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How to Manage Windows Media Player in Windows 10

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The How to Manage Windows Media Player in Windows 10

Windows Media Player was once the default media player included with Windows. However, Microsoft no longer updates WMP; and Groove Music and Movies & TV apps replaced it as the default media player in Windows 10. However, Windows Media Player is still in Windows 10, albeit without DVD playback support. This is how you can customize Windows Media Player 12.

Customizing Windows Media Player Skins

Skins are one of the best ways to customize Windows Media Player. They will transform Now Playing mode in Windows Media Player with an entirely new theme. You can add a variety of new skins to the software from this page. Click Download under a skin listed here to save it on Windows.

Then open the folder where you saved the skin and click on the skin file. Then press the Yes> View Now buttons to open Windows Media Player. It will open with the new skin you downloaded as shown in the snapshot below.

Windows media player

To open a list of skins in Windows Media Player, you can click View> Skin Selector. This will open a list of the skins you have added to the software as below. You can select a skin there, then click Apply Skin to open it in Now Playing mode. You can also select a skin there and press the X button to delete it.

Windows Media Player2

Added new visualizations to Windows Media Player

Unlike Groove Music, Windows Media Player offers visualizations in Now Playing mode. You can select alternate visualizations by right-clicking them in Now Playing mode, then selecting Visualizations to open the submenu below. Note that not all WMP skins support visualizations.

windows3 media player

You can add new visualizations to the software from the “Visualizations for Windows Media Player” page. Click Download under a visualization to save it to a folder. Then open the folder and click on the viewer file to add it to WMP. You should find it in the Visualizations submenu.

Customize the Windows Media Player Navigation Pane

On the left of the WMP library window, there is a navigation pane with which you can browse your media with. You can customize this navigation pane by right-clicking Album and selecting Customize Navigation Pane. This will open the window in the image below.

windows4 media player

You can now add more navigation categories to the left of the library from this window. For example, under Images, you can select Tags, Date Taken, and Note. Click OK to apply the new settings, and the library pane will include these categories as below. To quickly return to the original settings, press the Restore Defaults button in the Customize Navigation Pane window.

windows5 media player

Customizing Windows Media Player with Plugins

You can add some plugins to Windows Media Player. One of these is Windows Media Player Plus which includes additional options to further customize the software with. Open this page and tap Download Now to save the Media Player Plus setup wizard in Windows 10. Run the setup wizard to add the plug-in to WMP.

When you’ve done that, open Windows Media Player (enter “Windows Media Player” in the Cortana search box to find it). The Windows Media Player Plus! The settings window in the snapshots below will open. This includes a number of settings to customize WMP with.

First, you can make some customizations to the Windows Media Player library by selecting Library on the left. This will open the three checkbox options shown in the snapshot below.

windows6 media player

The options Enable “Search as you type” and Disable group headers in the Library pane may already be selected. If so, you can deselect these settings to further customize the library. If the Disable group headers option is not selected, the Music list includes the titles of the album groups as below. If you do not select the Enable “Find as you type” setting, typing anywhere in the library will not search for media.

windows7 media player

You can customize keyboard shortcuts or keyboard shortcuts in Windows Media Player by selecting Keyboard Shortcuts to open the options directly below. Click the Enable global shortcut keys there check box, and then select a shortcut key to edit from the list. Then you can select four Keys checkboxes and enter a key in the text box to change the keyboard shortcut keys to something else.

windows8 media player

You can also add a new keyboard shortcut to WMP by pressing the Add button. Choose an action for the keyboard shortcut from the Action drop-down menu. Then you can configure a keyboard shortcut for it with the checkboxes and the text box under the drop down menu. Click Apply and OK to apply the new keyboard shortcut settings. Note that since these are global keyboard shortcuts, you can still use them when Windows Media Player is not the active window selected.

Add New Backgrounds to Windows Media Player Library

Windows Media Player does not include any options for customizing its library backgrounds. However, you can still customize these backgrounds with the WMP 12 Library Background Changer Software. Open this website page and click Download WMP12 Library Background Changer to save its Zip in Windows 10. Open the Zip and press Extract All in File Explorer to set up an extracted folder for it. Then you can open the program window below (with Windows Media Player closed).

windows9 media player

You can now add a custom wallpaper to the background of the WMP library. Tap Replace, then choose a wallpaper image to add to the background. Then close the WMP12 Library Background Changer window and open Windows Media Player. The library will include the new background as shown below.

windows10 media player

You can also choose to add desktop wallpaper to Windows Media Player library. Press the Replace with wallpaper button to select the wallpaper on the desktop. Close the software window as before and run Windows Media Player, which will now have the same background as your desktop. Press the Restore button in the WMP12 Library Background Changer window to restore the default settings.

windows 11 media player

You can now customize Windows Media Player with skins, plug-ins and the WMP12 Library Background Changer software. Windows Media Player has more options and customization settings than the new media apps in Windows 10. So it’s a better media player than Groove Music and Movies & TV at the moment.

Benefits: How to Manage Windows Media Player in Windows 10

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FAQ: How to Manage Windows Media Player in Windows 10

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James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.

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