FIX: Winamp won’t open on Windows PCs

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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winamp won't open

What to do if Winamp can’t play file

  1. Run the app as an administrator and remove Plugins
  2. Check the format of multimedia files
  3. Install the redistributables and NET. Framework
  4. Reinstall the application
  5. Scan for malware and PuPs

Winamp is, arguably, the most famous third-party music player since the era of Windows started. It was a reliable choice for so many years and now it’s in a decline, as the music streaming services are taking over. Even its optimization for Windows 10 is subpar and some users weren’t able to open Winamp or play any audio files.

We have some suggestions on how to solve this problem, so make sure to give them a go.

SOLVED: Winamp won’t play audio

1: Run the app as an administrator and remove Plugins

The first thing you should do is try and run the Winamp client without any plugins or custom themes. After that, we suggest granting the administrative permission. There’s a chance that some of the third-party plugins are not properly configured or corrupted.

These are the steps you need to follow in order to remove plugins from Winamp:

  1. Navigate to the Winamp installation folder in Program Files (Program Files x86).
  2. Open the Plugins folder.
  3. Backup all plugins and delete them from the folder afterward.
  4. Try starting Winamp.

And this is how to run Winamp with as an administrator:

  1. Right-click on the Winamp shortcut and open Properties.
  2. Select the Compatibility tab.
  3. Check the “Run this program as an administrator” box and confirm changes.winamp won't open

2: Check the format and state of multimedia files

This suggestion is a long shot, but you should check the state of files before we move to additional steps. If you have any alternative player (even the built-in Windows Media Player will do), make sure to try opening the files. If you’re able to play audio files on an alternative player and Winamp is still crashing, move to the next step on the list.

Here’s the list of file formats Winamp supports by default:

  • MP3
  • WMA
  • RealAudio
  • Vorbis
  • Musepack
  • AAC
  • AC-3
  • APE
  • FLAC
  • ALAC

3: Install the redistributables and NET. Framework

Some users suggestions confirmed that Winamp started working as intended after they installed the associated software. Chances are you already have C++ Redistributables and NET. Framework installed, but we still encourage you to check whether the latest versions are available.

In addition, you should update Winamp to meet the latest iterations of Visual Studio and NET. Framework. You can download the latest C++ Redistributables, here. For the NET. Framework, navigate here. After you install those, Winamp should start working in a seamless manner.

4: Reinstall the application

Reinstallation is also a viable solution. Especially if you’ve made some critical system changes. Like upgrading over Windows 7 to Windows 10 while keeping the files and applications. In addition to removing Winamp from your system, we advise you to use a third-party tool to clean all remaining associated files.

Follow these steps to reinstall Winamp:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Control and open Control Panel.winamp won't open
  2. Choose Uninstall a program.winamp won't open
  3. Remove Winamp and all associated user preferences.
  4. Open a third-party cleaner and remove all remaining files from the AppData and Program Files folders.
  5. Navigate to the official site and download Winamp.
  6. Install the client again and look for changes.

5: Scan for malware and PuPs

Finally, the corruption of Winamp might occur due to a malware infection. Albeit, this is hardly the case. However, just for the sake of troubleshooting this problem, run the deep scan on your antimalware tool. In addition, if you’re suspecting the presence of some PuPs which might interfere with Winamp, the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner should remove them in no time.

Follow these steps to scan for malware:

  1. Open Windows Defender from the notification area in the Taskbar.
  2. Choose Virus & threat protection.winamp won't open
  3. Click “Run new advanced scan“.
  4. Select Offline Scan and start it.winamp won't open
  5. Have in mind that the PC will restart so save everything before restarting.

And this is how to scan for adware and PuPs with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner:

  1. Download Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, here.
  2. Run the tool and click Scan Now.winamp won't open
  3. After the scan ends, click Run repair.

With that, we can conclude this article. In case you have some alternative solutions and are willing to share, the comments section is just below.


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