Troubleshoot problems with playing videos in Windows Media Center

Here are solutions to common problems with playing videos in Windows Media Center.

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Why can't I play a video file?

A video may not play for one of the following reasons:

  • The file is corrupt or in an unsupported format. Try opening the file in a video editing program and resaving the file in a supported format. For more information about what types of video files are supported in Windows 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. If you try opening the video file in Windows Media Player, the appropriate codec may download automatically. For information about codecs, see Codecs: frequently asked questions. To start Windows Media Player, do the following:

    1. On the start screen in Windows Media Center, use the mouse to click Minimize  Picture of the Minimize button .
    2. Click Start  Picture of the Start button on the taskbar on the taskbar, and then click Windows Media Player.

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

Not all video formats support fast-forward and rewind.

Why can't I find a video that I downloaded?

You may not find a video that you downloaded to your Windows Media Center computer for one of the following reasons:

  • The video file was downloaded to a folder that Windows Media Center is not monitoring for video content. If you downloaded a video file from a website, you will be prompted to specify the location where you want to copy that video file. If you regularly download video files to a certain folder, you can have Windows Media Center monitor the folder, so any video files that are downloaded to the folder are automatically added to the Windows Media Center video library. See Add digital media files to learn how to have Windows Media Center monitor a folder.

  • Windows Media Center does not have a codec for the video file. If Windows Media Center does not have the codec, it cannot recognize the file as a video and display it in Pictures + Videos. If you try opening the file in Windows Media Player, the codec may download automatically.

  • The video is not viewable in Windows Media Center and must be played in the video software for which it was downloaded.

  • The video file is protected and the media usage rights for the file have expired or have a problem. In some cases, you might need to use Windows Media Player to download updated media usage rights for video files that were acquired from online stores. For information on media usage rights, see Windows Media Player DRM: frequently asked questions.