Why Windows 10 Can’t Play DVDs (Windows 11 Too)

Are you unable to play your DVDs on your Windows 10 PC or Laptop? This issue can be a major inconvenience and a huge source of worry for users with an extensive DVD collection. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of fixes that you can easily execute yourself and get your DVDs to run on your Windows 10 PC or laptop in no time.

Why Can’t DVDs In Windows Just Play?

Windows 10 or 11 can’t play DVDs because there’s no built-in DVD codec, outdated DVD drivers, or corrupted specific registry entries. You can run the Windows Troubleshooter to diagnose and fix the problem automatically, or you can manually find what’s causing the issue and fix it accordingly.

No DVD codec is installed

After moving to Windows 10, Microsoft dropped the built-in DVD codec accompanying WMP (Windows Media Player). For this reason, if you’re trying to play your DVD using WMP, it won’t run.

The same issue exists with Windows 11, where the necessary codecs for playing DVDs are missing. Therefore, if you’re trying to run DVDs using the default player and it’s not working, it’s most likely a result of missing codecs. 

The problem can be easily fixed by downloading and installing a codec package or a different DVD player.

How to fix it

One of the most straightforward ways to deal with missing DVD codecs is by installing a third-party DVD player with the necessary ones.

A few notable DVD player apps that you should try include:

  • VLC Media Player.
  • 5KPlayer.
  • Kodi.
  • PotPlayer.
  • KMPlayer.

Some of these media players can be heavy and lag if you’re running a low-spec system. 

In that case, you’re better off using the Windows Media Player that you get with Windows 10 or Media Player that comes with Windows 11. 

In my opinion, the preferred solution is to install missing codecs needed to playback DVDs or other file formats. So, what should we do about the missing DVD codecs? Well, you can install codec packages that’ll enable the default built-in players to run DVDs.

Some codec packs that you can look into include:

  • K-Lite Codec Pack: A free codec pack that you can try if the Media Player Codec Pack doesn’t work. This is the recommended go-to codec pack, covering various codecs for trouble-free playback.
  • Media Player Codec Pack: It’s free and covers almost all the popular DVD codecs.

You can download and install the codec packs like any other Windows software. Once installed, restart your system. You should now be able to play your DVDs on Windows 10 or 11.

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