Entertainment Windows

How to Get Windows Media Center in Windows 10 & Its Limitations

Christian Cawley 23-09-2015

Following Microsoft’s abandoning of Windows Media Center (WMC) in Windows 10, we’ve previously taken a look at the various alternatives that you can employ 5 Alternatives to Windows Media Center for Windows 10 Windows 10 will offer many new features, but some old favorites will be deprecated. The Windows Media Center will no longer be supported. Here are alternative media center application compatible with Windows 10 to take... Read More . However, did you know that it is, in fact, possible to install WMC on Windows 10?


We’re sure you’ll be pleased to learn that this is simple to do. But are the end results as good as you’re hoping for?

Why WMC for Windows 10 Is Desirable


TV piped from your satellite dish, cable connection, or terrestrial aerial and displayed on a media center enables you to abandon your set-top box and incorporate media, DVD and Blu-ray playback, and streamed content in one, easy-to-manage, media center PC.

Throw in a great media center app from the same software company as the operating system, and you’ve got a slick solution that can be easily updated and is extremely configurable.

Windows Media Center’s support for watching and recording TV is what set it apart from most other media center applications, along with its intuitive user interface. Dropping it from Windows 10 has led to a lot of consternation, but we’ve learned this week that all is not lost.


You can install Windows Media Center on Windows 10.

Download & Install WMC for Windows 10

Want to try WMC on Windows 10 at last? Be aware that doing this may constitute a breach of the terms of use of Windows 10 and WMC itself, so we advise caution.

Start off by downloading the file from Mega.nz, using the Download through your browser option (it’s less painful this way).



Next, extract the contents using WinRAR or any suitable app How to Extract Files From ZIP, RAR, 7z and Other Common Archives Were you ever faced with a .rar file and wondered how to open it? Fortunately, managing ZIP files and other compressed archives is simple with the right tools. Here is what you need to know. Read More , paying attention to where you have saved them, and open the folder.


Right-click _TestRights.cmd and select Run as administrator from the context menu. This should open a command prompt, where you will see some services being created (if this doesn’t happen, restart your PC and run the _TestRights.cmd file again).



When this is done, right-click Installer.cmd, again choosing Run as administrator. Wait while this completes, and follow the instruction to Press any key to exit when it appears.

Running Windows Media Center on Windows 10


You will then be able to launch Windows Media Center either by opening Start menu > All apps > Windows Accessories > Media Center or by pressing Windows + Q and searching for “media center”.

WMC will launch in windowed mode, with the full screen view available if required. You’ll then be able to start using it as normal, setting it up before scanning for media libraries, and enjoying content, as if it had always been on your computer.


Well, almost.

Sorry, You Can’t Watch TV

The problem with Windows Media Center – as we explained when we suggested alternatives for Windows 10’s missing DVD and Blu-ray playing software How to Play DVDs & Blu-Rays on Windows 10, Even Without a DVD Drive With the removal of Windows Media Center, it has suddenly become more difficult to play DVD and Blu-ray discs on your computer. Fortunately, you have alternatives, including third-party tools or virtual drives. Read More – is that Windows 10 doesn’t offer the necessary codecs to make watching television through a TV card practical. Because these files aren’t (currently) available with this Windows Media Center download, the main reason to install WMC in Windows 10 continues to evade us.

If by now you’ve realized that you don’t actually want Windows Media Center on Windows 10, we suggest you uninstall it. Head to the folder where the files were unzipped, right-click Uninstaller.cmd and select Run as administrator. Wait until the file reports that the uninstallation is complete, and restart Windows.

Has Windows Media Center’s Time Really Passed?

No doubt you, like us, took to this article with a sense of optimism. But Windows Media Center isn’t really back. Sure, you can run a file of questionable legality on your Windows 10 system, but with a lack of TV card support, the service is useless as a PVR.

Moreover, it’s time to consider just what WMC really is. When all is said and done, it remains a universal media center for the consumption of TV, movies, and music in 2007 – not 2015.

