How to Fix ‘Windows Media Player Has Stopped Working’ Error on Windows 11

Is Windows 11 Media Player Not Loading. Here is the Detailed Guide to Fix Windows Media Player has Stopped Working.

This guide explains various useful troubleshooting methods to fix the Windows Media Player on a Windows 11 machine. While playing an audio or video file on the popular native media player from Windows, you may get the ‘Windows Media Player Has Stopped Working’ error.

For long-time Windows users, Windows Media Player is one of the essential apps in the Windows ecosystem. It supports a wide variety of audio and video files. Over the various generations of MS Windows, the Windows Media Player has undergone a significant transformation, aesthetic and feature-wise.

Windows Media Player Has Stopped Working

Reasons for Windows Media Player Has Stopped Working Issue

Here are some of the reasons why Windows Media Player has become unresponsive.

  • Bug on the current version of Windows Media Player installed on the PC.
  • Technical issue in the current system version running on the computer.
  • You are playing a file on Windows Media Player that is corrupt.
  • The file you are trying to play is in an unsupported format.
  • One or more system files on the PC have become corrupt, causing the Windows Media Player to become dysfunctional.

Tips to Fix Windows Media Player Not Working on Windows 11

Implement these troubleshooting tips to fix the Windows Media Player in Windows 11.

1. Force Close and Relaunch Windows Media Player

Start the troubleshooting with force closing the Media Player from Task Manager. Then launch it. Often, this simple trick can fix random glitches in the application.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager.
  2. Go to Media Player, and right-click on it.
  3. Select End Task.
    force close Windows media player
  4. Press the Windows key to launch the search panel.
  5. Type Media Player and click Open.
    launch Windows media player

2. Disable and Re-enable Windows Media Player

You can disable the Media Player and re-enable it on Windows 11. This can often fix bugs in the application.

  1. Launch Control Panel using Windows Search.
    windows Control Panel
  2. Go to Programs and Features.
    access programs and features under Control Panel
  3. On the upper-left corner, click the option Turn Windows feature on or off.
    turn windows feature on or off
  4. On the dialog box, uncheck Media Features and Windows Media Player Legacy.
    disable windows media player
  5. Now, restart the PC and follow the Steps 1 to 3.
  6. Check the box next to Media Features and Windows Media Player Legacy.

Launch the Media Player and start playing audio or video files on it.

3. Use the Windows Media Player Troubleshooter

Use the dedicated in-built troubleshooter for Windows Media Player and fix any issues with the app.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run box.
  2. Type msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic
  3. Press enter.
    launch windows media player troubleshooter
  4. Click Next on the troubleshooter dialog box.
    troubleshoot Windows media player

Follow the instructions to continue and complete the troubleshooting process. After the troubleshooting, launch Media Player and check if it is working.

4. Update Windows Media Player

You can install version updates for Windows Media Player from the Microsoft Store. That will fix the bugs on the current build of the application that your PC is running.

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. In the search panel, type Microsoft Store.
    launch Microsoft Store
  3. Click on Library.
    open Microsoft Store library
  4. Next, click on Get All Updates.
    get app updates for apps installed on Windows PC
  5. If a new update for the Media Player is available, it will automatically install.
  6. Relaunch Windows Media Player after the update process is complete.

NOTE: The updates will be fetched only when the computer is connected to a WiFi. 

5. Repair Windows Media Player

Often, repairing an application on a Windows app can fix the bugs. Here are the steps to repair the Media Player app on Windows 11.

  1. Press Windows + I hotkeys to launch the settings.
  2. On the left side, click on Apps.
  3. Go to Installed Apps.
    windows installed apps
  4. In the search field, type Media Player.
  5. Click the 3-dot menu icon next to Media Player.
  6. Select Advanced Options.
    windows media player advanced options
  7. Scroll to the Repair button. Click on it.
    repair windows media player

Follow the instructions to complete the repair process. Once the repair is over, relaunch the Media Player and check if it plays the audio and video files without any errors.

TIP: You may also follow the above steps and Reset the app. A reset will change the settings within the app to default parameters and delete the app data. 

6. Update the Audio Driver

If the Windows Media Player cannot play audio files, update the audio driver. Here are the steps to update the audio driver on Windows 11.

  1. Press Windows + X hotkeys.
  2. Select Device Manager from the menu.
    open Windows device manager
  3. Scroll to Sound, Video, and Game Controllers and expand it.
  4. Within that, right-click on the Audio driver and select Update Driver.
    update audio driver
  5. Select Search Automatically for Drivers.
    search automatically for audio driver

The system will start searching for the latest drivers and install them. Make sure your PC is connected to the WiFi.

7. Update the Graphics Driver

If you cannot play video files on Windows Media Player, update the graphics driver of the PC.

  1. Press Windows + X to launch the power user menu.
  2. Select Device Manager.
    open Windows device manager
  3. Scroll to Display Adapter and expand it.
  4. Right-click on the graphics unit and select Update Driver.
    update graphics driver
  5. Click on Search Automatically for Drivers.
    search automatically for graphics driver

Launch Media Player after the graphics driver is updated. Play a video and check if it runs without any error message.

8. Delete the Windows Media Player Library

This troubleshooting method will clear the junk data in the Windows Media Library. You can then run Media Player on Windows 11 without any errors.

  1. Press Windows + R to access the Run box.
  2. Type %localappdata% and press enter.
    Open Windows local app data folder
  3. Go to the folders Microsoft > Media Player.
  4. Select the files with the Type mentioned as Windows Media Library.
  5. Then press Shift + Delete to remove the selected files.
    delete the Windows media library
  6. Now, launch the Media Player.

The Windows Media Player should run without any problems.

9. Uninstall and Reinstall Media Player

If other tips and tricks do not fix the “Windows Media Player Has Stopped Working” error, you can uninstall the app temporarily. Following that, reinstall it from the Microsoft Store.

  1. Press Windows + S hotkeys to bring up the search.
  2. Type Installed Apps and click Open.
    open Installed apps on Windows 11
  3. In the installed apps search field, search for Media Player.
  4. Click the menu icon beside Media Player and select Uninstall.
    uninstall Windows media player
  5. Launch the Microsoft Store app.
    launch Microsoft Store
  6. Search for Windows Media Player.
  7. Click on Get to install the app back on your PC.
    Install Windows Media Player from Microsoft Store

10. Install Latest Windows Update

Fix any existing bugs in the system version of your PC by upgrading it to the latest Windows version.

  1. Press Windows + I to go to the settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update.
    click on Windows Update
  3. Next, click on Check for Updates.
    check for latest Windows updates
  4. If a new software update is available, click on Download and Install All.
    windows 11 update available to download

The computer will restart after installing the system update. After that, launch Windows Media Player and check if it is working.

11. Use Another Media Player

After using all the above troubleshooting tips, if Windows Media Player is still not working, use another media player. There is the acclaimed VLC Media Player, which is a free-to-use application. You may also consider using the KM Player, a notable media player supporting a wide range of audio and video formats.

download VLC for Windows

Download VLC Media Player for Windows

Bottom Line

Most likely, repairing or updating the app, and clearing the Windows Media library should resolve the “Windows Media Player Has Stopped Working” error. If not, you can try various other Media Players for Windows 11. Keep visiting DigitBin for more useful troubleshooting guides.

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Swayam Prakash
Swayam is a professional content creator with 6-years of experience in conceptualizing, creating, and managing tech-based content for notable online publishing firms. At DigitBin, he creates quality-rich and simple content related to Windows OS, Android, iOS, social media, cloud computing, and other general consumer technology. Contact Me on Linkedin

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