Windows 11 Default DVD Player - How To Set It Up Easily

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Windows 11 Default DVD Player

Are you looking for the Windows 11 default DVD player?

Unfortunately, this OS doesn’t come with a default tool, but I’ll show you a workaround. It allows you to play the DVD through AutoPlay or manually from the Windows File Explorer.

Below, I’ll explain how to set it up step-by-step, so let’s get into it!

Does Windows 11 Have a Default DVD Player?

No, the Windows 11 operating system doesn’t come with a default DVD player. Microsoft has stopped including the service for free with the latest iteration of Windows.

The latest Microsoft Support portal for DVD playback options also confirms that from Windows 8.1 onwards, there’s no built-in DVD playback support. You’ll have to get an app from the Microsoft Store or third-party developers.

For example, you can set up the Windows Media Player Legacy app as the default DVD player.

Windows 11 Default DVD Player

However, you should know that Windows Media Player suffers from compatibility issues. Mostly, the tool has been designed to access data DVDs so you can create your own music or movie show libraries.

When you insert a multimedia DVD, it might not recognize the AutoPlay instructions (AutoRun on Windows 10) and open the disc’s contents in Windows File Explorer.

How To Get Windows Media Player in Windows 11

The Windows Media Player Legacy app should be present on your Windows 11 PC if it’s the Pro variant. Look up the app in the Start Menu by typing Windows Media.

Start menu

If it’s not on your PC, follow these steps to activate it:

  1. Press the Windows + I keys together to launch the Settings app.
  2. Click on System in the left-side navigation panel.
  3. Now, scroll down the System settings menu on the right side to find Optional features at the bottom. Click on that.
Optional features
  1. Click on the View features button near the Add an option feature on the right side menu.
View features
  1. Now, you’ll see the Add an option feature overlay with a search field.
  2. There, type in Windows Media Player.
  3. Only one selection should show up below the search field.
  4. Hit the checkbox for the Windows Media Player Legacy (APP) near the app size information.
  5. Click Next and then select Add to start installing the feature.
  1. You should see the progress below the Recent actions section.
  1. This might take a while, so wait until it finishes.
  2. If the progress bar looks stuck, close the Settings app. Then, come back to Optional features again to update the screen.

Look up the app again in the Start Menu. If it’s there, you’ve successfully added it.

How To Set Up Windows Media Player as the Default DVD Player

You’ll have to make a few manual configurations before Windows Media Player can function as a built-in DVD player. These are as outlined below:

Enable Windows AutoPlay System

  1. Open the Windows Settings app by pressing the Windows + I keys.
  2. Click on the Bluetooth & devices option on the left-side navigation panel.
  3. Now, scroll down to the bottom of the right-side menu to find the AutoPlay settings card. Click on that.
  4. If the feature is disabled, click on the toggle button to enable it.
  5. On the Choose AutoPlay defaults section, click on the Take no action drop-down and choose Ask me every time.
Ask me every time
  1. Close the window.

Map Key DVD Files

The IFO and VOB files are the DVD’s key data in the VIDEO_TS folder. So, you must set Windows Media Player Legacy as the default app for these files. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the Default apps screen from Apps on the left-side navigation panel.
Default apps
  1. Into the Enter a file type search field, type IFO.
  2. Click on the .ifo search result.
  3. The present default app would show below the file type. Click on that.
  4. On the overlay dialog, select the Windows Media Player Legacy option.
  5. Click Set default.
Windows media player select
  1. Repeat the step for the VOB file type.
  2. Close the Default apps dialog.

Now, insert the DVD. Once the PC reads the DVD metadata, the AutoPlay system should take it from there. It should automatically open the Windows Media Player Legacy app for content playback.

Playback Disc Contents From Explorer

  1. Open the Windows File Explorer or This PC.
  2. Right-click on the DVD drive and choose Open in new window from the context menu.
right click on DVD
  1. In the DVD directory, enter the VIDEO_TS folder.
  2. You’ll see multiple VIDEO_TS and VTS files.
  3. You should notice that these files are already showing the Windows Media Player icon.
  4. Find the largest one in the folder and double-click to open it in Windows Media Player.
open VTS
  1. Once you’re done playing this file, open the second largest one, and so on.

Windows 11 Default DVD Player – Alternatives

If you’re not finding Windows Media Player convenient enough for DVD playback, check out these alternative choices:

Windows DVD Player

windows dvd

This is the official DVD player for Windows 8.1 and later operating systems. The app is available for free for 7 days. Downloading and buying are only available through the Microsoft Store platform. During this free trial period, you won’t be able to run long-form movies and TV shows.

You can only play short videos on a DVD. Also, the tool will show the Buy Now ribbon on the screen, which is pretty annoying. So, you’ll either have to buy the full version for distraction-less playback or move on to the free alternatives.

Price: $14.99 one-time fee for lifetime usage.

Get it on the Microsoft Store.

VLC Media Player


This is the best option for convenient playback of DVDs and VCDs on any Windows PC. It’s open source, so you can utilize it personally or in a commercial setup without giving credit to VideoLAN or buying a license.

It integrates seamlessly with the Windows 11 AutoPlay system. Also, it shows up as the default DVD player on the right-click context menu. The app is available on the Microsoft Store and VideoLAN’s official website.

Price: Free.

Get it on VideoLAN.



Kodi is popular as a multimedia aggregator. It collects content automatically from all sources, like HDD, SSD, USB-stick, DVD, network storage, and the internet. So, if you’re looking to consolidate all entertainment content in one app, go for Kodi. Like VLC Media Player, it’s open-source. Therefore, it’s suitable for both commercial and individual usage.

Price: Free.

Get it on Kodi.

So, you should now be able to set Windows Media Player as the Windows 11 default DVD player. Alternatively, you can give the above third-party tools a try if the built-in app seems inefficient.

Which one did you choose in the end? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

More about the topics: DVD, media player, Windows 11, windows media player