Microsoft has discontinued Windows Media Center and won’t bring it back to Windows 11. Users have been complaining that they’re missing the popular software’s DVD playback capabilities in Windows 10 and Windows 11. According to rumors, the company is unwilling to pay for licensing fees for DVD playback anymore because many users are switching over to streaming services. With millions of users missing out on this feature, Microsoft doesn’t seem so eager to reintroduce DVD playback. So where does this leave people who collect a lot of DVDs? Well, fortunately there are several free “Best Windows DVD players” you can use on Windows 10/11 as an alternative if your preferred program no longer works.

In this guide, we’ll introduce 10 of the best free DVD player programs for Windows 10/11 that you can download right now and get your movies onto your monitor more quickly than ever before. Comparing each one carefully, we identified our top 10 picks based on their compatibility with OS X and Windows operating systems, media playback ability, interface design, downloads from CNET, Softonic or other third-party software download sites as well as user reviews. Read the following reviews and find the best free programs to play DVDs in your PC tomorrow!

  1. Windows DVD Player

The first Windows 10 DVD player that we will introduce here is Microsoft’s official app – Windows DVD Player. It can read any DVD disc that is in DVD-Video format which means it is capable of playing both standard DVDs, store-bought discs, and also user-created ones. However, the same cannot be said for those wanting to watch Blu-ray discs as this particular software does not support it.

Windows DVD Player is offered at $14.99 in Microsoft Store. However, if you upgraded to Windows 10 for free from Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate or 8/8.1 with Windows Media Center, so long as your device was eligible for the upgrade you will be able to download Windows DVD Player from Windows Store completely free. If your new PC already came installed with a DVD player, there is no need to purchase it again. It offers a free trial that’s good for up to seven days of unlimited use but it requires registering on their website before it can be removed at which point you would have to pay for it.

How to play DVD on Windows 10 with Windows DVD Player

Step 1: You’ll need to download Windows DVD Player, which you can get from the Microsoft Store.

Step2: Once installed, launch it, insert your DVD and select Play.

If you’re not eligible to install a free version of Windows DVD Player or Redbox on your computer or simply wouldn’t like to pay $15 for the app or find Windows DVD Player not opening, crashing or not recognizing any DVDs, continue reading to learn about an alternative to either (or both) of them.

To Play and Convert DVD on Windows 10/11, We Recommend WinX DVD Ripper

  1. The great thing about this software is that it can copy any DVD, whether it’s a homemade or a copy-protected one.
  2. It copies the file onto your hard drive, an external device like a USB stick or Network Attached Storage (NAS), the cloud, an iPhone or Android phone!
  3. It converts DVDs to MPEG2, AVI, WMV, MOV, ISO and MP3 and other popular formats.
  4. The conversion process is fast and preserves the quality of the original disc.

Best Windows DVD players

  1. VLC Media Player

Of the various DVD players for Windows 10, the one that may be the most popular is VLC Media Player. This app has versions available on all versions of Microsoft Windows including those that are running on Windows 11. A new version of VLC Media Player Win32 is among those apps offered in Microsoft Store on Windows 11 with DVD support.

VLC is able to play DVD discs and folders, as well as ISO files. The “Play a DVD movie” option lets users automatically play DVDs when they are inserted, but many VLC users have reported that it has problems playing DVDs on Windows 7/8/10/11.

Other features offered by VLC:

  • Play video/audio files in popular formats on other platforms (i.e. Mac OS X, Linux, Unix…).
  • The best player to play DVDs and CDs.
  • Convert media files from one type to another.
  • For example, take a DVD’s worth of data and convert it to an MP4 file.

How to play DVD on Windows 10 with VLC

Step 1. Click here to download VLC media player and install

Step 2. Double-click the desktop icon labeled VLC Media Player to open the application and click the button to play.

VLC Media Player

  1. 5KPlayer

5KPlayer is a free media player capable of playing DVDs on Windows 10 (64 bit & 32 bit), 8.1, 8, 7 and the new Windows 11. Since released, it has been widely acclaimed by users around the world and earned a solid spot as one of the top 10 downloads in Multimedia for Windows on popular download site Softonic.

With this tool, Windows 10 users can play any regular DVDs and also commercially copy-protected and region code locked DVDs with one-button operation – without needing to install any codecs on their device. This program comes with a modern design that’s simple and easy to understand within a short period of time for its user base.

