Fixing Windows Media Player 11 Problems

Fixing Windows Media Player 11 Problems
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Windows Media Player 11

The Windows Media Player for Windows 7 is version 12 which is installed by default. There are users that downgraded to version 11 of the media player on Windows 7 but experienced Windows Media Player 11 problems. Below you will find some of these problems detailed with possible solutions.

Protected Content Won’t Play

One of the common problems in using Windows Media Player 11 is about protected content that cannot play after installing version 11 on Windows 7. The solution is to remove version 11 of the media player and then use version 12. This is because Windows Media Player 11 cannot be installed if the released version of the Windows Media Format 12 Runtime is already installed.

Error Message Using Windows Media Player

If you’ve encountered any of the error messages below when using Windows Media Player, you can try to resolve them using the provided solutions or work-around:

  • Cannot open file. Make sure that the path of the media file that you want to listen or watch is correct. If you’ve deleted the media file but the playlist is pointing it to the missing file, Windows Media Player won’t be able to play the file. Browse for the current location and try playing it again.

  • Invalid File Format. (Error=8004022F). Ensure that the media file format is supported by Windows Media Player. It currently supports Windows Media formats (.asf, .wma, .wmv, .wm), Windows Media Audio (.wma), Windows Media Video (.wmv, .wm), Windows Media Metafiles (.asx, .wax, .wvx, .wpl), Advanced Stream Redirector (.asx), Windows Media Audio Redirector (.wax), Windows Media Video Redirector (.wvx), Windows Media Redirector (.wmx), Windows Media Player Playlist (.wpl), Microsoft Digital Video Recording (.dvr-ms), Windows Media Download Package (.wmd), Audio Visual Interleave (.avi), Moving Pictures Experts Group (.mpg, .mpeg, .m1v, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .mpe, .mpv2, .m3u), MPEG-1 (.mpeg, .mpg, .m1v), MPEG Audio Layer III (.mp3), MPEG Audio Layer II (.mp2, .mpa), Audio for Windows (.wav) and Audio Interchange File Format ( .aif, .aifc, .aiff). If the file format of your media file is supported but the player reports an invalid file format error message, make sure that the file is not damaged or corrupted. You should also try to reinstall or update Microsoft DirectX to solve the issue.

  • Windows Media Player cannot access the file. This problem occurs with computers that are using Internet Explorer 7. Microsoft has released a security update that should fix the problem if Windows Media Player cannot access the file and if IE7 is installed. Download the security update for IE using Windows Update.

  • Windows Media Player cannot find the file. This problem occurs when you open a file that is located in the mms:// protocol. Windows Media Player 11 is no longer supporting Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol.

  • Error 27000, Error 1304 or Error 1606. The issue has to do with permission for Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents. To solve the error codes in Windows Media Player, give the Administrators group the Write permission for the “Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents” folder. Type the following commands in command prompt to modify the permission of Administrators group:

cacls.exe “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents” /G BUILTIN\Administrators:F

cacls.exe “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents” /G System:F

cacls.exe “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents” /G BUILTIN\Users:R

Other Windows Media Player 11 Problems

Some users cannot view, add, or delete items in the library in Windows Media Player 11. This problem is caused by corrupted database cache files in Windows Media Player. The solution is to clear the database cache files:

  • Close Windows Media Player program.
  • Browse for C:\Users\[YOUR USER ACCOUNT NAME HERE]\AppData\Local\Microsoft folder
  • Select Media Player folder and delete this folder.
  • Open Windows Media Player so it will rebuild the database.

If you are redirected to a web page when you try to play Windows Media DRM protected content after installing Windows Media Player 11, you will need to install the Security Component update for Windows Media Player. You can download this particular update from the Microsoft website. Note that you need to use Internet Explorer with administrator privileges when downloading and installing the security component update.

Unresponsive Windows Media Player

Another Windows Media Player 11 problems is when the player become unresponsive in full screen mode. To solve an unresponsive Windows Media Player, exit the full screen mode by pressing CTL+ALT+DEL on your keyboard. Proceed to use any of below methods to prevent this issue in happening again:

Method 1

  • Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization, click Personalization, click Window Color and Appearance, click Open classic appearance properties for more color options, and then click Effects.
  • Click to clear the ‘Show shadows under menus’ option.

Method 2

  • Open the Registry Editor by typing regedit.exe in the Run/search box in Windows 7.
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences
  • Click Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  • Type DXEM_UpdateFrequency, and then press ENTER.
  • On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  • Type 2, and then click OK. Exit the registry editor and try using Windows Media Player in full screen mode.

Repair or Reinstall Windows Media Player

If any of the above solutions won’t fix Windows Media Player problems in Windows 7, you should consider reinstalling the program:

  • Click Start > Run and then type Windows Features.
  • Locate Media Features to expand.
  • Uncheck the box before Windows Media Player.
  • Click Yes button when you are prompted with “The following Windows features will also be turned off because they are dependent on Windows Media Player.” dialogue message.
  • Windows 7 will now remove Windows Media Player. Restart the computer.
  • Open Windows Features again and put a check in the boxes before Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center.
  • Click OK and wait for Windows to finish in reinstalling Windows Media Player.


  • Image credit: by Beao (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Information based on the author’s research and Microsoft documentations on Windows Media Player.