How to Play MP4 Files on Windows Media Player?

🕔 5 minutes read Playing MP4 videos on Windows media player should be easy, but it isn't always. If you don't have the right codecs or software, you might find that the Windows media player won't play MP4 at all, or that you get stuck with an error message you can't play. Read the complete article to fix unplayable mp4 video files on the windows media player

Windows Media Player is one of the oldest and most used. Although Microsoft’s Windows Media Player supports a wide variety of media file formats, there is one important file format that is missing. Yes, Windows Media Player doesn’t support playing .mp4 files. However, there are certain tweaks that can surely help you play .mp4 files on Windows Media Player.

Not just that, if you read till the end of the article you will also be able to fix your .mp4 video files which don’t play in any media player due to some unknown reason.

Table of Contents

Why my MP4 file doesn’t play in Windows Media Player?

How Do I get Windows Media Player to Play MP4 videos?

Why my MP4 file doesn’t play in Windows Media Player?

According to Microsoft Mp4 is not supported by windows, windows XP, and Windows 10/11, windows 12 supports MP4 videos, but it doesn’t support all MP4  playback formats. 

Some of the issues you will get while playing MP4 video files are:

  1. Issues in Codec:

If there are issues in the codec, you will get the error saying the MP4 video file cannot play in the windows media player. So it is necessary to know the codec of your videos.

  1. Downloaded MP4 files could be broken

If the Download MP4 is broken then you will not able to play Mp4 files on a windows media player.

3. Corrupted File: Corrupted video files could be a problem for playing MP4 video files in a Windows Media player

These are the most common reasons for MP4 videos not playing on windows Media Player.

[Note: You can refer to this article not able to play an MP4 file on Windows if you are facing an issue in playing MP4 videos on windows]

How Do I get Windows Media Player to Play MP4 videos?

Method 1: Install the Codecs

Method 2: Convert MP4 Videos Using Windows Media Player

Method 3: Run the Troubleshooter

Method 4: Turn Off DirectX Video Acceleration For WMV Files

Method 5: Play MP4 Videos on Other Media Players

Method 1: Install the Codecs

Before Installing the latest version check for the latest updates using Automatic Updates, It will download and install codecs for windows. Follow the below steps to install the windows update.

Open Control panel

Select Windows Update

Select Troubleshooting

That’s it you will able to install or update new/required codec

To Install the Required Codecs in WMP for Your MP4 Files,

  • Launch Windows Media Player, go to Tools, and select Options
  • Under the Player tab, choose Download codecs automatically and hit OK
  • Play the MP4 file, click the Install button when you are asked to install the codec

Method 2: Convert MP4 Videos Using Windows Media Player

If you were not able to find the right Codecs to play your Mp4 files on WMP, then you have another option to make it work by converting the MP4 video file format to Windows Media Player compatible file.

You can simply use the VLC media player to convert the video file to any video file format that WMP supports for free.

Convert MP4 files to Windows Media Player supportive file formats using the below steps.

Note: Try these steps on a copy of your MP4 video file.

  • Open your MP4 file in Windows Media Player, click on Organize and select Options

Open windows media player to fix Mp4 not playing on windows media player

  • Switch to the Rip Music section, click on the Change button and mention the destination location to save the converted video file

Select Organize to fix mp4 not playing windows media player

  • In Rip settings, under Format select MP3 and hit the OK button

Now, you can play the converted MP4 video file in Windows Media Player without any hustle.

Method 3: Run the Troubleshooter

To resolve .mp4 videos not playing in Windows Media Player you can run Troubleshooter. Windows 10/11 comes with a troubleshooter that can check the configuration and network settings that might be preventing the MP4 video files or movies from playing on Windows Media Player.

Steps to run the troubleshooter:

  • Open Windows Setting by pressing on Windows + I keys.
  • Click on the Update & Security option and click on Troubleshoot from the left column.

Troubleshoot to fix MP4 not playing windows media player

  • Search for Video Playback and click on it.

video playback

  • Select Run the troubleshooter.

If you get the message saying that no changes or updates were necessary, move to the next method below.

Method 4: Turn Off DirectX Video Acceleration For WMV Files

  • Open Windows Media Player.
  • Click on Organize button and select Options.
  • Click on the Performace tab and disable Turn on DirectX Video Acceleration for WMV files.


  • Click on Apply and select OK to save changes.
  • Restart the Windows Media Player.

Method 5: Play MP4 Videos on Other Media Players

If you were not able to download the codecs or convert your .mp4 video file to make it compatible with Windows Media Player, then you can simply make use of other media players that are available for free. VLC is one such media player that will allow you to play videos of various file formats.

If your MP4 file fails to play on the VLC player, it can be your video file at fault, not the media player.

If still you are not able to fix the issue then there is a chance that your MP4 file might be corrupted, Corruption is one of the reasons for MP4 not playing on a windows media player. You can repair the corrupted video by making use of Remo video repair software.

Irrespective of the situation tool repairs the corrupted videos of all the formats in 3 steps.

With the help of all the above-mentioned methods, you will certainly be able to fix the error MP4 not playing on Windows Media Player. If there are any questions please do mention them in the comment section.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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