I can’t play WMA files

A reader is having trouble playing audio files:

“Sometime back, suddenly, in Windows 10, I have not been able to open WMA files. I have so many it’s a shame I can’t play them without converting them to MP3 or?? And that process is very time consuming I find.”

Are all of the files from a similar source? Perhaps music ripped from CDs or purchased from a particular music service?

I ask this because the issue may have something to do with DRM or digital rights management for the songs. Many electronic media files have a signature that lets the operating system know these files are pirated. But sometimes that information needs to be updated.

If the music was ripped from CDs, you may need to remove the DRM.

Microsoft offers a digital rights update tool for free in the Windows Store.  Just click on the store icon to open and search for Digital Rights Update Tool. Or click here.


Then click on Get and then Install.



The program has a pretty simple interface.


Click the folder icon at the top and then select the folder with the music that won’t play. The program will remove the DRM from any files it can.


If all of the music came from a particular service, you may wish to check to see if you need to refresh the DRM. That does happen sometimes.

Also, if this is happening in the Windows Media Player, try the built-in Groove Music app instead or vice-versa if Groove Music is giving you the problem.

You may also want to consider reinstalling Windows Media Player.  You can do that by clicking here and choosing Download.



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