How to Upgrade Windows Media Player

By Cindy Stokes

Windows Media Player handles digital media such as music, movies and pictures.
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Windows Media Player 12 organizes digital media on your Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 PC or Tablet. You can update manually and also can change the frequency Media Player checks for updates. There is also a Media Center Pack which can be purchased from Microsoft to add DVD playback, which does not come standard with Windows 8 and 8.1.

Check Manually for Updates

Open Windows Media Player and make sure it is in library mode instead of play mode. For library mode, click the icon with three squares and an arrow. Press "Alt-H" for the help menu. Select "Check For Updates..." and Media Player will automatically assess whether you have the latest version. If you don't, you receive prompts guiding you through the update process.

Check Automatically for Updates

With Windows Media Player still in the Library mode, click on the "Organize" menu and select "Options." In Options, choose the "Player" tab which includes three choices under Check for Updates: Once a Day, Once a Week and Once a Month. If there are no technical issues preventing it and you are connected regularly to the Internet, Media Center should not be more than a month out of date.

Add Media Center Pack for DVD Playback

DVD playback is not included in Windows 8 and 8.1, but you can purchase a Media Center Pack from Microsoft to add this feature. Go to the Windows Search field by swiping from the right edge of your screen. Type "Add Features" in the search field and select "Add Features to Windows 8.1" from the search results. Click on "I want to buy a product key online" and follow the prompts to purchase and install the Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack.