How to create a slideshow with music on Windows

Cesar Cadenas
by Cesar Cadenas
Cesar has been writing for and about technology going on for 6 years when he first started writing tech articles for his university paper. Since then, his passion for technology blossomed into a prosperous... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Creating a slideshow with your favorite pics and background music doesn't need to be too complicated.
  • To help you achieve this without too much hassle, there are some great applications that will greatly improve your experience.
  • You can choose to use the built-in app, try powerful and versatile software, or use an online tool.
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Slideshows are a great way to organize pictures on a Windows 11 computer. At times, Windows users may face some kind of hardware limitation or system update and they need a way to store their files so they don’t get accidentally deleted or lost.

Plus, it makes cataloging photos and showing them off much easier than having to manually show people by scrolling through them one by one. Slideshows are also a great way to pool together photos from different sources (camera, phone, USB drive) into one easy-to-enjoy format.

Fortunately, there are useful third-party apps that you can use to create these slideshows without having to be forced to use something like PowerPoint. The app is fine for business presentations, but PowerPoint lacks many useful features that other apps use. Windows 11 comes with a useful app built right in.

How can I make a slideshow on Windows 11?

Aside from third-party apps, the Photos app got a robust facelift for Windows 11. Compared to the Windows 10 iteration, the Photo app is wildly different with innovative features that give it a huge leg up.

On the new Photos apps, image details can be easily viewed with the Information icon, which appears on the top of the image. This will open the right pane that details when the picture was taken, its size, and resolution. Plus, it has great editing and organization capabilities thanks to its facial recognition technology.

As stated earlier, other third-party apps bring their unique style to the table. This guide will detail how to create a slideshow on Windows 11 via the Photos app as well as other popular third-party apps, like Ice Cream Slideshow Maker.

It’s important to point out that creating a slideshow with music is more akin to creating a video. It isn’t as simple as simply clicking the menu button and selecting slideshow.

How do I create a slideshow with music?

1. Create a slideshow via the Photos app

  1. Click on the magnifying glass icon to bring up the search bar.
  2. Type in Photo and click on the first entry to open the Photos app.
  3. In the Photos app, click the Video Editor tab on top.
  4. In this new tab, click on the New video project button in the middle.
  5. In this new window, name the slideshow. Then click OK.
  6. Click the Add button in the Project library.
  7. A drop down menu appears asking you which source you want to use. This guide will select From this PC.
  8. Select the images you want to use.
  9. Highlight the images in the Project library.
  10. Drag them down to the Storyboard section.
  11. You can modify how long each photo stays on screen by clicking on the number and changing the time.
  12. To add music, click on Custom audio on the top.
  13. In this new window, click the Add audio file button at the top.
  14. Select the song or audio file you want to add.
  15. You can edit how long you want the audio file to last in the slideshow by sliding the tab at the bottom.
  16. Once you’ve decided how long you want the audio to last, click Done.
  17. You can test the slideshow by clicking the play button in the test video in the corner.
  18. Once done, click Finish video in the upper right-hand corner.
  19. A small window will appear. Click the drop-down menu underneath Video quality to select the slideshow’s resolution.
  20. Select the Export button.
  21. Name the slideshow you created and then click Export.
  22. The slideshow then immediately open to allow you see and hear the whole thing in action.

2. Use the versatile Icecream Slideshow Maker

  1. Download Icecream Slideshow Maker.
  2. Click Save file in this new window.
  3. Double-click the file in the Downloads section and go through the set-up process.
  4. Once it’s done setting up, make sure the box next to Launch Icecream slideshow Maker is ticked and click Finish.
  5. In the newly opened Icecream Slideshow Maker, you can add pictures by clicking either Add Photo or Add Folder. This guide will select Add Folder.
  6. In the File Explorer, select the folder you want to use.
  7. Then click Select Folder.
  8. The folder of pictures will be added and organized in the order they appear within the folder. You can now configure the slideshow.
  9. Icecream Slideshow Maker will automatically add an opening slide, which you can remove by clicking the Eye icon to the right.
  10. You can edit the opening slideshow by clicking My slideshow in the Text column.
  11. In this new window, you can change the background’s color, title, text font, and even transition effects.
  12. Changes made appear in the preview video in the corner.
  13. Once you’re happy with the changes, select the Save button.
  14. If you want to change the duration of the slide, select on the seconds amount in the Time column, then choose the time or type in your own. You can extend this all slide by selecting Apply to all.
  15. Click on Add to customize the slide.
  16. Like the opening slide, you can add what text will appear in front of the image, where it will show up, and change the font and color.
  17. Once you’ve made the change, click Save.
  18. You can change the transition effect by clicking on Random and making a selection.
  19. Make changes to the other slides as you see fit.
  20. You can add music by dragging and dropping an audio file to the Add Audio section or clicking the hyperlink.
  21. Clicking on the hyperlink takes you to the Filer Explorer where you can choose the audio file.
  22. Once you’ve added the audio flie, click on the blue Preview button.
  23. You can change the name of the slideshow in the lower left section and change the file’s format.
  24. If everything looks good, click the Create button to finish.
  25. After creating the slideshow, the app gives you the opportunity to post the slideshow on YouTube or elsewhere.

3. Use an online tool like Promo

  1. Promo is a web-based service, so go to the website via web browser.
  2. Click on the Try for Free! Button.
  3. Sign up by creating your credentials.
  4. After signing in, click on the Upload button to the far right.
  5. Click on Photos.
  6. Add the pictures you want to include in your slideshow.
  7. Click on the picture to be included in the project. They will be highlighted blue.
  8. Then click the ADD TO PROJECT button.
  9. Next you will be taken to the slideshow’s project page where you can cutomize the slideshow.
  10. To add music, click the Music tab on the left.
  11. Click Uploads at the top.
  12. You can either drag the files to the page or click on it to upload music tracks.
  13. Clicking it will bring up the File Explorer. Select the music file you want to add.
  14. It will take a few second to upload.  If it states Selected on the file, it has already been added to the slideshow.
  15. You can edit the length of the song by clicking on the pencil icon in the file. You can change the volume, trim it, or add a fade out.
  16. Once you’re done trimming the song, click Trim Music.
  17. Going back to the Editor, you can add text and change its font.
  18. You can add text by double clicking on the blue bar above the timeline and then type in what you want.
  19. Click Done when finished.
  20. When done, click on the Save & Preview button to the left.
  21. After some time, the video will be made ready to preview.
  22. Watch the video to see if there are any changes to be made.
  23. After it finishes, select the Publish button at the end.

Any there other ways to enhance my Windows 11 experience?

As briefly touched upon in the guide, Windows 11 has a plethora of third-party apps that make photo management much more streamlined thanks to various features. Apowersoft Photo Viewer in particular has a great image editing tool with the ability to apply filters.

There’s also ACDSEE Photo Studio Ultimate 2022 that has tons of awesome features like Media Mode that gives you access to a giant photo database and People Mode, which allows you to categorize images by whoever is in it.

Venturing outside of photography, it’s recommended that you get yourself a migration tool. It’s an app that transfers important filers, computer settings, and even other apps to another machine.

At first, it may not seem useful, but if you ever want to the settings and files of your old computer without having to move everything one by one, it’s a great tool. A great one is AOMEI Backupper Professional thanks to its simple user interface and the ability to restore the original system to a new PC, just the way it was.