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You try to open a media file in Windows Internet Explorer 8 on a computer that is running Windows 7. If the media file contains a space in its path or in its file name, you receive the following error message in Windows Media Player:

Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.

The affected media files include files that have the following extensions:

  • .3gp

  • .3g2

  • .mp4

  • .mov

  • .adts

For steps to reproduce this issue, see the "More information" section.


This issue occurs because Internet Explorer 8 calls the CreateProcess function by using a URL-encoded path when it handles the affected file types. Windows Media Player cannot open URL-encoded paths. Therefore, you receive the error message.


  • You do not experience this issue when you try to open an .mpg file.

  • Usually, Internet Explorer should call the CreateProcess function for Windows Media Player by using a non-URL-encoded path if the file has a space in the path or file name.


Security update information

To resolve this problem, install the most recent cumulative security update for Windows Internet Explorer. To do this, visit the following Microsoft website: For more technical information about the most recent cumulative security update for Windows Internet Explorer, visit the following Microsoft website: This update was first included in security update 982381 (MS10-035). For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

982381 MS10-035: Cumulative security update for Internet Explorer


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

Do not use spaces in the file path or in the file name.

Method 2

Put the media file that you want to play in a playlist (.asx file).

More Information

Reproduce steps

  1. On a computer that is running Windows 7, start Internet Explorer 8.

  2. Drag an .mp4 file that contains a space in the file name to an Internet Explorer window.

In this scenario, you receive the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section.

Note This issue also occurs when you try to open an affected media file that is included in an <A herf> tag.

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