How to Sync Music and Video Using Windows Media Player

Transfer media files to your portable devices with WMP

What to Know

  • In the upper-right corner of WMP, select Sync > connect portable device to PC. WMP chooses sync mode > select Finish.
  • To sync in Automatic Sync Mode: Select Sync > Set up sync > choose playlists > Add > Finish.
  • To sync in Manual Sync Mode: Drag and drop files, albums, and playlists to Sync List > Start Sync.

This article explains how to sync your media with a portable device like a smartphone, MP3 player, or USB flash drive. Instructions apply to Windows Media Player 12.

Connect Your Portable Device

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

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 it can choose depending on your device's storage capacity:

  • Automatic Mode: If a device you connect to has 4 GB or more of 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 4 GB 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 corner 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 the device to the computer using the provided cable.

  3. Windows Media Player selects one of its synchronizing modes.

Sync Using Automatic Mode

If Windows Media Player uses the automatic mode, select Finish to transfer 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 Create New Auto Playlist, 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 side of the screen.

  2. When finished, select Start Sync to transfer your media files.

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