How can I play a DVD movie in Windows XP?

Microsoft Windows XP users that do not have a Windows DVD player program installed, DVD codec, or a DVD decoder will be unable to play a DVD movie using the Microsoft Windows Media player to play their DVD movies. Often you'll get an error similar to the below message.

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 required to play a DVD movie in VLC.

Note: In order for the steps below to work, your computer does still need to have a DVD player in order to read the DVD.

  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 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.