How to Use a Portable Hard Drive to Play Movies on a Wii

By Dustin Walker

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • PC with Windows, SD card reader and Internet access

  • SD card

  • Portable hard drive

Playing video files off a portable hard drive is possible using the Nintendo Wii.
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Setting up your Nintendo Wii to play videos off a portable hard drive is a simple way to greatly expand the Wii's capabilities. Playing movies converted from DVDs is possible using the media player software. Many people purchase TVs that are more appropriate for viewing movies than computer monitors. Portable hard drives allow people to carry large amounts of data in a small device, which makes them well-suited for holding movies.

Preparing the Wii

Download ModMii for Windows to a PC (see Resources). Once downloaded, run the ModMii.exe file.

SD cards can hold large amounts of data, including custom Wii applications.
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Follow the instructions as presented to prepare the SD card. Insert the SD card and copy the folder created by ModMii in the case that the SD card was not inserted during the setup.

Download the Homebrew Browser (see Resources). Unzip the file and copy the application onto the SD card. Place the folder in the /apps/ folder created by ModMii. The /apps/ folder is where all applications that are played in Homebrew Channel should be placed.

Portable hard drives are capable of holding hundreds of movies.
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Plug the hard drive into the PC and locate a video file. Copy the video file into an easy-to-remember location on the portable hard drive. After the transfer is finished, unplug the hard drive but do not plug it into the Wii yet.

Playing Video Files

Insert the SD card into the Wii and click on the Homebrew Channel. Select the Homebrew Browser application. Homebrew Browser is an application that presents a convenient list of software for the Wii that can be downloaded and extracted automatically.

Go to the Media Players tab and download MPlayer or WiiMC. Both players work for this task, with the most obvious difference being that WiiMC can use the Wiimote's pointing function. Once installed, run the media player software.

Plug in the portable hard drive while the media player software is running. Select the portable hard drive when it appears. Follow the appropriate folders until the video file is reached. Select the video file to play it.


Convert DVDs to files the hard drive can play.


Do not update the Wii after Homebrew Channel is installed. Wii updates may interfere with the channel.