How to play movies in Windows

This article was modified on 2012-08-28 17:03:30

What program should I use for playing movies on my laptop ? I am using Windows 7 on my laptop and Windows XP on an older desktop system. I always tried all kind of movie players and some of them install all kind of adware crap while others works well but they don`t support all video files. Could you recommend me a good free media player ?

Unfortunately, I had the same problem when I tried to run different media files, especially movies. Some of them were difficult to use while others were full of adware or they simply didn`t worked. That was a long time ago but from experience I can recommend you a combination of codecs and a good media player.

This is the second edition of this article. The following method should work on Windows XP, Vista and 7. Although we didn`t tested this method on other Windows OS it will probably work on others too. We are going to talk about what programs you need to watch or play movies in Windows. One of the most common mistake that people make when trying to open a movie in a popular format is to install as many codecs they can.

From my experience I`ve learned that this is not a smart thing to do ( a lot of incompatibilities ). In order to be able to play certain media files you need either a player that has all the codecs integrated or a pack of codecs that will run well when used with another media player. The Internet is full of media players and codecs you just have to use only those that will deliver the best experience or should I say results.

First of all before doing anything else I am asking you to access CONTROL PANEL in your Windows XP/Vista/7 ( or any other Windows version ) go to ADD/REMOVE Programs and Uninstall any other installed codecs and Restart-Reboot Windows if required. Make sure that you`re not running any other codecs. Feel free to uninstall any other media player that you are using if it`s using his own codecs database.

If you removed other codecs and players from your computer, it`s time to install two different programs. Both of them are free, no malware or other bad stuff. Don`t worry, the first one will be installed and you can forget about it, it`s that good. The second one will be used each time you want to view or play a movie on your computer/laptop.

Since this article has been renewed ( this is the second version ) I have separated the content. I am talking about K-Lite Codec Pack and GOM Media Player. Both of them will work and you should experience great results so here`s what you need to do:

STEP 1: The first thing is to install the right codecs. Download K-Lite Codec Pack and after this install K-Lite Codec Pack on your computer. Follow the blue links as I have written other articles that will show you how to install the codecs if you need help.

STEP 2: Once you have the codecs installed now you can get the media player. Download GOM Player ( formerly known as GOM Media Player ) and install GOM Player on your computer. Again if you need assistance, follow the blue links as I written another article just in case that you would need help.

Important Note: When I wrote this article for the first time ( first version in 2009 ) GOM Player was free of adware. Now when I am renewing this article for the second time ( 2012 ) I`ve noticed that GOM Player will start a small window once each day ( only when you will use it ) saying that it will display a small ad. I`ve checked this and it`s not malware or anything else, they are just showing an ad inside their software each time when you`re using it. You don`t have to wait or anything like that, it can be closed instantly. It`s harmless and I hope they will keep it this way as I really like and recommend this media player.
Congratulations, once you have installed those two programs you should be able to play 99 % of all movies downloaded from the Internet. I am talking about common media files such as AVI and many others. If you do have another favorite media player you can try to see if it`s working well with K-Lite Codec Pack and if it`s working it`s even better. As far as I know, GOM Player doesn`t interfere with other players but as I said, if you do have another player feel free to uninstall GOM Player and use the one that you like.

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