This video will show you how to play incompatible or unsupported media files like .mkv and .hdmov in Windows 10. It includes the following:

  1. Codec Software
  2. Windows Media Player
  3. Media Player Codec Pack

More on Media Player “cannot play this file”

You’re trying to play an song or video using Windows Media Player, but it seems like the file is unable to play and WMP gives you an error message that could say something like, “Windows Media Player cannot play the file”. When this happens, Windows Media Player is basically telling you that it can not locate the correct codec to decrypt the format of the current video that you’re trying to play – these codecs can be downloaded from a 3rd party retailer, or another video player like VLC can be installed and used instead.

The most well-known video formats available are .mp4, .avi, .mpeg, and .mkv – the latter .mkv file cannot be decoded by the Windows Media Player alone and sometimes require the need for external codecs. These can be downloaded from this website which hosts the Media Player Codec Pack.

The user can also enable automatic updates, and download the codecs from within Windows Media Player, provided they are available on Microsoft’s Update Catalog. Sometimes when you play the video file, it may not just be the player that can’t play the file, but the video file that could be damaged, or not fully downloaded. You can repair a corrupt video file by using this tool.

One of the best media players to use is VLC. It supports almost every video format to date, and is compatible with most extensions, subtitles, and has more features than Windows Media Player.


Other methods of fixing “cannot play this file”

  1. Download and install Media Player Codec Pack. This should allow your Windows Media Player to play the video.
  2. Use VLC Media Player. It natively supports every video format out there.

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