While Windows 10 is improving by leaps and bounds, there are some legacy features the new OS is sadly leaving behind. It’s the same case with the built-in DVD player. For years, Windows users could play DVDs with the native Windows Media Center application without any problem. However, due to some issues with proprietary codecs, Microsoft had to forego the once-popular Windows Media Center. Now that WMC is discontinued, users are out on a limb. So in this article, I have shared the 10 best DVD players for Windows 10 in 2021 that work flawlessly. Along with that, I have provided some additional tips to make the DVD playback seamless on your PC. So without wasting any time, let us begin.
The Best DVD Players for Windows 10 (Updated February 2021)
In this article, we have shared the 10 best DVD players for Windows 10. Almost all the apps support and can play a large number of DVD media formats. Besides the third-party apps, we have also included a DVD player developed by Microsoft. You can click on the link below to easily move to the apps. But before that let’s find out what exactly happened to the Windows Media Center.
What Happened to the Windows Media Center?
Windows Media Center was a popular media application that had support for several media formats. It could play media files directly from the DVD without any codec or incompatibility issues. However, due to licensing issues with the MPEG2 codec, Microsoft had to remove built-in DVD playback support from Windows Media Center.
Gradually, WMC faded into oblivion and Microsoft discontinued the product after the release of Windows 10. At present, there is no native way to play DVDs on Windows 10. But you don’t have to worry at all. We have got some amazing third-party apps that can play DVDs without any issue. So without further ado, let’s begin with the best DVD players for Windows 10.
List of Top Windows 10 DVD Players
1. VLC Media Player
VLC doesn’t need much introduction, but if you have no idea about it, let me briefly tell you about this awesome app. VLC is a free and open-source media player that supports countless numbers of media formats. It can play DVD, CD, Blu-ray, and both encrypted and unencrypted DVDs, along with standard audio and video formats.
Talking about the performance, it’s simply top-notch and plays videos without any stuttering issues. You won’t find any incompatibility problems, lag, or audio issues with VLC, largely due to its huge library of reliable decoders and encoders.
VLC heavily relies on the open-source FFmpeg project which provides many alternatives to proprietary codecs. All in all, it’s one of the best apps among all the DVD players for Windows 10 and you simply can’t go wrong with it. To learn more about the app, you can go through our article on the best VLC tips and tricks.
- Free and open-source
- Supports countless media formats
- Compatible with DVD formats
- Supports Blu-ray playback
- Based on the FFmpeg project
- Subtitle support
- Some might find the UI boring
Download VLC Media Player (Free)
Note: You must have VLC 3.0 or above to play Blu-ray media files. Also, make sure to download the installation file directly from the official website. The one hosted on Microsoft Store doesn’t support Blu-ray playback.
2. Windows DVD Player
Since Windows Media Center is no longer available, Microsoft has developed a standalone app that can play DVDs fairly well. It is not part of the OS and you will have to download it from the Microsoft Store. Do note that Windows DVD Player is a paid app and you will have to shell out $14.99 to buy it. But before that, you can take a 7-day free trial and decide if you want to go with this app.
At the outset, it plays DVDs pretty well and supports many video formats. However, you can’t play Blu-rays so that’s a bummer. Nevertheless, the performance is decent and I found no playback issues. Overall, it’s a good app without any bells and whistles. If you miss Windows Media Center, this app could be a good replacement, but do take a trial before finalizing your purchase.
- Based on the UWP framework
- Simple and easy to use
- Offers free trial
- Play directly from the disc
- Does not support all DVD formats
Download Windows DVD Player (Free trial for 7 days, $14.99)
3. Media Player Classic
Media Player Classic is a popular media player, second only to VLC. Similar to VLC, it’s a free and open-source app that supports a multitude of media formats. It can render DVD and Blu-ray media files flawlessly using its in-house developed codec. MPC, as it’s widely known, is popular for its community-based codec pack. It has a huge library of codecs that can transcode and play almost every media format out there.
That said, keep in mind, MPC has not been in active development since 2017, but it’s still reliable and you can play countless DVD formats with this program. To conclude, Media Player Classic is one of the best DVD players for Windows 10. If VLC Media Player doesn’t cut it for you due to some reason, I have no hesitation recommending the Media Player Classic. Go for it.
