How to Use Media Player app in Windows 11

Media Player

Everything you need to know about installing and using the new Media Player app on Windows 11.

Windows 11 is getting a new media player called ‘Media Player’ which is currently exclusive to the Windows Insider Program on Dev Channel but soon it will be available in Windows 11 stable builds. The New Media Player is here to replace Groove Music and the classic Windows Media Player app in Windows 11. Soon the app will also be available to Windows 10 computers.

Media Player will allow you to watch videos and movies, listen to music, and manage your media collection from your local storage or network drive. Media Player is the new default multimedia player in Windows 11 that supports various standard file formats such .mp3, .mp4, .mkv, .avi, .flac, .wma, etc.

The app features a cleaner user interface that’s more in line with the other core Windows 11 experience with rounded corners, accent colors, and semi-transparent materials. It will automatically migrate your playlists and library from Groove Music if you have been using it. In this article, we will show you everything you need to know about how to install and use the new Media Player app on Windows 11.

How to Get New Media Player app for Windows 11

As of now, the Media Player app is only available in the Dev Channel of the Windows 11 Insider Program. You can install the app through Windows Store if you are running Windows 11 build 22471 or higher. Microsoft has announced that the app will soon be rolled out to Windows 11 stable builds. However, if you want to try out the app on your Windows 11 stable build or Beta Channel, we will show you how to install Media Player on any Windows 11 version.

If you are running Windows 11 in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program (or if Microsoft has released the app to stable builds after writing this article), you can get the app through the latest update for Groove Music or through Windows update. Here’s how you do it:

Open the Microsoft Store app on your Windows 11 PC. Just click the Start button and select ‘Microsoft Store’ under ‘Pinned’ apps.

When the Microsoft Store launches, click on the ‘Library’ icon on the bottom-right corner.

Under the ‘Updates & Download’ section, check if there is any update available for the Groove Music app. If yes, click the ‘Update’ button next to it to install. Once the update is installed, the Groove Music app will be replaced by the new Media Player app.

If you don’t see any updates, click the ‘Get updates’ button at the top and it will be available for you now.

Install the New Media Player on Windows 11 Stable builds

If you don’t see any update for Groove Music on Windows Store even after clicking the ‘Get updates’ button, you’re probably using an unsupported version of Windows 11. If that’s the case, follow the below instructions to install Media app on any Windows 11 versions.

First, go to Adguard’s website which is an online link generator for the Microsoft Store app package where you can download nearly any Microsoft app packages as long as you know valid ProductId, CategoryId, PackageFamilyName, or URL of the package.

On the Adguard website, click the drop-down menu on the left and select the URL (link) option. Then, paste the following URL in the URL field:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/groove-music/9wzdncrfj3pt

Or, select ‘Product ID’ in the drop-down and paste this ID in the text box:

9WZDNCRFJ3PT

Or, select ‘PackageFamilyName’ in the drop-down and paste this package family name in the text box:

Microsoft.ZuneMusic_8wekyb3d8bbwe

After that, click the drop-down menu to the right-hand side, which says RP, and select the ‘Fast channel’. Then, click the tick button next to it to search for the packages.

The website will show you a list of related packages below. Scroll down the result till you see the packages that start with ‘Microsoft.ZuneMusic_11’ and end with ‘.MSIXBundle’.

Eg: Microsoft.ZuneMusic_11.2111.54.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe.msixbundle

Look for a file that is similar to the above example file (which is the latest) with the latest version number and weighs about ’35 MB’.

Once you found the file, right-click on it and select the ‘Save link as..’ option.

Note: As you will notice, there is also another similar file with the version number that ends with ‘54.70’ and it is about 95 MB in size. Don’t download that file as it can’t update the Groove Music player to Media Player.

Once the file is downloaded, execute it and you will see a pop-up window (like the one below) that will ask whether you want to update from Groove Music to Media Player. Click the ‘Update’ button to update the app.

After the update is over, restart your PC. Then, search for Groove Music in the Windows search and you will see ‘Media Player’ in the search result. Click on the result to launch the app and you are good to go.

