How To Uninstall Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 7?

By default has Windows Media Player 12 as the default media player, if you are not happy with the performance of the Media player, you can easily downgrade the Windows Media Player 12 to WMP 11.


Though the method is not straightforward and you will need to perform a hack uninstall of WMP 12. There are several steps you will need to follow to do this.

Step 1: Download Windows Media Player 11 Installer for Windows 7 (Update: January 31, 2012 – Link updated)

Step 2: Type services.msc in Windows 7 search bar and open the services application.

Step 3: Find the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service and Stop it.

Step 4: You will need to take Ownership of several files which include:

    1. All files in Program Files\Windows Media Player\ folder
    2. All files starting with wmp in System32 folder
    3. wmploc.dll.mui in Sytem32\en-us\ folder

Step 5: Run the Windows Media Player 11 Installer you had downloaded earlier.

Step 6: Type Regedit in Windows 7 search bar and open the registry editor application.

Step 7: Delete following Registry key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Setup\Installed Versions

Step 8: Reboot your Windows 7 for the changes to take effect.

That’s it, with these steps you will be able to downgrade WMP 12 and use WMP 11 instead. Want to share any Windows 7 tips? Feel free to contact us with your tips.

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • CekÅŸ

    Dont work!

    Server Execution Failed error

    • I'm having this problem too, although everything else appears to be working with it

  • Velik

    Didnt work for me, but I did find that there is a procedure for setting up hidden beta features in windows 7 which allow a similar feature for wmp 12. Now my question is how do i get WMP 12 back : (

    • Jonathan

      Go n the microsoft site

  • Blake

    Didn’t work for me either. it only crapped up the installation. as for a fix for this, i did a system restore to about a day before and now it works fine. i still wish i had wmp11 back tho because it was more stable for me.

  • Blake

    states that it only works for 32-bit system. this solves the puzzle for me as mine is 64-bit.

  • DenyM

    I think this command is restore windows media player 12…

    • Radwa

      not really :(

  • Pingback: Uninstall/Re-install Media Player 12 - Windows 7 Forums()

  • wart0g

    Side note: Oh, and by the way, this only works for 32-bit operating systems.
    Would’ve been nice to know before screwing up WMP 12.

  • Jason Kingsbury

    This is a good tutorial, however once I uninstalled wmp 12 I realised you cant go back – or I don’t know how. IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHETHER YOU WANT TO KEEP WMP 12 OR NOT DO NOT UNINSTALL. Now I have to wait until Wmp 12 is released to reinstall it.. :(

  • Justin

    Is it maybe possible to actually give directions for the title of the article…uninstalling something does not mean to downgrade it. A complete uninstall is more productive considering WMP is basically garbage to begin with

  • Val

    Hey guys! I discovered how to uninstall windows media player 12 from windows 7 without a scratch!!!

    1- Go to control Panel
    2- Choose programs and feature (not uninstall)
    3- CHoose Turn Windows Feature On or Off on the left of the screen
    4- Find Media Features
    5- Unmark Media Features then press Ok
    6- Simply restart, and reinstall media player 11 (or the one you’d like)

    (Sorry for my bad English, I’m usually speaking french :D)

    • This works fine on any version. Best recommendation.

    • GBo


    • Evaristo Estevez

      Thanks for your tip! Invaluable. I hope that I'll be able now to associate media files with SMPlayer, finally.

      (MS really go to great lengths to avoid competition. 1 hour of my weekend time. Multiply this by millions of users…)

    • victor gomez

      seria posible poner imagenes (español)
      You can upload images? (ingles)

    • georgia

      Thanks so much Val!!! I owe you a big one.


  • Persi

    Even it didn’t worked for me. After step 4, while following the step 5 installing the Windows Media Player 11 Installer I got lot off error messages. I ignored all those and after that continued with 6,7,8. But at last the windows media player crashed

  • André Almeida

    Between step 6 and 7, you can EXPORT the key, before the deletion, and in the future, you can restore the key too. This solves the problems of “windows media 12 crash”.

    Other way is to create a system restore point.

    I hope this helps you guys!


  • John

    Also, thanks to the jackals at Microshaft, if you disable Windows Media Player, it also disables Media Center as Media Center is dependant on Media Player.

  • Gerry

    Thanks. It works ! WMP 12 is total crap.

  • Danny

    Would it be possible to go even further back and 'downgrade' to WMP 10? It's much better than either 11 or 12. Cheers.

    • Kal

      I totally agree that WMP 10 is by far the best while WMP 11 and 12 really suck.
      Unfortunately WMP 10 can be installed only on Win XP 32-bit.

  • amit ranjan

    hey i m using window 7 n all my icons in my desktop starts with window media player ….how i can get rid of it ??
    plzzz reply quickly bcz i m facing lot's of prblm ……
    i m thnkful to u …..

  • jelenam92

    I am sorry for asking this, i know it is not a topic, but, still……..
    My now playing list doesn't look like this. It doesn't have the names of the songs i play. If i want to see all the songs from the list i have to go to the library. How do i change this? I didn't find it anywhere in the options.
    Thanks…….. and sorry……..

  • zyg_b

    "need to take Ownership" – what exactly do you mean by that ? Can you please explaine in a simpler languge ?

    • sammy

      just go to properties of the folder and then to security and then to advanced….but dont go with this trick its bogus man i am afraid u will lose ur WMP 12 bro

  • mike

    This is useless…no offence but you did not even explain how tyo "take onwership" of those files you mentions ..I don't kno what the heck that means and most people other than computer geeks probably don't

  • Lucas

    destroyed my windows, happy?

    • silvanfay

      unhappy :(

  • sammy

    hahahahaaaaaaaaaa ……dear friends …like u i also lost my WMP 12 now i am using media centre of windows 7….frnds dont try this it doesn't work. Anyway thanks frends to teach me something …..

  • Kayo

    I don't know what you guys did to screw this up, but i followed this into the smallest detail and it all works.
    the icon looks like the one of Wmp 12
    but its definetly 11.
    This tut was really helpfull.
    I suggest you guys take another look at this, you probably did something wrong.

  • Dillion

    thanks alot. now i cant get windows media player 12 back and i dont know what to do about it. if anyone could help PLEASE!

    • samer

      search windows media player 12 and download it

  • freezingicekirby

    I tried this, and for the longest time it worked. Then, accidentally I think Windows Update downloaded an update for WMP12 (or something), and ever since then the thing has been terribly screwed up… and redoing everything explained here didn't work (and I'm not sure what Update it was). It was also too late for me to do a System Restore, so that was out of the question.

    Now I'm stuck without any Windows Media Player… :(

  • Hi,

    I have seen this same instructions a bit for all over the net.

    To be honest, none of this steps allowed me to play wmp on win7.

    It still keeps telling me that it needs to be reinstall.

    Thank you