How to Make a Custom Playlist in Windows Media Player

Manage your music library with playlists

Vinyl record, headphones and mp3 player
Manuel Sulzer / Getty Images

Windows Media Player 11 was included with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It is available for Windows XP and XP x64 Edition. It was superseded by Windows Media Player 12, which is available for Windows versions 7, 8, and 10.

Making playlists is an essential task if you want to create order from the chaos of your music library. Playlists are useful for creating your own compilations, synchronizing to a media or MP3 player, burning music to an audio or data CD, and more.

Creating a New Playlist

To create a new playlist in Windows Media Player 11 (The process is very similar in WMP 12 or newer):

  1. Click on the Library tab at the top of the screen (if it is not already selected) to bring up the Library menu screen.

  2. Click on the Create Playlist option (under Playlists menu) in the left pane. You may need to click on the + icon to open this menu if it isn't visible.

  3. Type in a name for the new playlist and press the Return key.

You will see a new playlist with the name you just typed in.

Populating a Playlist

To populate your new playlist with tracks from your music library, drag and drop tracks from your library to the newly created playlist displayed in the left pane. Again, you may need to click on the + icon next to the Library menu item to see the suboptions. For example, click on the Artist submenu to simplify creating a playlist that contains all the music from a particular band or artist.

Using Your Playlist

Once you have a populated playlist, you can use it to play back the music tracks from your music library, burn a CD, or sync the music to a media or MP3 player.

Use the top menu tabs (Burn, Sync, and others) and drag your playlist over to the right pane to burn or sync the playlist.

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