The world, and the web, have moved on from this sort of media center solution. Sure, there are alternatives, but few of them do the whole PVR thing well. Why? Because there are dedicated media streaming solutions Hulu Plus vs. iTunes vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Which Is Best? Hulu. iTunes. Netflix. Amazon Instant Video. The lifeblood of online cinema and television. The new wave of home media. The providers of endless entertainment in which pants are not necessarily required. They are the contenders... Read More that do it better, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and so forth – even BBC iPlayer (our BBC iPlayer review 10 Tips To Get The Most Out Of BBC iPlayer What is the best in British entertainment? Is it on TV or on the radio? Either way, both media are accessible with the BBC’s iPlayer service. BBC iPlayer is a browser-based service that is also... Read More ).

Of course, these services don’t record on demand, but when you consider the existence of TV stations streaming their content live online, and desktop stream capture tools (VLC can record streams 6 More VLC Media Player Features You Must Try VLC is a media player more powerful than you might realize. Are you using it to its full potential? Here are some pointers. Read More , for instance), then it becomes clear that installing WMC on Windows 10 isn’t really a good idea. After all, when all of the functions – save watching live TV – can be performed by a device as compact as the Raspberry Pi How To Build a Media Center That Will Play Anything I've been building a media centre recently. Actually, scratch that – I’ve been building two. One is a compact device (my Raspberry Pi) running the RaspBMC distribution of XBMC, while the other is a traditional... Read More , you know that things have moved on.

Guess you’d better stick to WMC on Windows 7 or 8. But what do you think? Why can you not replace Windows Media Center with something else? Tell us in the comments.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. joe
    October 27, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    show stopper
    extenders cannot be connected and do no work!!!!

  2. Bill
    August 26, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I assume by now everyone realizes that WMC works just fine with Windows 10 with all its DVR & GUIDE functions. I have been using it with no problem with my HDhomerun for over a year without a hitch. As someone else mentioned you do need to install the codecs.

    • Stephen
      July 8, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      I understand if I try to get this working on Windows 10 with the HD home run, here is the question.
      HDHOMERUN viewer can see DRM channels

      Does WMC on Windows 10 see and record DRM enabled channels?

  3. ed
    June 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I think some of you are completely missing the point of something like Windows Media Center to record live TV. Sure I can find most of the shows online but... They are full of repetitive ads that you can't fast forward through and often they get stuck because of the scourge of streaming sites using the awful Adobe Flash Player getting stuck switching from an Add server to the server streaming the show. Therefore, there is no replacement for WMC and many are not upgrading to Windows 10 because of this. And also I tried the install of WMC on WIndows 10 but is does not work for me it refuses to find all my channels and also can't download the program guide. I wish Microsoft would release the code of WMC as opensource so it can be developed further in the future.

  4. Lisa A. Milner
    June 27, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I use my laptop mainly to watch DVDs that you can't get on TV, they are mostly church related and health related, so I guess I will not be making the switch over to windows 10, in the near future, I don't have a separate DVD player, it doesn't make sense when my laptop has one already built in. I'm a disabled veteran, money is tight, so this is what I will use. until they fix the problem, and I'm not alone, there are many people in my church who feel the same way. Why be bothered with buying DVD player, when laptops have them already built in.

  5. oei37u3892
    June 21, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Ummm. You realize that it works perfectly fine, and you can download the codecs you need to use w/ a cable card, right?

  6. Bill Dunn
    April 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    You are wrong about the Media Center situation. Especially because your "solutions" to the lack of having it all pretty much involve paid services "thumbs down" I always enjoyed being able to quickly setup a recording of some show in media center and play it back later.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      "wrong"? how so? This post is from September 2015, and at the time was accurate. Paid services are not presented as solutions, but *alternatives*.

      • WMCfan
        May 1, 2016 at 9:48 pm

        "Alternatives" that are not solutions are not alternatives.

  7. Chris K.
    March 1, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    For several years I have been using cable cards (with Silicon Dust). The WMC solution has delivered a well integrated, polished and complete solution. I continue to investigate all alternatives and to this writing find them lacking. Switching through streaming services is a poor replacement for a integrated Guide/DVR interface. I would enthusiastically stay with WMC if I could.

