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Windows Media Player cannot be played Error: 2021

Windows Media Player cannot be played Error: 2021

Have you had problems with Windows Media Player when trying to play video files on your PC? Well, you came to the right place. In this article, we will see how to fix the error “Windows Media Player cannot play. A codec is required to play this file”.

Windows Media Player, also called WMP, is an app given by Microsoft but not limited to use only on Window operating systems. Windows Media Player can play videos and even audio files regardless of the form.

Regardless of its reputation as another most viable media player, WMP still sometimes gives users trouble playing video files. One of the errors described as “A codec is required to play this file” will be demystified in this article.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

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W M P cannot play Error: A codec is required to play this file.

Whenever you encounter this error when trying to play a video file with Windows Media Player, it implies that the codecs required to play files of that format are not installed on your PC or as part of your WMP application.

Usually, along with the error message, you will have the option of searching web help to determine if the specific codec is available for download from the web. It’s a starting point when trying to fix the “WMP cannot be played error. A codec is required to play this file.”

If that helps, then the problem is solved; congratulations. However, at other times, it could be a problem with the functionality of your Windows Media Player application. If that doesn’t help, which happens in most cases, you can check out the solutions offered in the following parts.

Disable & enable WMP through Apps and Features

A possible solution for the error “Cannot play Windows Media Player: A codec is required to play this file” is to disable Windows Media Player through Applications and Features and then enable it again.

To access the Applications and Features window, simply press the Windows key and start typing “Applications and Features” in the search bar. Several options should appear. And you can go ahead and select the appropriate option.

A faster option is to press the Windows key. X simultaneously on your keyboard, and this opens a list of direct commands. Select Apps and Features (it usually appears at the top of the list).

Once you are in the Apps and Features window, find “Optional Features” and click on it to enter a list of features, part of which you will observe “Windows-Media-Player. “

The features are arranged in descending alphabetical order, so you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the list to access Windows Media Player. Click Windows Media Player to expand the feature and click the “Uninstall” option to disable WMP on your PC.

Then restart your PC and revert to Applications and Features to enable W M P again by installing it.

After doing that, check if you can now play the video file you were trying to play before the error appeared. Hopefully, the problem “WMP cannot be played: a codec is required to play this file” should now be fixed. In the event that you are still experiencing such a problem, proceed to the next offered solution.

Enable and disable Windows Media Player in Windows Features

This is another way to solve the error “WMP cannot be played: a codec is required to play this file.” This time, you are disabling and enabling Windows Media Player not by uninstalling and re-installing but simply by turning it off and on Window Features.

To open the Windows Features window, press the Windows key and type “Windows Features” in the search bar. “Turn Windows Features, On or Off” should come. Select that option and press the ‘Enter’ button.

In the “Turn Windows Features on/off window “, locate Media Features & click on the “+” button on the left to expand that step. That should reveal Windows-Media-Player, against which you will find a checkbox. Press on the checkbox to clear it, thus turning off WMP.

Press OK to confirm that option and repeat the process. This time clicking the checkbox to mark it, thus enabling WMP as a Windows feature again. Click OK to confirm your choice.

Try playing the video using WMP again to see if the problem “WMP cannot be played. A codec is required to play this file” has been resolved.

Uninstall AMD Windows Media Foundation Transcoder

You may still encounter the error “Windows Media Player cannot be played” after applying the fixes mentioned above. This is the last resort that should solve the problem.

The goal here is to remove the AMD Media Foundation Transcoder, a program that helps convert incompatible videos for portable video players and re-install it after updating its drivers.

To open the AMD Media Foundation Transcoder, open your file explorer & search to the Control Panel. In the Control Panel window, select “Un-install a program.” Search the AMD-Media Foundation Transcoder in the checklist of programs and run the uninstall wizard to remove it.

Once you have removed the AMD Media-Foundation Transcoder, downloads the latest drivers for the program & re-install them. More on Technology

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This should help fix the “WMP Cannot Play Error A codec is required to play this file” problem on your PC.

In short, whenever you encounter the error “WMP cannot be played. A codec is required to play this file” on your computer. You can search the web if the required codec is available for download using the web help function or try any of the solutions discussed above.

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