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Updated by Kistent Waung - Contact Author

[Solved] Windows Media Player Not Playing DVD on Win 11/10/8/7

Windows Media Player, also known as WMP, is the default media player for Windows PC and mainly used to play video, audio, DVD and view picture. Through years of updating, Windows Media Player 12 released in 2009 is the most recent version, being included and widely applied in Windows 7/8/8.1/10. But there's a crucial note that WMP 12 no longer supports DVD playback since Windows 8.1. In other words, Windows Media Player 12 can only feel up to DVD playing mission on Windows 7. Otherwise, you have to retain the DVD playback function by turning to any elder version from Windows Media Player 8 to 11.

How to Play DVDs on Windows 11 Computers?

Windows Media Player won't play DVD

So how to add DVD playback feature on Windows 8/8.1/10, rather than redownloading Windows Media Player in lower version? Microsoft recommends downloading DVD playback plug-ins and add-ons for WMP, as well as purchasing DVD player app in Windows Store like Windows DVD Player. But actually, there's much freeware that is able to play DVDs on Windows 8/8.1/10 with facility, like VLC Media Player and 5KPlayer.

Part 1. Why Windows Media Player Won't Play DVD on Windows 10/8/7?

If you're wondering why your Window Media Player cannot play DVD, here are some possible causes:

#1: Your disc is dirty or corrupted.

I think this one goes without saying. To make your DVD disc recognized/read, you should firstly make sure the DVD disc is clean and unbroken since DVD drive may not be able to read the dirty or scratched DVD correctly.

#2: You don't have a compatible DVD decoder installed on your computer.

In this case, you'll get an error message "Windows Media Player cannot play the DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer". That's because your computer was not equipped with any DVD decoder. Please download and install one online, e.g CyberLink DVD, Power DVD. If you already have one, try uninstalling and reinstalling it to see whether this issue is tackled. Free Download DVD Codec for Windows 10 Media Player >>

#3: A digital copy protection problem between your DVD drive, decoder, and video card.

When you're prompted with such error message, it is usually caused by digital copy protection from commercial DVD, like error 0x80040287 caused by region. For that, you can solve it from several aspects:

  1. Find out and troubleshoot computer problems by using "Windows Media Player DVD" troubleshooter under Control Panel > Troubleshooting > All Categories (View All).
  2. Reinstall the old driver, or update DVD/CD-ROM driver, video card driver and DVD decoder from manufacturer's web respectively;
  3. Remove or change to another (hard/software) decoder as some DVDs have requirement on the decoder for playback.
  4. Or you can also consider to remove copy protection from DVD for limitless playback on any media players or devices.

#4: Indispensable Codec Pack is Missing

On top of the DVD decoder you're supposed to install for WMP, the codec pack is also a must have for not only video decoding, but also DVD decoding.

Google "DivX" or "K-lite codec pack" and navigate to their official download sites to download and install for your WMP. Certainly, more options are available, including X codec pack, AC3Filter codec, etc.

#5: Incompatible Software Ruins WMP Performance

Check if you have installed some suspicious software recently, which might be incompatible with your Windows media player. Generally, the anti-virus programs and some PC management tools would be conflict with your WMP. Therefore, exit them or uninstall them before you go.

#6: Proxy Settings Might Not Be Correct

The pop-up message indicates that your proxy settings might not be correct when playing back DVD on WMP. In such case, the effective response is to exit your proxy account, shut down VPN or adjust proxy settings (if you can).

#7: Unknown reasons for other WMP not playing DVD situations.

  1. Adjust Windows display settings by opening Display in Control Panel, lower the screen resolution and color quality.
  2. If the commercial DVDs were previously playable, you can try restoring system to a time before this started.
  3. If only home-made DVD cannot be played by WMP, maybe the DVD burning software is getting corrupted. It's suggested to uninstall and reinstall the application to check if it helps resolve the issue.
  4. Sometimes it says disc is empty or no disc found after upgrade, it's better to get a third party DVD player package.
  5. When you run into circumstance of "Windows Media Player won't play DVD because your computer is running low on memory", please check what are running by either using task manager or performance monitor to see the memory usage of the programs that are running. Quit inessential programs, and then try again.

See also: How to Open a DVD Folder (VIDEO_TS) with Windows Media Player

Part 2. How to Play Encrypted DVDs in Windows Media Player?

Even the Windows Media Player won't play DVD trouble is swept away, there're still many elements that are unqualified to recognize and play DVDs, especially those encoded with special mechanisms. Thus, digitalizing DVD discs is always a good way. Here comes the strongest and also the 1st tool to support new DVDs - WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, letting you playback DVD on Windows without installing any codec pack, DVD decoder, upgrading DVD driver, removing any 3rd party software. In a word: dead easy!

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum - An One-click Way to Digitize DVD in 5 Minutes

  • Support All DVDs with any encryptions, covering new/old DVDs, fitness/AV/TV/99-title discs etc.
  • 4 DVD Backup modes to 1:1 clone DVD to ISO image/DVD folder, or copy title to an MPEG.
  • Rip DVD to MP4, MKV, HEVC, H264, Apple, Android, Windows, TV, Xbox One, PS4, iMovie, etc.
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Steps to rip DVD: Click "DVD Disc" to load DVD into software -> Choose a format or device model according to your need -> Set destination folder, edit video, disable/choose/add subtitle, choose audio channel if necessary -> Tap "Run" to rip DVD with hardware acceleration.

Digitize DVD for successful playback

Part 3. Turn to 5KPlayer to Fix Whatever WMP Won't Play DVD Error!

5KPlayer is the best Windows Media Player alternative which has better compatibility on playing DVDs. With it, you don't have to install an extra DVD decoder for DVD playback. It behaves well in every way:

  • Play (4K/5K) videos, audios, DVDs and radio faultlessly on Windows XP to 10.
  • Support playing DVDs encrypted by all copy protection schemes/region codes.
  • No additional DVD codecs, video codecs needed. [100% free & clean]
  • Also act as AirPlay sender/receiver to stream audio video, and free online video downloader.

Free Download 5KPlayer on Windows 10/8/7 to Play DVDs without Error

Download and Install Windows Media Player on Windows 10


author - Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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