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Posted by Donna Peng - Contact Authoremail icon

How to Play DVDs on Windows 11 Laptop & Desktop Computers

When you plan to insert and play a DVD movie on your PC, you may find it doesn't provide an option to open the DVD. This is because not all Windows versions have a built-in DVD player. Windows 11, just like Windows 10, doesn't come with a DVD player app. You may wonder how to open a DVD on Windows 11. Can Windows Media Player play DVDs on Windows 11? Unfortunately, Windows Media Player is able to play audio CDs, data CDs, and data DVDs, but can't open video/movie DVDs.

Don't worry, there are other ways to play DVDs on Windows 11 laptops and desktop computers at your disposal. Check below.

Method 1. Play DVD on Windows 11 with Preinstalled DVD Player Software

If your computer has a built-in disc drive, it probably comes preinstalled with DVD software to play DVD discs  (for example, some laptops from Dell are pre-installed with CyberLink PowerDVD). It will then be very simple to play a DVD on your Windows 11 machine.

Step 1: Put a DVD into your computer's DVD drive, the built-in DVD player software usually will launch automatically.

Step 2: If you don't see such a program, check if you can find it. You can enter "movies" or "DVD" into the Windows 11 search bar and see if pre-installed DVD player software will pop up.

Step 3: If there is only a whirring sound for a few seconds and nothing happens, it usually means that there is no DVD player program pre-installed. Alternatively, you can open your computer's user manual or your PC manufacturer's website to see what DVD player app they install and how to play DVDs.

If there is no preinstalled DVD player software to help play DVDs on Windows 11 computers, trythe other methods below.

* If your computer does't have an internal DVD drive, check the best external DVD drive for Windows 11.

Method 2. Play DVD on Windows 11 with Windows DVD Player

Microsoft removes the built-in DVD playback capability and provides Windows DVD Player instead. Windows DVD Player is a paid app that is available to buy from Microsoft Store. You can use the free trial to check your DVD drive's compatibility with Windows DVD Player before purchasing the full version for $14.99. Windows DVD Player can be used to play commercial and homemade DVDs on Windows 10/11 (it doesn't support Blu-ray discs).

Step 1: Go to the Microsoft Store, enter Windows DVD Player in the search box and find the one from Microsoft Corporation. Purchase and install it as prompts. (The free trial is to help you check your device's compatibility. You cannot watch DVDs on Windows 11.)

Step 2: Simply put a DVD into your disc drive. The Windows DVD Player will automatically search for movie files in the disc drive and open the DVD on Windows 11.

Note: Windows DVD Player is in fact not the best way to play DVDs on Windows 11 desktops/laptops due to its unstable performance. For example, 'Error Video Could Not Be Decoded', disks will just spin and not play, the picture is very distorted, not working... are some of the most complained errors. And if an error occurs, you can't get a refund.

Windows DVD Player
Windows DVD Player

If you are unwilling to pay for Windows DVD Player, there are also free DVD players for Windows 11.

Method 3. Play DVD on Windows 11 with Third-party Free DVD Player

While Windows 11 doesn't contain a DVD player, there are many other free media players that have DVD playback feature and work well on Windows 11. Below are the best free Windows 11 DVD players that come with the ability to decode commercial and encrypted DVD discs.

5KPlayer

5KPlayer is a 100% free DVD player for Windows 11/10/earlier. It can play DVDs you buy and you burn. In addition to DVD disc, it can also play ISO files, VIDEO_TS folder, and VOB videos. It's able to read DVDs protected by different region codes, Disney DRM, DVD CSS, Sony ARccOS, etc. It supports NVIDIA CUDA®, AMD, Intel® QSV, & DXVA 2.0 to ensure a smooth DVD playback experience on Windows 11 machines, including the DVD movies with multi-subtitle tracks.

Besides playing DVDs, it can also play videos, music, radios, download videos and music online, and stream files. Just download 5KPlayer to have a try now!

Step 1: To play DVD on Windows 11 with 5KPlayer, simply insert the DVD disc to the DVD-ROM.

