It is indeed possible to add external subtitles to a movie that you’re watching using Windows Media Player. The process is even simpler than you might think.
This article is specific to Windows Media Player 12, Microsoft’s latest media library and player. Some users enjoy the simplicity of using the media player that came on their device, and Windows Media Player gets the job done in most cases.
First thing’s first: download and install Windows Media Player 12. Every machine running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 should have WMP preloaded. Just search for the program and install it. If, for some reason, you don’t have Windows Media Player already, you can find out how to get it for your specific OS on Microsoft’s website. Quick note, though: WMP isn’t available for Windows RT.
Next, get your movie file and your subtitles file. Many websites offer subtitles, but SubtitleHub, the search engine for subtitle websites, will help you quickly search through several of them. Just download the files and extract them if they come in a .zip format.
As for your movie files, there are a few apps that can help you rip video files from DVD.
For this example, I have an episode of Friends and some subtitles that I’ve put in one folder called “Subtitled Friends”.
The Simple Way
Now, just put both of the files in the same folder and make sure they have the same name (aside from the extension). In this case, the video is “Friends” and the subtitle file is “Friends.srt”.
Right-click on the video and choose “Play with Windows Media Player”. Hopefully, your video now plays with subtitles. But if it still isn’t working, you have a few more options.
If You Run Into Trouble
The first step is to make sure WMP is set to display captions. From the default home screen you can right click on the bar near the top and select Play > Lyrics, captions, and subtitles > On if available. From the window in which the video is playing, this can be reached by right clicking at the top and selecting Lyrics, captions, and subtitles > On if available.
Simply run the installer, and DirectVobSub is ready to go. If you still can’t see any subtitles, however, there is one last thing you can try. Rename the subtitle file and change the “.srt” to a “.sub”. For me, the subtitles played regardless of whether it was called .srt or .sub, but some users report one working more often than the other.
Congratulations! You can now watch your TV shows and movies with subtitles on WMP. Be sure to use this power for good, and never for evil.
If you ever want to move those videos over to your smartphone, there are a couple useful tools for doing that. Can’t always be chained to a computer!
Some other great media players for Windows exist as well, including VLC Player, the app that plays any video file, and KMPlayer, the versatile and customizable media player. If you’re on Windows 8/8.1, you even have some useful Modern apps to pick from.
Did this work for you? Do you have a prefered way of watching videos with subtitles? Let us know in the comments!