After buying a brand new Windows 10 computer, double-clicking a video file opens it in Films & TV (or Movies & TV) and Windows Media Player shortcut is nowhere to be seen. This makes one wonder if Windows Media Player has been removed in Windows 10. The answer is, Windows Media Player very much exists in Windows 10.
(If you bought the computer from Europe or Korea and have Windows N or the KN Edition, then skip directly to the last part of this article.)
Windows Media Player can be accessed by clicking Start, All apps, Windows Media Player. If Windows Media Player shortcut is not available in the list, then check out if the file WMPlayer.exe exists under the Windows Media Player folder in the Program Files directory. Or press WinKey + R to bring up the Run dialog, and type:
C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe
If it says “Windows cannot find wmplayer.exe” then Windows Media Player package may not have been installed.
Install Windows Media Player in Windows 10
To install Windows Media Player, right-click Start, click Programs and Features. Click “Turn Windows features on or off”. Expand Media Features, enable Windows Media Player and click OK.
Windows Media Player Not Listed?
Windows N and KN Editions
If the Optional Features window doesn’t list Media Features/Windows Media Player and the file wmplayer.exe doesn’t exist, then you’re probably using Windows N, or KN Edition. Windows N (for Europe) and KN (South Korea) variations don’t have media features included by default, due to competition law rulings in both countries. Due to the 2004 rulings, Microsoft had to maintain separate Windows versions for these markets. This has been the case since Windows XP, and not something new to Windows 10.
What exactly are missing in these Editions, according to Microsoft:
The N and KN editions of Windows 10 include the same functionality as Windows 10, except for media-related technologies (Windows Media Player) and certain pre-installed media apps (Music, Video, Voice Recorder, and Skype). You must install other software from Microsoft or another company for this communication functionality and to play or create audio CDs, media files, and video DVDs, to stream music, and to take and store pictures. New features such as Cortana, Windows Hello, and PDF viewing in the new Edge browser rely on Windows Media files that are not present in these editions.
Download Windows Media Player, via Media Feature Pack
For Windows 10 Spring Creators Update (v1803): User can download the Media Feature Pack from Microsoft website and install it, which adds Windows Media Player and other media features.
Read more about it here: Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N and Windows 10 KN editions.
This update supersedes previous updates such as KB3133719, KB3099229 and KB3010081. Installing a older version of the Media Features Pack in v1703 or v1607 might cause WMVCore.dll file missing errors.
Sometimes the above link may be inaccessible when using a 3rd party browser. Using Internet Explorer to access the URL should do the trick.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.