  8. cfbcfb
    February 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    It would have been nice to offer credit to the site that put the hack together instead of pointing to their download and then not mentioning them.

    Because if you did, you'd find that the necessary files for playback are all available and it works great.

  9. Anonymous
    September 30, 2015 at 1:31 am

    I still use Windows 8.1 Media Center and will continue to do so going forward - for as long as I can.
    I have 3 CableCards which allow me to record and "steam" live and recorded full HD television and movies all over my home and with the use of the BitTotrent Sync 2.x app, I can sync does to my laptop, untouched and full quality and watch the shows I want, when I want when I travel is the US or abroad.
    I can sulimultaniously record or view 16 shows at one time where they ate stored and organized by two Windows 8.1 computers which where upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro for $100 each and then upgraded with the Media Center add-on for $30 each. This decision is not cheap, nor one you make lightly!
    I also use other software developed to work hand in hand with WMC which allows me to catalog, index and view my large collection of blu-ray and DVD movies well as LEGALLY record and store syndicated and first run shows to my collection for last viewing - I have over 6,000 digital or HD digital episodes collected and stored.
    I do watch them and will never give this ability up!
    Just because others are fine running 2, 3 or 4 or even 6 programs on their Windows or Linux computers to TRY and replicate the features find in Windows Media Center, none of those solutions actually works LEGALLY with digital cable, not do they provide one interface for ALL my media which i can play back from my sofa with a Microsoft Media Remote Control running Media Media Extender on my Xbox 360 24/7 - even shows and movies from subscription service such as HBO, Showtime, etc. NONE
    As for brining plagued by Update requests from the OS interfering with watching an movie?? That is BS! FUD!
    the only time Windows requires a reboot to install updates is when the are security updates which may interfere with the DRM aspects of running such a system - ie, Cable Companies require DRM in order to record and playback protected content.
    With Windows 8, those updates can be manually installed and only updated when you wish - "mandatory" isn't "MANDITORY" if you don't want upgrades, you don't need to take the updates!
    If your Ayden does auto update Windows and a security update is deemed necessary, Windows will reboot your PC when it doesn't have a show scheduled to record- no problem here.
    On another note, my 82yo mother who lived 2000 miles away had, used and loved her Media Center and her 3 Xbox Media Center Extenders around her gone. If she can use this platform, I think most people can too!

  10. Anonymous
    September 25, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Where can you get WMC for 7 ?

  11. Anonymous
    September 24, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    The reality is if you want to have a fully functional computer, use Linux. The idea of hacking up Windows to make it actually work is in and of itself just retarded. Stop wasting your time with that crapware OS and use something that you have control of and something that is not spying on you!

  12. Anonymous
    September 24, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Cable card support, together with on-demand PVR, is the main reason I am still using Windows Media Center on a few Windows 7 boxes.

  13. Anonymous
    September 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    This article should really be named "How to Get Windows Media Center in Windows 10 & Why You Shouldn't"... given the last section

  14. Anonymous
    September 23, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Also, best alternative to Media Center I have found so far...Emby. Only downside is that it has to Transcode video and Live TV steams, where as Media Center stream natively.

  15. Anonymous
    September 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    That installer pack version I had issues with.

    This version is newer and work perfectly.


    I upgraded from 8.1 to 10...all I had to do was install this pack. I didn't even have to reset or reconfigure Media Center. All my setting for my HD HomeRun Prime was there and Live TV and Recording work perfectly.

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Thanks Nate, it worked perfectly. it was quite easy after downloading Windows Media

      Center from the forum, and following all the necessary parts from the readMe file, like

      installing LAV FILTERS etc. Now it works perfect

      from Sydney.

  16. Anonymous
    September 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    The usual frustration I found with Media Center Edition was that each time I'd turn it on to watch something, I'd get the Windows Update prompt to reboot, and then after rebooting, I'd need to update Java or the video driver or this or that and then after 3 or 4 reboots and much cursing, my popcorn would be cold and I'd have stuffed the keyboard into the CD ROM slot. It's hard to compete with the many instant-on streaming devices.