Restoring Default Settings in Windows Media Player 12

Fix corrupt settings

Photo Template Video Using Microsoft Mix for PowerPoint in Windows Media Player

 Cindy Grigg/Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows Media Player 12 relies on its configuration settings to run smoothly. Not only are there settings just for the program to use, but also custom ones 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.

Learn how to reset Windows Media Player.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows Media Player 12 and higher on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

How to Run the MSDT Tool to Reset Windows Media Player

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, all that you might need to do is reset back to its default settings.

In Windows 7 or higher, one of the best tools to use for this job is called the 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.

  1. Select the Start button in Windows and type the following line in the search box: msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic.

    Screenshot of command in Start search
  2. Press the Enter key to run the tool. The troubleshooting wizard should now appear on the screen.

    Screenshot of Windows Media Player troubleshooter
  3. Select Next to start the troubleshooter.

  4. Select Apply This Fix to reset WMP 12's settings back to defaults, or select Skip This Fix option to continue without making any changes.

    Screenshot of Apply this Fix option in WMP troubleshooter
  5. 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.

How to Run the MSDT Tool in Advanced Mode

to Reset Windows Media Player

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 clear the Apply Repairs Automatically checkbox when starting the tool.

  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 — select Next to exit this information screen.

    Screenshot of Advanced Mode screen
  2. To fix any corrupt WMP 12 settings, leave the Reset Default Windows Media Player option enabled and select Next.

  3. On the next screen, click the Apply This Fix option, or to avoid making any changes choose Skip This Fix.

    Screenshot of Apply this Fix option in WMP troubleshooter
  4. Just as 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 read about rebuilding WMP's database.