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You can get Windows Media Player on Windows 10 and we’ll show you how. However, be warned that it’s not the best media player for Windows. Let us show you what to use instead.

Some versions of Windows 10 don’t have Windows Media Player pre-installed due to legal rulings against Microsoft. If you’re missing this classic Windows utility Miss the Classic Clock in Windows 10? Here's How to Get It Back Miss the Classic Clock in Windows 10? Here's How to Get It Back If you prefer the old-school clock instead of the new one in Windows 10, here's how to revert it. Read More , we’re here to show you how to get it back quickly and for free. We’ll also offer up some alternative media players because Windows Media Player hasn’t been updated since 2009.

If you have your own experiences to share with Windows Media Player, or have an alternative program you’d recommend, please visit the comment section below.

Where Has Windows Media Player Gone?

The quickest way to check to see if you have Windows Media Player installed is to do a system search for it. Chances are you already have it. That’s because it comes pre-installed with the majority of Windows 10 versions How to Find Out Which Version of Windows 10 You Have How to Find Out Which Version of Windows 10 You Have Knowing the build number of your Windows 10 machine could be the difference between successful and unsuccessful troubleshooting. Here's how to find it quickly. Read More . However, there are two versions of the operating system that don’t have it: Windows 10 N and Windows 10 NK.

The European Commission ruled that Microsoft’s practice of pre-installing some software on their operating systems is anti-competitive. Thus, Microsoft was forced to offer alternative versions of Windows 10 that have some of these key features removed. Not only do they lack Windows Media Player, but they also exclude apps such as Video, Voice Recorder, audio-video codecs, and more.

Windows 10 N

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How to Get Windows Media Player 12

It’s extremely simple to install Windows Media Player 12 and make use of its ample features Review: New Features Included In Windows Media Player 12 Review: New Features Included In Windows Media Player 12 Read More . You’ll need to download the Media Feature Pack from Microsoft’s official website.

First, select your language using the dropdown. Then click Download. You’ll be presented with a window that asks you to choose which version of the file you want to download. The file you select depends on what bit version of Windows 10 you’re running. To find this out, press Windows key + R, input dxdiag and click OK. This will open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. Here, look at the line Operating System and check if it reads 32-bit or 64-bit.

Windows Feature Pack Media Player

If you’re running 32-bit, tick to download Microsoft-Windows-MediaFeaturePack-OOB-Package_x64.msu. If you’re running 64-bit, select the other file. Once ticked, click Next. You should then be prompted by your browser to Open with Windows Update Standalone Installer (default). With this selected, click OK to begin installation.

Follow the wizard through and the update will be installed. Along with installing Windows Media Player, this will also install other apps like Skype, Voice Recorder, and Groove Music. A full list of the additional features can be found on Microsoft’s support page.

Alternatives to Windows Media Player

Some people consider Windows Media Player to be an annoying Windows feature they don’t need Here Are 5 Annoying Windows Features Nobody Needs Here Are 5 Annoying Windows Features Nobody Needs Windows is great at its core, but some features are over the top. We'd be happy to see them removed. Which Windows features would you like to get rid of? Read More . If that’s you then you’ll likely want an alternative audio and video playing software. Happily, there are a number of free and great alternatives to Windows Media Player 4 Windows Media Player Alternatives for Windows 8 4 Windows Media Player Alternatives for Windows 8 Read More .

Without doubt, one of the best media players you can download is VLC media player. This open source cross-platform software will run pretty much any audio or video file that you throw at it thanks to its huge codec support All You Need to Know about Video Codecs, Containers, and Compression All You Need to Know about Video Codecs, Containers, and Compression Explaining the difference between codecs and containers is relatively simple, but hard part is attempting to understand each format. Read More .

VLC can play video files, webcams, streams and more. It’s also very lightweight and fast.

VLC Media Player

Alternately, you could use other default Windows applications. These were designed with Windows 10 in mind and offer a more modern user interface. For video, do a system search for Films & TV. For audio, do a system search for Groove Music. The latter also comes with a store and streaming service, but you can just use it to manage your local music collection if you desire.

Get Your Groove On

If you’ve been missing Windows Media Player in your life, hopefully you’ve now been able to install it on your system, along with a number of other useful utilities and features that your version of Windows 10 lacked.

Remember, you don’t have to use Windows Media Player if it doesn’t suit your needs. In fact, there’s probably better players out there since Microsoft’s offering has fallen by the wayside.

Did you buy a version of Windows 10 that didn’t include Windows Media Player? Do you have your own alternative media player to recommend?

  1. Xaviar
    October 10, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Under the heading "Alternatives to Windows Media Player" you've listed one, basically - VLC. The other is just the built-in player, Groove.

    Don't get me wrong, VLC is an excellent video player but it's not really a suitable replacement for WMP for music. VLC has no music browser, for e.g., a lot of people feel they need that. I use VLC as a back-up video player (it's ugly and far from smooth and fast most of the time) but I use Foobar2000 as my WMP replacement (and have since WMP 11) as, although its as ugly as VLC it is also likewise skinnable so I can match it to my PC theme. It is very versatile and extensible.

    Winamp is another such free alternative which is also skinnable and extensible.

    MusicBee is another similar free programme (which is particularly well matched to Windows 10's Metro app theme).

    Just thought I'd offer some actual alternative players (plural) other than the default and the old default plus VLC.

  2. Doc
    October 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    "If you’re running 32-bit, tick to download Microsoft-Windows-MediaFeaturePack-OOB-Package_x64.msu. If you’re running 64-bit, select the other file."
    Whoops...you need the x86 version for 32-bit Windows.

    • jasray
      October 10, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      What I was thinking--the writer must know little about the Windows eco-system and numeric values. And VLC is the only alternative? Hmmm . . . may want to do some homework, Joe.

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