How to Sync Music and Video Using Windows Media Player

Transfer media files to your portable devices with WMP

As a media player and organizer, Microsoft offers Windows Media Player. How to sync your media with your smartphone, MP3 player, or even a storage device such as a USB flash drive using this app depends on your computer.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 10, 8.1, and 7.

Depending on your device's capabilities, music, videos, photos, and other formats of media files can be transferred from the media library on your computer and enjoyed while on the move.

Connect Your Portable Device

By default, Windows Media Player selects the best synchronization method for your device when you connect it to your computer. There are two possible ways that it can choose depending on your device's storage capacity.

  • Automatic Mode. If a device you connect has 4GB or more storage, and the entire contents of your WMP library will fit on it, then this mode is used.
  • Manual Mode. WMP selects this mode when a device you plug in has less than 4GB of storage space.

To connect your portable device so that Windows Media Player recognizes it, complete the following steps.

  1. Start Windows Media Player and select the Sync tab in the upper-right of the window.

    The Sync button
  2. Make sure your device is powered up so Windows can detect it, usually as a plug-and-play device. Connect your device to your computer using the provided cable.

  3. Windows Media Player will select one of its synchronizing modes when you have connected your device.

Sync Using Automatic Mode

If Windows Media Player is using the automatic mode, select Finish to transfer all your media automatically. This mode also makes sure that the contents of your library do not exceed the storage capacity of your portable device.

You don't have to transfer everything to your device in automatic mode. Instead, you can select which playlists you want to transfer each time your device is connected. You can also create new auto playlists and add them, too.

To choose the playlists you want to sync automatically, follow these steps:

  1. Select the down arrow below the Sync menu tab to display a drop-down menu.

    The More menu
  2. Select Set Up Sync.

    The Set up sync option
  3. On the Device Setup screen, choose the playlists you want to sync automatically and then select the Add button.

  4. To create a new playlist, select the Create New Auto Playlist, and then choose the criteria that will determine which songs to include.

  5. Select Finish when done.

Sync Using Manual Mode

To set up manual syncing in Windows Media Player, you'll first need to select Finish when you have connected your portable device.

  1. Drag and drop files, albums, and playlists to the Sync List on the right-hand side of the screen.

  2. When finished, select the Start Sync button to begin transferring your media files.