[The feature associated with this page, DirectShow, is a legacy feature. It has been superseded by MediaPlayer, IMFMediaEngine, and Audio/Video Capture in Media Foundation. Those features have been optimized for Windows 10 and Windows 11. Microsoft strongly recommends that new code use MediaPlayer, IMFMediaEngine and Audio/Video Capture in Media Foundation instead of DirectShow, when possible. Microsoft suggests that existing code that uses the legacy APIs be rewritten to use the new APIs if possible.]

The Microsoft DirectShow application programming interface (API) is a media-streaming architecture for Microsoft Windows. Using DirectShow, your applications can perform high-quality video and audio playback or capture.

The DirectShow headers, libraries, SDK tools, and samples are available in the Windows SDK.


Previous versions of the DirectShow SDK were included in the DirectX SDK. The last version of the DirectX SDK to include DirectShow was DirectX 9.0 SDK Update - (February 2005) Extras. After this version, DirectShow was moved to the Windows SDK. To get the latest version of the DirectShow headers, libraries, and samples, download the Windows SDK.

The DirectShow documentation is divided into the following sections: