If you find that the Windows Media Player entry is missing in the Set your Default Programs listing, it’s probably because someone removed access to the program in your computer. Here is how you restore it.

1. Click Start, Default Programs

2. Click Set program access and computer defaults

3. Click Custom to expand the section

4. Scroll down to section Choose a default media player

5. Enable the option Enable access to this program for Windows Media Player

6. Click OK.

WMP is not listed?

If Windows Media Player is not listed in the Set program access and computer defaults list, download wmp-programs-list.zip, unzip and run the enclosed REG file wmp-programs-list.reg. This should restore Windows Media Player to the listing.

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  1. Leo
    said this on Thursday, February 14th 2013 8:34 am

    in windows XP is slightly different : Start / All Programs / Set Program Access and Defaults / (choose and expand) Custom / (scroll down to) Choose a Default Media Player / (choose) Windows Media Player , and Check the Enable Access to this Program / Click OK.
    The shortcut will be restored in Programs File, and a shortcut will be added if you look in (quick) Start menu – drag it in above section to be permanent. (now if you wish you can left-drag and create a shortcut on desktop).

    A trick when nothing was there: I had some music files for Windows media Player in a folder on desktop. When Windows Media Player icons were gone, I double-click one of these music files and they opened the Windows Media Player from inside the computer. You can then drag/load/unload any number of music files into the player.

    I used it like this until I fixed the Icons back.

    Thanks again, all the best

  2. Dennis
    said this on Sunday, June 24th 2012 11:37 am

    Ditto all the other comments…..wmp just disappeared and i had no clue. Looked at all the Google search results that just said impossible to get back, or re-install vista, or copy from windows 7, etc., and almost gave up….then made one more search and found your simple but dread lifting solution.


  3. mikesmrs
    said this on Friday, September 2nd 2011 12:56 pm

    Does this work in Windows 7?

  4. sam
    said this on Wednesday, August 24th 2011 6:40 am

    thank you thank you

    all the other websites trying to address this issue kept talking about codecs, reinstalling win7, etc

    I knew how to set default, I just didn’t know why WMP wouldn’t stay as default, or why it never showed up in my list of players to choose from.


  5. aukat
    said this on Saturday, March 12th 2011 10:02 am

    thank you oohhh sooo much i’ve been trying self discovery here but nothing seems to happen. you’re a BIG help!!!! God bless you!!

  6. Aeon
    said this on Tuesday, November 2nd 2010 11:26 am

    Thank you very much for your BIG BIG BIG help!

  7. passatag3
    said this on Thursday, October 28th 2010 11:07 pm

    thanks very much ive been racking my brain trying to find wmp11 for ages.

  8. Paul
    said this on Monday, September 6th 2010 6:16 pm

    Humongous thanks for this one!

    I’ve searched all over the web and tried everything to fix Windows Media Player. Turns out Winamp installer now goes and messes with these settings somehow (programs have access to this stuff?)


  9. Logan
    said this on Friday, July 9th 2010 8:25 am

    Thanks, had totally forgotten those options were even there : )

  10. Ray
    said this on Monday, April 12th 2010 7:41 pm

    Thanks it worked!

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