Restoring Default Settings in Windows Media Player 12

Tutorial on using the Windows MSDT tool to fix corrupt WMP 12 Settings

Windows Media Player 12 Reset
Fixing problems in WMP 12's settings. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Resetting Windows Media Player 12 To Fix Problems

Windows Media Player 12 relies on its configuration settings in order to run smoothly. Not only are there settings just for the program to use, but also custom ones that are saved when you make a change -- like customizing the view or adding music folders.

However, things can go wrong with these configuration scripts. Usually corruption is the reason why you suddenly get a problem in Windows Media Player 12.

For instance, when you run the program, a problem might arise such as:

  • You can't get any audio to play.
  • Errors appear when burning CDs.
  • Media indexes become corrupted.
  • Video playback issues with formats that worked before.
  • Windows Media Player 12 crashes or doesn't run at all.

If you've got a stubborn configuration problem in Windows Media Player 12 that you can't seem to fix, then instead of uninstalling WMP 12 and starting again, then all that you might need to do is reset back to its default settings.

One of the best tools to use for this job is actually already built into Windows 7 (or higher). It's called MSDT (Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool). It will detect any corrupt settings in WMP 12 and can be used to reset them back to the original settings. To discover how to do this, follow the simple tutorial below.

Running the MSDT Tool

  1. Click the Start orb in Windows and type the following line in the search box: msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic.
  1. Press the Enter key to run the tool.
  2. The troubleshooting wizard should now appear on the screen.
  3. If you want to switch to the advanced mode in order to view the diagnostics in verbose (detailed) mode, then click the Advanced hyperlink and un-check the Apply Repairs Automatically option.
  4. To continue with the diagnostics and repair process, click the Next button and wait for any problems to be detected.

    Normal Mode

    If you have chosen to run the MSDT tool in the default mode, then you'll have 2 options.

    1. Either click the Apply This Fix to reset WMP 12's settings back to defaults, or click the Skip This Fix option to continue without making any changes.
    2. If you elected to skip, there will be a further scan for any additional problems -- the option to choose will either be the Explore Additional Options or Close the Troubleshooter

    Advanced Mode

    1. If you are in Advanced mode, you can view extended information about any problems found by clicking the View Detailed Information hyperlink. This gives you the chance to discover any found issues in detail -- click Next to exit this information screen.
    2. To fix any corrupt WMP 12 settings, leave the Reset Default Windows Media Player option enabled and click Next.
    3. On the next screen, click the Apply This Fix option, or to avoid making any changes choose Skip This Fix.
    4. Just like in the normal mode above, if you elected to skip the repair process, a further scan is performed to find any additional problems -- after which you can either click the Explore Additional Options button or choose Close the Troubleshooter.

    If you've got problems with the music library in Windows Media Player, then you might want to try our tutorial on Rebuilding WMP's Database.