How to Fix Problems with Windows Media Player?

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Is your Windows Media Player not working? Are you having problem playing a video/audio file on Windows Media Player? Such problems may occur when there are issues with Windows Media Player or the audio/video file you want to play is corrupt.

In this post, we’ll discuss some methods to fix the issues with Windows Media Player and how to fix corruption in your video and audio files.

[NOTE]: Before trying the fixes, try to play the files by using another media player. Though Windows Media Player supports a wide range of file formats, it may still happen that the files you’re trying to play have a file format not supported by WMP.


Methods to Fix Windows Media Player Not Working

There may be various reasons due which Windows Media Player won’t work, such as missing Codecs, display driver issues, conflicting audio drivers, broken WMP installation, Windows updates issues. Let’s discuss some methods to fix these issues:

Method 1: Install Missing Codecs

Windows Media player has multiple Codecs that help in playing files. If a required Codec is missing, the player won’t be able to play the file.

Follow the steps given below to install the Codecs and fix problems:

Step 1. Go to Microsoft’s website and download Codecs (Check the version of your Windows Operating System before downloading the Codecs)

Step 2. Install the downloaded Codecs

Step 3. Restart the system

Step 4. Open the Windows Media Player and try to play the media file

Method 2: Update Display Driver

Sometimes, updating display drivers help resolve issues with the media player. Here are the steps to update display driver:

Step 1. Press Windows + R keys to launch Run dialog box

Step 2. Type devmgmt.msc, and hit Enter

This opens Device Manager window.

Step 3. Click the arrow next to Display adapters to expand

Step 4. Right-click the graphics adapter, and select Properties

Step 5. Open the Driver tab, and click Update Driver on Properties window

Step 6. Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” on the screen that pops-up

Step 7. Restart the system and see if WMP is working

Method 3: Remove Conflicting Audio Drivers

If there are 3rd party audio drivers installed on your system, they may also create issues with Windows Media Player. To resolve the issue, uninstall them by using the steps given below:

Step 1. Launch Device Manager

Press the Windows + R keys >> Type devmgmt.msc >> Hit Enter

Step 2. Expand the Sound, video and game controllers

Step 3. Right-click the 3rd party audio driver, and select Uninstall

Step 4. Restart the computer, and see if WMP works fine

Method 4: Repair Windows Media Player

If Windows Media Player is not working, repairing it may fix the issue. To repair WMP, you’d need to disable it and then enable it back. Follow the given steps:

Step 1. Right-click the Start button at the bottom-left corner of your desktop

Step 2. Select Control Panel

Step 3. Click Uninstall a program under Programs

[NOTE]: If you’re unable to see Programs, click Category on the top-right corner, and select Small Icons

Step 4. At the left-hand pane, click Turn Windows features on or off

This opens Windows Features screen.

[NOTE]: You can also navigate to Windows Features screen directly:

Launch Run dialog box (Press Windows + R) >> Type optionalfeatures  >> Hit Enter

Step 5. Locate Media Features folder, and expand by clicking plus (+) sign

This will show Windows Media Player folder

Step 6. Uncheck the box next to Windows Media Player folder

Step 7. Click Yes when prompted

Step 8. Click OK on Windows Features screen

Step 9. Restart the system

This will disable Windows Media Player.

Now follow the given steps to enable the player:

Step 10. Repeat the steps as above till Step 5

Step 11. Check (put a tick) on the box next to Windows Media Player folder

Step 12. Continue following the steps from Step 7 till Step 9

See if this resolves the issue.  

Method 5: Install Pending Windows Updates

Keeping Windows up-to-date helps fix a lot of issues on your system. Let’s update the Windows and see if it resolves the WMP problem:

Step 1. Open Settings on your Windows system

Step 2. Click Update & Security

Step 3. Select Check for Updates

Step 4. Download the pending updates (if any)

Step 5. Restart the system

Now open WMP and see if it’s working properly.

Use Stellar’s Video Repair Tool

Sometimes, Windows Media Player creates problem or won’t play a video file if it is corrupt. An easy way to repair a corrupt file is by using a do-it-yourself video repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Video. The software can repair corrupt audio and video files of almost all popular file formats, without compromising the quality.

We hope that the simple and effective solutions given in this post help you to resolve the issues you’re facing with your Windows Media Player or while playing media files on it.

For any query and suggestion, feel free to comment in section below!


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