How to Burn a Movie to a DVD-RW on Windows Media Player

by Meaghan Ellis

Burning movies to a DVD-RW on Windows Media Player is a great way to transfer and duplicate movie files for playback purposes. This technique can be rather difficult and time-consuming, but once you master it, you will be able to do it over and over again.


Open your Windows Media Player program. You can locate this program in one of two ways: Click on the "Windows Media Player" icon, which should be listed on your computer's desktop screen; or click on the symbol icon in your computer desktop's taskbar. When the program opens and loads successfully, locate the "Burn" tab, which should be at the top of the program screen, in the navigation menu. Click on the rectangular arrow button directly below the "Burn" tab. A drop-down menu will appear below the tab. In that menu, click "Data CD or DVD." You should see a panel appear at the right side of the screen.


Click "More Options" in the "Burn" drop box to configure and format the disc for audio and visual burning. This will ensure that the movie file will be applied to the disc correctly, and that the disc is fluent to the disc player. When the "More Options" dialog box appears, click on the "Devices" tab at the top. Click on the "Advanced" option, and you will see four boxes containing actions and commands. Check the box that reads "De-interface video files when converting" for file condensation and formatting purposes.


Insert a blank DVD-RW disc by clicking on the Eject button, located on either the left or right side of your CD-ROM drive door. (This location varies by computer and manufacturer.) An "AutoPlay" Wizard popup screen will appear once the computer has detected the disc. Click "Close" to bypass this option. Review the right "Burn" panel in the Windows Media Player portal to confirm that the disc's specifications registered to the program. The amount of time available on the disc should be listed at the top of the right panel. The "Start Burn" button at the bottom of the right panel should also be in color.


Locate the movie file you wish to burn. If it is not listed in your Windows Media Player library, you will have to import it. Click on the "File" command in the upper-left hand corner of the program screen. Scroll down the drop-box menu that will appear and select the "Add to Library" action. The "Add to Library" dialog box will appear in the middle of your screen. Check the list of default folders to see if the movie file's folder is listed. If you see the movie file's folder, simply click "OK." If not, click the "Add" option at the left side of the dialog box, right below the file-location directory. A Windows Explorer collapse menu will appear.


Scroll through the collapsed file folder menu, locate the movie file's folder and click "OK." The folder should now be listed in the file location directory. Click "OK" to begin importing the file. An elapsed-time indicator will now appear on your program screen to begin scanning each folder from the file directory. Your movie file will be extracted and imported into your library. Type the name of your movie file in the search bar in the top right-hand corner of the screen when the scanning process is complete. The file(s) should automatically appear in the library.


Click on the movie title and/or parts once to highlight them. Drag the file(s) to the right panel, which should be entitled "Burn." Once you have arranged the file and/or parts accordingly, click the "Start Burn" button at the bottom of the movie file. The screen will now automatically transfer to the library portal in the middle of the screen. The time indicator will also appear. Once the movie has been burned completely, the disc will automatically eject from your computer. Remove the disc from the CD-ROM drive.


  • check Make sure the DVD-RW is blank before attempting to format and place movie files onto the disc. If the disc is not blank, you will have to erase the disc's current files.
  • check Be certain you would like to delete the files on this particular disc. Once files are removed from a DVD-RW, they can no longer be retrieved or recovered.
  • check Be patient. This procedure takes more time to complete when you are using DVD-RW discs, because they require initial formatting.


  • close Make sure the movie's file format is compatible for burning. If the file is not compatible, the visual and audio display will not be available for playback on your disc player.
  • close Check the brand of DVD-RWs you are using to make sure they are compatible to your disc player. If not, the disc player may not be able to read the disc.
  • close Most movie files will be split into different parts. Be sure to include all parts of the file to burn the movie in its entirety. Also, make sure that each part of the movie file is in the correct sequence before burning the movie to the disk.

About the Author

Meaghan Ellis has been writing short stories, newspaper articles, Web content and product research reports for over 12 years. While double majoring in business management and marketing at Southern University, she runs a home-based graphic design and Web content business.

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