Top features provided by 5KPlayer:

  • Play videos and music in more file formats, including MP4, AVI, MKV, HEVC, MOV (including in Full HD), WMV, AAC and AMR
  • Free download videos/movies/music from 1000+ online video sites.
  • Video/music lovers can download/convert online music to MP3, AAC, or MP4 via windows, mac, android.

5KPlayer is a Windows 10 application used to play DVDs. If you’re trying to find a player that’s capable of getting past the encryption imposed by region codes from DVD disc, this might have what you’ve been looking for all along!

How to play DVD on Windows 10 with 5KPlayer

Step 1: Click the “Launch 5KPlayer” button and then download, install, and launch 5KPlayer.

Step 2: Choose “Local File” as the source file by clicking the DVD icon in the top right corner of the interface, and click Play on the bottom right.

 

  1. DVD Player – FREE

DVD Player – FREE is an exciting piece of software that can be installed and run on Windows 10 version 17134.0 or higher. DVD Player – FREE provides the ability to play DVDs and popular videos with relative ease. Other than the ability to play DVDs, it also allows you to open DVD folders and ISO files effortlessly.

DVD Player

It also enables you to:

  • Play VCD, Blu-ray & more;
  • Play file formats like mp4, .wmv, .mkv, m4v , mov, avi, mpg, mts and more;
  • Select desired sound tracks and subtitles;
  • Select external subtitle

 

  1. MPC-HC

Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) is the best free DVD player for Windows. This free DVD player software has the ability to play DVDs with menus, chapter navigation, and subtitles. MPC-HC can play DVDs, CDs, and all popular multimedia formats. It works on all versions of Windows and it’s easy to setup. A perfect video beta testing freeware that runs smoothly without any bugs or incompatibilities. Unfortunately, MPC-HC 1.7.13 is the final version and there is no update as of July 16, 2017. However you can still download Media Player Classic Home Cinema to be used as a video playback tool in your streaming media account like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video!

What you know about MPC-HC:

  • Lightweight and readily available, it’s compatible with Windows 10 as well as earlier (i.e. 2015) versions of the operating system.
  • It supports a wide range of formats including Mov, Avi, Mp4, Mpg, Qvh, M1v, Ts, Vob and more!
  1. Kodi

Kodi is a free and open-source app that is used to manage your local digital media. You can download it in the Microsoft store and it’s compatible with Windows 10. The app has been used by millions of users worldwide across devices, including PCs, tablets, Xbox One and Windows smartphones. It’s also region-free DVD software as you can set the DVD player region free and auto playback, play mode etc. In addition to letting you play music, radio and TV shows chart each week.

KODI

What you know about Kodi:

  • It works on a variety of devices including Windows (Windows 10 version 16299.0 or higher, Windows 10 version 14393.351 or higher), Android, iOS and MacOS.
  • Kodi users can access thousands of add-ons to watch live events, shows, movies and more.

 

  1. GOM Media Player

Another option to play DVDs on Windows 10 for free: try the free DVD player software for Windows 10 – GOM Media Player. It has a wide range of embedded video codecs, including Vorbis, FLAC, ADPCM, XVID, MP41, MP42, MP43 and more. This allows you to play AVI, MP4 and MOV files as well as other movie file formats like WMV and MKV with ease. If you’re looking to play some other 4K content though (for example H264 or H265 formats), you will have to purchase the Plus upgrade at $25 because that feature is not supported out of the box in the program.

Best features of GOM Media Player:

  • It offers a wide selection of VR and 360° video playback.
  • It has a strong catalogue of subtitles to choose from, especially in foreign languages.
  • If your videos do not play, you can use it to fix the file or re-encode it.

 

  1. KMPlayer

KMPlayer is a good video player that’s compatible with Windows 7 and 8 or earlier, as well as 64-bit versions of Windows. Most media file types can be watched via KMPlayer, and you also have the option of watching Blu-ray discs in high definition. As an added bonus, the updated versions support 4K resolution, 60 fps playback on high-end PCs (w/ smooth playback and quality).

The Windows 10 DVD player supports:

  • Support 3G2, 3GP, AVI, FLV, MKV, MOV, MPEG, and MP4 formats as well as a variety of less popular but still commonly used formats.
  • Additionally support subtitles in SMI, ASS, SRT, PSB, S2K, SUB, TXT and LRC formats.

