Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem While Playing the File [6 Ways]

Brithny updated on Mar 10, 2023 to Data Recovery Resource | How-to Articles

When you are trying to play your video with Windows Media Player, you face an error - Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file. This post provides six ways to fix the Windows Media Player error and repair corrupted videos in Windows 11/10/8/7.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Repair Corrupted Videos Try every USB port available; Determine you\'re using USB 2.0 or 3.0...Full steps
Use a Different Media Player If you are facing an error while playing any file on Windows Media Player...Full steps
Run Windows Media Player Troubleshooter Press the Windows + R key simultaneously to open the Run dialogue box...Full steps
Reinstall Windows Media Player Left-click the Windows button and search for Control Panel. Under the Programs section...Full steps
Other Helpful Solutions Download Windows Media Play Codecs > Change the Video Format...Full steps

Are you facing the error Windows Media player encountered a problem error while playing the file? If yes, it's very annoying; many users have also complained about this issue. But nothing to worry about it; we have the solution! This post will discuss this error, why it occurs, and solutions.

What Is Windows Media Player (Overview) 

Windows Media Player is an inbuild media player and media library application developed by Microsoft for Windows. This is one of the safest and best media players in terms of performance. It has basic media features like volume up-down, next, previous, and many more. 

The player supports many file formats, including MP3, WAV, WMA, WMV, AVI, and MPEG. It also allows users to organize their media library, create playlists, and burn CDs or DVDs. Lastly, you also get support for various visualizations and equalizer settings.

Why Does Windows Media Player Error Happen 

Windows Media Player encounters problems like any other player for several reasons. Some of the most reported and known issues or errors are as follows:

  • Damaged or corrupted video files
  • Windows media player doesn't support the file format
  • Missing or wrong codec
  • Incomplete transfer or conversion of the video file
  • Outdated Windows OS version
  • Interference because of antivirus

How to Fix Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem While Playing The File 

You will show six effective methods to fix Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file. Let's get into details for a better understanding of the process of these methods. You can also refer to this Tweet to get some additional information.

Method 1. Repair Corrupted/Damaged Videos in Windows 10 

Your Windows Media Player is facing an error while running a file might be because of corrupted or damaged videos. In such conditions, we will recommend repairing the damaged video file. Many free and paid file repair tools are available, but it's crucial to go for a trusted/reliable tool. Here we will suggest you repair your corrupted file with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This tool is safe and has a high success rate track record.

Let's learn more about this online video repair tool and its features.

  • This is an entirely free-to-use video repair tool.
  • It can repair any video, like MP4, MOV, AVI, etc.
  • This tool supports video repair from a hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, and pen drive.
  • This tool can quickly repair videos from any camera like GoPro, DJI, Canon, Sony, and Nikon.
  • You can use this tool to repair dash cam recorded shorts from any brand.

Download this data recovery and repair tool. Follow the steps below to repair corrupt WMP videos.

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Choose the correct drive which contains the corrupted videos. It can be a removable disk or a local drive. Then, click "Scan" to start.

Step 2. This program will scan all over the selected drive and display all files (including lost and existing files). You can select Videos under the file type on the left side, then, select a specific video format, such as MP4, MOV, GIF, etc. Or, you can even quickly find the files you want to repair based on the brand of camera that shot the video.

Step 3. When you can preview the video, the software has fixed it for you. Finally, click "Recover" to restore the fixed videos to a different location to avoid data overwriting.

Method 2. Use a Different Media Player

If you are facing an error while playing any file on Windows Media Player, that doesn't mean there is an issue with the media player! It might be because that file doesn't support the media player. However, Windows Media Player supports most of the file formats still better to check that file with any other media player like VLC Media player and see whether the issue is resolved.

Method 3. Run Windows Media Player Troubleshooter to Fix the Error 

If you are getting the WMP encountered a problem while playing the file error, we suggest you run the Troubleshooter to fix this issue. Follow the steps below to complete the process.

  • Press the Windows + R key simultaneously to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Now type the msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic command and press the OK button.
  • This will open the Windows Media Player Settings option.
  • Now in the Windows Media Player settings, click on the advanced option and select Run as administrator.
  • Click the Next option and select the Apply option. This runs troubleshooting and solves error if there is any.

Method 4. Reinstall Windows Media Player and Try Again 

Reinstalling Windows Media Player can fix the Windows Media Player Encountered error. Follow the below steps to reinstall Windows Player properly.

  • Left-click the Windows button and search for Control Panel. Under the Programs section, click Uninstall a program.
  • Now, click Turn Windows features on or off on the left side panel. Now expand the Media Features folder, check the Windows Media Player, and click OK.
  • Now it will start installing the Windows Media Player. Once the installation process finishes, click the close button. Now check whether your issue is resolved or not.

Method 5. Download Windows Media Play Codecs to Fix WMP Errors 

This issue might be because of unsupported codecs. So we recommend you download the appropriate media player codecs and see whether your player playing file error issue is resolved. In this scenario, you will receive the error - A codec is required to play this file" or "Windows Media Player encountered an error".

There are two ways to download Media Player codecs:

Keep Windows Media Player Updated

Step 1. Open the Windows Media Player and click on the Tools; under the Tools section drop-down, click the Options.

Step 2. Now, right under the Player option, click on the Player button, and you will find a checkbox once and day, once a week, or once a month.

Step 3. Choose as per your requirement option and click OK. This will ensure that the Window media player codecs are automatically installed when available.

Download Codec Manually

Suppose you have information about a codec's name or identification number, such as a FourCC identifier for video codecs or a WaveFormat identifier for audio codecs. In that case, you can search for it on the internet. Typically, codec manufacturers offer the latest version of their codec on their website, which can be downloaded from there.

Method 6. Change the Video Format to Fix Windows Media Player Error 

Sometimes, video files may have an incorrect extension, and the media player cannot play them. While this can be a trial and error method, you can change the extension of the video file to what Windows Media Player supports and try playing it.

Step 1. In File Explorer, Click on View > Show. Select File name Extensions.

Step 2. Select the media file not playing and press F2.

Step 3. Change the extension to MP4 or WMV, and press the Enter key.

Step 4. Open it in Windows Media Player, and see if it works. If not, then change to another and keep trying.


In this post, we have discussed six methods to resolve the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file issue. We suggest you go for the first solution, which is to repair damaged or corrupted video files and check whether it works.  Always use the free data recovery software to repair damaged videos.

Windows Media Player Error FAQs

Here we have answered some of the frequently asked questions that will help you clear your doubts about Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error.

1. Why Does Windows Media Player Not Support MP4?

Windows Media Player does not support MP4 because the appropriate codec corrupted MP4 file is missing. You can download the codec file for WMP and run MP4 formats efficiently or try to repair the MP4 file and try again.

2. How Do I Fix 0XC00D36C4?

You can fix the Windows Medial Player 0XC00D36C4 error by following the fixes below.

  • Installing Missing codec. 
  • Move video files (From one storage device to another). 
  • Turn off copy protection. 
  • Reinstalling Media Player. 
  • Try a new media player.

3. Can You Fix Corrupted MP4 Files?

Yes, you can perform MP4 repair with the help of reliable third-party tools like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. These corrupt files usually have a header issue which can quickly fix the problem. If not, professional software can quickly fix this and let you play the video.

4. How Do I Enable MP4 on Windows Media Player? 

Installing the supported codec files lets you quickly enable MP4 on Windows Media Player. Make sure the Player is updated and codecs are downloaded.  You can also go to Help > Check for Update and download the updates via Windows Update.

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