A playlist is a list of digital media items that you create and save yourself. Playlists are a great way to group items that you like to listen to or view frequently. You can also use playlists to group items that you want to burn to a CD or sync to a portable device. There are two types of playlists in Windows Media Player: auto playlists and regular playlists.

An auto playlist is a list that continuously updates automatically based on what music is in the Player Library and includes any changes in media information. For more information about auto playlists, see Create or change an auto playlist in Windows Media Player. A regular playlist is a saved list containing one or more digital media files, including any combination of songs, videos, or pictures in the Player Library.

For more information about the Player Library, see Getting started with Windows Media Player.

Watch this video to learn how to create or change a regular playlist in Windows Media Player (1:46)
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To create a regular playlist

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. In the Player Library, click the Play tab, if necessary, to open the list pane.

    If you need to clear the list pane before creating your playlist, click Clear list.

  3. Drag items from the details pane to the list pane to add them to the new playlist.

    To select multiple adjacent items, press and hold the Shift key while selecting. To select non-adjacent items, press and hold the Ctrl key while selecting.

  4. To rearrange items, drag them up or down in the list pane.

  5. To save the list, click Save list at the top of the list pane, type a name for the playlist, and then press Enter.

    By default, playlists are saved with a .wpl extension in the Playlists folder, which is located in the default save folder of your Music library. You can also save playlists with the .m3u or .asx extension. To do so, at the top of the list pane, click the List options button Picture of the List options button, click Save list as, and then change the extension in the Save as type dialog box. After you save the playlist, it's added to the Playlists category in the navigation pane.
    To play the playlist in the list pane, click the Play button Picture of the Play button.
  6. To access the playlist in the future, double-click the Playlists view in the navigation pane or click the arrow next to Playlists to expand the view.

To edit a regular playlist

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. In the Player Library, click the Play tab, if necessary, to open the list pane.

  3. In the navigation pane, click the arrow next to Playlists to expand the view.

  4. Double-click the playlist Picture of the regular playlist icon you want to edit to make it appear in the list pane.
  5. Do any of the following:

    • To remove an item, right-click it in the list pane, and then click Remove from list.

      To select multiple adjacent items, press and hold the Shift key while selecting. To select non-adjacent items, press and hold the Ctrl key while selecting.

    • To rearrange items, drag them up or down in the list pane.

    • To shuffle the entire list, click the List optionsPicture of the List options button button at the top of the list pane, and then click Shuffle list.
    • To add items, browse to the items by using the navigation and details panes, and then drag the items to the list pane.

  6. When you are finished editing the playlist, click Save list at the top of the list pane, and then type a name for the playlist.

To set how items are skipped in a playlist

The Player tracks which songs you skip when playing a list. This gives you a quick way to revise a playlist, such as one created by a music subscription service or another person, so it contains only your favorite items.

When you save a list containing skipped items as a playlist, you will be prompted to either remove or keep the skipped items in the playlist. You can turn off the prompt if you want. You can also set the Player to not play skipped items during repeat playback. When you do so, the skipped items appear dimmed in the list pane.

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. In the Player Library, click the Play tab, if necessary, to open the list pane.

  3. Play a list of songs.

  4. To skip an item, click the Next button Picture of the Next button while the item is playing.
  5. To remove skipped items from a saved playlist, do the following:

    1. At the top of the list pane, click the List options button Picture of the List options button, and then click Save list as.
    2. Type a name for the playlist, and then click Save.

    3. When prompted, click Remove from the playlist.

  6. (Optional) To change settings for skipping, click the List options button at the top of the list pane, point to Skipped items, and then do one or both of the following:

    • To stop being prompted to remove skipped items when saving a playlist, click to clear the check box next to Prompt me to remove upon save.

    • To prevent skipped items from playing when repeat play is turned on, click Skip during playback.

    Note

    • A check mark next to the command indicates the feature is turned on, and items that you skip will appear dimmed in the list pane. You can return an item to normal play by double-clicking it in the list pane.