The Windows Media Player application is the native playback application in the Microsoft Windows operating system, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. PC users can also install third-party applications that play various media files, but sometimes there is a fee in order to activate and unlock this software for use on your PC. If you are uncertain about how to get started with the free Windows Media Player application, you can follow a few steps that will make this process more clear.
Click on the Start button on the task bar in the bottom left hand corner of the desktop. Type the following words in the search box at the bottom of the Start Menu: "Windows Media Player." Wait a few seconds for the Windows operating system to locate the Windows Media Player application on the PC.
After the OS has found the application it will display an icon for the Windows Media Player application at the very top of the Start Menu. Press the Enter key on your keyboard or use your mouse to click on the Windows Media Player icon. Wait for the application to initiate and open on your computer screen.
Locate your menu options at the top of the Windows Media Player application. The labels for these menu options might include the words "File," "Play," "Tools" and "Help."
If you don't see this menu at all, then right-click on a blank area at the top of the Windows Media Player application and then select "Show Menu" or a similar option from the drop-down list. By default, this menu may not show for some users.
Click the "File" menu option at the top of Windows Media Player, revealing a submenu of options. Select "Open" from the menu which opens a dialog box.
Browse for music files that are already stored on your hard drive. Generally, the Windows operating system stores your song and album files in the "Music" folder or library.
Click on the folders in the dialog box to find the Music folder. For example, you may have to start by first clicking on the C: drive, then the Documents folder, and then the Music folder.
Double-click on a song after you have located it using the dialog box. This automatically opens the file in Windows Media Player. The application plays the file and you be able to hear the music or audio through your speakers.
- Restart the Microsoft Windows operating system if the Windows Media Player application has stalled or frozen. Sometimes error occurs during start up of the Windows Media Player application. Errors may also happen as you load and play different types of media files in the player. It's hard to find the exact cause of these problems so that you can apply a fix. Instead, the easiest solution is to simply restart the entire operating system.
- Perform a Windows Update if your Windows Media Player is still having difficulty working on your PC. Over time, music and movie producers might decide to format their media in a way that is currently unfamiliar to Windows Media Player. However, performing regular Windows Updates will keep your system up to date.
Sources and Citations
- " Windows Media Player 12 - Windows 7 features - Microsoft Windows." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/windows-media-player-12>.