How to Fix Windows Media Player Not Playing DVD the Most Efficiently?

Many people encounter the error of Windows Media Player not playing DVDs. So this article offers solutions to fix the error caused by possible reasons. Here, we provide a quick method to convert and play the DVD on Windows computers. Download this DVD ripping tool to work it out:

Vita Vita | May 19, 2023

Part 1. Can Windows Media Player Play DVD?

Part 2. How to Play DVD on Windows Media Player?

Part 3. Why Windows Media Player Won’t Play DVD?

Part 4. How to Fix Windows Media Player Not Playing DVD?

Part 4-1. Download a DVD Decoder for Windows Media Player

Part 4-2. Use a Third-party DVD Player


The information provided below is for general informational purposes only. We do not endorse or advocate copyright infringement in any way. Please refer to the DVD copyright laws in your country before ripping a copy-protected DVD.

Can Windows Media Player Play DVD?

Windows Media Player 11 on Windows Vista (Home Premium/Ultimate) and Windows 7 includes DVD decoders (MPEG-2 and Dolby Digital AC-3) to support DVD playback natively. Yet Microsoft has removed the built-in support for DVD playback since Windows 8 due to licensing costs.
Windows Media Player on Windows 8 and 8.1 doesn’t allow playing DVDs by default. Users can buy the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or Windows 8 Pro Pack to enable that playback feature.
As for Windows 10 and 11, users can purchase the Windows DVD Player app from Microsoft Store or choose an alternative media player to watch the DVD movies.

In short, if you’re using Windows 8/8.1/10/11, you need additional software to play DVDs on the computer.

Related Posts: Free DVD Players for Windows 10/11 | How to Play a DVD in Windows 8/8.1

How to Play DVD on Windows Media Player?

If you are working on Windows Vista (Home Premium and Ultimate only) or Windows 7 (Home Premium, Ultimate, or Enterprise), you can play a DVD with Windows Media Player as below:

Step 1. Insert a DVD into the DVD drive of your computer.

Step 2. Open the Windows Media Player app.

Step 3. Go to Library on the left side and select the DVD to play.

How to Play DVD in Windows Media Player

Generally, Windows Media Player will start playing the DVD movie once you insert it. But you may still fail to play certain DVDs due to encryptions or other factors. Don’t worry. The following article will walk you through effective fixes to the error of Windows Media Player not playing DVD.

Get the most efficient solution to enable smooth DVD playback on your Windows PC or many other devices:

Easily Play and Convert DVDs

WonderFox DVD Ripper Pro can help you rip any DVD to digital videos in high quality. It can remove or bypass copy protection and convert DVDs to 300+ formats/devices for easy playback. Try it now!

Why Won’t Windows Media Player Play My DVD?

As mentioned above, Windows Media Player won’t play DVDs natively in Windows 11/10/8.1/8. Besides, other factors can result in playback failure, as well. Here are some of the frequent errors and the corresponding solutions.

1. The DVD is protected by region code

Error message: Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder, and video card. Try installing an updated driver for your video card.

You can update the drivers for your video card as suggested or upgrade the DVD decoder. Yet, the most effective method is to remove the copy protection with a professional DVD ripper like WonderFox DVD Ripper Pro.

2. Your PC lacks the necessary DVD codec

Error message 1: Windows Media Player cannot play the DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer.

Error message 2: Windows Media Player requires a DVD decoder to play DVD media. Go online to learn how to obtain and install a DVD decoder. Once installed verify that you can play the DVD in Windows Media Player.

In this case, you may click on the link to obtain and install a DVD decoder to solve the Windows Media Player won’t play DVD problem. Alternatively, you can download the required DVD codec manually.

Check how to solve “compatible DVD decoder is not installed” Windows Media Player error here >

3. The Windows display settings are improper

Error message: Windows Media Player cannot play DVD video. You might need to adjust your Windows display settings. Open display settings in Control Panel, and then try lowering your screen resolution and color quality settings.

Just follow the suggestions given by your system. If it doesn’t work, you can convert the DVD to digital copies to play on Windows Media Player without any hassle.

Also Read: Does Ripping a DVD Damage It? How to Copy DVDs Properly?

