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How to Fix Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem While Playing the File

Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file? Here is the complete guide on how to fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file effortlessly.

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Table of Contents

The quick access to the solutions to Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file problem.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Change a media player You can use other media players such as VLC Media Player, KMPlayer, RealPlayer, etc. to play your videos...Full steps
Fix 2. Convert video format If WMP doesn't support a certain format, it shows Windows Media Player encountered a problem...Full steps
Fix 3. Repair corrupt videos If the WMP can't play issue is caused by video corruption, you can repair the corrupted videos with a tool...Full steps
Fix 4. Install WMP codecs Install codec packs can solve Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file...Full steps
More useful fixes Use Windows Media Player Troubleshooter, reinstall Windows Media Player via Windows Feature...Full steps

Windows Media Player is a free media player produced by Microsoft. It is a component of Microsoft Windows, usually referred to as WMP, and supports enhanced functions through plug-ins. Users can turn the computer into your media tool through Windows Media Player. You can customize the layout of WMP to enjoy music, videos, and photos in the way you like.   

Although it has so many advantages, it still occasionally goes wrong. Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file is a high-frequency problem when playing a video, which occurs due to unsupported video codes, corrupted videos, or Windows Media Player issues.  

Windows Media Player encountered a playing problem

We will discuss how to fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file problem in this how-to article with steps in-depth. Join us and start now.

How to Fix Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem While Playing The File Error

We will discuss solutions from two aspects, one is for the problem of the video itself, and the other is for the problem of Windows Media Player.

Fix 1. Switch to another video player to watch videos

If the Windows Media Player can't play videos with an error prompt, you can try other media players such as VLC Media Player, KMPlayer, RealPlayer, or any third-party player. If this works, it means that there is no problem with your video. And you need to use take the right way to fix your Windows Media Player problem.

If your video is still not playing, it is most likely corrupted. You can learn how to repair corrupted videos with the way in Fix 3.

Fix 2. Convert video to WMP supported format

Windows Media Player can play videos in various formats, like MP4, AVI, WAV, MP3, etc. But that doesn't mean it supports all video types. Incompatible video formats can lead to Windows Media Player encountering a problem while playing the file issue.

So you need to figure out if your video format is supported, if not, change the video format to troubleshoot.

Fix 3. Repair corrupted videos with a free online video repair tool

Another factor that will cause Windows Media Player to encounter a problem while playing the file problem is corrupted or damaged video.

Video file corruption can be easily fixed with the help of a free online video repair tool - EaseUS RepairVideo. It can repair damaged or broken video files of popular formats such as MP4, MOV, GIF, etc. It supports the most widely used camera brands, including Canon, GoPro, and DJI. 

Step 1. Open EaseUS RepairVideo and Upload Problematic Video

Open EaseUS RepairVideo page: https://repair.easeus.com/, click "Update Video", or drag and drop a corrupted, broken, or not playing video to the right area to upload to EaseUS RepairVideo page.

Upload video

Step 2. Enter a Valid Email Address and Start Repairing Video

Enter a valid email address and click "Start Repairing" to upload and repair the malfunctioning video.

enter email address

Step 3. Wait for the Automatic Uploading and Repairing Process to Finish

EaseUS RepairVideo will automatically upload and repair the corrupted or broken video for you. You can leave the repairing page opened and continue doing other stuff.

  Uploading and repairing video

Step 4. Enter Extraction Code and Download Repaired Video

When the repairing process completes, you can preview the video at the right pane. Also, you'll receive an email with a video extraction code.

Go and find the code, reopen the EaseUS RepairVideo page. Then click "Download Video" and enter the extraction code, click "OK" to start downloading the repaired video.

Enter extraction code, download the repaired video

User Experience: These three solutions can fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error that arises from video problems. If the problem still exists after trying these methods, or you are sure that the problem lies in the player itself, then continue with the methods below.

Fix 4. Download and install Windows Media Play codecs

If you can play videos on other media players, the problem is probably due to the absence of video codecs. You can install specific codecs to your Windows Media Player to play videos.

Step 1. Open Windows Media Player. Right-click "Library", select "Tools" > "Options".

download Windows Media Player codecs

Step 2. Click on the "Player" tab. Under Automatic updates, select the checkbox "Once a day" or "Once a week" and click "OK".

install wmp codec

Step 3. This will automatically download and install Windows Media Player codecs.

Fix 5. Use Windows Media Player Troubleshooter

An effective way to solve Windows Media Player not playing a video or a file is using Windows Media Player settings troubleshooter.

Step 1. Press Windows key + R at the same time to launch the Run box.

Step 2. Type and run msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic command in the Open box to open Windows Media Player Settings Troubleshooter.

run Windows Media Player troubleshooter

Step 3. on the pop-up Windows Media Player Settings screen, click "Advanced" and select "Run as administrator".

Windows Media Player troubleshooter run as admin

Step 4. Click "Next" to allow the Windows Media Player troubleshooter to detect the issue. And then, click "Apply this Fix" to solve Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.

apply the fix in WMP

Fix 6. Reinstall Windows Media Player via Windows Feature

In case that you can't resolve Windows Media Player encountered a problem after performing the Windows Media Player troubleshooter method, continue reinstalling Windows Media Player to fix the issues.

Steps to uninstall and reinstall Windows Media Player with Windows Feature.

Step 1. Click your Windows 10 Search box. Input and search for Turn Windows features ON or OFF.

serch for Windows features

Step 2. On the Windows Feature box, find and expand "Media Features".

Step 3. Uncheck Windows Media Player and click Yes on the pop-up windows. Then, click "OK" and restart your computer. In this way, Windows will reinstall Windows Media Player.

Reinstall Windows Media Player

Fix 7. Turn off Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

Disabling the Network Sharing Service of Windows Media Player can help fix WMP can't open and play a certain video extension. But this fix might disable some other features of Windows Media Player. Therefore, enable Network Sharing Service immediately if something goes wrong.

Step 1. Press Win + R to open the Run window and type services.msc command to open the Services window.

open windows service

Step 2. Find the "Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service" in this list. Right-click on it and click on "Properties".

click wmp network sharing service property

Step 3. Click the drop-down arrow next to Start type and choose "Disable". Click on "Apply" and "OK".

disable wmp network sharing service

Step 4. Restart your computer and check if the Windows Media Player playing problem has been fixed or not.

Fix 8. Perform system restore

The lost shot to fix Windows Media Player error is rolling your Windows back to a restore point where Windows and WMP work well. Moreover, this method doesn't affect data on the system.

Complete the following steps to do System Restore on Windows: 

Step 1. Press Win+ R keys to start the Run box. Type rstrui to open the system restore window.

open system restore

Step 2. In the system restore window, click "Next".

Step 3. Select a restore point that will restore the OS to a time when Windows Media Player played all your music and videos. Then click "Next" and "Finish" to roll back Windows

perform system restore

User experience: These are the practical ways to solve Windows Media Player encountered a problem error caused by the software issue. You can try them in order. If the error message still appears, you might also need to disable antivirus software temporarily or update your Windows.

Final Verdicts

In this tutorial, we covered all the useful methods to help fix Windows Media Player errors while playing the video file.

Measures such as converting video formats or repairing corrupted videos with EaseUS data recovery software can fix the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error resulting from video-related issues.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Other approaches like running Windows Media Player troubleshooter, installing WMP codecs, and disabling Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service can efficiently resolve program-related issues. Hope you can solve the problem with these guides.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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