How to install codecs in Windows Vista

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Article ID: 973857 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article describes how to install a codec when you cannot play a file by using Windows Media Player in Windows Vista.

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Todetect if a codec is missing in Windows Media Player

  1. Select the file that you want to play, and then drag it to the area of the Windows Media Player playlist.
  2. If the required codec to play the file is missing, you cannot drop the file.

To install codecs automatically

  1. Click Start, and then click All Programs.
  2. Click Windows Media Player.
  3. Click Now Playing, and then click More Options
  4. On the Player tab, select the Download codecs automatically check box, and then click OK.

To install codecs manually

  1. Start Internet Explorer, and then go to the following Microsoft website:
    Plug-ins for Windows Media Player
  2. A list of the available codecs is displayed. Click the codec that you want to download.
  3. You are redirected to the website of the manufacturer of the codec. Follow the instructions to install the codec.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.


Article ID: 973857 - Last Review: August 21, 2012 - Revision: 1.0
Applies to
  • Windows Media Player 11
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
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