How to play a DVD movie in Windows XP

Windows XP users who do not have either a DVD player program, DVD codec, or a DVD decoder will be unable to watch movies using the Windows Media Player. Often, users receive an error message similar to the one below.

Windows Media Player cannot play the DVD because a problem occurred with digital copyright protection.

VLC playerTo play a DVD movie in Windows XP, we suggest using a third-party software DVD player. Although there are dozens of different programs available to play DVD movies, we suggest the free media player VLC, which is fully capable of playing all DVD movies and other movie files. Below are the steps to play a DVD movie in VLC.

Note: Your computer will still need to have a DVD drive to read the DVD and play the movie using the steps below.

  1. Download the VLC media player from
  2. Once downloaded, run the file to install the program on your computer.
  3. Insert a DVD into the optical drive on your computer and open the VLC media player.
  4. In the VLC media player, click the Play button. If the movie does not start automatically, you'll be prompted with what to play. Click the Disk tab and select the DVD to start the movie immediately or view the DVD menu to start the DVD from the menu, and then click OK.

Additional information

  • See our DVD definition for further information and related links.