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

Windows media player cannot play the file

You’re trying to play a 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 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. It’s a frustrating scenario. Read more on why Windows Media Player cannot play the file.

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 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.

VLC Media Player is a well-known media player that supports every video format. It’s free, open-source, doesn’t contain ads and it supports streaming. It’s available on all platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. VLC comes with a very modular design which makes it easy to load plugins for file formats. It supports more than 380 different modules. The core has its own graph of modules. VLC was built around this method, almost everything is a module. The desktop version has filters that can rotate, distort, or deinterlace certain types of video files. The Android version of VLC released in May 2012. The stable version was available on Google Play on December 8, 2014.

You can download and install VLC Media Player from the following links:

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