But once you restart your PC, you can search for the app with its actual name ‘Media Player’.

If the above-mentioned website didn’t work, you can also download the new Media Player update package from this Mega drive link.

How to Use the New Media Player in Windows 11

When you launch the new Media Player, you will be greeted with below Home screen.

The app sports a sleek user interface that matches the aesthetics and experience of Windows 11. The app combines the best features of both the Groove Music and Movies & TV app to make listening to music and watching videos more enjoyable. The app also supports HDR.

If you can click on the hamburger button on the top-left side, it will reveal a navigation panel where you can access your music library, video library, play queue, and playlists.

When you open the app, it will automatically scan the Music and Videos folders on your computer and add all of their audios and videos to its library. But you can also add custom folders for additional content in the app.

On the Home page, you will see an ‘Open file(s)’ drop-down button. If you click on the Open files(s), it lets you browse for media files from your local computer to play.

If you click on the drop-down next to the ‘Open files(s)’, you will see three options to browse for the media file to play, choose a folder and play all the media inside it, or enter a URL and play a video or music stream from that address.

Play Audios and Videos in the Media Player

You can play a media file from the library folders, queue, playlist as well as from the file explorer.

To play a music file, double-click on the file or right-click the file and select ‘Play’. To play a music or video file right after the current track, right-click on the file and select ‘Play next’.

In the Media Player, you can select multiple files and click the ‘Play’ button to play all the selected files. If you see the checkboxes before the files name, you can tick the boxes to select multiple files.

If you don’t see the selection boxes, right on any file and click the ‘Select’ option.

Now, you can play multiple files by selecting the files with checkboxes and clicking the ‘Play’ button. To clear all selections, just click the ‘Clear’ option at the top.

To play media file (audio or video) in the file explorer, right on the audio or video file, select ‘Open with’ and choose ‘Media Player’. Alternatively, if the Media player is set as your default player for audio or video file, just double-click on the file or right-click and select ‘Open’ to play.

We will see how to set the Media player as your default player in one of the later sections.

To play multiple media files in the file explorer, select the files, right-click and select ‘Open’ or ‘Show more options’.

Then, select ‘Play with Media Player’ from the old context menu.

In the playback control panel at the bottom, the app has a play/pause, previous and next track, shuffle, and repeat buttons.

At the right corner of the playback bar, the app has a ‘Volume control’, ‘Fullscreen’, ‘Mini player’, and ‘More options’ button.

You can use the Open file(s) on the home screen or open a media file in the file explorer to play the audio or video file. You can click the Play/Pause button or press Ctrl+P to play or pause a media file. Click the button left of the Play/Pause button or press Ctrl+B press to jump to the previous track. Click the button right of the Play/Pause button or press Ctrl+F press to jump to the next track.

Turn ON/OFF Shuffle: You can click the left-most button on the center of the playback control bar or press Ctrl+H to toggle ON/OFF the playlist shuffle.

Turn ON Repeat If you want the songs or videos to play in repeat you can use the ‘Repeat’ button right of the ‘Next’ button. By default, the repeat is turned off (struck out as shown below).

Turn ON Repeat: All If you click once or press Ctrl+T, the button will no longer be struck out and the repeat will be ON for all tracks in the playlist. All the songs or videos in the current playlist will keep repeating until you pause it or turn off the repeat.

Turn ON Repeat: One If you click the button or press the shortcut again, ‘Repeat: One’ (Repeat icon with one) will be turned ON which means only the current audio or video will keep repeating. And if you click the button again the repeat will be turned OFF.

If you are playing a video on the Media player, you will have 3 additional options in the playback control bar – ‘Skip back 10 seconds’, ‘Skip forward 30 seconds’, and ‘Language and Subtitles’ options.

For instance, when you start to play a video on the app, the ‘Skip back 10 seconds’ and ‘Skip forward 30 seconds’ buttons appear next to the Play/Pause button. You can use them to rewind by 10 seconds or fast-forward by 30 seconds in the video.

Change Languages and Add Subtitles in Media Player

In addition to that, you will also get a ‘Languages and subtitles’ at the bottom-right side of the playback bar.

