This post was originally published on December 15, 2016
The latest update to this post was made 1 year ago.
How Can I Play DVDs In Windows 10 For Free?
Microsoft Windows has never really been able to play DVDs natively because of the lack of necessary playback codecs. DVD based codecs are licensed and cost $$ increasing the cost of the operating system. Microsoft briefly provided native support with Windows 7 but dropped support due to the newer computers not shipping with DVD drives by default. In the past, DVD playback codecs have been obtainable either via download on the internet or via bundled software that OEMs often include, such as Roxio, Cyberlink or Nero, to name a few.
On Windows 10, even if you install a codec pack that would normally provide DVD playback, you’ll notice that when you insert a DVD, the options that appear are fairly useless and none will actually play a DVD, not even Windows Media Player… So what can you do? Follow this guide! We’ll show you two different ways to add DVD playback support to your Windows 10 computer, for free and it’s easier than you might think!
To be fair – Microsoft does offer a DVD playback APP from the Windows App Store. It’s not free though and will run you about $14.99 to purchase… Is it any good? Well… It works, but save your money! The methods below achieve the same thing and cost nothing!
It’s important to note, that if you UPGRADED from Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8/8.1 Professional and had Windows Media Center installed, you likely already have the DVD playback App from the Microsoft App Store. This was installed automatically during upgrades. This only applies to upgraded installations that had Media Center present at the time of upgrade. Everyone else lost out on this deal! If you did upgrade and are missing the app, you might visit the app store and see if the download is there. If you quality, the app will be free.
On page 2 of this article, we’ll talk more about the two alternatives and provide download links for the applications.
In this article, we’ll cover the two recommended alternatives to paying for the Microsoft App. Option 1: VLC Media Player and option 2: K-Lite With Windows Media Player Classic. Both of these programs will do the job. Our personal preference is option #2. Why option #2? Well, VLC is great, but the VLC program must be used specifically to play media, meaning it’s more propriety, where as the K-Lite bundle installs codecs at the Windows system level and offers the codecs for all programs to use, if they support them. K-Lite comes bundled with Windows Media Player Classic, which is a lightweight media player that just plain works! Below, we’ll compare the two options and offer downloads for the software.
VLC – VLC has a strong advantage right out of the box because it is available on just about any platform you can imagine. It supports Android, Apple iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows. The Windows versions are available in two flavors, standard desktop program and as an app from the Windows App Store. In order to play media with VLC, it must be opened with VLC. No other applications can utilize VLC’s codecs. The downloads below are for Windows only. Visit the website for downloads for other operating systems.
K-Lite With Media Player Classic – This software only runs on Windows. The media player is actually the Windows Media Player Classic v6.4 that shipped with former versions of Windows. Klite is an awesome collection of codecs that will enable your computer to play just about anything. As started above, this package installs into Windows and its functions are available system wide to any application that supports the codecs installed into Windows.
The Blog Encounters Mirror download allows you to download the full version of K-Lite, but adds the automated installer, where all the necessary options are pre-selected. This would be considered the ‘easy install’. Once downloaded, run the klcp_full_unattended.bat file to install DVD functionality with Media Player Classic. This installer can also be used to automate company wide installations through SCCM, for example.
Once you’ve installed any of the above programs (or both, if you so desire), place a DVD in the drive. You’ll be asked what to do with this newly inserted disc. Choose either ‘VLC Player’ or ‘Windows Media Player Classic’ from the menu and your DVD should start playback. In the future, your choice will be remembered and will be selected by default.