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[Fixed] 3 Flexible Solutions to Windows Media Player Subtitles Not Working

Author by Kevincy Berel

Updated on June 21, 2022

Last weekend, my neighbor Nelson knocked on my door asking for help. He downloaded a series of documentaries in Spanish, along with the corresponding SRT subtitles, but was unable to figure out how to add them to his Windows Media Player anyway. Fortunately, I have come across such an experience in this matter. After helping him solve Windows Media Player subtitles won't work problem, I incidentally compiled the following how-to tutorial. Keep reading!

Microsoft's Windows Media Player seems to have been forgotten by most people, but undeniably, there are still many die-hard fans out there who are still stuck with WMP as the default Player on their computers. Thus, you have to come to an awkward situation when watching foreign movies or TV shows - Windows Media Player won't load external subtitles. Of course, I'd been in this dilemma before, and explored and tried several solutions. Next, I'll share my experience on how to solve the Windows Media Player subtitles not working issue.

Related Reading: VLC Not Showing Subtitles | Samsung TV Subtitles Problems | Handbrake Add Subtitles | Add Subtitles to AVI

Solution 1 - How to Add Subtitles in Windows Media Player

Rename the Files to Match Each OtherRename the Files to Match Each Other

Step 1 - Prepare Movie File and Subtitle File in the Same Folder

Create a new folder with random name, and move or copy both of your movie file and subtitle file into it. Rename the file names and keep them in line with each other.

Windows Media Player Add SubtitlesWindows Media Player Add Subtitles

Step 2 - Make Some Settings in Windows Media Player

Play the video with WMP, right click anywhere on the screen and choose "More options". On the pop-up window, go to "Security" tab and enable "Show local caption when present" option. Click OK to go back to Now Playing Mode.

How to Add Subtitles in Windows Media PlayerHow to Add Subtitles in Windows Media Player

Step 3 - Turn on Subtitles Loading Option

Finally, right click on the playing screen, go to "Lyrics, captions, and subtitles" and switch to "On if available". Normally, the WMP will load the subtitles successfully.

Note: It may not work due to various systems and cases. However, it sometimes can be settled by means of the third party software add-on, plugin and codec pack. You may download, install and give it a shot below.

DirectVobSub (formerly VSFilter)

Local Subtitles for WMP (it works for me!)


Solution 2 – Burn Subtitles into Video for Permanently Showing in WMP

If the method above still doesn't work for you, there is a 100% working method to make it work once for all, that is, burning the subtitles into video. Thus, the subtitles will become a part of the video and display from beginning to end. WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is a reliable and good helper to sort it out. In addition to adding subtitles to video, it also helps you convert video and audio to Windows Media Player compatible formats. Now let’s see how it works.

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Add Video File and External Subtitle File

Step 1 - Load Video File and Subtitle File

Run HD Video Converter Factory Pro and open "Converter". Add your video files by clicking Add Files or simple drag-and-drop. Open the subtitle drop-down list below the video preview window and choose "Add subtitle". Just select your external SRT/ASS subtitle file and click "Open".

Tips: You are allowed to add multiple video files to burn subtitles respectively. If the video contains internal subtitles, you can directly select it from the subtitle drop-down list.

Select Desired Format

Step 2 - Select Output Format

Once done, open the output format list on the right, there are 500+ preset formats and devices for your choice. MP4, AVI, WMV, etc. under the "Video Category" are recommended for Windows Media Player for their good compatibility.

Insert Subtitle to Video

Step 3 - Start the Subtitle Burning Process

Appoint a destination folder for converted file. At last, click the "Run" button to hardcode subtitles to video.

Optional, this program offers some basic video editing features, such as merge videos, trim video clips, watermark videos, etc. Besides, you'll find a "Subtitle Extractor" in the Toolbox.

Solution 3 – How to Put Subtitles on Windows Media Player Alternatives

Load Subtitles in VLCLoad Subtitles in VLC

Actually, the most direct way to solve Windows Media Player subtitles not working issue is to add subtitles to video in some free alternatives to WMP. Nowadays, most free media players have enough capacity for loading external subtitle files. I’ll take the celebrated VLC Media Player for example below.

1. Play your video with VLC Media Player, click on the "Subtitle" in the menu bar and choose "Add Subtitle File..." to load your external sub file directly.

2. Alternatively, if you’ve moved both video and subtitle files with the same names in one folder, VLC will recognize and load the subtitle file automatically when playing the video.

At last...

Hope this how-to article is helpful for you to solve Windows Media Player subtitles display problem. Does it deserve a thumb-up, huh? If you have any better solution, don’t hesitate to let me know, and I’ll update this tutorial any time.

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HD Video Converter Factory Pro

HD Video Converter Factory Pro is an all-purpose program designed for all complete novices. In addition to adding subtitles to video, it enables to convert video/audio format optionally, download online video and music to local drive, create GIFs from video/images, capture your desktop activity, etc. It’s supposed to be a must-have on your computer.

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