What to Do When Windows Media Player Cannot Play The Video?

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Did you just encounter the Windows media player cannot play the file or Windows Media encountered a problem while playing the file error when you tried to play a video file on it? Don’t panic! The error is to mention that the Windows Media Player is experiencing some trouble to play the file. Once you fix the error you can play your important and favorite videos back.

Let us see the Indications of the error that cause Windows Media Player to stop working.

Windows media player cannot play the file error

Indications of Windows Media Player Cannot Play the File Error

Some of the frequent error indications that you might have encountered while playing videos in Windows media player are as mentioned-below:

  1. Error 8004022F: Invalid File Format.
  2. Error 80040265: Cannot playback the file. The format is not supported.
  3. Error 80040255: Cannot playback the video stream, no suitable decompressor could be found.
  4. Error 8007000D: Cannot open. Please verify that the path and filename are correct and try again.

Why Windows Media Player Cannot play the file?

A few reasons are listed below that cause Windows Media Player cannot play the file error:

    1. When Windows Media Player codec does not support the file format or codec of the file to be played
    2. The Windows Media Player missing essentials files
    3. Severely damaged or corrupted media files
    4. When Windows Media has not installed the required codec

In addition to the above-mentioned causes, issues with the audio files could also lead to Windows Media player cannot play the file. In other words, the operating system does not have the audio capabilities that can also make windows media player cannot access the file.

This can occur with any formats of video files like MP4, MOV or AVI and other formats. If you encounter any issues with MP4, fix the MP4 video files by clicking on the link.

Do not worry! irrespective of the causes that create the problem in the Windows media player to open the file, you can easily fix the error just by following the given DIY methods.

We bring in 6 easy DIY methods to fix the Windows Media Player cannot play the file issue. Try out all the described methods to fix the error Windows Media encountered a problem while playing the file.

Note: These DIY methods work on some minor errors that are caused by corruption or missing codecs of the media player.

What if your video file has major corruption? Or media player has severe codec issues? Do not worry! Click here to easily resolve the media player error using a completely automated media file repairing method

6 DIY Methods to Solve Windows Media Cannot play the file

To resolve this Windows Media Player issue, try out all the described methods in order and verify if the error still persists after working on each method.

Method 1: Verify That Windows Media Player Supports the File Format You Are Using

File formats that are supported by Windows Media Player are:

  • Windows Media formats File name extensions: .asf, .asx, .avi, .wav, .wax, .wma, .wm, .wmv files. 
  • Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) File name extensions: m3u, mp2v, .mpg, .mpeg, .m1v, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .mpe, mpv2
  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) File name extensions: .mid, midi, .rmi
  • Apple QuickTime, Macintosh AIFF Resource File name extensions: .qt, .aif, .aifc, .aiff, .mov
  • Unix File name extensions: .au, .snd

Note: Windows Media Player supports files created with Apple QuickTime version 1 and 2. Windows Media Player doesn’t supports the .ra, .rm and .ram file formats.

Method 2: Reinstall Windows Media Player

Reinstalling the application solves the issue at times. Follow the below steps to uninstall Windows media player:

  • Go to Control Panel, select Programs.
  • Click on the Add or Remove Programs, from the list of installed programs, click on Windows media player and select remove to uninstall.
  • Now, Restart the computer
  • Go to the Microsoft website and download the latest version of Windows media player.
  • Install the new version of the Windows media player and check if the media file is playing and still the error persists.

If you still encounter the error Windows media player cannot play the file, try fixing it using DirectX explained in the next method.

Method 3: Reinstall the Latest Version of Microsoft DirectX

DirectX is a set of Windows components that allows software to work directly with your video and audio hardware. 

The DxDiag tool reports detailed information about the DirectX components and drivers installed on your system and can be used.

  • Go to Start, type dxdiag in the Search box and then press Enter.
  • Tap or click on dxdiag from the results.
  • Check DirectX Version on the first page of the report in the System Information section.

Check if you are using the latest version of DirectX. If it is outdated, reinstall the latest version with Windows new update. There is no other way to update the DirectX application.

Method 4: System Restore

If Windows Media Player stopped working after the latest Windows update, you can easily verify it using System Restore. 

  • Click the Start button and type system restore.
  • Go to System Properties pane, select System Restore
  • Follow the prompts to select the restore point just before the updates triggered the problem. Then run the system restore process. This process may take a while to complete.
  • After your system is restored to the earlier configuration, check to see whether Windows Media Player runs correctly again or encounters the same error message again.

You can make use of this method only if you have created a restore point earlier. If you have no restore point created, this method doesn’t work. You can try fixing the error using the next following method.

Method 5: Use the proper codec for the media files

Although the Windows media player supports most of the file formats, the media files don’t play if there is no supported codec for them. Download the required codec by visiting the Microsoft website and install it on your computer.

Now restart Windows media player and try playing the media file if you still have trouble playing the media file proceed to the next solution.

Method 6: Re-register Some DLL Files

To fix Windows media player cannot play the file, you can try re-registering some DLL files. Follow the steps given below:

Step 1: In the search bar type “cmd” -> right-click on “Command Prompt” to select Run as “administrator”

Step 2: Now type the commands mentioned below one after the other and press Enter

  • regsvr32 vbscript.dll
  • regsvr32 jscript.dll
  • regsvr32 wmp.dll

Step 3:  After entering the command, exit the command prompt and restart the system. Now verify if “WMP not working” issue has been fixed or not.

Verify and Repair Damaged File

If you have tried all the above-mentioned methods to fix the Windows Media Player error and still encountering the issue, this must be due to damaged or corrupt video files.

To verify if the video file is corrupt, try playing a different video file of saved format. If you figure out that the video is corrupt or damaged, it is recommended to use a safe and secure video repair tool to fix corrupt or damaged video files.

SFWare video repair tool is the most recommended tool designed to repair MOV, MP4, MPEG, M4V, AVI, DivX XviD and many other file formats easily. The tool has a built-in read only mechanism and works on the copy of the file keeping the integrity of the original video file.  Download the tool now and repair your unplayable video files.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

Fix Video Not Playing on WMP using SFWare

To fix the error Media player cannot play the file in 3 simple steps, Download and install the software. Launch the tool. Select the type of the file [MOV, MP4, AVI, etc] you want to repair.

Select the file type

Now, provide a Healthy File as a reference to repair the corrupt video file in case of MOV / MP4 files.

Select a Video not playing in WMP

Click on the Repair button. After the completion of the repair process, you can Preview the repaired files.
File is being repaired
If you are happy with the results,
Save the repaired video.


All the above-mentioned methods should help you fix the Windows Media Player error. If the error is due to the damaged or corrupt video file, you can make use of a professional video repair tool that can help you to repair video files of formats like .MOV, .MP4, .AVI etc.
If you have resolved the error Windows Media Player cannot play the file with the help of this article, do share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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