To change language (audio track) or add subtitles to the video, click the ‘Languages and subtitles’ button (Ctrl+L). If the video has multiple audio tracks, you can switch between them under the ‘Audio’ section of the menu.

To add a subtitle (Closed captions) to the video, click the ‘Choose subtitle file’ option from the menu.

Then, select the subtitle (.srt) file from the File Explorer and click ‘Open’.

After that, subtitles will appear for the video as shown below.

You can open the ‘Languages and subtitles’ menu again and change to a different subtitle or select the ‘Off’ option to disable the subtitles.

Press F11 or click the ‘Full Screen’ button next to the volume control to toggle fullscreen.

Media Player has a really useful feature that is not available in the legacy Windows Media Player which is the Mini-player mode. Mini-player mode (Picture-in-picture) is a feature that allows you to watch videos in a resizable and movable window while you are doing something else on your computer.

To enable the Mini-player mode in the Media player, click the ‘Mini-player’ button at the bottom right corner or press Ctrl+M while playing a video (as shown below).

This mini-player window can be resized to whatever size you are comfortable with by dragging the corners or sides of the window.

To disable the Mini-player mode in the Media player, click the button (Exit Mini-player) at the corner of the mini-window or press Ctrl+M. In the Mini-player, you also have play/pause, previous, and next track buttons.

If you use the Mini-player for songs, it will show you the album cover art instead.

Although the Media Player supports most of the file formats, it can play some advanced formats. For instance, if you try to play HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) encoded videos also known as (H.265 or x265), Media Player will ask you to purchase the HEVC Video Extensions for ₹.54.00 ($0.73). You need to purchase the Video Extension to play that video. If you don’t have the extension, the app will only play the audio of the file.

If you want the extension, click the ‘Get’ button and pay for it.

Add Custom Folders or Locations to Media Player app Library

As we mentioned earlier, the Media Player app adds content from your Music and Videos to the Music and Video library in the app. But you can also add additional folders from your local drives or network shared drive to get more music and videos. The libraries allow you to browse and play music and videos as well as manage your collection.

Add Custom Folder to Music Library

Here’s how you add locations to your Music library:

Open the Media Player and click on the ‘Music library’ or press Ctrl+R.

In the Music Library folder, click the ‘Add folder’ button at the top-right corner.

Next, select the folder from your computer and click the ‘Add this folder to Music’.

You can add additional folders through app settings.

Manage your Music Collection

In the Music library, you can browse and organize your songs by songs, albums, and artists.

You can shuffle your collection and play the music by clicking the ‘Shuffle and play’ button.

You can sort your collection by alphabets(A – Z), artists, album, or release year from the ‘Sort by’ drop-down.

You can organize your songs by various genres from the ‘Genre’ drop-down.

If you want to find songs that start with a specific alphabet, you can click the hash symbol (Number sign) just above the list.

Then, choose an alphabet to browse for the music.

Add Custom Folder to Videos Library

If you want to add an additional folder or location to your Videos library, follow these steps:

Open the Media Player and click on the ‘Videos library’ or press Ctrl+D. Then, click ‘Add Folder’ at the top-right corner.

Next, select the folder from your computer and click the ‘Add this folder to Videos’.

You can sort the videos by alphabets or Date modified from the ‘Sort by’ drop-down.

Manage Play queue on Media Player app

You can add multiple songs or videos to a queue and play them in Media Player. The queued music and videos can also be turned into a custom playlist that can be played anytime you want.

To add media files to the queue on the Media Player, open the Music library or Videos library from the left navigation panel. Then, right-click on the music or video file that you want to add to the queue, select the ‘Add to’, and choose the ‘Play queue’ from the sub-menu.

To add multiple songs to the queue, check the selection boxes next to the songs in the music library, click the ‘Add to’ button at the top and select the ‘Play queue’ from the sub-menu as shown below. If you want to select all the songs in the list, select the check box at the top.

You can add songs, entire albums, or all the songs from the specific artists to the queue.

