Solutions to “Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem While Playing the File”
Summary: Windows Media Player is the default player of Microsoft’s operating system. But when using it to play videos, you may be interrupted by “Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file”. So now please follow us to find the solutions to the problem.
Windows Media Player is one of several tools that come pre-installed with any recent version of Microsoft’s operating system. The tool is very easy to use and does a good job of handling most video and audio formats you throw at it. That said, the tool is far from being perfect. While you generally don’t run into any issues while using it, there is one error that seems to be popping up every once in a while. We’re talking of course about the dreaded error that comes with the message Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file. The error message is very vague and not very helpful in terms of identifying the problem but we did manage to find some solutions that can aid you in fixing this issue.
Part 1: How to Fix Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem While Playing the File
Case 1: Windows Media Player Started Misbehaving After Installing a New Program or Update
It’s no secret that some programs can interfere with pre-existing software. That’s especially true when the software in question comes installed by default with your operating system, as is the case with Windows Media Player. A lot of the time you might not even be aware of this problem because it may take a while before the affected software starts misbehaving. However, if you’re seeing the message Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file shortly after you installed a new program, it’s definitely worth investigating. Most people don’t keep track of all the programs they install on their computers but luckily Windows keeps tracks of everything.
1. You’ll first want to check which programs have recently been installed so go to the Start Menu -> Settings (the gear icon) -> Apps. If you’re not using Windows 10, go to Control Panel -> Programs -> Uninstall a Program to get the list.
2. Sort the list by install date and be on the lookout for any programs that might interfere with Windows Media Player. This includes suspicious software that you may have installed by accident, as well as programs that change audio/video settings or even other multimedia players.
3. If you notice any programs like that go ahead and uninstall them. However, if you’re not sure what a program does it’s a good idea to look it up on Google to make sure you’re not uninstalling a program you still need. Similarly, Windows updates have been known to cause a variety of issues so you could try rolling back to a previous version if the current one is not stable. Again, use Google to look it up because uninstalling a Windows update could cause other issues.
4. Once you’ve uninstalled the program/update restart your PC and then try playing a file to see if you still get the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error.
Case 2: Windows Media Player Can Only Run Certain File Types
Are you getting Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file while trying to run certain files but not others? The problem in that case could be your codecs. Windows Media Player doesn’t do a great job at handling the latest file formats so if you’re only getting the error when trying to play a 4K movie, for example, the problem is almost certainly the lack of proper codecs.
1. The solution here is pretty straightforward and involves installing an up-to-date codec pack. We recommend K-Lite Codec Pack so go ahead and Google it and then click on the first result, which should be the official CodecGuide website.
2. Look for K-Lite Codec Pack in the left menu bar and then go to the Download section.
3. There are a few different options to choose from but you should probably go for the full version so click Download Full and then install the codec pack.
4. After installing, try running the file again to see if you still get the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error.
Case 3: Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service is Causing Issues with the Program
This problem is less common but there have been several cases where Windows Media Player stopped working correctly because of its network sharing service. Since this issue is less common, we recommend trying the other two solutions first. But if those didn’t work, it’s worth disabling the network sharing service to see if it gets rid of the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error.
1. Use the Windows Key + R combination to open the Run dialog box and then type services.msc.
2. Scrolls down until you find Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service. Right click on it and then select Proprieties.
3. Click the drop-down menu next to Startup type and select the option labeled Disabled. Click Apply and then Ok.
4. Try running the file again to see if you still get the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error.
Part 2: The Best Solution – Install DVDFab Player 5 to Replace Windows Media Player.
If you want to get rid of the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error once and for all, a better option would be to just install a new player. We recommend going for DVDFab Player 5 because it’s a powerful and fast player with a modern user interface and plenty of useful features to boot. The player can handle any type of file format, including 4K UHD, comes with navigation menus for DVDs and Blu-rays, supports 3D and HDR10, and features two different playback modes for PC and TV.
Part 3: Convert Any Video to Windows Media Player Supported Format with DVDFab Video Converter
If you prefer using Windows Media Player over all other players you could also try converting the videos you’re having problems with. With a tool like DVDFab Video Converter you can take any type of video and turn it into a different format that’s specifically designed to run on Windows Media Player. Doing so will ensure that you’ll never get the Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file error again. Here’s how it works:
1. Open DVDFab 11 and go to the Convert module.
2. Go to the Profile Switcher in the upper left corner and click on Video. Now select the WMV option.
3. Load the video you want to convert and use the Advanced Settings and Video Edit options to customize your video.
4. Pick the destination folder from the bottom left corner and then click the Start button to begin the conversion. Once the process is complete, trying running the output file in Windows Media Player to see if you still get the error.
There are many reasons why you’re seeing the message Windows Media Player Encountered a Problem While Playing the File but hopefully one of the solutions we discussed today will help you fix the problem. If it doesn’t you could always try using a different multimedia player like DVDFab Player 5 or converting the video you’re having problems with to a different format using DVDFab Video Converter. Windows Media Player is fairly outdated at this point so you’ll probably want to go for one of the last two solutions, or both.