Basically, there should not be any problem if you want to play DVD on Windows Media Player. But the story has been changed for the Windows system after Windows 7. Therefore, you may encounter the embarrassing issue that your Windows Media Player won’t play DVD. With this article, I will introduce solutions to solve this problem and offer the best alternative to you for playing DVD.

Part 1: Reasons for Windows Media Player Won't Play DVD

Originally, as I mentioned in the above introduction, Windows Media Player plays DVDs at the very beginning if you have a DVD drive. However, now the situation for Windows users becomes tricky. When they upgrade the Windows system from Windows 7 to Windows 10, they may encounter the problem that indicates Windows Media Player won’t play DVD. Why does my DVD not play on Windows Media Player?

This is mainly because Windows has dropped its support to provide Windows Media Player’s built-in DVD codec for Windows 10 and above. To a large extent, Microsoft sees that the market is decreasing needs for a DVD drive, not to mention DVD playback service. They take it for granted that not many users may spend extra money for DVD playback since users could easily watch movies from the internet. In addition, Microsoft does not feel like paying a licensing fee to include DVD codec in the operating system.

Apart from that, Windows Media Player not playing DVD can be caused by player crashing troubles. It is possible to solve the Windows Media Player DVD not working problems in order to keep going with the Windows Media Player play DVD performance.

In summary, Microsoft does not provide DVD codecs for Windows 8 or Windows 10 as it did for its Vista Home Premium and Windows 7. However, it does not mean Microsoft wants to leave the DVD market; instead, it supports some practical solutions to settle this. Read on to see the solution.

Part 2: How to Solve Windows Media Player Crashing Problem

At present, how to play DVD on Windows Media Player? This issue can be easily solved by installing the DVD codecs to make Windows Media Player play DVD.

The external codec should be able to translate different kinds of DVD files into data that WMP can understand. There is a variety of DVD codecs for users to choose from as they are accessible from the Microsoft official website as well as some third-party websites. You can download the DVD codec for Windows 8/10 online. Some are paid, and some are free. Media Player Codec Pack is one of the popular choices for this kind of issue. It is free and compatible with Windows 10 32-bit and 64-bit. Covering most codecs needed to play DVDs, videos and audios, you can follow these steps on how to play DVD on Windows Media Player via codec packs.

Step 1: Install the DVD codec pack. Download the codec pack from the given link:

Step 2: Find a folder on your computer to save the package. And then install it for WMP following the instructions.

Step 3: After installation, insert the DVD and use Windows Media Player to play your DVD disc directly.

Note: You may also use your favorite search engine to download any third-party decoder and install it. But the codec file may not be as safe as the one downloaded from Microsoft official websites.

Part 3: Free Alternative for Windows Media Player

Interestingly, some users may feel reluctant to install the DVD codec pack or rip DVD content. I would deeply recommend this handy tactic. Sometimes, a powerful and top Windows Media Player alternative can handle every dilemma from Windows Media Player won’t play DVD issues. Hence, Leawo Blu-ray Player will be introduced to fix the Windows Media Player not playing DVD.

Leawo Blu-ray Player is one of the best DVD player software on Windows and Mac. You do not want to miss it when you are thinking about which one to try for playing Blu-ray and DVD discs. This region-free player can support to play Blu-ray and DVD discs of any region codes. It also supports to deliver quality-lossless video images with a resolution of 720P, 1080P, 1080i and up to 4K playback.

With the support of various advanced audio decoding technologies like Dolby, DTS, AAC, TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc., Leawo Free Blu-ray Player software provides you with high-quality stereo audio enjoyments. Simultaneously, this compact app supports a range of media format including AAC, AC3, ASF, AVI, DIVX, etc., packed with plenty of activities packed like playback multi-angle videos, displaying DVD menus, personalizing the video parameters, changing the subtitles, taking screenshots, switching DVD sound channels, and more. Developed with a revolutionary design, it enables the functionality of modifying the theme, skin, and languages.

Step 1. Download this Windows Media Player alternative.

After the complete download, you will have an installation that is clean and secure without adds.

Step 2. Launch Leawo Blu-ray Player to import DVD sources.

To play DVD movies, just insert the DVD disc into your disc drive. In a second, this program will detect and deliver the media title intelligently. The DVD names will be shown next to the “Open File” which is the button to browse local files.

Step 3. Make changes to DVD subtitles.

Right-click on the interface, and select the "Subtitles" to view the panel. Enable the subtitles at first and configure you wanted one.

Part 4: Rip DVD data to Windows Media Player Recognizable Formats

There is another worth-try alternative tool to let Windows Media Player play DVD. You can simply rip your DVD and save them as digital files with compatible formats such as WMV, which can be supported by Windows Media Player. In this case, I suggest Leawo DVD Ripper which is a professional third-party tool developed to help users to rip and convert DVDs to common video/audio formats. It can retain the original DVD quality after ripping and more importantly, the speed is 6x higher than other rivals. Leawo DVD Ripper allows you to rip and convert DVD to video, to extract audio content from source DVD and save in various audio formats like AAC, FLAC, WAV, MP3, etc., and it allows you to directly set device model as output profile. In this case, you can rip your DVD and output it in MP4 for smooth playback on Windows Media Player using Leawo DVD Ripper.

Step 1: Download and install Leawo DVD Ripper.

Go to the website and download the correct edition for your system. Leawo DVD Ripper works cross-platform for Mac and Windows environments.


Step 2: Add the source DVD file to the program.

Launch the tool and click Add Blu-ray/DVD from the toolbar to load the source DVD file to the tool.

Step 3: Choose the mode to rip the DVD file.

After your file has been successfully loaded to the tool, choose a mode to rip the file. Three modes are open from Full Movie, Main Movie, to Custom Mode.

Step 4: Set the output format.

Once you have set the ripping mode, return to the home page and click on “MP4 Video” then choose “Change” from the dropdown menu to set the output format.

Step 5: Convert the file to the target format.

Click on Convert and you will be asked to set the directory to save the output file. After that, click on white “Convert” at the bottom to kick off the process. After the process completes, you will have the DVD files ready for playback on Windows Media Player.


While you now have understood that Windows Media Player may not be able to play DVDs since Windows 8 due to the lack of compatible DVD decoder for Windows Media Player 10/11. But this does not prevent you from playing DVDs on Windows Media Player. The first solution comes from finding and downloading a decoder codec packs to your Windows so that Windows Media Player can be "improved" to allow you directly read the DVD disc.

In the meantime, you can rip your DVD to other common video formats so that Windows Media Player can natively read and stream these files without trouble. Leawo DVD Ripper is such a tool that facilitates users with ripping and conversion services. With it, users are able to rip and convert DVD files to any common video format within clicks. Best of all, it allows you to choose exact parts to rip and convert instead of ripping the whole DVD disk file. There is a likelihood that neither previous strategies work for a novice. Needless to worry since the last idea ensures the hassle-free way. Users will benefit the most from a free alternative to make Windows play DVD eventually. Leawo Blu-ray Player has the magic that can achieve DVD instant playback with the one-click feature.