and click Next.


When you are finished adding Music and Pictures click Create.


Once your slide show is saved, you can play it any time by going to clicking on slide shows in the Picture Library, then selecting the slide show title.


Select play slide show when you’re ready to enjoy your new production.


If you ever want to edit or delete the slide show, select it in the Picture Library, and scroll to Actions. You’ll see those option under additional commands. You have the option to Edit Slide Show, Burn a CD/DVD, or Delete.


Editing Slide Show Settings

Within Media Center, go to Tasks


Click on Pictures


Then choose Slide Shows.


From the Slide Show settings you have the option to Show pictures in random order, Show picture information, Show song information, and Use Pan and zoom effect. You can also adjust the length of time to display each picture, and change the background color.

Be sure to click Save to apply and changes before exiting.


If you choose to show picture information, the picture title, date, and star rating will be displayed in the top right.


If your slide show is accompanied by music and you choose to show song information, you will get a translucent overlay for a few seconds at the beginning of each song to indicate the song, album, and artist.


One of the really cool things about creating a slide show in Windows 7 Media Center is you can complete the entire process using just a Media Center remote.

Can’t get enough slide shows? Check out how to turn your desktop into a picture slide show in Windows 7.

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 04/26/10

Comments (20)

  1. Kyle

    Ridiculous program. Once you make the slideshow you can’t go back and add/remove pictures or change the order, once it’s finalized it’s finalized. Windows is always trying to be too cutting edge to make programs that ACTUALLY JUST WORK

  2. Liz

    Having a lot of difficulty with this program. I have tried creating slideshows with music several times. After creating it I watch it and all seems fine. However when I go back and play it again it does weird things. Sometimes the music doesn’t play, sometimes half way through the first pictures will repeat instead of playing all the pictures. The last few times I have created a slideshow it works once and then disappeared. What’s going on?

  3. Valerie

    A very awkward program. No slideshow effects other than pan and zoom and the interface is lousy. It tries tobe cutting edge but all it does it make it hard to use, and unless you name your pictures in the order you want them beforehand, it’s hard to reorder them later because you only see the file name and not the image. It sucks. And WHY on earth do you have to use Tasks simply to change the slideshow background or length of time to display? It should be possible from the slideshow progam. Dumb. It took way too long just to figure out how to make those simple changes.

  4. Cynthia

    Couldn’t agree more with previous comments. Its SO hard to use and you can’t change it easily if you put the wrong picture in. I absolutely hate this slide show generator. PS Elements 5 years ago was heaps better.

  5. Michael Y

    Piece of crap. Does not display the slideshows you’ve created (as illustrated in your slide #12) yet when you try to create it again, it tells you the slideshow already exists, and stops you in your tracks. One transition effect only, can’t add captions, not the least bit intuitive.

  6. mikey

    I was so frustrated by this program I went over to my sons house and borrowed his mac, done in an hour.

    The fact that you have to reorder the slide show by title is ridiculous. What ever happened to drag and drop.

  7. luis


  8. shawn

    Totally confusing, never plays the slideshow back in order! I cant even get it to play with the music, there are cerain pics I want to show with certain songs and it just didnt allow me to mix them right!

  9. JMD

    I agree with the earlier comments about the lack of functionality and ease of use but I have somehow managed to put together a 38-slide show with music. What I cannot figure out is how to make the photo cycling stop when the music does. The music ends but the photos just keep looping.

    I have also had problems with premature looping where the show goes back to the start without ever having reached the end

  10. Ron

    Got the show all done and went back the next day to edit and all the pictures were gone except for a transluscent image of the first slide in place of all the pictures. The show plays ok, but you can’t see the pictures now in order to make editing changes. A very short show was too large to put on my website without incurring more bandwidth costs.

  11. hansvl

    Hate this program. FastStone is the way to go for slideshows!

  12. Marsha

    I dont’ even have the option of pictures and video when I open the media center… all I get is an extras gallery?

  13. Merle McNamara

    I agree with all the comments above. I have been trying to put together a slideshow to burn to a DVD for over a week. Everytime that I think I have it set something else goes goofy. Is there a better program to use?

  14. Hank

    This program sucks big time. I have all my photos in a networked attached storage server so that I can use them from any computer in my house. This software from Microsoft does not allow my photo library to be in a network folder! How is that possible? What about all the advertising?

  15. fred wetzel

    Just stumbled across this site after a couple of days trying to make a slide show that works and actually stays in/on the computer after a couple of hours. When i close Media Center and open it again after a few minutes the slide show is there. But after a few hours it’s gone … what’s up with that? This is a new computer (my first with Windows 7) and after battling the notion of Libraries for a week or so i’ve been completly stumped with making a simple slide show. Oh … did i mention that i also can’t seem to rip a few songs from a CD … the screens make it look like the copying (ripping) is going on, but then i can’t find the songs later (which could be my problem more than Windows 7, but after the slide show business i’m not so sure it’s not the operating system.

    Any ideas (besides taking the computer back to Best Buy and pleading for help) … ?!

    Thanks …

  16. Max

    Maybe one of the least user friendly programs ever created!

  17. Jay

    Quite an amazing feedbacks and considering not most owners of computers are not tech savvy this program tops the list of NON-USER FRIENDLY! I use mac most often times but my work requires me to have a PC. Windows folks – if you want to compete with MAC – make your programs/softwares more user friendly and not too expensive.

  18. Chuck

    After many hours of learning how to put a slide show with music together, everything worked fine (except I could never make it stop looping to the beginning when the last photo finished). In developing the slide show, I changed the setting from 8 seconds a photo to 4 seconds. The photos and music were timed perfectly (after much trial and error). However, when trying to burn to a DVD, it only burns to an 8 second setting which throws the music setting completely out of whack. I’ve tried everything but no luck. Any thoughts?

  19. Bobbette

    My PC that had Windows 2003 on it was distroyed when lightning hit the telephone line. Being a person that does not have a lot of money I purchased one at a Flea Market for $50.00 that had Windows 7. I am a slide show fan and make DVD of family reunions, etc. I had Nero Photo Show 5 and it will not work on Windows 7. I would like to remove Windows 7 and go back to the older version. The slide show for windows 7 stinks, and no program out there that works good with windows 7. Any ideas?

  20. Lexybell

    Windows media center is HORRID…I have spent hours putting together the same damn slideshow and after all the work and time the whole thing dissappears everytime.NEVER to be seen again….I HATE THIS!!!!!!!

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