How to Turn Off Windows Media Player

by Patrick Hutchison

Microsoft's Windows Media Player is designed to play multimedia files on PCs running Microsoft Windows. If you decide to use a third-party program to play media, you need to turn off Windows Media Player in order to avoid conflict between it and the other media player. You cannot fully remove Windows Media Player, but you can alter its settings to keep it from attempting to play media files.

Remove File Type Associations

Click on "Tools" on the menu bar of Windows Media Player.

Go to "Options."

Select the "File Types" tab.

Uncheck every file type box listed.

Click "Apply."

Click "OK."

Remove Default Access

Click "Start."

Go to "Control Panel."

Select "Add or Remove Programs."

Go to "Set Program Access and Defaults."

Choose "Custom" configuration.

Scroll down to "Choose a default media player" and select a media player other than Windows Media Player.

Click "OK."


  • check Avoid installing any media player updates offered by Windows, as they may restore Windows Media Player file type associations and default access.


  • close Do not attempt to fully remove Windows Media Player from your computer. Its files are integrated into the operating system, and removing them may harm your computer.

About the Author

Patrick Hutchison has been doing freelance work since 2008. He has worked as a physical therapy aide and as a writer for various websites including Destination Guides and several travel-related companies. Hutchison has a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from the University of Washington.

Photo Credits

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