To add media files to the queue from the file explorer, right-click on the file(s) in the file explorer, and select ‘Show more options’.

Then, select the ‘Add to Media Player play queue’ option from the context menu.

You can also add files to the play queue in the Play queue tab in the Media Player. Open the Media Player, select the ‘Play queue’ tab in the navigation panel. In the Play queue tab, click the ‘Add file(s)’ to include files from your computer to the play queue.

You can also click the drop-down next to the ‘Add file(s)’ and select one of the three options:

  • Add file(s) to play queue (Ctrl+Shift+I) – To add one or more files to the Media player play queue.
  • Add folder to play queue (Ctrl+Shift+D) – To add an entire folder and all its files to the play queue.
  • Add media from URL to play queue (Ctrl+Shift+U) – To add the streaming media from the provided URL to the play queue.

In the Play Queue, you can move the media file up or down the queue by right-clicking the file you want to move and selecting the ‘Move up’ or ‘Move down’ option.

After adding files to the queue, go to the ‘Play Queue’ tab and simply click the ‘Play’ button to start the queue.

To save the current play queue as a playlist, click the ‘Save as playlist’ button or press Ctrl+S at the top of the Play Queue screen.

Then, save the queue as an M3U playlist file by giving a name to the file and selecting the ‘Save’ button. The M3U file can be imported into most of the media players as a playlist including the Media player.

To remove a file from the play queue, right-click on the file and select ‘Remove’ from the menu. You can also click the ‘Clear’ button at the top to clear out the entire queue and start afresh.

Make Playlists on the Media Player app in Windows 11

You would probably like to create a different playlist for different moods and situations. For instance, if you want to create a playlist for driving, chores, work, or relaxing, you can easily do that with the new Media player. Here’s how you do that:

Open Media Player and click ‘Playlists’ on the left navigation panel. Then, click on the ‘Create a new playlist’ or ‘New playlist’ button.

Next, give a name to the playlist and click ‘Create playlist’ as shown below.

Once the playlist has been added, it will be listed under the ‘Playlists’ tab. Now you can start adding files to your playlist. You can add media files from the Music library, Videos library, and Play queue.

To add a music file to the playlist, right-click on the file, select the ‘Add to’ menu, and choose the playlist from the sub-menu. You can also choose ‘New playlist’ to create a playlist and add the file to it.

To add multiple music files to the playlists, first, select the files, and then click the ‘Add to’ button at the top and choose a playlist from the list.

To add a video file to the playlist, go to the Videos library, right-click the file, select the ‘Add to’ menu, and choose a playlist from the menu.

You can also add file(s) from the play queue to the playlist. Simply, right-click on the file, choose the ‘Add to’ menu, and select a playlist from the sub-menu. Alternatively, you can also use the ‘Save as playlist’ button to save the queue as an external playlist.

To start a playlist, go to the ‘Playlist’ tab and right-click the playlist you want to play, and select ‘Play’.

Alternatively, you can open the playlist and click ‘Play’. To rename the playlist, click the ‘Rename’ button.

Then, enter a new name for the playlist and click ‘Rename’.

To remove a playlist, open the playlist, and select the ‘Delete’.

Then, click ‘Delete’ for the confirmation box.

View Media File Details on Media Player app

The Media Player can allow you to view the Media details of the files. To view the various details of a media file (audio or video), follow these steps:

Open Media Player, locate the file you want to know the details for in the Home, Music library, Video library, Play queue, or Playlists. Next, right-click the song or video file and select the ‘Properties’ option to view the details.

For Music files, you can see the album name, artist name, contributing artist name, the year it was produced, genre, album cover, file type, length, bitrate, track number, and file location.

If you view the video files details, you can see the details of title, contributing artist name, subtitles, genre, length, year, video resolution, frame rate, audio channels, file type, and file location.

If you wish to view the file location in the File Explorer, simply click the ‘Open file location’ link on the Properties dialog box. To close the Properties dialog box, click ‘Close’.