- Supports DVD and Blu-ray discs
- Can play countless media formats
- In-house codec support
- Pretty reliable
- No development since 2017
Download Media Player Classic (Free)
Kodi is a powerful media server app that can play anything and everything you throw at it. Among the many things it offers, Kodi has playback support for DVDs, CDs, Blu-rays, and a lot more. You have to just insert the DVD and Kodi will detect the media source. It uses something called the Core which is designed to handle DVD playback. The Core is based on the libdvdcss library which supports almost all the mainstream media formats.
It’s so powerful that it can transcode media files in real-time. The open-source library can directly play DVD formats such as VOB, FUP, etc. without uncompressing the media files. If you are looking for the best DVD players for Windows 10, Kodi is surely one of them. If you are new to this world then go through our beginner’s explainer on Kodi.
- Free and open-source
- Multi-purpose media center
- Play DVD formats with ease
- Transcodes in real-time
- Auto-play DVDs
- Kodi UI is not for everyone
Note: To play DVDs automatically with Kodi, go to Settings-> Player-> Discs-> Enable the first toggle. Also, if you are new to Kodi, check out our article on best Kodi addons, Kodi repos, Kodi skins, Kodi keyboard shortcuts, Kodi installation guide, and more to get started with the app.
Download Kodi (Free)
5. CyberLink PowerDVD
CyberLink PowerDVD is a powerful application to play all kinds of media disc formats. It can play 8K, 4K, and HDR videos from DVD and Blu-ray media discs. The app has got certification from the Blu-ray Disc Association so it uses the proprietary codecs to play a large number of media formats without any playback issues. Besides the video playback, it has got TrueTheater Technology which is supposed to bring surround sound system effect.
It’s clear that CyberLink PowerDVD is a feature-rich app and one of the best DVD players for Windows 10. But keep in mind, if you want all the premium features then you need to pay $59.99. That said, CyberLink now offers a free version with support for many DVD formats but it won’t have Blu-ray support.
- Play 8K, 4K, DVD, Blu-ray discs
- Certified by Blu-ray Disc Association
- Proprietary codecs
- Surround Sound
- Free version can’t play Blu-ray discs
Download CyberLink PowerDVD (Free, Paid Version Starts at $59.99)
KMPlayer is one of the oldest and most powerful multimedia players available on Windows 10. It supports a wide range of media types including DVD, VCD, SVCD, and Blu-ray disc images. KMPlayer sports a powerful renderer which can play any kind of video format you throw at it. The video quality is great and there is no lag whatsoever even while playing large files.
KMPlayer has a huge list of media libraries and in-house codec support which brings significant improvement to DVD playback. Simply put, if you are looking for a DVD Player for Windows 10 which supports almost every media format then KMPlayer is for you. Just install it and you will be all set to play DVDs on your Windows 10 PC without any issues.
- Supports DVD, Blu-ray discs
- Powerful transcoder
- Can play any video format
- In-house codec development
- A bit slower to respond
Download KMPlayer (Free)
PotPlayer is a simple multimedia player for Windows 10 with support for DVD playback. It doesn’t have a fancy UI but it can play Blu-ray disc images, IFO media files, and more. The great part is that the performance is absolutely fantastic. It uses open-source video codecs to transcode and render DVD media files.
I found no stuttering, incompatibility, or rendering issues while playing DVD files with PotPlayer. If you are looking for a no-frills DVD player for Windows 10, PotPlayer can be a great alternative. You should definitely give it a shot before going for the paid ones.
- Supports DVD playback
- Simple UI and easy to use
- Compatible with large number of DVD formats
- Comes with open-source codecs
- No support for Blu-ray
Download PotPlayer (Free)
SMPlayer is another free and open-source app that can play a large number of media formats including DVD, VCD, Blu-ray, etc. The video playback is excellent with great clarity and it can also play 4K videos up to 60 FPS. Overall, the performance is quite stable and I found no glitch while playing multiple DVD media files.
