How to Play Blu-Rays on Windows 11

Anyone can play a Blu-ray disc on Windows 11, but you'll need a drive and an app

This guide will walk you through the instructions for how to play Blu-rays on Windows 11 laptops, PCs, and Microsoft Surface devices. It also contains information on how to play DVDs and CDs on Windows 11, what Blu-ray player apps to use, and what to do when VLC won’t play a disc properly.

Windows 11 does not come with a pre-installed DVD or Blu-ray player app. You will need to download one. As you'll see in our example, below, we're going to use DVDFab Player.

How Do I Play a Blu-ray on Windows 11?

To play a Blu-ray on a Windows 11 device, it’ll need to have either a built-in Blu-ray disc drive or an external drive connected via USB and an app to play the Blu-ray disc.

Once you have the drive set up and the software installed, here’s how you can use it to play a Blu-ray disc.

  1. Connect the external Blu-ray disc drive to your Windows 11 computer via an available USB port. If your Windows 11 computer has a built-in drive, it should already be powered on so you don’t need to do anything.

    If using an external Blu-ray drive, make sure it’s placed on a flat surface such as a table or book.

  2. Insert a Blu-ray disc into the Blu-ray drive.

  3. Open your Blu-ray player app. For this example, we’ll use PlayerFab, which has a 30-day free trial.

    In most cases, you can use any Blu-ray player app to play Blu-rays on Windows 11. Many external Blu-ray drives come with a free copy of a player app though you can download another one from the app store if you like.

  4. After a few seconds, the Blu-ray player app should detect the disc and display its information. Select the Play icon to load the Blu-ray.

    Step Up 5 movie Blu-ray in DVDFab Player app on Windows 11 with the Play button highlighted

    Some DVD and Blu-ray player apps on Windows 11 may use a text-heavy menu system which will require you to browse for a disc drive. If this is the case, look for a menu item such as File or Drive.

  5. Your Blu-ray should play on your Windows 11 device as if it were playing on a Blu-ray player on your TV. Some Blu-ray player apps may support touch or mouse controls though usually, you can use the Enter and arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate menus.

    Player controls will often display under the video when you move your mouse or tap the screen. These can be used to play and pause the video or skip chapters.

    Windows 11 Blu-ray player.

Why Won’t VLC Play My Blu-Ray?

VLC is a popular app for playing a variety of media files on Windows 11 laptops, computers, and tablets. In addition to supporting most video and audio file formats, VLC can also be used to play CDs and DVDs. Once configured properly, VLC can also play Blu-ray discs.

If you can’t get VLC to play a Blu-ray disc on your Windows 11 device, there are several possible reasons behind the issue.

  • You’re using the wrong VLC app. There are two main official VLC apps that can be downloaded for free. VLC in the Microsoft Store app store doesn’t support disc playback while the VLC app from the official VLC website does.
  • You need to download the codec. VLC requires the download and installation of a special Blu-ray config file to play some DVDs and Blu-rays on Windows 11.
  • Check your disc drive. Look for the disc format symbol on your drive next to the eject button. A Blu-ray drive will support Blu-rays and DVDs but a DVD drive can’t play Blu-rays.
  • Wrong region code or zone. Much like DVDs, Blu-rays also have restrictions placed on them that only allow them to be played in certain regions. Zone A Blu-rays should work in North America, South America, and Southeast Asia. Discs from other zones may not.
  • Dirty or damaged Blu-ray disc. Your Blu-ray drive may be unable to play the disc if it’s scratched, damaged, or dirty. Try cleaning the disc if dirty or repairing it if damaged.

How Do I Know if My PC Can Play Blu-Rays?

If you’re unsure if your computer’s drive supports Blu-ray discs, look for the Blu-ray symbol on the front of it. It’s usually located near the drive’s eject button and looks like a lowercase B in a circle with the words Blu-ray underneath it.

Another good way to check is to inspect your device's packaging or online support manual which usually includes details on what drive you have.

If the drive doesn’t have a disc symbol on it and you can't find a manual or online listing, you can still check what kind of disc drive you have via checking your Windows 11 device’s system information. To do this, open the Start menu, type System Information, select System Information > Components, and look for any reference to CD, DVD, or Blu-ray.

Checking the System Information and Control Panel to see if you have a Blu-ray drive isn't always accurate as many drives still display as CD or DVD drives despite having full Blu-ray functionality.

Alternatively, you can also open Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers to check for a Blu-ray drive.

How to Play 4K Blu-Ray Discs on Windows 11

To play a 4K Blu-ray on your Windows 11 device, you will need a 4K Blu-ray disc drive. A regular Blu-ray drive will not be able to play 4K Blu-rays.

If you do have a 4K Blu-ray disc drive, it should be able to play 4K Blu-rays, regular Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs.

  • How do I play a Blu-ray on Windows 10?

    To play a Blu-ray on Windows 10, you'll need a third-party media player like VLC. After you download and install VLC, insert the Blu-ray, launch VLC, and then select Media > Open Disc. Select Blu-ray, make sure you see your Blu-ray in the disc device field, and then select Play.

  • How do I play Blu-ray discs on a PS4 without internet?

    You'll need to enable your PS4's disc-playback feature over the internet one time. After that, you won't need the internet to play Blu-ray discs on your PS4. To enable the disc-playback feature, connect the PS4 to the internet and select Settings > Network > Set up internet connection, and then follow the on-screen configuration prompts. Select Easy, choose your Wi-Fi network, configure the settings, and then insert your Blu-ray disc to enable the disc-playback feature.

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