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How to Troubleshoot Windows Media Player Not Playing MP4

I've created a couple of videos and saved them to my computer in MP4, but when I try to play them in windows media player, I get a message saying the file can't be played because 'the player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file. What should I do? Windows Media Player should play MP4'.

Windows Media Player not playing MP4 error happens all the time for some users. What causes the MP4 not to play on Windows Media Player? How to fix the issue? Scroll down to figure out.

Table of Content

Part 1. Why Windows Media Player Won't Play MP4 Videos

MP4 video playback failure in Windows Media Player is due to corrupt video files, incompatible file format, codec missing, or player software issue. We list the top three main reasons why Windows Media Player can't play the MP4 video file below.

  • There are some issues with your MP4 video files, for example, the MP4 video is corrupt.
  • The Windows Media Player lacks some codec required for MP4 video playback.
  • There's an issue with the Windows Media Player.

Part 2. How to Fix Windows Media Player Not Playing MP4

Run Troubleshooter on Windows 10

To fix Windows Media Player that won't play MP4 on Windows 10, you can run troubleshooter. Use the steps below to open troubleshooter.

  1. Choose Start > Settings > Update & Security >Troubleshoot.
  2. Scroll down and select the type of troubleshooting from the list. For Windows Media Player not playing MP4, choose Video Playback. Then select Run the troubleshooter.
  3. When running the troubleshooter, answer questions on the screen. If the message shows no changes or updates were necessary, you can try other fixes to MP4 video files not playing on Windows Media Player.

Install a required codec for Windows Media Player

  1. Open Windows Media Player on your computer.
  2. Select Tools > Options, or Organize > Options.
  3. Choose Once a Day under Automatic Updates under the Play tab.
  4. Click OK to save the settings and close the window. The required codec for MP4 playback on Windows Media Player will download automatically.
  5. Go back to play MP4 video on Windows Media Player again to see if the error is resolved. If the Windows Media Player not playing MP4 video problem persists, try another troubleshooting tip.

Try Other MP4 Video Player for Windows

There are tons of MP4 media players better than Windows Media Player for Windows 10/11, such as VLC, 5KPlayer, KMPlayer, Potplayer, to name a few. Try another media player on Windows to play your MP4 video files. If MP4 video won't play on any other media player, there's likely to be a problem with your MP4 video file.

Convert MP4 to Windows Media Player Formats

Windows Media Player should play MP4 requiring no extra codecs. However, MP4 is a wrapper for audio and video. The codec inside can be in the format that Windows Media Player fail to support and play. Free download WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe and transcode MP4 videos to MP4 H.264 playable on Windows Media Player. Follow the guide below to convert and play MP4 videos on Windows Media Player.

[Step-by-step Guide] Convert MP4 to Windows Media Player

Step 1. Free download and install the MP4 video converter for Windows Media Player. Run the software. The tool comes with tons of video codecs, requiring no extra video codecs. Click the "+ Video" button on the main interface and choose the MP4 video that won't play on Windows Media Player.

convert MP4

Step 2. You should see the output profile window after the source MP4 video loads. On the profile window, choose MP4 H.264 and click the OK button to save the format as output. MP4 H.264 is playable on Windows Media Player.

Step 3. Click the RUN button to start the MP4 video conversion process. After conversion, you should play the MP4 H.264 video on Windows Media Player.


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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