 

  1. PotPlayer

PotPlayer is an excellent alternative as a free DVD player for Windows 10. PotPlayer supports video, audio, DVDs and Blu-rays, among other formats. In fact, you can add the OpenCodec plugin to let it play whatever codecs need. The best part is that it applies hardware acceleration using DXVA, CUDA, QuickSync and so on in order to offer the best playback and minimum CPU usage.

You may like to know:

  • Full 3D glasses support with various output formats – Side by Side, Top and Bottom, Page Flipping.
  • Text subtitles (SMI & SRT), DVD (Vobsub) and Blu-ray subtitles, ***/SSA animation, Smi tags and other formats are supported.

KM-Player

 

10: PowerDVD

For those who are interested in watching high quality video for free on Windows 10, try PowerDVD. This player has many features that can benefit movie enthusiasts such as the ability to support playback of Blu-ray & DVD items, and also backup content from YouTube or Vimeo, stored sources like Vob, MOV and MKV files, and most media formats and codecs. This app is updated with Ultra HD 4K, HDR & 8K capabilities as well as audio in Dolby and DTS so you can experience the best possible video & audio qualities. Though the pricing options aren’t cheap at $59.99 (USD).

Best features of the free DVD player for windows 10:

  • True Full Screen for Blu-ray Disc Playback.
  • TrueTheater HDR & GPU support for HDR video playback
  • It will switch between different region codes

FAQs:

Q1. Does Windows 10 have a DVD player?

Windows 10 doesn’t have a default DVD player. It is built on Windows 8, the operating system without DVD playback built in. You’ll have to purchase Windows software to enable your PC or its apps to play DVDs. Since media playing is a big feature of Windows Media Center, you might think that buying the $14.99 add-on would be worthwhile for anyone running this previous version of Windows and considering an upgrade to Windows 10 . However, if you are upgrading from Windows 7 or 8 and don’t already own Media Center, it is not possible to get a copy of it from Microsoft.

Q2. How can I watch DVD on Windows 10?

Today’s ultrathin laptops and tablets don’t even have DVD drives, and there is a trend emerging in DVD playback that is watching DVDs with digital copies rather than physical discs. If you are looking for the best solution to play DVD with Windows 10, etc., UFUSoft Windows 10 DVD Player completely satisfies your need.

WinX DVD Ripper is a nice option for ripping discs, especially if you need to break the typical constraints that certain types of discs pose. Whether you’re in need of media such as MP4 from a workout DVD or H.264 from an older 20th-century film, it’s possible with WinX DVD Ripper to convert them into whatever type of file format suits you best. And by utilizing HEVC and H.264 video files, you can shrink your disc down to eighty percent of its original size with no noticeable loss in quality!

Q3. What is the best DVD player for Windows 10?

Here are the top 10 best free DVD players for Windows 10, chosen by Tech Wiser. You may want to check out their functions and download a program you like for playing DVDs smoothly.

Q4. Why Windows 10 DVD Player can’t open?

If your Windows DVD Player was working fine but all of a sudden turned gray, how can you fix it? Some users see this issue fixed by running a system restore and picking a date when their problem didn’t exist as the restore point.

Q5. Why does my DVD not play on Windows Media Player?

Windows Media Player doesn’t support playback of DVDs on Windows 10. Actually, Microsoft has removed the DVD decoder from WMP on Windows 10 in favor of a new app dubbed Movies & TV. Moreover, this new app supports playback of both DVD movies and Blu-Ray discs. There are a few reasons for this potential issue:

  • A compatible DVD decoder isn’t installed on your computer.
  • The disc is dirty or damaged.
  • Some suspicious software is installed and ruins WMP performance.

Conclusion:

So now that we’ve covered our top 10 best DVD players for Windows 10 and answered frequently asked questions about DVD playback on Windows 10, it should be easy to choose a movie player which is right for you. VLC and 5KPlayer are some of the most recommended programs included in this list, due to their ease-of-use and fast speed. Both homemade and commercial DVDs can be played on Windows 10/11 without issues. With these players, there are many bonus features too; VLC has integrated subtitles while 5KPlayer offers a background skipper. Other options on this list also work well. If you’re still stumped as to which DVD player will work best for your needs, don’t worry: just give one of them a try!