How to Play DVDs on HP Laptops

Grab the right software and you can play any DVD

What to Know

  • Windows computers don't have a DVD-player app built-in, so you'll have to download one.
  • We like VLC, a free and easy Windows DVD player application.
  • If your HP laptop doesn't have a DVD drive, use an external one.

This guide will teach you how to play DVDs on an HP laptop whether you're using Windows 7, 8, or 10.

How to Play a DVD on an HP Laptop and Other Windows 10 PCs

Playing DVDs on Windows requires two things, an application to play them and a drive to put the DVD in. If your HP laptop has a built-in DVD player, then you can eliminate one of those steps. If it doesn't, check the section below for more information.

The best application for playing DVDs on any Windows 10 laptop or PC is VLC because it's free, open-source, well supported, and easy to understand. It is compatible with all versions of Windows, from Windows XP through to Windows 10. There are prettier DVD players, but they often cost money or lack the breadth and depth of features that VLC offers.

  1. Download VLC player for Windows.

  2. Launch VLC Media Player by selecting its shortcut or searching for VLC in the Windows search bar and selecting the corresponding result.

    VLC Player in Windows Search
  3. Put the DVD into your HP laptop's DVD drive and close it.

  4. It should automatically play when you do, but if not, select Media > Open Disc and in the corresponding menu, select the DVD tab.

    VLC Open Disc
  5. Your drive should be auto-selected, but if not, use the drop-down menu to select your DVD drive. 

    VLC DVD Drive selection
  6. Select Play.

Don't Have an HP Laptop DVD Player? No Problem

Most current laptops don't come with integrated DVD players as the medium is getting older. The devices take up a large amount of physical space, and more and more content is available to stream. Fortunately, there are plenty of external DVD players you can connect via USB cable to give you the same access to your DVD library as if you had a DVD player built into the laptop itself.

These drives usually work right away with no need for additional drivers. Buy one that is compatible with your laptop's operating system, and then plug it in and follow the same steps as in the section above.

  • Why won't the DVD play on my laptop?

    If your DVD has deep scratches, that can prevent it from playing. If your disc is from a different region than the player you're using, it won't work. Also, it's possible your player doesn't support the type of DVD you're trying to watch (for example, it's an Ultra HD Blu-Ray and your machine doesn't support that format).

  • How do you take a screenshot on a HP laptop?

    Since HP laptops run on Windows 10, you can take a screenshot by pressing the Print Screen key. This might copy the screen to your clipboard instead of saving an image. If so, open a photo editing program and paste it, then save it as a JPEG or PNG.

  • How do you factory reset a HP laptop?

    If you're using Windows 10, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Then select Get Started under the Reset this PC section. If you're using Windows 7 or 8, use the HP Recovery Manager to factory reset your HP laptop.

  • Why is my HP laptop so slow?

    If your laptop is slow starting up, you might have too many apps trying to launch at the same time. If it's slow during use, you might be running out of memory, your hard drive could be getting full, or you may have too many browser tabs open. Use Lifewire's guide to troubleshooting a slow laptop for some potential solutions.

  • Where are the serial numbers on an HP laptop?

    You can find your laptop's serial numbers etched on the outside of the device. Look for Serial Number, S/N, or SN. It could be on the back edge of the laptop, inside the battery compartment, or between the tablet and the dock (if it's a detachable).

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