Edit the Song Info on the Media Player app

You can not only view the details of a song, but you can also edit the various information of a music file or album in the Media Player app. To do that follow these instructions:

To edit a song, go to the Music library in the Media Player, right-click the song and select the ‘Edit info’ option to edit the song information.

This will open the Edit song info dialog box where you can edit various information of a song such as a title, album name, album artist, contributing artist, track number, genre, and year. Once you have done the changes, click ‘Save’ to save the details.

To edit the details of an album, click the ‘Albums’ tab in the Music library. Then, right-click the album you want to edit and select the ‘Edit info’ option.

Alternatively, you can also open the album and click the ‘Edit info’ button.

This will open the ‘Edit album info’ dialog box. Now, you can edit album name, album artist, genre, year, as well as the track number, song title, and contributing artist name of the individual tracks.

If you don’t know the correct album info, you can click the ‘Update album info online’ link at the top of the dialog box to fix the match using the app’s online database.

The app will find the matching albums online and list them. Now, select an album from the list and click the ‘Save’ button. And the app will update the information for the album and the matching songs.

Remember, you can only edit a song or album details in the Music library.

Personalize Media Player’s Theme and Color

Unlike the classic Windows Media Player and Groove Music, you can switch between light and dark themes as well as the color of the Media Player app.

Open the Media Player app and click the ‘Settings’ (gear icon) option or press (Ctrl+G) at the bottom of the left panel.

To switch between light and dark themes on Media Player, click the downward-facing arrow button on the ‘App theme’ option under the Personalization section. By default, the app uses the system theme.

Now, select the theme you want to apply to the app:

  • Light
  • Dark
  • Use system settings

As soon as you select the theme, the app will be displayed in the selected theme.

To change the color scheme of the Media Player app, click the down arrow next to the ‘Accent color’ option and select ‘Use system settings’. When you select this option, the app will use the system accent color as the color theme of the app.

If you don’t know how to change the accent color of your Windows 11, you can go through this article to change the look and feel of Windows 11 including the accent color.

Change the Media Speed on the Media Player app

You can also control the speed of media files (audio and video) on the Media Player app. For instance, sometimes you may want to slow down your movie while watching an action scene to make sense of what is going on. In such cases, you can change the speed of a video or music file between ‘0.25x’ to ‘2x’.

First, play a music or video file in the Media Player. Next, click the ellipsis (three-dotted) button in the bottom-right corner, and select the ‘Speed’ from the overflow menu. Then, select your desired speed for the media from the sub-menu:

  • 0.25 x.
  • 0.5 x.
  • 1 x.
  • 1.5 x.
  • 2 x.

The ‘1x’ is the normal speed of any media file. The lower the value the slower the speed and the higher the value the faster the speed.

Use Equalizer Filters on Media Player app

Equalizers are software filter that allows you to enhance or reduce sound at certain frequencies to improve your listening experience. It can also boost bass, mid-range, and treble frequency bands to improve the sound quality of songs. If you want to adjust the equalizer for media files, here’s how you do that:

Open the Media player and click the ellipsis (three-dotted) button in the bottom-right corner and select the ‘Equalizer’ option from the overflow. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+E.

In the Equalizer dialog box, turn On the toggle at the top to enable the equalizer.

The app already has a list of preset equalizer options, each configured for a specific purpose. You can click the drop-down next to ‘Preset’ and choose any of the following preset configurations:

  • Flat
  • Table boost
  • Bass boost
  • Headphones
  • Laptop
  • Portable speakers
  • Home stereo
  • TV
  • Car
  • Custom

If you want to adjust the different sound frequency ranges to create a custom preset, choose the ‘Custom’ option and use the sliders to adjust frequencies. Or you can directly adjust the sliders and the preset will automatically change to ‘Custom’.

If you want to adjust individual sliders, uncheck the ‘Move nearby sliders together’ option.

Once you are done, click the ‘Close’ button.

Stream a Music or Video file on the Media Player app

To stream audio or video files from the given URL address, follow these steps:

In the Media Player, go to the ‘Home’ tab and click the ‘Open file(s) button at the top. Then, select ‘Open URL’ option.

Then, enter the URL (link) to the stream and click ‘Open’.

