This Is How You Can Add External Subtitles on Windows Media Player
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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 media library and player Review: New Features Included In Windows Media Player 12 Review: New Features Included In Windows Media Player 12 Read More .  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.

Here we’re going to go through the process of adding subtitles to WMP, step by step.


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 Download Subtitles for Movies for Free: The 3 Best Sites Download Subtitles for Movies for Free: The 3 Best Sites Subtitles elevate the viewing experience, but where can you get quality subtitles for free? We recommend these subtitle sites. Read More  and 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 The 11 Best Tools for Ripping DVDs and Blu-rays to Your Computer The 11 Best Tools for Ripping DVDs and Blu-rays to Your Computer Still own DVDs or Blu-Rays? Those discs won't last forever, so back them up! Here are the best free tools for doing that. Read More .

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 “”.


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.


If they still aren’t displaying, you’ll need to download DirectVobSub. The newest version is 2.41.7259 and it has x32 and x64 versions depending on if you have 64 bit or 32 bit Windows 4 Easy Ways to Know If You're on a 64-Bit Version of Windows 4 Easy Ways to Know If You're on a 64-Bit Version of Windows Are you using a processor that supports a 64-bit operating system and are you running a 64-bit operating system? The average off-and-on PC user probably doesn't know the answers to these questions, although they should.... Read More .

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 2 Tools For Converting Movies For Viewing On a Smartphone 2 Tools For Converting Movies For Viewing On a Smartphone Movie files are generally not optimized for the smartphone. They often take up too much space and may be encoded in a format that the smartphone can't play back very easily. If the movie in... Read More for doing that. Can’t always be chained to a computer!

Did this work for you? Do you have a preferred way of watching videos with subtitles? Let us know in the comments!

Explore more about: Media Player, Video Editor, Windows Media Player.

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  1. Guillaume
    May 31, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Useless... Damn Windows 10.

  2. Shilpika
    May 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks it worked

  3. andi
    February 11, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    It works. Renamed the file, from changed the part "english" with the name of the movie and it worked. Thanks

  4. HRegli
    October 8, 2017 at 3:45 am

    You can simplify all of this down to two clicks and no typing if you use a subtitle downloader tool like Atlas Subtitler or alike.

  5. wave
    January 13, 2017 at 10:40 am

    How can I get subtitles on my Lumia 640 xl....

  6. P3
    November 29, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Didn't work. What does work is VLC Media Player.

  7. J
    November 12, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    It finally worked when I installed DirectVobSub!!! Thank you so much!!!

  8. jeev
    October 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    thanx a ton.
    i could add it and enjoy the film.

  9. yaser
    August 25, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Thanks for your post,
    but it still didn't work for many videos, even though i did all the steps above

  10. élk
    July 16, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    didn't help at all, useless pos

  11. Olavo G
    June 5, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Nothing worked for me. Any other ideia?

    June 1, 2016 at 9:02 am


  13. Lam
    May 18, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you so much!

      June 1, 2016 at 9:03 am


  14. Carissa
    May 13, 2016 at 3:05 am

    What should I do if I had delete the subtitle ? Can I get it back or not ?

  15. GetVLC
    January 27, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Vlc media player is your solution peeps

  16. anatoliy
    January 23, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    worked for me, thanks a lot

  17. Noel
    December 28, 2015 at 12:40 am

    I can't download DirectVobSub because it says it's a virus.

    • Polda18
      February 28, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      What AV do you use? I am using Avast and it gives me no warnings. Sometimes it might be false positive. If you run it through - it should give you detailed list of positive & negative detections... If the list is more red than green (10 % up of red against green detections might be warning for a user), then the file is probably injected with malicious code. But I wouldn't scream when one or two AV's give detection of PUP...

  18. vj
    December 26, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    didnt work for me

  19. Anonymous
    September 25, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Windows Media Player subtitles problems you meet fall into 3 categories basically: [1] To show/hide the Windows Media Player subtitles of a video [2] To add external subtitles to Windows Media Player [3] To solve Windows Media Player subtitles not working problem or sync problems. 5KPlayer troubleshoots my problems good

  20. Anonymous
    August 25, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    for online videos try penguin subtitle player

  21. ikam
    April 14, 2015 at 12:48 am

    thanks man... it worked. only problem: i have to put them every time to the same folder and rename them. vlc is simpler but the video quality is not as good as wmp's. the picture appears a little bit "white" on vlc.

  22. Esh
    April 12, 2015 at 8:07 am

    good for bachelors.. I wanted a solution after doing all of those mentioned above !!!

