Windows Media Player encountered a Problem while Playing the File | Solved 

🕔 6 minutes read

Encountering problems while playing MP4, MOV, or any other video file format on Windows Media Player can be frustrating. In this article, we have compiled a list of possible reasons behind this issue and provided effective solutions to fix it for free on various Windows versions, including Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.

Windows Media Player is a well-known media player program developed by Microsoft. It is designed to play audio and video files of various formats on the Windows operating system, including Windows 10. The program also functions as a media library, allowing users to organize and manage their media files effectively.

However, despite its reputation, there are instances where users might encounter errors while using Windows Media Player, such as the message “Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.”

Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file

Causes for the Error - Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem 

  1. Corrupt or damaged video file.
  2. Incompatible codec or video file format.
  3. Recently upgraded Windows media player
  4. Upgrading your Windows operating system
  5. Incomplete or improper download/ transfer of video files  
  6. Downloading video files from unreliable sources

How to fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file?

Find here a complete guide to fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file with the help of below 6 proven methods.

  1. Play Videos on another Media Player.
  2. Repair Damaged or Corrupt Videos using Video Repair Tool.
  3. Convert Video to a Different Video Format.
  4. Reinstall Windows Media Player.
  5. Update Your Windows Media Player.
  6. Install Windows Media Player Video Codec.
  7. Windows Media Player Setting Troubleshooter.
  8. Disabling the windows Media Player Network Sharing Service.

Method 1: Try Playing Videos on another Media Player

The first thing you should do is try to play the same video on any other media player, such as VLC media player. If the video is working fine on other media player but not on windows media player, then the reason is the video file format or video codec is not compatible with Windows media player. Kindly follow method 3 to know more.

In case, the video is not working on any media players, then there’s a high chance that your video file is severely corrupt or damaged. Follow the next method to know how to repair corrupt or damaged video files.

Method 2: Repair videos not playing on Windows Media Player

Utilize the Remo Video Repair which is Powerful yet user-friendly tool exclusively designed to fix corrupt, damaged, or broken MP4, MOV, AVI, and many other video file formats. This tool works with the advanced video repairing algorithms to fix video causing the Windows Media Player error while playing the file in just a few steps.

Four Simple Steps to Repair any Corrupt Video Using Remo Video Repair Tool.

Step 1: Download and install the Remo Video Repair tool.

step 2: Click the Select File option to choose the corrupt video file which is not playing on the Windows Media Player.
Remo video repair software to fix not playing video files
Note: To repair severely corrupted MOV or MP4 video, you need to provide a healthy video as a reference file, and repairing AVI video does not require any reference file.

Step 3: Click the Repair option to start repairing a corrupt video file.
video repairing process

Step 4: After the end of repairing process, you can preview the repaired video for free and click the Save option to save the playable video on a location of your choice.
preview repaired video using Remo Video Repair tool

Some of the codecs supported by Remo Video Repair software are as follows:

  • Video Codecs: avc1, mp4v, mjpeg, jpeg
  • Audio Codecs: sowt, RAW, mp4a, ms, priv, twos

Remo Video Repair Testimonial

Method 3: Convert Incompatible video file format to Windows Media Player compatible format

Even though Windows Media Player can easily play multiple file formats like MP4, AVI, WAV, MP3, etc. but this application is not compatible with some file formats. Therefore, Windows Media Player encounters a problem if you play unsupported file formats on it. 

If you are looking to play an unsupported or incompatible file on your Windows Media Player, then it is recommended to convert it to the Windows Media Player compatible format.

Method 4: Reinstall Windows Media Player

Reinstalling Windows Media Player can definitely help you fix issues related to the installation of the Windows Media Player application, and thereby it can allow you to play your videos or audio files effortlessly.

Step 1: Go to Control Panel and select Programs and Features.Programs and Features

Step 2: Now, click Turn Windows features on or off at the left side of the screen.
Turn Windows features on or off

Step 3: A new window will open, Expand Media Features list and then, uncheck Windows Media Player and hit OK to confirm.
 uncheck Windows Media Player

Step 4: Now, restart your Windows computer and go back to the Media Features list to check
Windows Media Player to play your MP4, AVI, or WAV files without any problem.

If the error Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the video or file is not related to the Windows Media Player installation, then head over to the next method to fix this issue.

Method 5: Try Updating Windows Media Player

The previous versions of Windows didn’t support many file formats or codecs, in order to solve those issues Microsoft releases updates every now and then.

Try Updating Windows Media Player and check if the issue is resolved or not. If the issue is not yet resolved then try using next methods.

Method 6: Download Windows Media Player Video Codecs

Codecs are crucial to compress and decompress videos or audio files while playing on Windows Media Player. Due to an unsupported codec, WMP cannot play your file.

Downloading codecs can differ from one file format to another. Below are the details for downloading codecs based on the file types.

  1. If your Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the AVI file, then it is recommended to download DivX and Xvid codecs. This can help you overcome codec errors with Xvid or DivX. 
  2. In case, your Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the MP4 file, then try downloading K-Lite Codec Pack or Media Player Codec Pack. This will not only help you fix MP4 videos not playing but can also play various other file formats like WAV, MP3, AVI, etc. without any error.

Method 7: Windows Media Player Settings Troubleshooter

After you encounter a problem while playing a video or file on Windows Media Player, then the first thing to do is to fix the issue with the help of Windows Media Player settings troubleshooter.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R at the same time.

Step 2: Now, the Run window will open, type msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic in the Open box, and click OK.
open Windows Media Player Settings Troubleshooter

Step 3: Click Advanced in the Windows Media Player Settings and select Run as administrator.
Windows Media Player Settings Troubleshooter

Step 4: Click Next to allow Windows Media Player Settings to detect the issue and then, click Apply this Fix option to resolve Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.
Fix Windows Media player error while playing MP4 or AVI file

In case, If you are unable to fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem even after performing the above Windows troubleshooting method, then move on to the next method. 

Method 8: Disable the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

You can fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem by disabling WMP Network Sharing Service, here’s how to do it:

  1. Press Windows button+R.
  2. Type services.msc in the Open box and click OK.

  3. Select and right-click the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service and go to the Properties option.
    wmp network sharing service
  4. Now, Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service Properties will open, select Disabled option under Startup type.
    disable WMP network sharing service

Note: In case, if the service status is running, then click the Stop button.

After you perform this method, verify if your Windows media player is still encountering the problem while playing the MP4, AVI, or WMV file. 


Fixing Windows Media Player error while playing the video file is easier using the above reliable methods. However, if the WMP encountered a problem is due to the corrupt file, then you can make use of the Remo Video Repair software to fix the corrupt video.

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Molly Owen

Molly is the Lead Technical Specialist with distinguished knowledge and understanding of Mac computers and operating systems. Being a veteran photographer and video recovery specialist, Molly’s expertise in video formats and file repair has helped restore a lot of videos and cherished memories of users.

As a technical specialist, she also believes in learning and spreading knowledge about the current and trending aspects of various media formats, Adobe Photoshop, and macOS troubleshooting. A full-fledged learner, caffeine-lover, and a firm believer that technology would make the world a better place. Macsources, VideoproductionTips, Itechgyan, and WebTrickz all featured Molly Owens' work.


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