The N edition of Windows 10 includes the same functionality as Windows 10, except for media-related technologies (Windows Media Player) and certain preinstalled media apps (Music, Video, Voice Recorder, and Skype). You must install other software from Microsoft or another company for this communication functionality and to play or create audio CDs, media files, and video DVDs, to stream music, and to take and store pictures. New features such as Cortana, Windows Hello, and PDF viewing in the new Edge browser rely on Windows Media files that are not present in these editions.
Some websites and software, such as Windows Store apps or Microsoft Office, use Windows Media-related files that are not incorporated into these editions of Windows. Users can make these websites and software work correctly by installing the Media Feature Pack for N editions of Windows 10.
The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
The N edition includes the same functionality as Windows 10 editions, except for Windows Media Player and related technologies. The excluded technologies include, but are not limited to, the following features:
- Windows Media Player user experience: Enables Windows Media Player features such as the ability to play media files and audio CDs, manage media in a library, create a playlist, provide metadata (including album art) for media, create an audio CD, transfer music to a portable music player, and play streaming content from a website.
- Windows Media Player ActiveX control: Exposes methods and properties to manipulate multimedia playback from a webpage or an app.
- Windows Media Format: Provides support for the Advanced Systems Format (ASF) file container, the Windows Media audio and video codecs, basic network streaming capability, and digital rights management (DRM).
- Windows Media DRM: Enables the secure delivery of protected content for playback on a computer, portable device, or network device.
- Media sharing and Play To: Enables music, pictures, and videos on a networked computer to be shared with other computers and devices on the same network. Also enables computers to find those kinds of files on the network.
- Media Foundation: Provides support for content protection, audio and video quality, and interoperability for DRM.
- Windows 8.1 Portable Devices (WPD) infrastructure: Communicates with attached media and storage devices, including devices that support the Media Transfer Protocol.
- MPEG, WMA, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, AMR, and Dolby Digital audio codecs: Enables the playback of digital audio content such as MP3, WMA, MPEG-2 audio, AAC audio, FLAC and ALAC audio, and AC-3 audio.
- VC-1, MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, and H.263 codecs: "Standards-based codec components" (as they are collectively called) enable Windows 10 program such as Windows Media Player to support activities that include the playback and creation of multimedia files that are encoded with standards-based codecs.
- Groove Music: A preinstalled app that's used to play digital music.
- Video: A preinstalled app that's used to play digital video.
- Voice Recorder: A preinstalled app that's used to record sounds.
- Skype: A preinstalled app that's used for messaging and communications.
Effect on other features
Some features are not removed. However, they are affected by the media technology removal in the N and KN editions. These features include the following:
- App Sync: This feature does not work.
- OneDrive and Photos: These apps cannot play videos.
- Xbox: Some functionality such as Game DVR that's associated with this app does not work.
- HomeGroup: Integrated media sharing through streaming features do not work.
- Webcam: This feature does not work.
- Windows Portable Devices: There is no support for media synchronization, image acquisition, or file browsing.
- Windows 10 camera devices: Cameras that use the picture transfer protocol (PTP) do not work.
- Sound Recorder: Recordings are limited to the WAV format.
- Alarms and Clock: Alarm and timer sounds does not play.
- Group Policy for removable disks: This feature does not work in the N and KN editions of Windows 10 Pro.
- Cortana Personal Assistant: Speech interaction with Cortana does not work.
- Windows Store Media Content: Audio and video content that's obtained through the Store cannot be played. Also, preview of audio or video content in the Store does not work.
- Wireless Display: This feature does not work.
- PDF Viewing in Edge: This feature does not work.
- Windows Hello. This feature does not work.