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By Kayla Collins - Last Updated: Contact Author

4 Ways to Play DVD on Windows 10 for Free | Solutions & Tips

If your Windows 10 won't play DVD, there may be several reasons. But don't worry. This article will address your problem of how to play a DVD on Windows 10 and walk you through 4 different solutions.

Why Can't I Play DVDs on Windows 10?

If you find there is no default app in Windows 10 operating system can deal with the DVD playback issue, the most immediate factor is that Windows 10 has killed the good old Windows Media Center that is capable of DVD playback.

On the one hand, laptop nowadays rarely shipped with DVD drives, on the other hand, Microsoft prefer not to pay large sum of licensing fee to patent holders that enables DVD playback on Windows.

In this case, you are recommended to try either of the free ways:

If you already have a player that can help you play DVD in Windows, but some of your disc still cannot be watched. That's because those DVDs are dusty, scratched, smudged or encrypted with region locks, CSS, DRM, ARccOS, etc. In this case, you need to:

Otherwise, there is another solution:

Method 1. Download Windows DVD Player from Microsoft Windows Store

Some Windows users wonder if Windows Media Player plays DVDs. There are some facts that you should know:

Fact #1: You cannot play DVDs with Windows Media Player by default.

Fact #2: Windows 10 removed the built-in DVD codec from Windows Media Player. You need to install paid DVD decoder plugin to enable DVD playback on WMP.

Fact #3: Windows Media Player doesn't support Blu-ray Disc form

WMP is not perfect in terms of playing DVD even on Windows 7. For one thing, full DVD capability is not available on Home Basic or Starter versions. Consequently, you might take the risk to download DVD codec from unreliable resources and get their programs frozen or crashed, and you easily get overwhelmed by patches after patches fixing.

So Windows Media Player is not a good method to consider in these regards. Instead, if you prefer a native support of DVD playback on Windows, we recommend you to download Windows DVD Player app from Windows Store.

Windows DVD player was released on Windows 10 to fill the void of native DVD playback utility. Users upgrading from Windows 7 and Windows 8 are entitled to have a free piece of this DVD player developed by Microsoft. However, if you have a clean install of Windows 10, that freebie won't come along. To use the Windows DVD Player, you need to shell out $15 at Microsoft Store.

If you happen to have Windows DVD players free installed, you can try to insert DVD to play. Otherwise, reviews under this Microsoft product are sending a giant red flag if you ever checked them.

Bonus Tips: AutoPlay Settings for DVDs on Windows

If your DVD won't auto-play after inserting into DVD drive, you can toggle on AutoPlay settings via Windows system settings:
Open Windows Control panel > search for AutoPlay > Enable it and save settings.

Method 2. Play DVDs on Windows 10 with VLC Media Player

There are bunch of free DVD players for Windows 10, and VLC Media Player is the most recommended one.

VLC Media Player from VideoLAN is one of the most popular open source video players for all platforms. It plays mainstream media files and discs including VCDs, DVDs, CDs, and supports DLNA, Plug'n'Play and other streaming protocols. If you already have VLC installed, you can get started right away to playback your discs.

How to Play DVD on Windows 10 with VLC

Step 1. Insert DVD into the drive

Step 2. Launch VLC player

Step 3. Media/File > Open Folder > Choose DVD folder

You can click the disc icon or choose a directory that contains VIDEO_TS or ISO image to playback.

Play DVD on Windows 10 with VLC

But VLC Won't Play Certain DVDs

There are times VLC fails. VLC doesn't support Blu-ray and encrypted disks. Issues such as DVD repeatedly rejected by VLC, playback stuttering, VLC skips DVD are annoying. Installing libdvddcss, libdvdread and libdvdnav to playback encrypted DVDs is time consuming, and might not work all the times. For these situations, you can digitize DVDs even if it's encrypted or scratched.

Besides VLC, there are free media players such as Kodi, 5kplayer and media portal to play DVD on Windows 10.

Method 3. Rip and Digitize DVDs to MP4, ISO Image, Video_TS, etc.

