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The Easiest Way to Play AVI on Windows Media Player
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How to Play AVI on Windows Media Player?

Author by Sue

Updated on July 07, 2023

Can Windows Media Player play AVI format files? Yes. But in some cases, you may still run into Windows Media Player won’t play AVI files due to unsupported video/audio codecs. Using a video converter can fix the issue quickly. In the following, I will provide a simple video converter to change AVI to WMP-friendly format for easy playback. Get the video converter here and learn how to play AVI on Windows Media Player below:

Q: Suddenly, I am not able to play AVI videos on Windows Media Player on my laptop. Windows did some automatic updating yesterday and needed to restart. Perhaps the update messed up WMP's ability to play AVI files since I can play AVI files without problems before the update.

A: It is known that AVI is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft and in most cases, Windows Media Player is supposed to offer the native support for AVI format. However, sometimes you may be still entangled in the issue of Windows Media Player won't play AVI files. In this tutorial, we'll explore the possible causes and provides solutions to AVI Windows Media Player playback issue.

Why Windows Media Player Won’t Play AVI Files?

Generally speaking, there are two possible reasons that make you fail to play AVI on Windows Media Player.

One of the cause is that if the AVI files are encrypted, corrupted or damaged, they can not be played on Windows Media Player.  In such cases, the only feasible solution is to decrypt or repair the files using some third-party software.

However, the most common cause of Windows Media Player won't play AVI is the codecs of AVI are not supported. Be aware that AVI is just a video container format, and the decisive factor of the video playback depends on the various video and audio codecs. If an AVI file contains a video codec or an audio codec that is not recognized by Windows Media Player, then Windows Media Player just won't play this AVI video or the audio. To solve the problem, you need to make your AVI WMP-compatible again. Read on to learn the how to play AVI files in Windows Media Player.

How to Convert AVI to Windows Media Player Supported Formats?

Transcoding or converting AVI to Windows Media Player compatible formats like WMV is a perfect solution. To this end, you need an effective video converter like WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro. This software can help you to convert AVI to WMV and other Windows Media Player friendly formats easily and quickly. Most importantly, its interface is concise and self-explanatory so that it's quite simple to handle this tool even if you are not so tech-savvy. With only several clicks, you’re able to play AVI files on Windows Media Player without hassles. By the way, this program can also work as an AVI player to play AVI videos. Now, try to solve the AVI Windows Media Player playback failure issue with the steps below.

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  • 1. Convert AVI to WMV for smooth playback in Windows Media Player.
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How to Transcode or Convert AVI Files

Before start, please free download and install the AVI to Windows Media Player Converter on PC.

Add files to the converter

Step 1: Add Files to the AVI to Windows Media Player Converter

Launch the video conversion software on your computer, open Converter, then click “Add Files” button to add files or just drag and drop the AVI files into the blank space.

convert AVI to WMV

Step 2: Choose Any Windows Media Player Supported Format

To play AVI on Windows Media Player, you have to convert the problematic AVI files to Windows Media Player compatible format like WMV. Open the output format page on the right side, go to “Video” category and then select “WMV”. Finally, click “Run” to start conversion process. After that, you can enjoy the videos in WMP.

In addition to AVI to WMV conversion, HD Video Converter Factory Pro also allows you to covert AVI to other 500+ formats and devices as you need, for instance, convert AVI to MKV.

transcoding AVI files

Optional Method: Change Video Encoder of AVI File

Since Windows Media Player not playing AVI is caused by unsupported video codec, you can fix it by changing the video encoder of AVI file. Click “Output Format” and simply select AVI profile under "Video" category. Next, open “Parameters Settings” window and choose an available encoder under “Encoder” option. Generally speaking, Divx is supported by Windows Media Player. Next, change the audio codec to MP3. Then after the conversion, you can enjoy the AVI files and will never come across AVI Windows Media Player playback problems.

Hot Search: Play MKV on Windows Media Player| Fix Windows Media Player MP4 Playback Issue |  Windows Media Player Not Playing DVD

This video converter also has advanced settings functions which  help you change video resolution, change video frame rate, and change bit rate of both video and audio files. Just click “Parameter setting” button underneath the format profile to modify these related parameters.

Extra Tip 1. Download and Install K-Lite Codec Pack

You can also install the AVI codec for Windows Media Player to fix the unsupported AVI problem. K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of various audio and video codecs, which includes 4 different editions. It offers user-friendly solution to playing almost all video files. And all the editions are free of charge. In most cases, the basic edition can meet most common requirements. After you download and installed the codec pack, the Windows Media Player can play AVI files normally. Here's the download link:

Extra Tip 2. Use Windows Media Player Alternatives

VLC: Windows Media Player alternativeVLC: Windows Media Player alternative

If you just want to play the AVI files on your PC (in other words, you are not trying to play it on your portable devices), there is another method available besides the two solutions above. Download some AVI Windows Media Player alternatives like VLC can work like a charm. For example, download VLC via this link.

After downloading the alternative to Windows Media Player, just add files to the player by pressing “Open File” and then VLC can play AVI file smoothly.

In conclusion, there are three different methods to play AVI on Windows Media Player. Based on your actual situation, you can choose the one that is suitable for you. With the three easy methods, Can Windows Media Player play AVI? I bet the answer is “Yes”. Now, you can enjoy your videos without any restriction.


These are all the three methods I can think of to help play AVI on Windows with no error. Switching to a different media player would be the most direct solution if you just want to get the video to play. Installing the AVI codec for WMP can also fix the issue effectively. However, if you want to play AVI on more devices and platforms without hassle, converting AVI to a universal format will be the best choice for you. Download the program to have a try now!

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