Playing videos in Windows Media Center: frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about playing videos in Windows Media Center.

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Why won't a video file play?

Media Center in Windows 7 is compatible with most video file types, but there's always a chance you'll come across one that just won't play. It might be for one of the following reasons:

  • The file is in an unsupported format. If you have a video editing program, you can try opening the file in that program, and then resaving the file in a format that Media Center supports. For more information about what types of video files are supported in Media Center, see File types supported by Windows Media Center.

  • There might be a problem with the codec that is needed to play the file. Try opening the video file in Windows Media Player—it's possible that Media Player will download the codec automatically.

    1. Close Media Center, and then locate the file in Windows Explorer.

    2. Right-click the file, point to Open with, and then click Windows Media Player.

    You can sometimes install additional codecs on your computer, but you should use caution when doing so. For information about codecs, see Codecs: frequently asked questions.

  • The file is protected using digital rights management (DRM). For more information, see Windows Media Player DRM: frequently asked questions.

  • The file is corrupt. For more information about dealing with corrupted files, see Corrupted files: frequently asked questions.

Why can't I fast-forward or rewind a video?

Some video formats don't support this functionality. In these cases, when you click the Fast forward or Rewind button, nothing happens. Try using the Skip BackwardPicture of the Skip Backward button button and the Skip ForwardPicture of the Skip Forward button button instead.

Why don't I see a video that I downloaded in Media Center?

If you downloaded a video to your computer but you're not seeing it in Media Center, it might be for one of the following reasons:

  • The video file was downloaded to a folder that Media Center isn't monitoring for video content. If you regularly download video files to a specific folder, you can add that folder to Media Center so that the files will automatically appear in the Video library. To learn how, see Add media files to Windows Media Center.

  • There might be a problem with the codec that is needed to play the file. Try opening the video file in Windows Media Player—it's possible that Media Player will download the codec automatically.

    1. Close Media Center, and then locate the file in Windows Explorer.

    2. Right-click the file, point to Open with, and then click Windows Media Player.

    You can sometimes install additional codecs on your computer, but you should use caution when doing so. For information about codecs, see Codecs: frequently asked questions.

  • If the video was downloaded specifically for video playback software other than Media Center, it might only be compatible with that software.

  • The video file is protected and the media usage rights for the file have expired or have a problem. If you purchased the video from an online store, you might be able to open the file in Windows Media Player (or the program used to download the video) to download updated media usage rights. For information on media usage rights, see Windows Media Player DRM: frequently asked questions.