Windows Media Player DRM: Frequently asked questions

If you're having trouble playing a song or video, it might be because the file is protected with digital rights management (DRM). DRM is a technology that content providers sometimes use to make sure that the digital music and video files you get from them are used and distributed according to their media usage rights.

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How does the Player use media usage rights?

When you try to play a protected file in the Player, the Player checks to see if you have valid media usage rights on your PC. If you do, the Player plays the file.

If the Player doesn't find valid media usage rights on your PC, or if the rights limit what you can do with the file, the Player can't play the file. In this case, you'll see an error message that tells you why the file couldn't be played.

How can I tell if a file is rights-protected?

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter Windows Media Player in the search box, and then tap or click Windows Media Player.

  3. Swipe across or right-click a media file, tap or click Properties, and then tap or click the Media Usage Rights tab. If the file is rights-protected, the license terms appear in the Media usage rights box, and you'll see what usage rights you have. If nothing appears in the Media usage rights box, it might be because the file isn't protected, the usage rights aren't found on your PC, or you're playing a file that's being streamed to your PC (for example, you're playing subscription content directly from an online store's website).

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