  23. JayBob
    April 6, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Downloading the latest DirectVobSub worked a treat! Thank you.

  24. sam
    March 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    works for avi only and not for any other video ext especially mp4 !!!

  25. parnell
    March 29, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Nope, didn't work. Tried all the steps and still no subs.

  26. Sulaiman
    March 13, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Very kind of you to take your time and help us out with this Justin... Many thanks :D

    WMP certainly has better video quality than VLC any day which is why most of the people are interested in knowing how can me make WMP work with the Subs.

    I use to change the name of the subtitles as well but it somehow stopped working for me.

  27. asdy
    March 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    it doesn't work for me I tried every step you mentioned and nothing worked

  28. Ewa
    February 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

    it is not working!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what a waste of time with WMP. In vlc i made them run in 2 seconds!

  29. Absay
    February 2, 2015 at 3:58 am

    It's not working for many because this doesn't work with MP4 videos. The author's example screenshots show an AVI file, but MP4 will simply not work for Win 7/8/8.1 users.

  30. Petrus Augustus
    January 14, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    It did not work! I tried everything and combination that you people wrote,but nothing happend. could you guys please see if there is something else?

  31. CJ
    April 26, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    So, VLC plays subtitles on my ONE file. The subtitles seem to be part of the ONE movie file. Please mention details on that! Whether there be a way to reference those subtitles in WMP, or just why it's like that and can't work.

  32. goudio
    April 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Worked the previous link
    But I needed to re-change the extension of the subtitle file to .srt.

  33. troy lyons
    April 22, 2014 at 10:17 am


    Tried everything above and nothing worked but I just found this below, did it, and now I've got subtitles for Captain Phillips!

    This is the solution you are looking for:
    It uses Media Foundation which is the "natural" way for WMP.
    All the other tricks for viewing subtitles tamper with system files and use directshow instead of Media Foundation.
    I have tried the proposed solution and it works.
    Just don't forget to reboot before using the subtitles

    • Me
      January 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Thanx! The only usefull solution to this spam article

  34. Shaidon
    April 21, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Seems that works with .mkv and .avi video files, but not with .mp4

  35. dar
    March 28, 2014 at 7:17 am

    para mi no win 8.1

  36. Natesh
    March 15, 2014 at 8:22 am

    heartfelt thanks .Really.
    it's a way simple thing that to download an additional software for the same thing .
    And I'd be subscribing to your emails,straight away!

  37. Anonymous
    February 19, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    This did not work for me but I downloaded VLC and everything is fine

  38. Juud
    February 16, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Hey there,

    Thanks for taking your time to help out! I tried everything, but failed miserably. I downloaded several different subtitles of the same episode, but they all failed; other subtitles with other episodes work perfectly, though. I prefer using WMP over VLC, but somehow, these episode's subtitles won't work on WMP. They DO work on VLC. I really don't understand how this is possible, seeing that other SRT-files DO work in WMP. Do you have any idea how I can fix this?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Mishal
      May 22, 2015 at 8:36 am

      I went thru same.. then downloaded Greenfish Subtitle Player. its awesome.. try it

  39. vmd13
    February 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    didn't work...

  40. Ankit
    February 6, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Didn't work for me :(

  41. roula
    January 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    thanks man it worked

  42. Anon
    January 12, 2014 at 5:51 am

    This totally worked. Had to make sure the subtitles have the same name AND do the directVobSub thing

  43. anon
    January 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    This does not work on windows 8.1

    have an alternative?

    your method is download DirectVobSub
    as others

    • tuga guy
      February 11, 2014 at 3:05 am

      i should have read your comment earlier.
      do you know why's that?
      is there already any valid alternative?

  44. shir
    December 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    it didn't work

  45. mazhar
    December 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

    your method didn't worked. waste of time

  46. Shehan N
    November 2, 2013 at 6:11 am

    yeah... VLC's better...

  47. Abed I
    November 1, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Usually if I want subtitles I would use Greenfish Subtitle Player, it displays subtitles in an external windows and you can put it anywhere on your screen and it comes in a variety of languages.

    But this was helpful non the less and it is more simple, might use it sometimes.

    You can read a review and download it from here:

    • Mishal
      May 22, 2015 at 8:34 am

      nothing worked but just ur thing worked.. its awesome .thnx

  48. Pushkar Y
    November 1, 2013 at 6:13 am

    for videos = VLC
    for songs = WMP

  49. Dany B
    October 31, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    The 2 Best video players are VLC and Media Player Classic Home sima that you install with the CCCP Codec pack.

  50. Bruno C
    October 31, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    It's way better to simply install VLC or SMPlayer.