It can also provide subtitles for videos played from DVD and Blu-ray discs so that’s great. Besides, SMPlayer supports hardware acceleration so you will not face playback delay or stuttering issues while playing a large volume of DVD media files. All in all, it’s an awesome DVD player for Windows 10 and it’s regularly updated, unlike many media players out there.
- Free and open-source
- Supports hardware acceleration
- Comes with DVD and Blu-ray support
- Play up to 4K at 60FPS
- Outdated UI
Download SMPlayer (Free)
9. GOM Player
GOM Player is an interesting DVD player for Windows 10. Among many media formats, it can play DVD, VCD, and SVCD disc images flawlessly. The distinct feature of GOM Player is that it can play broken media files by finding the missing codecs. It has something called Codec Finder service which looks for the damaged part and rebuilds the index.
It patches the bad frames with missing codecs or by simply skipping it. If you have a DVD and you are unable to play it due to damaged tracks, you can give GOM Player a shot. Keep in mind, it offers both free and paid versions but in terms of DVD playback, both are the same. However, on the free version, you will have to live with ads.
- Supports DVD playback
- Patches the missing frames
- Can play damaged files
- Has unique codec finder service
- Free version is ad-ridden
Download GOM Player (Free, Ad-free version for $25)
5KPlayer is our final app on this list. It’s a multimedia player that supports several mainstream media formats including DVD and VCD images. Do note that it doesn’t support Blu-ray media files so you will have to convert the disc images first and then play it with 5KPlayer. Talking about the performance, it is quite decent and the app can play DVD file formats directly from the optical disc.
I didn’t find any stutter or audio delay issues while playing DVDs so that is great. However, you are inundated with many ads which I found really annoying. All in all, it’s a decent app and you can give it a try if you want a sleek-looking DVD player for your Windows 10 PC.
- Supports DVD playback
- Built-in media converter
- Decent performance
- Play directly from the disc
- Annoying ads
Download 5KPlayer (Free)
Manage DVD Auto-Play Settings on Windows 10
In the above section, I have shared the top 10 best DVD players for Windows 10. But if you want to truly have a seamless experience with DVDs then you must tweak the Auto-Play settings. It will make the DVD watching experience much better. Here is how you can do it.
1. Press the Windows key once and type “DVD”. You will find “Play CDs or other media automatically” option. Click on it.
2. Here, scroll down and change the “DVD movie option” to the DVD player of your choice. Similarly, you can change apps for other scenarios as well. After that, click on the “Save” button.
3. That’s it. Now whenever you will insert a DVD on your PC, the said DVD player will open up, ready to play the media files. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is There a Free DVD Player for Windows 10?
Yes, there are a number of free DVD players for Windows 10 such as VLC, Media Player Classic, Kodi, KM Player, and more. You can find a comprehensive list of the best DVD players from this article.
Q. Why Can’t I Play DVDs on Windows 10?
As I have mentioned above, due to licensing issues of the MPEG-2 media format, Microsoft had to remove support for DVD playback on Windows Media Center. As a result, Microsoft dropped DVD support altogether on Windows 10. That said, there are a number of third-party apps and one Microsoft app as well that allows you to play DVDs on Windows 10. You can find the apps from our above list.
Q. Why Does My Windows Media Player Not Play DVD?
Windows Media Player can no longer play DVD files because of the licensing issues with the MPEG-2 codec. You can find other alternatives from our above list.
Q. How Do I Make VLC Play a DVD Automatically?
To make VLC play DVDs automatically, go to Settings -> Devices -> Autoplay. Here, turn on the toggle. That’s it.
Q. Can I Connect a DVD Player to My Laptop?
You can connect a DVD player to your laptop, but you will need an HDMI converter that can connect HDMI to a micro HDMI port.
Pick the Best DVD Player for Windows 10
So that was our list of top 10 DVD players for Windows 10. You can go through the article and pick whichever fits your bill. I would, however, recommend VLC because of its no-nonsense experience. You just install VLC and it works. Nevertheless, you can go through other options as well and choose one according to your preference. So to wrap up, if you liked the article or you want to share your favorite DVD player, do comment down below. We will definitely check it out.