Windows Media Player cannot delete a file from the device [FIX]

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
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Windows Media Player unable to delete a file
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The Windows Media Player is one of the best apps for multimedia, but some users reported that Windows Media Player cannot delete a file from the device. Needless to say, it’s a minor issue at best and can be taken care of easily.

What to do when Windows Media Player cannot delete a file from the device?

1. Delete the file from your PC

  1. Connect your device – either the Windows Phone or mp3 player to your computer.
  2. Click on Start > File Explorer.
    Connect the device and attempt deleting if windows media player cannot delete a file from the device
  3. In the File Explorer windows, click on This PC from the options on the left.
  4. Your external device should be listed here. Double-click on it to reveal its file structure.
  5. Navigate to the folder where the music or video files are stored.
  6. Locate the file you want to remove, right-click it and choose Delete. Click Yes to confirm.

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2. Check if Windows Media Player library database has become corrupted

  1. Launch the Run window by pressing the keyboard combo of Windows and R buttons. Alternately, you can also type Run in the Cortana search box and selecting the Run app from the search result.
  2. Type
    %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Media Player

    in the Run app and click on OK.

  3. In the window that opens, select all files and delete them.
    Rebuild WMP Library database if windows media player cannot delete a file from the device
  4. Note: Make sure you are deleting only the files and not any folders therein.
  5. Restart Windows Media Player. This will rebuild the database all over again.
  6. Try deleting the file that you wish to.

3. Reset Media Library

  1. Restart your device.
  2. Type Services in the Cortana search box and select the Services app from the search result.
  3. In the Services window, look for Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service.
    Stop WMP network sharing service if windows media player cannot delete a file from the device
  4. Check the status. If it is shown to be Started, double click on the service and click on Stop to stop the service.
  5. Next, type

    in the Cortana Search box.

  6. Select the first search result.
  7. Locate Media Player and rename it to something else, like say, Media Non Player.
    Rename media player folder if windows media player cannot delete a file from the device
  8. You might have to select the setting to show hidden files and folders if you are not able to see the Media Player folder as the same could be hidden.
  9. Re-start Windows Media Player.
  10. Start Media Player again and check if the issue is still there.

The above should be all that you need to do to remedy the situation when Windows Media Player is unable to delete a file from the device.

Meanwhile, there are some related resources for you to browse.

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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