After that, the app will connect to that particular streaming address (through the internet) and start playing the file in the Media player.

How to Set the Media Player as the Default Player in Windows 11

When you open a music or video file on your Windows 11 computer, it will open the file in the app set as the default media player. Usually, after installing the new Media Player on your PC, it will be automatically set as the default music player and video player (if you haven’t already set a default media player.

You can know the default media player by looking at the file icon or in the Default app settings. For instance, after updating the Media Player app, the audio file icons will automatically change to the Media Player icon as shown below.

However, the video files in the below screenshot still use the VLC media player as the default video player.

There are two ways you can set the Media Player as the default audio or video player – from the File Explorer or Default Apps Settings.

Set Media Player as the Default App from the File Explorer

The easiest way to set the default apps for audio or video files is through File Explorer.

Locate audio or video file (file type) which you want to change the default program, right-click on it and select ‘Open with’ sub-menu, and then select ‘Choose another app’.

Next, select the ‘Media player’ option from the available options and then check ‘Always use this app to open ….. files’. Then, click ‘OK’.

If you don’t see the Media Player in the list, scroll down and click on ‘More apps’ in the list to view other apps.

And if you still can’t find the Media Player in the list, scroll down the list and then click the ‘Look for another app on this PC’ link below.

Then, select the app from where it was installed.

Now, all the files in the select extension (file type) will be directly opened in the new Media Player. The above steps set Media Player as the default player for all ‘.mp4’ files. However, you can repeat the same steps to make Media Player the default app for each file extension.

Set Media Player as the Default Apps in Windows 11 Settings

Using this method, you can set the new Media Player as the default player for any and all file formats in one place. Here’s how you do this:

Open Windows 11 Settings and then select ‘Apps’ on the left panel. Next, select ‘Default apps’ on the right pane.

In the Default apps settings page, type the file type in the search bar for which you want to change the default media player. For example. .webm, .mp3, .ac3, etc. When the current default app for the searched file format will appear in the search result below, click on it.

Next, select the Media Player as the new default from the list and then click on ‘OK’ to apply.

Follow the same steps to set the default for each file type.

You can also check default apps for all the audio and video file types and change them to Media Player in one place. To do that, use these steps:

Open Settings > Apps > Default Apps page. Under the Default apps page, scroll down the list of apps and select ‘Media Player’.

On the next screen, you will see the list of all the file types of video and audio files and their current default apps. Here, click on the file type for which you want to set the Media Player as the default app. For instance, we want to change the default app for the ‘.mp4’ format.

Then, select ‘Media Player’ and click ‘OK’ to apply.

On the same Media Player page, you can set Media Player as the default app for each file type.

Keyboard Shortcuts for the New Media Player

The New Media Player comes with a set of Keyboard shortcuts to help you help navigate the app:

ActionKeyboard shortcuts
Play or pause a media fileCtrl+P
Play the previous fileCtrl+B
Play the next fileCtrl+F
Turn shuffle on or offCtrl+H
Toggle Repeat: All/One/OffCtrl+T
Add file(s) to the queueCtrl+O
Skip back 10 secondsCtrl+Left
Skip forward 30 secondsCtrl+Right
Enter full-screen/Exit fullscreen modeF11
Turn On/Off Mini playerCtrt+M
Go to the Home tabCtrl+Shift+F
Open Music libraryCtrt+R
Open Videos library Ctrl+D
Open Play queueCtrl+Q
Open PlaylistsCtrl+Y
Open SettingsCtrl+G
Open Properties of the selected fileCtrl+I
Open Equalizer on the Media PlayerCtrl+Shift+E
Cast to DeviceCtrl+K
Set the Speed of Media file to 1x (Normal)Ctrl+Shift+J
Set the Speed of Media file to 0.5x (Slower)Ctrl+Shift+H
Set the Speed of Media file to 0.25x (Slower)Ctrl+Shift+G
Set the Speed of Media file to 1.5x (Faster)Ctrl+Shift+K
Set the Speed of Media file to 2x (Faster) Ctrl+Shift+L