Everything You Should Know about Playing MP4 on Windows Media Player

Everything You Should Know about Playing MP4 on Windows Media Player

Kevin Miller

January 19, 2020 18:00Updated by to Play Video

If you play MP4 files with the default Windows Media Player on your computer, you may often meet with various problems like the MP4 video cannot be played at all, the video and audio are not synchronized or the audio might not be good, etc. Why Windows Media Player cannot play MP4 correctly? How to make MP4 compatible with Windows Media Player? Is there any other good media player that can play all popular video formats smoothly? Keep reading to find the answers.

Play MP4 on Windows Media Player

Part 1. Why Does Windows Media Player Not Play MP4 Correctly?

According to Microsoft support, only Windows Media Player 12 can support MP4 formats. The older Windows Media Player, such as WMP 11 or below, don’t support MP4 at all. More over, Windows Media Player 12 may not support all MP4 files. MP4 is a container format that includes multiple video and audio streams. If the video or audio streams are encoded by codecs that is not supported by WMP 12, the player won't play the MP4 file correctly either.

Part 2. How to Play MP4 in Windows Media Player?

To solve the MP4 playing issue on Windows Media Player, there are two feasible methods. Install Microsoft MP4 codec or convert the MP4 video to WMP supported formats.

1. How to download and install Windows Media Codecs?

Please follow the step-by-step guide to install the proper codec from Microsoft official website.

Step 1: Download Microsoft official website codec from this link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=507.

Step 2: Click the red Download button under the Codec Installation Package, then the package will be downloaded immediately.

Codec Installation

If the package cannot be downloaded automatically within 30 seconds, there is also a link provided for you to download it manually.

Download Manually

Step 3: After the codec package is downloaded successfully, you can complete the installation process by following the prompts on the screen.

Step 4: Now you can re-start your Windows Media Player and the MP4 files should be played smoothly.

If you want to playback MP4 DVD on Windows Media Player 12, you also need to download the matching codec.

2. How to convert MP4 files to Windows Media Player supported formats

What to do if the MP4 files still cannot be played correctly after the MP4 codec has been installed properly? To convert MP4 video format to another format (like WMV) that is compatible with WMP should solve the issue perfectly, although this solution is less direct. With this method, a video converter is necessary. Video Converter Ultimate is a powerful video converting tool that can convert all popular video and audio formats to other formats. Check what it can do for you:

How to Convert MP4 to WMV with Video Converter Ultimate?

Step 1

Download, install and launch this video converter on your computer. Then load the MP4 video you want to convert.


Not only the MP4 files, you could also convert the MKV files on Windows Media Player to its supported formats for avoiding downloading the MKV playback codec.

Step 2

Click “Profile” and choose WMV as the output format. You can search the exact format you want in the search bar directly. Then click "Browse" and define the output folder where the converted WMV video will be saved temporarily.


Step 3

After all is set, click the “Convert” button and wait for the MP4 video to be converted.


Step 4

After the MP4 file has been converted to WMV, you just need to find the converted WMV file and open it with Windows Media Player. Now you can play your MP4 files without any problem.

Part 3. Best Alternative to Windows Media Player

If the two solutions suggested above are not in your option, you can also get help from third-party video players. Here we recommend the best alternative to Windows Media Player – Bluraycopys Free Blu-ray Player. It’s a professional media player that not only can play almost all popular video formats like MP4, AVI, WMV, MTS, TS, FLV, MTS, M2TS, WKV, TRP, MXF, MPEG, etc. and HD video with very high quality, but also enables you to play any blu-ray on your computer. More importantly, this Windows Media Player alternative is totally free, and there is also a Free Mac Blu-ray Player available, if you are a Mac user, you can also use this free media player with ease. It definitely deserves your try!

Part 4. FAQs of Playing MP4 Videos on Windows Media Player

1. Why my Windows Media Player won’t play MP4?

If the MP4 video or audio codec is not WMP installed codec supported one, Windows Media Player won’t play MP4 video of this kind. You can use AnyMP4 Video Converter Ultimate, which can convert all kinds of MP4 video to Windows Media Player supported video format WMV, AVI, ASF, MPG.

2. What is the best format for Windows Media Player?

WMV would be your best option considering all the different versions of Windows out there.

3. What is the best alternative to Windows Media Player?

If you are Windows users, the best free Windows Media Player alternatives is Blu-ray Master Free Blu-ray Player, which allows you enjoy any common videos like MTS, MXF, AVI, MP4, WMV, MOV, MPEG, RMVB, FLV, MKV, and more on your PC. It also enables you to play any Blu-ray/DVD disc on your computer without losing quality.

4. Why is Windows Media Player not responding?

Windows Media Player might crash for more than one reason but the most common is that the registry files that use the application might have gotten damaged or deleted by a third party application.

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