Ripping DVDs to videos for playback on Windows is a brilliant idea to avoid several issues, such as:

  1. Some of your old discs are dusty, smudged, scratched or slightly damaged, so the DVD player fails to read them.
  2. Most of your new DVDs are copy protected, so you can't play such DVDs on Windows 10 directly.
  3. Play DVDs on Windows 10 could be exhausting when you fumbles for DVDs every time, and get endless patches or install codec for different DVD disc. Next time when you insert a DVD, you have to go over again. Besides, it's hard to curate your fabulous DVD collections.

Ripping or cloning them into digital media stored on computer or external hard drive are good ways to go. You won't need to worry about the support of DVD decoder or decryption ability of your DVD player, or to repeatedly insert physical DVDs. And you can cast digitized video to TV and other home media center. For all the dreams to come true, the tool to be used is VideoProc.

VideoProc - All-in-one video editor, DVD ripper, video downloader and screen recorder.

  • • Digitize DVD disc into most compatible MP4 and other format of your choice (MOV, MKV, AVI, iPhone, iPad, TV, Xbox compatible format, etc.
  • • Handle even the most demanding scenarios such as dusty DVDs, scratched DVD, 99-titled DVD.
  • • Auto-check DVD title and rip DVD in correct order.
  • • Eliminate errors such as A/V out of sync, no audio after ripping.
  • • Level-3 hardware acceleration supported for rocket speed ripping.
  • • Essential tools to trim, cut, rotate, crop, download and record videos.

How to Digitize DVDs via VideoProc to Playback on Windows 10

Step 1. Insert DVD into DVD drive on your machine, and launch VideoProc.

Click DVD - VideoProc

Step 2. Go to DVD module, and click Disc icon on top left. VideoProc will auto detect your DVD file type, so you can keep the first box checked. Click Done.

Select Source DVD Disc - VideoProc

Step 3. Select a target format into which you want to rip your DVDs. There are many handy presets to select from.

Popular: Formats you frequently used or selected last time will appear here.

DVD backup: digitize DVDs into Video_TS folder, create ISO image from DVDs, copy content and title into MPEG-2 or MKV, etc.

Music: Save music from DVD, store the tracks in MP3, AAC, FLAC, AC3 and more formats.

Mobile Video Profile: You don't need to worry about output format, just simply choose your mobile model, and let VideoProc converts DVD into device compatible format.

Web Video Profile: Use presets to convert DVD into YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and other platform specific format.

Step 4. Click Run to digitize your DVD at high speed.

Tips: You can check the boxes of Hardware Acceleration and Use high Quality Engine to rip DVD at full speed and retain high quality.

Also read:
Create ISO image from DVD via VideoProc >>
How to De-interlace DVD via VideoProc>>

Method 4. Use External USB DVD Drives

As analyzed above, Windows 10 removed free DVD playback utility from WMP, and retired Windows Media Center, partly due to patent fees. With an external USB DVD drives, there is a good chance that the manufacturer include those codecs to for you to watch DVD on Windows 10.

Sure this is not a free method. However, many USB DVD drives now also functions as CD/DVD burner. If you still burn discs today, it might be a good choice to kill two birds with one stone.

Bottom Line

The sound of DVDs revving up is the memory for good old times. If you still hold tons of sweet memories in those DVDs, you can play it with VLC, 5KPlayer or Kodi on Windows 10. Plus, a safer way to backup content from DVDs is to digitize them for smooth playback and archive. VideoProc readily convert DVDs for you to watch, be it DVDs you bought from other regions, 99-title, DRM CSS and other encrypted ones.


Kayla Collins

Kayla Collins, a senior member of Digiarty software for 5 years, knows a thing or two about digital devices & video processing software like GoPro, DSLR camera, Drone, iPhone iPad, iMac, iMovie, etc. and is glad to share her knowledge to help people out of trouble. She's also deeply passionate about yoga, jogging, roller-skating, handcraft, reading, music, movie and more.

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