Watching DVD Movies on Windows 10

25 Mar Watching DVD Movies on Windows 10

Q. I upgraded my computer to Windows 10 and find it does not have the ability to play DVD movies. Why is this, and what do I need to do to play my movies?

A. As the DVD format lost ground to streaming video, many computer makers stopped including DVD drives in their hardware. The licensing fees required to include certain DVD video playback software within the operating system was a factor in Microsoft’s move to start phasing out the feature from Windows a few years ago. (Windows should still be able to read files burned to DVD data-storage discs, though.)

As for playing a DVD movie on your computer, the Windows 10 “feature deprecation” list on Microsoft’s site (which notes that Windows Media Center will be removed during the upgrade process) says the app Windows DVD Player will be installed when you run the Windows Update program after the Windows 10 upgrade. However, not all previous Windows systems are eligible for Microsoft’s free, limited-time offer of DVD playback software.

To qualify, you need to have upgraded your computer from Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center. The Windows Media Center software for DVD playback and other tasks was once available as an optional purchase for Windows 8 users, but it has since been discontinued.

For systems that do not meet the requirements for the free software, Microsoft sells Windows DVD Player online for about $15, but the programdoes not have particularly good reviews from users. Third-party DVD video player programs designed for Windows 10 are another alternative and can be found online.

The VLC media player from VideoLAN is one such app that many people have adopted. The app is open-source, cross-platform and plays most DVDs, audio CDs, video CDs, multimedia file formats and video streams. The program is also free to download and use, and its creators accept small donations from users.