How to Install FFmpeg in Windows 11 for Python Tools

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

FFmpeg is a very popular and useful open-source tool that lets you work with videos and audios in many different ways. It can do things like converting, recording, streaming, or even splitting and combining audio and video files. It’s the secret sauce behind many Python tools and scripts for video and audio tasks.

Ever tried using a command-line tool but it just didn’t work because FFmpeg wasn’t there? Well, this guide will show you how to get FFmpeg set up on your Windows 11 computer so you can run those Python scripts that require it. Believe me, it’s surprisingly easy to install, even if you’re new to installing software.

How to Install FFmpeg in Windows 11 for Python

Why do you need FFmpeg?

FFmpeg is an important tool for many users who often need to work with video and audio. Whether you’re into coding with Python and need to make scripts that deal with multimedia formats, or you just want to merge, split, convert, or stream media files, FFmpeg can do all that. Most importantly, it supports tons of formats.

Related resource: Convert SRT to 3D Subtitles and Add them to 3D Movies

Downloading FFmpeg

Before we can use the FFmpeg’s features, we need to first download the software. There are plenty of places online where you can download FFmpeg for Windows 11 or 10. Choose the version that fits what you need it for, as they come with different features and capabilities.

  1. Visit a reliable FFmpeg builds page. Here’s a site where you can find various FFmpeg builds, like FFmpeg Builds. Just go there with your browser.
  2. Look for ffmpeg, ffprobe, and ffplay on the page. For Python stuff, either ffmpeg-git-essentials.7z or ffmpeg-git-full.7z will do the job. Pick the one that matches your needs.
  3. Click the link for the build you want to start downloading it.Downloading FFmpeg
  4. After downloading, you’ll get a .7z file. You’ll need a tool like 7-Zip to open it. Right-click the file, pick “Extract Here” or “Extract files”. If you don’t have 7-Zip, it’s free to download and use.Extract FFmpeg

Installing FFmpeg in Windows 11

Now that you have the FFmpeg files, the next step would be to install it on your PC. The most crucial step is to add FFmpeg to your system path, so your computer knows where to find it. This makes sure you won’t get errors when trying to use FFmpeg from the command line or with Python scripts.

  1. Make a new folder in your C: drive called FFmpeg to keep things tidy.Create a new folder
  2. Move all the extracted files into the FFmpeg folder you just made.Installing FFmpeg in Windows 11
  3. We need to tell your computer where FFmpeg locates so you can use it from anywhere. Here’s how:
    1. Hit the Start Menu, look up “Environment Variables”, and choose “Edit the system environment variables”.Edit the system environment variables Windows 11
    2. In the window that comes up, click “Environment Variables”.Advanced Environment Variables
    3. Find the “System variables” section, scroll to “Path”, select it, and click “Edit”.Add FFmpeg to Windows PATH environment variable
    4. Click “New” then “Browse”.
    5. Browse to the C: drive, open the FFmpeg folder, and inside it, the bin folder.Add a program to PATH
    6. Click “OK” to save the changes and close all windows.How to run FFmpeg.exe in CMD

Checking the installation

To make sure FFmpeg is already installed and ready to be used, open a new command prompt window (just type cmd in the search bar and hit Enter). Type ffmpeg -version and hit Enter. If everything went right, you’ll see info about the FFmpeg version installed on your system.

Install FFmpeg python Windows 11

Some final words

Congrats! You’ve got FFmpeg installed on your Windows 11 PC. Now, all those Python scripts and command-line tools that need FFmpeg to deal with video and audio stuff should work just fine. If you need to manually use it for tasks like converting or streaming, you can check what you can do with it by running the ffmpeg -help command to see a list of commands that you can use with it.

Categories: ComputingWindows 11

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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