Change settings for sharing media in Windows Media Player

You can customize how media sharing works. For information about getting started with media sharing, see Share your media with other people or devices.

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To choose manual or automatic device authorization

Other computers and devices on your network cannot play items on your computer until they are given permission to access your Player library. You can either choose to manually allow only specific computers and devices to access your library or you can choose to automatically allow all computers and devices on your network to access your library.

  • Do one of the following:

    • To manually allow specific computers and devices to access your library, click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing. Click Settings, and then clear the Allow new devices and computers automatically check box.

      If the Settings button does not appear on the Media Sharing dialog box, media sharing is not turned on. For information about how to turn on media sharing, see Share your media with other people or devices.

      When the Allow new devices and computers automatically check box is cleared and the Player detects a new computer or device on your network that has not been allowed to access your Player library, you will be prompted to manually configure the computer or device to access your library. For information about how to configure computers or devices to access your library, see the customizing which devices have access to your library section in this topic.

    • To automatically allow all computers and devices on your private network to access your Player library, click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing. Click Settings, and then select the Allow new devices and computers automatically check box.

      If the Settings button does not appear on the Media Sharing dialog box, media sharing is not turned on. For information about how to turn on media sharing, see Share your media with other people or devices.

      When the Allow new devices and computers automatically check box is selected and the Player detects a new computer or device on your network that has not been allowed to access your library, the device or computer will automatically be allowed to access your library. Note that this check box does not override any changes you make in the Media Sharing - Customize dialog box. For example, if you click the Customize button and then deny a specific device access to your library, it will continue to be denied even if the Allow new devices and computers automatically check box is selected.

      Warning

      • If you select the Allow new devices and computers automatically check box, potentially any device on your network will be able to see and play all the items in your Player library. For example, if you have a laptop and you use it outside of your home (such as at work or in location that offers public Internet access), you might inadvertently share your media with other computers or devices in that location. For this reason, we recommend that you only select this check box if you are connected to a secure network (such as a home network that is password-protected) and you trust all the devices on that network. For more information, see Privacy and security considerations when sharing media.

To customize which devices have access to your Player library

Regardless of whether you have selected manual or automatic device authorization, you can choose to specifically allow or deny any device access to your library.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing.

  2. In the Share my media to box, click a device.

    If the Share my media to box does not appear on the Media Sharing dialog box, media sharing is not turned on. For information about how to turn on media sharing, see Share your media with other people or devices.

    To help you identify the device, right-click the device, and then click Properties. You can differentiate between devices that have the same name by looking at the Media Access Control (MAC) address of each device.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To allow the device to access your Player library, click Allow.

    • To prevent the device from accessing your Player library, click Deny.

    • To prevent the device from accessing your Player library or anyone else's library on this computer, right-click the device, and then click Deny for all users.

    • To remove the device from the list of available devices, disconnect the device from your network. In the Share my media to box, right-click the device, and then click Remove from list.

To customize what media you share with all devices by default

By default, the Player automatically shares the music, video, and picture files in your library with all of your authorized computers and devices. If you want, you can choose to share only some of these media types by default. You can also choose to only share media that has a particular star rating or parental rating.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing.

  2. Click Settings.

    The Media Sharing - Default Settings dialog box appears.

    If the Settings button does not appear on the Media Sharing dialog box, media sharing is not turned on. For information about how to turn on media sharing, see Share your media with other people or devices.

  3. In the Media types area, select the check boxes beside the media types that you want to share (for example, only share Music and Pictures).

  4. In the Star ratings area, select the options and check boxes beside the ratings that you want to share (for example, only share content Rated 4 stars or higher).

  5. In the Parental ratings area, select the options and check boxes beside the parental ratings that you want to share (for example, only share video content that has a particular rating). The ratings that appear in this list are based upon the media information in your audio and video files. You can change the parental ratings of your files by editing the Parental Ratings attribute in the library. For more information, see Add or edit media information.

    Note that if you allow another computer to access your Player library, all users of that computer who turn on the Find media that others are sharing option will have access to that shared content. It is not possible to share your media to only a specific user on a computer.

    Also note that the Player might not be able to share every file that is in your library. To be shared, the original file must be stored in one of your monitored folders and it must be a supported file type. For more information about what you can share, see Sharing media on a network.

To customize what media you share with specific devices

You can choose to share the same media types with all devices or you can customize the type of media you share with each device. For example, you can choose to share video with one device on your network, but not with any other devices.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing.

  2. In the Share my media to box, select a device that you have allowed to access your library, and then click Customize.

    The Media Sharing - Customize dialog box appears.

    If the Share my media to box does not appear on the Media Sharing dialog box, media sharing is not turned on. For information about how to turn on media sharing, see Share your media with other people or devices.

  3. Clear the Use default settings box.

  4. In the Media types area, select the check boxes beside the media types that you want to share (for example, only share Music and Pictures).

  5. In the Star ratings area, select the options and check boxes beside the ratings that you want to share (for example, only share content Rated 4 stars or higher).

  6. In the Parental ratings area, select the options and check boxes beside the parental ratings that you want to share (for example, only share video content that is rated PG or G).

  7. (Optional) Repeat steps 2 through 6 for any other computers or devices that appear in the Share my media to box.

    Note that if you allow another computer to access your library, all users of that computer who turn on the Find media that others are sharing option will have access to that shared content. It is not possible to share your media to only a specific user on a computer.

    Also note that the Player might not be able to share every file that is in your library. To be shared, the original file must be stored in one of your monitored folders and it must be a supported file type. For more information about what you can share, see Sharing media on a network.

To change the name of your library

When you share your media with other devices and computers, your media is identified on those other devices and computers by the name of your library. Typically, your library name is the same as your Windows account name. If you want, you can change the name of your library to something else.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing.

  2. Click Settings.

    The Media Sharing - Default Settings dialog box appears.

    If the Settings button does not appear on the Media Sharing dialog box, media sharing is not turned on. For information about how to turn on media sharing, see Share your media with other people or devices.

  3. In the Share media as box, type a new name for your library.

To turn off media sharing for yourself or for all users of your computer

If you want, you can turn off media sharing for only yourself or for all users of your computer.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing.

  2. Clear the Find media that others are sharing and Share my media to check boxes, and then click OK.

    By clicking OK, you are confirming that you want to turn off sharing for yourself. You will also be asked if you want to turn off sharing for everyone else that uses this computer. Note that if you leave one of the check boxes selected, some sharing services might continue to run in the background.

  3. When you are prompted to turn off sharing for everyone that uses the computer, do one of the following:

    • To make your changes apply to all users of your computer (including yourself), click Yes.

    • To make your changes apply only to yourself, click No.

To change your network settings for media sharing

To share your media or to play media that others are sharing with you, your computer must be connected to a private network and Windows networking options must be configured properly.

The Player provides a quick way to access Windows networking management tools, which you can use to manually switch to a private network, if necessary.

There are potential privacy and security risks when manually switching from a public network to a private network. For more information, see Privacy and security considerations when sharing media.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing.

  2. Click Networking.

    The Network and Sharing Center item in Control Panel opens. For information about how to use Network and Sharing Center, see Windows Help and Support.

    For more information about the specific network and firewall requirements of media sharing, see Sharing media on a network.