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How to Restore Default Settings in Windows Media Player

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 11/21/2011

If your settings in Windows Media Player are incorrectly configured, the player may fail to function properly. However, there's no easy way to restore the default settings within Windows Media Player.

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    Changing the settings in Windows Media Player is a good way to optimize the program for your personal use. However, this should be done with caution as changing the settings may cause it to stop functioning properly. Toying with the settings further rarely solves the problem, and in some cases can make the problem even worse. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to restore the default settings of Windows Media Player within the program. In order to restore the default settings, you must take other measures within Windows. These measures will differ depending on which version of Windows you're running and how recently you've installed Windows Media Player.

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    Using System Restore

    If you have Windows XP, Vista or 7 running on your computer, and you have installed Windows Media Player recently, you can use System Restore to roll Windows Media Player back to its default settings. Keep in mind that using System Restore for this purpose will also restore your other computer settings back to a previous state. You must reinstall any software you installed after the System Restore point you selected.

    To access System Restore in Windows XP, select "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories" and "System Tools." Select "System Restore" from the list. Select "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and click "Next." Select a restore point that was made after you installed Windows Media Player, but before you made any changes to its settings.

    To use System Restore in Windows Vista or Windows 7, select the Start button. Type "System Restore" in the search box, then select the result marked "System Restore" from the list marked "Programs." In the "Restore system files and settings," select "Choose a different restore point." Click "Next." If necessary, select "Show restore points older than 5 days." Select a restore point that was created shortly after Windows Media Player was installed.

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    Other Methods

    If it's been more than a week since you installed or made changes to Windows Media Player, you should use other methods to restore the default settings. In Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, Windows Media Player is included as a feature of your operating system. If you're running Windows XP and you have installed a newer version of Windows Media Player than the one that came with your operating system, you can roll it back to the previous version, then reinstall the newer version to restore the default settings.

    To roll back Windows Media Player in Windows XP, click "Start," "Control Panel" and then "Add or Remove Programs." Roll down to Windows Media Player in the list, then click "Remove." After the rollback is complete, reinstall the newer version of Windows Media Player.

    In Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, you can create a new user account, then delete the old account to restore the default settings in Windows Media Player. Click the Start button and select "Control Panel." Under "User Accounts and Family Safety," select "Add or Remove User Accounts." Click "Create a New Account." Type a new account name and the account type. Log in to your new account and set it up with the same settings as your old account. When you're confident that your new account has everything you need, delete the old account and rename the new account with the same name as the old one.

    For more information about this software, read Top Free Plugins for Windows Media Player.

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