Why does Windows Media Player lose music?

Frank Trainor September 17, 2010

I have about 2,000 tunes in Windows Media Player, which have been purchased from iTunes, eMusic or ripped from discs. Occasionally, many of these titles simply disappear. Yesterday, I lost about 125 songs. Can you tell me what’s going on?

  1. Frank Trainor
    September 18, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I use Windows 7 but the problem also occurred when I had Windows XP.
    The songs in WMP are listed by artist.
    They disappear from the WMP library and do not reappear when I use Restore Media Library from the tools menu.
    All of the song are or have been converted to MP3 and there seems to be no pattern.
    There is no error message, the only indication is when the total list of songs today is compared to yesterday.
    Would a cleaning tool like RegCure cause the problem?

    I cannot think of anything else at this time that might be pertinent. Many thanks.

    • Tina
      September 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      Ok, so the songs disappear from the library.

      I assume you still have the actual files in their original location, e.g. mp3 files in your music folder. Please make sure this is the case and the files have not been corrupted.

      I queried Google and it seems that you're not alone with the problem. I will copy and paste one answer I found here:

      It might be that your library has been corrupted, especially as the actual music is still there. But before you go about deleting the library and creating a new one, there are a couple of steps that you should do.

      1. Check whether the location of your music files is specified in the library settings

      2. Make WMP search for those files again.

      OK - here we go:

      Open WMP and click on the Library Tab
      Click on the tiny little down arrow below the same tab
      A drop down list appears. Click on More Options.

      A new window appears. Click on the Library tab of this new window.
      Click on the Monitor Folders button
      Ensure that the location where you store your music files is shown there. If it isn't there's an option to add it. Ensure that the "Add files previously deleted from the library" checkbox has a tick in it.

      Click on OK and it will automatically start searching for those files again.

      You can wait for the library to finish searching, or close the progrress box - the library will continue to search in the background. But if you leave it open, you can see whether or not it adds any more files.

      If you closed it, leave WMP open and see if the albums/songs are added.

      This is all pretty standard stuff really - and is available in the help.

      [Credits to RobAnt]

      • Shroomie82
        November 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

        When I tried to restore deleted files it closed down my WMP.

  2. Anonymous
    September 18, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Possible that you are using some sort of cleaning tools and they can cause this effect, so just tell them to ignore windows media player and songs

  3. TLW
    September 17, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I just scrolled down to ask the same questions Tina. The fix really depends on what version of Windows he's using. If it's Win7, duck :)

  4. Tina
    September 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm


    which Windows operating system are you using?
    Are all your songs stored in the same folder?
    Do they disappear from their storage folder or from your WMP library?
    Did you observe a pattern, like is it always the same file type that disappears or songs you played recently, or songs from a specific folder etc.
    Is there an error message?

    Any additional information will make it easier to help you solve your problem. Thank you!

    • Party Of One Sdk
      September 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm

      It seems that there might be two possibilities of why these files are disappearing.
      The most obvious is that you are removing them from lists and inadvertently have the option set which not only deletes the music from your library but also from your computer.

      This can be changed by going into the options section of the media player and making sure that when you remove a file from the library it is not removed from your computer.

      The other possibility is that there are permissions granted to it - in order for it to be played. If the media player does not find these permissions then it will simply skip over it in a list of songs to be played. This can be alleviated by making sure that when you rip or download music that you do not check for permissions.

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