How to Use Windows Media Player to Copy Music From CDs

WMP lets you copy music from a disc to your computer for backup

You can copy, or rip, music from a disc to your computer with a free CD ripper. However, for Windows users who have Windows Media Player built-in, copying music to your computer is really easy. When you have the CD you want to copy ready, Windows Media Player will do most of the work for you.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

How to Rip a CD using Windows Media Player

To rip music with Windows Media Player, insert the disc, open WMP, and select Rip CD. However, before starting the ripping procedure, you might prefer to make some changes to how the program will copy the music.

  1. Insert the disc into your disc drive. If an autoplay option appears, ignore it or exit out of it.

  2. Open Windows Media Player. Either search for it from the Start menu or enter the wmplayer command in the Run dialog box.

    Screenshot of Windows Media Player in Windows search results
  3. Go to the Folders list and select the music disc.

    The CD might be called Unknown album or something else, but either way, it is represented by a small disc icon.

    Windows Media Player with an audio CD highlighted
  4. Windows Media Player can rip the CD with default settings or select Rip settings to change how the CD will be copied to the computer.

    Windows Media Player with the Rip Settings menu highlighted
  5. Go to Rip settings > Format to choose an audio format. The first several are Windows Media Audio formats, followed by MP3 and WAV. Select the format for the copied music.

    Windows Media Player with media format menu highlighted
  6. Go to Rip settings > Audio Quality to select a specific sound quality for the music. The options vary from computer to computer but can range from 48 Kbps (which will make files with the smallest size) to as high as 192 Kbps (this is the best quality but produces the largest file sizes).

    Rip Settings menu in Windows Media Player with the quality options highlighted
  7. Go to Rip settings > More options to find other settings that can be adjusted. Use these settings to rip CDs automatically, eject the disc after the CD rip, change where the music is copied on the computer, and choose the details to include in file names.

    Before you start the CD rip, manually set Windows Media Player to automatically find album info online. Go to the left panel, right-click the disc, then choose Find album info.

    More Options in Rip Settings in Windows Media Player
  8. When you're ready for Windows Media Player to copy the music to your computer, select Rip CD.

    Windows Media Player with the Rip CD button highlighted
  9. The button changes to Stop rip. In the Rip Status column, the track being copied will say Ripping and the remaining tracks will say Pending until they're done being copied after which the status changes to Ripped to library. To monitor the rip status of each song, watch the progress bar.

    Windows Media Player with ripping status highlighted
  10. When every song is finished ripping, exit Windows Media Player and eject the CD, and use the music now stored on your computer.

    If you're not sure to which folder Windows Media Player copied the music, select Rip settings > More options. You'll find the location in the Rip music to this location section.

If the music isn't in the correct format for your needs, don't re-rip the songs. Instead, run the files that need to be converted through a free audio file converter.