How can I enable or disable automatic updates in Windows Media Player?

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Article ID: 278960 - View products that this article applies to.
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Problem description

You want Windows Media Player to periodically check the Internet for newer versions or updates and let you know that they are available. Or, you want to stop Windows Media Player from doing this.

To enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates, go to the “Enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates” section. To disable Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates (not recommended), go to the “Stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates (not recommended)” section.

Enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates

To have us enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for automatic updates for you, go to the “Fix it for me” section. If you’d rather fix this problem yourself, go to the “Let me fix it myself” section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Then, click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in this wizard.


Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50070


Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

To check whether this resolved the problem, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

You can enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates by changing the registry or by using a Group Policy setting. The Group Policy setting applies to Windows 2000 Server, to Windows XP, and to Windows Server 2003. To enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates by changing the registry, go to the “Enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates by changing the registry” section. To enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates by using a Group Policy setting, go to the “Enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates by using a Group Policy setting” section.

Note If you are not logged on as a local administrator, you are not prompted for automatic updates, and the Check for Player Updates option is not available on the Help menu in current versions of Windows Media Player.

Enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates by changing the registry

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To change the registry, follow these steps:
  1. Start Registry Editor.
  2. Locate the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  4. Type WindowsMediaPlayer, and then press ENTER.
  5. With the WindowsMediaPlayer key selected, on the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type DisableAutoUpdate, and then press ENTER.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  8. Type 0 (or delete the 1), and then click OK.
  9. Close Registry Editor.

Enable Windows Media Player to periodically check for updates by using a Group Policy setting

To enable Windows Media Player to automatically check for updates by using a Group Policy setting, follow these steps:
  1. In Group Policy Microsoft Management Console (MMC), under Computer Configuration expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, and then click Windows Media Player.
  2. In the list of available policies, double-click Prevent Automatic Updates.
  3. Click Disabled or click Not Configured, and then click OK.
  4. Close Group Policy MMC.

Did this fix the problem?

Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this article. If there is a problem, you can contact support.

Stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates (not recommended)

Warning We strongly recommend that you let Windows Media Player periodically check for updates or that you set the feature to Enabled if it is disabled. Even though you do not use Windows Media Player, some components that run Windows Media Player are used by other programs on your computer. If you disable these components, you may miss important updates that can make your computer run better or that can help prevent malicious software, such as viruses, from attacking your computer. Follow these steps at your own risk.

To have us stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for automatic updates for you, go to the “Fix it for me” section. If you’d rather fix this problem yourself, go to the “Let me fix it myself” section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.


Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50033


Note This wizard is temporarily in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

To check whether this resolved the problem, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

You can stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates by changing the registry or by using a Group Policy setting. The Group Policy setting applies to Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. To stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates by changing the registry, go to the “Stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates by changing the registry” section. To stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates by using a Group Policy setting, go to the “Stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates by using a Group Policy setting” section. Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Note If you are not logged on as a local administrator, you are not prompted for automatic updates, and the Check for Player Updates option is not available on the Help menu in current versions of Windows Media Player.

Stop Windows Media Player from periodically checking for updates by changing the registry

To change the registry, follow these steps:
  1. Start Registry Editor.
  2. Locate the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  4. Type WindowsMediaPlayer, and then press ENTER.
  5. With the WindowsMediaPlayer key selected, on the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type DisableAutoUpdate, and then press ENTER.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  8. Type 1, and then click OK.
  9. Close Registry Editor.
Notes
  • Windows Media Player 7.0: After you disable the automatic update check by using the registry, when the Check for Player Upgrades option under the Help menu is selected, a dialog box appears, and you receive the following message:
    This feature has been disabled by your network administrator.
    Additionally, when the timed check occurs, you are prompted unexpectedly to check for updates, but when you click Yes on the Check for update prompt, you receive the following error message:
    This feature has been disabled
    In either case, you cannot update the Windows Media Player.
  • Windows Media Player 8 and later versions: After you disable the automatic update check by using the registry, the Check for Player Updates option under the Help menu is not available. Additionally, the Check for updates options are not available under Automatic Updates on the Player tab of the Media Player Options dialog box.

Use a Group Policy setting to stop Windows Media Playerfrom from periodically checking for updates

To disable automatically checking for updates by using a Group Policy setting, follow these steps:
  1. In Group Policy Microsoft Management Console (MMC), under Computer Configuration expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, and then click Windows Media Player.
  2. In the list of available policies, double-click Prevent Automatic Updates.
  3. Click Enabled, and then click OK.
  4. Close Group Policy MMC.

Did this fix the problem?

Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this article. If there is a problem, you can contact support.

Properties

Article ID: 278960 - Last Review: September 27, 2011 - Revision: 10.0
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Media Player 11
  • Windows Media Player 10
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 Series
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.0
Keywords: 
kbfixme kbmsifixme kbproductlink kbinfo KB278960

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