[Fixed] Windows Media Player Encountered A Problem While Playing The File

Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Robert Jackson


As the built-in media player software on Windows machines, the Windows Media Player contributes a lot to the playback of all kinds of videos, music, and discs on a Windows PC. However, not everything is running perfectly on Windows Media Player.

Sometimes, as you play a local file with Windows Media Player, the playback will fail and you’ll receive a warning saying ‘Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file’.

Windows Media Player Encountered A Problem While Playing the File

Disturbing as it is, you must fix the issue to retrieve the playback ability for your PC and Windows Media Player.

To help you with that, this tutorial will unveil all the possible reasons for this problem as well as some positive solutions. Buckle up and let’s roll.

Contents of fixing your Windows Media Player:

Part 1: Reasons that Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file

The followings are the reasons that your Windows Media Player fails to play the file and displays a warning:

  1. Windows Media Player doesn’t support playing your file;
  2. Windows Media Player lacks a correct codec to play the file;
  3. The video, audio, and display drives on your computer is out of date;
  4. You’ve done some wrong settings for Windows Media Player;
  5. The file is damaged or corrupted due to an incomplete download, transfer, or conversion;
  6. The file is considered suspicious by your Antivirus.

Part 2 Solutions for ‘Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file’

In this section, we’ll be seeing 7 methods that you can use to fix the ‘Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file’ issue.

Methods to fix ‘Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file’

Hopefully, the methods below can get you out of playback failure trouble and you can have fun with the file again.

Solution 1: Play the file on another media player software

Instead of trying all kinds of methods one by one, you can skip all fixes and play the file on another more advanced media player software like Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player.

Aiseesoft Blu Ray Player

Plays files and discs:

Superior to Windows Media Player, Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player can help you play tons of files in different formats, like MP4, MKV, AVI, WMV, MP3, AAC, and the rare ISO, VOB, H.265/HEVC, etc.

Also, entitled as Blu-ray Player, you can play Blu-ray discs, BD Folders, and BD ISOs with the program without troubles at all.

No need to mention this media player is also capable of playing DVDs and CDs.

Open Blu-ray Disc on Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player

Comforts your eyes and ears:

No quality loss will ever happen to you when you play videos, music, CD, DVD, Blu-ray discs for the reason that Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player supports 4K/1080P/720P and Dolby 7.1/DTS-HD/Dolby TrueHD.

Instead, devilishly clear frames and angelic sounds will comfort you, your mind, your brain, your eyes, and your ears.

Customize the playback:

With the program, you’re available to adjust the effects of movies and videos.

Case in point: values like Hue, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, & Gamma are all changeable and last till you reset them or the playback is over.

Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player Adjust Blu-ray DVD Video Effect

Optimize the playback:

For 4K videos or 4K Blu-ray discs, you may have the concern that the playback will be choppy.

Well, with Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player, you can activate the Hardware Acceleration feature to make sure the movie will run perfectly on your computer.

Create a personalized library:

Same as Windows Media Player, Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player ensures users create a library to hold songs and movies so that you can easily locate an item from your collection.

Now, download it on your computer for free and start to play files with Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player.

Free Download Here:

Win Download
Mac Download
Win Download
Mac Download

Solution 2: Convert the file to a more compatible format

If you stick to Windows Media Player to play the file, well, check whether Windows Media Player supports this format. If not, try converting it into a compatible one.

File Types that Windows Media Player (Version: 12) supports:

CategoriesFile Extensions
Windows Media formats.asf, .wma, .wmv, .wm, .asx, .wax, .wvx, .wmx, wpl, .wmd, .wav, .wmz, .wms, .aac, .adt, .adts
Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG/MP4).mpg, .mpeg, .m1v, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .mpe, .m3u, .mp4, .m4v, .mp4v, .3g2, .3gp2, .3gp, .3gpp, .m4a, .m2ts
Microsoft Digital Video Recording.dvr-ms
Audio Visual Interleave.avi
Musical Instrument Digital Interface.mid, .midi, .rmi
Audio Interchange File Format.aif, .aifc, .aiff
Sun Microsystems and NeXT.au, .snd
CD Audio Track.cda
Indeo Video Technology.ivf
QuickTime Movie file.mov
Free Lossless Audio Codec.flac

Files with .vob, .mkv, .aac, .rmvb, .hevc cannot run on Windows Media Player.

In this case, you need to turn to a video or audio converter program. Here, you can try Video Converter Ultimate. This is a versatile file converter that can easily transform formats into one another.

For those files that cannot run on Windows Media Player, you can use Video Converter Ultimate to convert them to compatible ones and play on the media player with a few clicks.

No drops of frame, resolution, and quality will ever happen to the files. Instead, this file converter allows users to upgrade 2D movies to 3D and modify the effects, which aims to deliver you the ultimate visual treats.

aiseesoft-video-converter

Let’s see how to use it to convert files for Windows Media player.

Step 1 Download Video Converter Ultimate on your PC

Download on Win
Download on Mac
Download on Win
Download on Mac

Step 2 Import target file(s) into Video Converter Ultimate

Launch this converter and drag the target file(s) to it.

Tip1

Video Converter Ultimate supports multitasking, you can import dozens of files at a time for conversion.

Step 3 Choose a compatible format

After Video Converter Ultimate processes your file, locate the Format icon and click it to decide the output format.

Video Converter Ultimate Convert Videos Setup for Windows Media Player

Tip2

For multiple tasks, click the Converter All to option and avoid selecting the format one by one.

Besides the format, you can also decide the resolution of a video file.

