If you’ve been a Windows 7 user and went directly to Windows 10, you might be wondering why you can’t play DVDs. Microsoft killed off DVD playback support in Windows 8 and that has extended to Windows 10 as well.
While streaming movies and video content through services like Netflix and Amazon Video is popular, sometimes you’ll need to use a DVD on occasion.
Play DVDs on Windows 10 for Free
All of those options will work with Windows 10, sans Windows Media Center, which Microsoft has completely killed off.
Our best suggestion for playing DVDs (as well as virtually any media file type) is using VLC. It’s fast, easy to use, and once you start digging into it, there’s a lot of power under the hood.
Pop in your DVD and when AutoPlay comes up, select VLC. If you have AutoPlay disabled, go into This PC > Devices and drives. Then right-click the DVD drive and select Open AutoPlay or just double-click it if you already have VLC set as your default app for DVDs.
VLC will start up, and you can enjoy the flick.
Windows DVD Player App is Free for Some Users
The Windows DVD Player app is free for qualifying Windows 10 upgrades. It’s not available if you do a clean install. According to the Microsoft Support page:
You are eligible to get the Windows DVD Player app for free if you upgrade to Windows 10 from the following Windows versions:
- Windows 7 Home Premium
- Windows 7 Professional
- Windows 7 Ultimate
- Windows 8 Pro with Media Center
- Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
It’s not clear how long this offer is available, but Microsoft says it’s for a limited time. Also, if you upgraded one of the versions of Windows listed above to 10, the DVD Player app should automatically download via Windows Update.
To find out more about getting the Windows DVD Player app, check out this FAQ from the Microsoft Community.
If you miss the “limited time” window or did a clean install, you can still get the DVD app, but it costs a ridiculous $14.99 in the Store. Also, according to the user reviews, it currently has a dismal 1.9 rating. So, for those reasons, we recommend using VLC.
If your PC has a Blu-ray drive, you can just use the software that came with it. VLC also has experimental Blu-ray support, too. But I haven’t been able to get that to work very well.