Step 2: Get 5KPlayer on your Windows 11 PC and open it. Then click the DVD button on the main interface. It will automatically load the DVD in your drive and open it.

Step 3: In 5KPlayer, you can select the DVD chapter/section, audio track, language, load external subtitles, etc.

Play DVD on Windows 11 with 5KPlayer
Play DVD on Windows 11 with 5KPlayer

VLC

VLC is an open source and free DVD player for Windows 11/10 and other systems. It's able to play DVD, Audio CD, VCD, video files, and streaming media without problems. It has the libdvdcss library built-in so that it's able to play protected DVDs on Windows 11, including DVDs protected by CSS and region codes. It's one of the most popular free DVD players among Windows users.

Step 1: Insert the DVD disc you want to play into your PC's optical drive.

Step 2: Download, install, and open VLC. Then click the "Media" menu on the top bar and from the options on the menu, choose "Open Disc...".

Step 3: In the Open Media window, click the Browse button and select your DVD drive. The default options should be correct for most users so leave them as default. Then click Play to start playing DVDs on Windows 11. You can set VLC as the default DVD player in Windows 11: go to Settings -> Apps -> Default apps and set "Video Player" to VLC.

Play DVD on Windows 11 with VLC
Play DVD on Windows 11 with VLC

Method 4. Play DVD on Windows 11 with WinX DVD Ripper

Besides playing DVDs directly from the disc, we can also rip DVD to digital file and play the DVD video on Windows 11. This can also help when a Windows 11 DVD player fails to play an encrypted or damaged DVD.

To rip DVD on Windows 11, we recommend WinX DVD Ripper. This tool can rip home-made and copy-protected DVDs to VIDEO_TS folder, ISO file, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEG, MOV, and etc. for Windows Media Player and other programs on your Windows 11 machine. It retains the best output quality after the rip so you can enjoy high-quality DVD playback on Windows 11 players.

Here are the steps.

Step 1: Insert the DVD disc to the DVD-ROM or external DVD drive. Launch WinX DVD Ripper and click "DVD Disc" button on the top left. It will auto load the DVD and detect the right main DVD title for you.

Rip DVD for playing on Windows 11
Rip DVD for playing on Windows 11

Step 2: Choose output format. For playing DVD on Window 11, choose to rip DVD to MP4, WMV, MPEG, H.264, etc., which are all Windows 11 supported video formats. For example, select General Profiles on the left column > choose MP4 Video.

Step 3: Hit "RUN" button to begin ripping the DVD. Then you can open the DVD video on Windows 11 computer, tablets, phones, etc.

Disclaimer: Digiarty Software does not advocate ripping/copying copy-protected DVDs for any commercial purpose and suggests referring to the DVD copyright laws in your countries before doing so. And do not use WinX DVD Ripper to rip DVD rentals.

Well, above are the methods to play DVD on Windows 11. Now choose one and enjoy movies!

FAQ

1. Does Windows 11 support DVDs?

No. Windows 11 does not come with a pre-installed DVD player app. There is an official DVD player from Microsoft to help users open DVDs. But surprisingly, it's neither free nor well-made.

2. Why won't DVDs play on Windows 11?

What to do if the DVD won't play with a DVD player installed on Windows 11? When Windows 11 won't play a DVD, there are a few things to consider:

  • The DVD player lacks a certain codec to play the DVD. Try another DVD player instead.
  • The CD/DVD driver is corrupted or outdated. Try to update or re-install the DVD/CD-ROM drivers.
  • The Windows registry might be corrupted. Then you may need to change some of the registry values.
  • The DVD is protected by strict schemes, encoded in a non-standard structure, or corrupted. Try to rip the DVD with WinX DVD Player.
  • For more fixes, check here.

3. How to play DVDs on Windows 11 without a DVD drive?

If your computer doesn't come with an optical drive, you need to get an external DVD drive to open a DVD. Most DVD drives have a USB cable, and you simply need to insert the DVD into the external DVD drive and connect the USB cable to the computer, then you should be able to open the DVD as normal. Note that a DVD player app is still required to open a DVD on Windows 11 via an external DVD drive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author - Donna Peng

Donna Peng

Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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