4. The DVD itself is damaged

DVD discs can easily get damaged by accident. If the scratch is not so serious, there are still possibilities to fix it. See how to >

The Best Solution for Windows Media Player Not Playing DVD

Apart from common methods to fix DVD won’t play on Windows Media Player, you can try the dedicated Windows DVD ripping software – WonderFox DVD Ripper Pro. It can rip DVDs to WMP-supported video formats to be free from DVD codec and region limitations, and even save more space for movie collections.

With advanced decoding technology, this software can rip any homemade or commercial DVDs encrypted by region code, CSS, RCE, Disney X-Project DRM, etc. It provides over 300 output presets, including WMV, MP4, MKV, AVI, MP3, WAV, and more. Beyond that, it allows you to convert DVDs directly to computers, phones, tablets, TVs, and other devices for handy payback or backup. Give the easy yet powerful DVD ripping software a try!

Now, please free downloadfree download DVD Ripper Pro on your PC and follow the steps to convert your DVD to be compatible with Windows Media Player.

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Fix Windows Media Player Won’t Play DVD Most Efficiently

Step 1. Load DVD Source

Insert the DVD into your computer’s DVD-ROM drive. Then launch WonderFox DVD Ripper Pro. Click DVD Disc and select the drive letter to load it into the program. You can add the DVD content through ISO Image or DVD Folder alternatively.

The DVD decoder app will detect and analyze the DVD rapidly with the main title marked.

Load DVD Content

Step 2. Choose Output Format

Click the format image on the right side of the interface to expand the profile menu. Go to the Video tab and select the WMV (Windows Media Video) format.

Besides WMV, you can convert the DVD to MP4, AVI, or other formats supported by Windows Media Player for playing without issues.

Tips. If you want to modify the resolution, bitrate, frame rate, volume, etc. of the resulting file, go to Settings in the bottom right corner. Moreover, you can edit the DVD video, such as cutting clips from DVD, adding special effects, and adding subtitles to DVD.

Select WMV Format

Step 3. Start Converting DVD to WMV

Tap the three dots icon at the bottom to specify an output folder. Finally, press Run to start the converting process. Once done, you can watch the DVD movie in Windows Media Player without a hitch.

Finish Ripping DVD to WMP

Best DVD Ripper for Windows

1. Remove DVD region code, CSS, RCE, Multi-angle, etc.
2. Convert DVDs to WMV, MP4, H.264, H.265, and more.
3. Compress an 8GB DVD to a 1-2GB digital video.
4. Rip a DVD with multiple subtitles and audio tracks.

Other Methods to Fix Windows Media Player Not Playing DVD

Another way to solve the Windows 10 Media Player won’t play DVD issue is to use a third-party DVD player, like VLC, 5KPlayer, Kodi, MPC-BE, and so forth.

1. VLC Media Player

→ See how to play DVD in VLC

Official website:
VLC is one of the most reputable media players around the world. It can play audio/video files and DVDs on Windows computers and convert any file type for hassle-free audio and video playback. Meanwhile, it offers a considerable amount of customizability to improve your visual experience. The interface is user-friendly and intuitive.

2. 5KPlayer

Official website:
This player app enables you to watch DVDs and online radio stations in an easy way. It features support for video playback in 2K and 4K resolution on aging computers. It also provides a wide selection of music filters, a video library, and a high-bitrate video & music downloader.

3. Kodi

→ See how to watch DVD movies in Kodi

Official website:
Kodi is a free and open-source media player application for multiple platforms. It can play almost every kind of media you can find, including music, movies, photos, DVDs, games, and other files from the internet. It features a 10-foot user interface with televisions and remote controls, making it easy to watch movies on home theater devices.


Official website:
MPC-BE, short for Media Player Classic – Black Edition, is an excellent audio and video player for Windows. It supports various media files, such as DVDs, Blu-rays, and ISO images. It provides many features to enhance the user experience. For instance, DVDs can be recognized as soon as you insert them.

Wrap up

Above, we have walked through how to play DVD on Windows Media Player and how to fix Windows Media Player not playing DVD issues. To sum up, Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and 11 don’t support DVD playback by default. You can install the necessary DVD codec or use additional media players. Yet, in this way, you can only watch DVD movies on your PC. For free playback, upload, or backup purposes, digitizing DVDs might be the best solution. Get WonderFox DVD Ripper Pro to enjoy your DVDs without any restrictions instantly!

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