How To Play MKV Files In Windows Media Player In Windows 8

If you’re like me, you’ll probably have several MKV videos in your computer. If yes, you might have to use another video player for playing such files. The Windows’ default Windows Media Player is pretty impressive though, but sadly it doesn’t support playing MKV files yet. Microsoft has added support for many commonly used formats like MP4, but not MKV. Fortunately, such a problem is solved by using codecs. You may use other media players like VLC, for playing MKV files. You can even find some MKV players on the store. But if you think differently, and want to play them using Windows Media Player, you need to install a codec. Without it, WMP won’t play this file type. Fortunately, the codec is now available, so let’s install it and enjoy playing MKV files in Windows Media Player.

You can try opening an MKV file anyway. Don’t be disappointed though.

You can follow the link to the Store, where you can find a couple of applications that can not necessarily play, but interact with MKV files.

But our main goal is to play MKV files in WMP, so let’s try forcing it to play the file. Open the file once again, and this time, click “More options”.

Select Windows Media Player from the list.

You’ll see a message like this. Press “Yes” because we just want to see if it even plays or not. It’s like if you’re aware of the fact that Chinese is a language, but you don’t know how to read it, and I’m asking you to try anyway.

Nope. You cannot speak Chinese. Windows Media Player doesn’t know what this format is. It needs to be told, and the only way to do so is by installing the codec.

Let’s grab the codec now. It is available for download over at Shark007.net (link is provided at the end of this article).


After it’s downloaded, run it. There’s some extra stuff bundled with the installer, decide whether you need it or not. The rest of the installation is straightforward.

Once installed, it will open a web page and the settings panel for the codec. If you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows 8, be sure to install the x64 components addons after you’ve installed the codec. The link will be in the web page that opens.

Once that’s done, you can play with the settings of the codec. I wouldn’t recommend doing that though, so let’s just apply the recommended settings.

It’s a part of the recommended settings to associate all MKV files with Windows Media Player. Pretty handy.

Now check that MKV file again. It has a WMP icon, means it will open easily now. There’s also a thumbnail preview displayed, just like all the other supported video files.

Time to put it to the test. Now you can try playing any MKV file using Windows Media Player and it will hopefully play just fine.

There you go, that’s how you can play MKV files using Windows Media Player, Gangnam Style!

Get Windows 8 Codecs from Shark007.net

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  • lainIwakura

    or in 2 click download & install vlc . . .

    • Key2020

      No VLC for windows 8 yet

  • KJ

    You need a demultiplexer to read MKV, not a codec. It is a container format, not a video or audio stream. Just install Haali Media Splitter and WMP should have no problems opening MKVs.

  • Safrane

    I just discovered a Windows 8 app called PressPlay that seems to play MKV files. Haven’t tried it yet
    http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/pressplay-video/14524998-116a-406f-994b-fefc4caa91dc

  • http://www.facebook.com/ymopuri YasHwanth Mopuri

    I Installed it..Woriking fine, But the thumnail is showing up (like it shows for mp4)
    Can we get Thumnails for that

  • Ahmed

    thanks, works great on Win 7 too

  • Tonya Rabish

    in order to play mkv in windows media player, a recommended solution is convert mkv to wmp more compatible wmv, avi, mpg or asf

    iDealshare VideoGo is just the right mkv to windows media player converter, besides converting mkv to windows media player format, it also helps to convert vob, mp4, mov, flv, mpg, wtv, rmvb and etc

  • Brucelove

    Recommend Bigasoft Total Video Converter.

    This Converter can easily convert mkv to WMP compatible format.

  • Mon

    Worked perfect! Thank you!!

  • The Truth

    F**k you. Seriously installs software you don’t need or even asked for. You can’t prevent it and can’t be deleted! DON’T GO TO THE SITE and report this guy.

  • jz100

    This is ridiculous to follow, especially with all the stupid 100 download links on every webpage.