why can't Windows Media Player in Windows 8.1 play back a movie on DVD?

Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

             Earlier today, I noticed that Windows Media Player will play back mp3's but it will not play back a movie on DVD.  Instead, I always have to use the built-in media player which came with my Acer laptop.  With this point in mind, is there some way I can select Windows Media Player as my default play back program for movies on DVD?  My operating system is Windows 8.1.

             Any suggestions and guidance given to resolving this issue will be greatly appreciated.

             Thank you

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Skyler KincaidNetwork/Systems EngineerCommented:
Windows 8 does not come with DVD playback as part of the Windows OS. They separated that licensing to save money I am guessing:


But you can purchase this:


Or just go with something like VLC player that is free:


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Hi George,
As above has said, it's like going back to XP,  not to take anything away from suggestions already
but please use DaPlayer it is free and will also play bluray DVD regeon free, really  beautiful quality, DaPlayer is built in 450+ A/V decoders
But since some web pages have add-ware and false downloads please just click on the blue download to save it to your downloads/ then run it accept the free license and click next etc.
It is ad-ware free  the only thing you see is a web page opens once done just close it and that's it.
It may offer an update.
Da PlayerWhen you put your DVD in the rom if you have not a default DVD player close whatever opens and then open with Da Player
click on the open file play DVD
DaPlayer menu and settingsDaPlayer play DVDshow playlist and you can choose which chapter to play it closes after a few secs
show playlist
One more, when playing your DVD if it seems too dark click on the menu at the top/ video settings>and Visual effects and adjust your brightness hues etc while playing.
With video on your HDD drag and drop/ you can also just right click the screen during playback, all the options, to close it click on the screen, to leave full screen press Esc, you can drag out the player by the right bottom corner.
Visual effects adjust brightness etc
JavaScript Best Practices

Save hours in development time and avoid common mistakes by learning the best practices to use for JavaScript.

GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

           I have downloaded and installed DaPlayer.  It is really a nice playback program for my DVD's.  At this point, I do have a followup question regarding this program.  How can I set it as my default DVD playback program?  The reason I ask is because Clearfi Media which came with my Acer laptop automatically launches whenever a DVD is inserted into the DVD ROM unit.  


Hi George, is this an inbuilt DVD it opening to? that you didn't know?
Looks as if it is a form iTunes sharing device.
Clearfi Media  apparently is an Acer tool that bundles with your computer
Acer Clear-Fi - Tutorial
What's Clear-Fi ?
A cross-platform solution for media enjoyment and sharing.
 go to your auto play on control panel  or your start menu all programs default programs.

I have my auto play set to ask me what do I want do so I can select which player to use
I'm on windows 7 so how you navigate to your control panel maybe slightly different
Auto playThese should help
To Choose Default Programs in Control Panel in Windows 8 and 8.1  see how to
How to change default programs in Windows 8 see how to
How to Change Autoplay Settings in Windows 8 see how to
For any  video files on your HDD right click and open with choose default
George if your not 100% happy with it try VLC as suggested, VLC is the swiss tools of cool video things,  from rotating a video can even record the video your playing.
there is also my other favourite the free open source  media player classic BE
Use this below in the Video Help frame please don't touch any links outside of it
Latest version:
 1.4.2 / Beta (September 05, 2014)
Download sites:
Visit developer's site      
Download MPC-BE 1.4.2 (direct link)      (8.3MB)
Download MPC-BE 1.4.2 64-bit (direct link)      

I have all three  as one serves for one thing, MPC be is my default for HDD video, Da Player I use mainly for DVD.
Doesn't windows 8 even have the media center?
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Everyone,

            While I do have Da Player installed on my Acer laptop, I unfortunately do not see it anywhere within the drop down menus for selecting it as my default DVD movie player.  Further advisement will be needed.


I agree George, the problem here we cannot rightclick a DVD and open with choose default program and browse.
A DVD disc is not a single video file
DaPlayer is not listed in the auto play or open with,
When I insert a DVD I cannot choose DaPlayer and make default it is not even listed neither is media player classic-be
Auto Play for DVD ask methe only place I could find it listed  was in the associate files types from the Default Programs
associate a file to a player I  see most of my other media players there  in the Auto Play but not MPC-Be and DaPlayer
These two players media player classic be and DaPlayer are not listed as DVD players yet VLC is.
Which is odd to me as MPC-BE and VLC are both open source and all three play DVD.
So at this point using no default player which I have anyway  I can only insert a DVD wait for the "what do I want to do" panel to open, and close that then just open DaPlayer and go to open DVD.
I have also checked the files are associated in DaPlayer.
rightclick the screen then settings associate files types
Da Player settings files associationAs I have 5 media players it's no big deal for me to open my media players individually and task them, this way none try to open automatically in any given action.
Based on my testing you have that choice with the DaPlayer or install VLC and make it default so that when you insert a disc it will open with VLC.
Regards Merete
George I have 4 media players. The best one for me is VLC. The volume levels are alot higher than WMP among others. Give it a try for free.


vlc is a very good one
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

              Thanks so much for the tips, suggestions, and resourceful links given in response to my question.   By the way, the Clearfi Media is a software package which came bundled with my Acer laptop.  With respect to what I chose, I went with VLC Player as my default DVD playback program.  Using the easy to follow instructions given by Merete contained within the illustrations and links, I did not have any problem setting up VLC Player as my default movie player.  There is however one minor distraction which is the tool bar menu which stays at the top of the screen in addition to the playback control bar which stays at the bottom of the screen of VLC Player while a movie from DVD is playing.  I am not sure if there is a way of getting these top and bottom bars to temporarily disappear during playback of a movie.   Outside of this distraction, it is a great player : - )

             Thanks again everyone for your guidance.

On the VLC taskbar at the bottom is a few icons one of them is toggle fullscreen, the small bar appears at the bottom but once you move your mouse to the side it disappears and only appears if you move your mouse
Toggle fullscreentoggle fullscreenVLC Playback controls and what they mean
this image has all the icons meanings on the toolbar of VLC

 I also really like media player classic-be  http://www.videohelp.com/tools/MPC-BE
for DVD nicer interface and can just click the screen to stop it or pause rightclick it for options has less crashes than VLC.
I use VLC for other things
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Evening

            Thank you so much Merete for your followup suggestion.  I carried out your tip and it worked perfectly : - )  

              On a side note, I always enjoy reading over your replies to my post.  You do an excellent job of using examples and graphical illustrations to capture your points and suggestions.  

               Have a great night.

Thankyou very much George, I feel a picture paints a 1000 words and cannot be mis-interpreted
Enjoy your movies.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
MultiMedia Applications

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.