How to Use Windows Media Player to Copy Music From CDs

Save music files from a CD on your computer for backup

What to Know

  • Easiest method: Windows Media Player > Folders > select disc > Rip CD.
  • Change settings: Windows Media Player > Folders > select disc > Rip settings.
  • Select Format, Audio Quality, or More Options before ripping.

This article explains how to copy, or rip, music from a disc to your computer with Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

How to Rip a CD Using Windows Media Player

For Windows users who have Windows Media Player built-in, copying music to your computer is easy. When you have the CD you want to copy ready, Windows Media Player will do most of the work for you.

  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.

    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. Select Rip CD to have Windows Media Player rip the CD with default settings, or select Rip settings to change format, quality, and location settings.

    Windows Media Player with the Rip Settings menu highlighted

    In older versions of Windows Media Player, you'll right-click the CD and select Rip CD to library 

  5. Select Rip settings > Format to choose an audio format. The first several options 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. Select Rip settings > Audio Quality to select sound quality. 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. Select Rip settings > More options to adjust other settings, such as ripping CDs automatically, ejecting the disc after the CD rip, changing where the music is copied on the computer, and choosing the details to include in file names.

    Before you start the CD rip, manually set Windows Media Player to find album info online automatically. 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've been 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, eject the CD, and use the music now stored on your computer.

    If you don't know what folder Windows Media Player copied the music to, select Rip settings > More options. You'll find the location in the Rip music to this location section.

  11. 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.

Windows 11 has a new version of Windows Media player called Media Player for Windows 11, featuring an enhanced music library, playlist management, dedicated playback view features, and more.

  • Why does my DVD not play on Windows Media Player?

    Windows Media Player doesn't support movie playback in Windows 10, but data DVDs are supported. If you want to watch a movie DVD, you'll need to download a third-party DVD decoder application.

  • How do I rotate video in Windows Media Player?

    To rotate video in Windows Media Player, you'll need a third-party media-player tool like VLC. In VLC, access the Video Effects tool, choose Geometry > Transform, and select the rotation you want.

  • How many songs can Windows Media Player handle?

    There are no limits to how many songs Windows Media Player can candle. However, if your music library is extremely large, your PC's speed and power will affect Windows Media Player's performance. Too many songs can create a negative performance if your PC can't handle the demands.

Was this page helpful?