For Windows Media Player, you may set the format like MP4, WMV, or AVI and choose Same as Source to convert the target file losslessly.

Convert Videos to MP4 Via Video Converter Ultimate for Windows Media Player

Tip3

For 2D-to-3D optimization, you may choose one from 3D-Left or 3D-Right options under the MP4 and AVI tabs.

Step 4 Complete the conversion

Now, click the Convert All button to initiate a file conversion right away. Video Converter Ultimate will start to convert your file into a target format.

Later, as the program finishes its work, it will open the destination folder by default. You may locate and play the file there.

Do enjoy the video or music with Windows Media Player then.

Solution 3: Update Windows Media Player

If you’re still running an old Windows Media Player like 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, the reason for the playback failure may result from this. Let’s update the media player to the latest. Do these:

Step 1

On the desktop, right-click at any blank area and choose Control. Click on Category on the pull-down list.

Windows PC Open Control Panel from Desktop for Windows Media Player

Step 2

Click on the Uninstall a program under the Programs tab.

Open Programs on Windows PC for Windows Media Player

Then, hit the Turn Windows Features on and off option.

On the new pop-out, scroll and locate Media Features. Find the Windows Media Player option under it. Uncheck the option and click Yes to confirm.

Uninstall Windows Media Player

Now, your PC will work to remove the old Windows Media Player from the hard drive.

Step 3

Restart the machine and redo the above steps.

This time, you should tick the Windows Media Player option under the Media Features tab. In this way, your computer will download and install the latest Windows Media Player onto the machine.

Run the file on the new Windows Media Player and see if it works or not.

Solution 4: Update video, audio, and display drives

A computer will take qualifies audio, video and display drive to play a video file on a media player tool.

When the drives on your PC are outdated and unqualified, your Windows Media Player will fail to play the video file and display you a sign of encountering a problem.

Let’s update your drive to get rid of the issue.

Step 1

On your computer, search for Device Manager and launch it.

Open Device Manager for Windows Media Player

Step 2

Locate these two: Audio inputs and outputs, Sound, video, and game controller. These are the two tabs we need to focus on and upgrade.

Click on the Audio inputs and outputs first. Right-click on the first drive under this tab and choose Update driver.

Update Drives on Windows PC for Windows Media Player

A new window pops out where you need to click Search automatically for updated driver software to enable auto-update.

Wait for a while, your PC will search for the latest version of this driver and update it if available.

Update Drives on Windows Auto Search Latest Drive for Windows Media Player

Step 3

Finish updating one, let’s try the same process on all the drives under the two aforementioned tabs.

When you complete the upgrade for all the drivers, launch Windows Media Player and run the file.

Solution 5: Run Troubleshoot for WMP

Windows Media Player offers a built-in troubleshooting feature, you can use it to fix the error.

Step 1

On your keyboard, press the Windows Logo button and R to activate the Run box.

Step 2

Type in ‘msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic’ into the Run box. Click OK to open the troubleshoot for WMP.

Type in Codes on Run Box Open Windows Media Player Troubleshoot

Step 3

On the new window, click Advanced > Run as administrator > Next to start detecting the issue on your Windows Media Player.

Step 4

Hit Apple this fix when the scan is complete. Then, the troubleshoot feature will work on the problem. Try playing the file again when the fix is complete.

Fix Windows Media Player Not Open File

Solution 6: Install Windows Media Player Codecs

As mentioned, Windows Media Player lacks the correct codec to play certain file types. We can try to download one for it to play the files.

Based on the target file format, you need to download different codecs separately. Here are some famous codec packs and their supported file formats:

  • Xvid: .mp4 | .avi;
  • DivX: .avi;
  • Media Player Codec Pack: .bdmv | .evo | .hevc | .mkv | .avi | .flv | .webm | .mp4 | .m4v | .m4a | .ts | .ogm | .ac3 | .dts | .alac | .flac | .ape | .aac | .ogg | .ofr | .mpc | .3gp and many more.

All you have to do is to google the name of the target codec pack and install it on your computer. Relaunch Windows Media Player and play a relative file.

Solution 7: Disable Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

Your Windows Media Player may receive some bugs or viruses online via the Network Sharing Service. Let’s disable the feature.

Do these:

Step 1

Press the Windows Logo button and R to open the Run box. Type in ‘services.msc‘ and click OK to launch the Service window on your computer.

Open Services Windows on PC

Step 2

Locate Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service from the list and right-click on it. Choose Properties.

Disable Windows Media Player Network Sharing Services

Step 3

Under General, navigate to Startup type and set it as Disabled. Click Apply to confirm.

Disable Windows Media Player Network Sharing Services Setup

Step 4

Restart your computer. Launch Windows Media Player for playback then.

Warping up:

Above are all the methods that you help you play your file on your computer. Some of them are walkarounds and some are the fixes for Windows Media Player.

Nore that if those fixes still cannot get Windows Media Player to play the file, it’s very likely that your file is corrupted. You’d better re-download one.

Part 3: FAQs for Windows Media Player

To open up the Tools option on Windows Media Player, you need to set your Windows Media Player into Playlist. Then, locate the Tools option at the top of the program.

Your iPhone uses HEVE (High-Efficiency Video Coding) to encode a video.

And that kind of video coding standard is not supported in Windows Media Player. You have to convert the iPhone video first before playing it on Windows Media Player.

There’re multiple reasons for Windows Media Player not playing videos and DVDs, like lack of codec, incompetent decryption methods, incorrect settings, etc.

To play the video or disc successfully, check this troubleshot to try some solutions: Fix Windows Media Player not Playing video/disc/audio.

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