How to Get Windows Media Player to Play .Asx Files

By Nick Grimes

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Windows PC with Internet access

  • Windows Media Player software

  • ASX file

i Jochen Sand/Photodisc/Getty Images

The ASX file format is a format designed for and used mainly by Microsoft Windows Media Player. ASX files point Windows Media Player to another location, file or series of files, such as an Internet playlist or radio station. If an ASX file is not opening correctly in Windows Media Player, there's no need to fret. There are a couple of easy fixes to get your Windows Media Player playing ASX files smoothly.

Open the ASX file in Windows Media Player. If another program has been designated the default player for ASX files, simply download the ASX you wish to play and right-click on the file in Windows Explorer. Move your mouse pointer over "Open With..." and select Windows Media Player. If the ASX and your Windows Media Player are in working order, no further action needs to be taken.

Reinstall the Windows Media codecs. If you regularly have trouble with ASX files, your Windows Media Player may need its codecs updated or reinstalled. Codecs are the files that tell Windows Media Player how to handle certain files, and if ASX files are not playing correctly, you may need to reinstall the codec. See the Resources section of this article for a link to a set of codecs, including the ASX codec, that you can download and install.

Open the ASX file in Notepad. If Windows Media Player repeatedly has trouble playing one ASX in particular, the file may be incorrectly formatted. As ASX files are containers that point to a remote location, you can extract the information from the file itself. Right-click on the file, select "Open With..." and then "Select Program." Navigate to Notepad and double-click the program to open the file. A long stream of text will contain an Internet URL in quote marks. Copy this URL and open it in Windows Media Player by selecting "Open URL" in the "File" menu, then pasting the URL into the player. If the ASX's contents are still available on the Internet, Windows Media Player will open them.


After reinstalling your Windows Media Player codecs, you may also want to reinstall DirectX to ensure Windows Media Player functions correctly within Windows. A link to the DirectX home page can be found in the Resources section.