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Posted by Kaley Torres - Contact Author

[Fixed] MKV Videos Won't Play in Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is inbuilt media player software in Windows. The latest version WMP12 was released in October 2019 along with Windows 7 and now is also available for later Windows 8/8.1/10. It is some Windows user's first choice to play video files on PC. However, it usually fails to work with MKV video files. Sometimes, it gives a black screen with only audio. Sometimes, no sound can be heard.

Incompatibility is the reason why Windows Media Player won't play MKV files. Unfold the list of file types supported by Windows Media Player and MKV is not included. So, how can we fix MKV not playing issue in Windows Media Player? In this article, we will make an induction of the common MKV not playing errors, analyze why they happen and show you how to fix 4K HEVC MKV files playback error easily.

Table of Content

Causes. Why MKV Won't Play in Windows Media Player

1. Format incompatibility. When MKV doesn't play in Windows Media Player due to format compatibility issue, users always receive error message like these:

  • Windows Media Player cannot play the file because the required video codec is not installed on your computer.
  • A codec is required to play this file. To determine if this codec is available to download from the Web, click Web Help.

2. The MKV video file is corrupted. This may lead to MKV not playing in Windows Media Player, showing a black screen, or the corrupted MKV video file fails to load in Windows Media Player.

3. Software or hardware issue. There's problem with Windows Media Player or your computer hardware. Update your Windows Media Player or re-install it to fix the problem.

Solution 1. Convert MKV to WMP Acceptable Formats

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, which wraps the ability to change video format from MKV to MP4, AVI, WMV etc, is a good helper to fix MKV not playing issue in WMP. It has a straightforward design leading you to convert MKV to Windows Media Player supported formats such as H.264 MP4 in a few of clicks. With the utilization of GPU acceleration, it can deliver fast conversion performance. Also, the quality will not be scarified after conversion or compression.

Step 1. Launch this WinX MKV converter and click +Video button to load the MKV file which won't work with Windows Media Player.

Step 2. Output Profile pops up. Select a format available for WMP as output format, for example MP4 Video (codec: h264+aac). Click OK.

Step 3. Click Browse button to set a new destination folder. At last, click RUN button to start conversion.

Solution 2. Install MKV Codec for Windows Media Player

If you wouldn't like to convert MKV, the other way to fix MKV not playing issue is to install MKV codec for Windows Media Player. There are several codec packs for computer or device – for example Media Player Codec Pack, K-Lite codec Pack - helping encode/decode MKV to achieve a smooth playback. You can download MKV codec pack in software download sites (CNET, Softnoic etc.) and install them on your Windows PC.

What we also want to notice you is that some MKV videos are encoded with HEVC which drives you to fail play MKV in Windows Media Player even though you have installed MKV codec. If you want to play all MKV videos, it is suggested to install codec pack supporting MKV and HEVC. Or, converting MKV to WMP is a much better choice.

Solution 3. Download Codecs in Windows Media Player

Enable Windows Media Player to download codecs automatically. In Windows Media Player 11, use the steps below to do the job.

  1. Go to Tools > Options > Player.
  2. Choose Download codecs automatically, then click OK.
  3. When you are asked to install the codec, choose Install.
  4. When the codec is installed, close Windows Media Player, re-open the player, and load the MKV video file that failed to play before.

Check more fixes to MKV not playing issue in 11/Windows 10/8/7


author - Kaley Torres

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Kaley Torres is a self-motivated, creative editor with eight years of marketing and SEO experience, specializing in writing on DVD, video, audio, images, new digital contents etc. With a partiality DVD collection, Kaley also enjoys digitizing DVD and is keen to share her DVD video conversion solutions as well as video sharing tips on social media.

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