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Play Windows Media files in Firefox with the Windows Media plugin

Support will end for all NPAPI plugins except for Flash in March 2017, when Firefox version 52 is released. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

Beginning with Firefox version 52, support has ended for all NPAPI plugins except for Adobe Flash. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

If you've come to this article from a link on the Babylon toolbar and you'd like to get rid of it, see the How to remove the Babylon toolbar, home page and search engine article for instructions.

To play Windows Media in Firefox, you need the Windows Media Player browser plugin installed. There are two different versions:

  • The original, which is usually included with Windows up until XP.
  • The new version, specifically developed for Windows XP and above, which is only available by download.
This article describes how to check for and install the Windows Media Player Firefox plugin. Many Windows XP users will have the old plugin but it is recommended that you install the new plugin, anyway.
Even if you have Windows Media Player installed, you may still be missing the plugin required to play back Windows Media audio and video content in web pages.

Note: The 64-bit version of Firefox does not recognize or support this plugin.

Mplayer is a popular Linux media player that can play back Windows Media files. In order to use Mplayer to play a Windows Media stream in Firefox, you must install two packages, named gnome-mplayer and gecko-mediaplayer. Your Linux distribution may have these packages readily available to install.

Microsoft discontinued the Macintosh version of Windows Media Player in 2006. The Flip4Mac replacement added Windows Media playback capabilities to QuickTime and was distributed for free until May 1, 2014, when Telestream began charging for Flip4Mac Player. For more information, see this Telestream article.

If you want a free player for many different media types, including Windows Media, you can try the VLC Media Player for Mac OS X. To play embedded audio and video content on web pages, you would need to download the VLC Web Browser plugin package (available from the Download VLC drop-down menu). For other alternatives, try the Mac App Store.

The following applies to Windows and Linux with the Windows Media plugin installed.

Checking if the plugin is installed

Important: The Windows Media plugin is now disabled by default and doesn't show up in the Add-ons manager. Please see these instructions for turning it back on.

To see if you already have the plugin installed:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
  3. Scroll down the list, and look for the entry called:
    Microsoft® Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin
    np-mswmp.dll

    WMP Fx23
    • If the entry is present, then the plugin is installed.
    • If the entry is missing, proceed to the Installing the plugin section.

Installing the plugin

  1. Go to the plugin download page on Interoperability Bridges.
    • The Interoperability Bridges page also contains more detailed installation instructions.
  2. Click "Download Now" and you will be prompted to save a file.
  3. Save the file to your desktop.
  4. Once it has downloaded, run it, and the plugin will install.
  5. When the installation has finished, close Firefox:
    • Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29 .
  6. When Firefox has completely closed, start Firefox up again.
  7. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  8. Search for plugins.load_appdir_plugins.
  9. Double-click plugins.load_appdir_plugins to change its value to true.
  10. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29 . When you restart Firefox the plugins will be enabled.

Testing the plugin

The following link opens a test page that requires the Windows Media Player plugin. If the player loads and plays, then the plugin is installed correctly:

Enabling or disabling the plugin

You can disable or enable the Windows Media Player plugin in the Firefox Add-ons Manager.

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
  3. In the list of plugins, select the Windows Media Player plugin.
    • If you want to disable the plugin, select Never Activate in its drop-down menu.
    • If you want to re-enable the plugin, select Always Activate in its drop-down menu.

If the plugin is disabled, pages with embedded Windows Media such as the "Windows Media test" linked above will not work and, if you download a Windows Media file, Firefox may ask you what to do with the file instead of automatically opening it in Firefox.

Links to media files

The Windows Media formats handled by the plugin include asf, asx, wm, wma, wax, wmp, wmv, and wvx. When you click on a link to download a Windows Media file and the plugin is enabled, it will open automatically in Firefox using the plugin. If you do not want this to happen, you can select a different download action in your Firefox Application settings for Windows Media files. For more information, see Change what Firefox does when you click on or download a file.

Troubleshooting

If you are having problems with Windows Media content, see Fix common audio and video issues.



Based on information from Windows Media Player (mozillaZine KB)

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Comments

See /forums/knowledge-base-articles/704715 for related discussion about this article.

Based on the information we collected at the survey about this article: http://blog.mozilla.com/sumo/2012/02/27/surveying-our-toolbar-users/

We found out that the majority of users who land into this article are trying to get rid of their Babylon toolbar (the actual driver to the article).

I wrote an analysis of the results of the survey here: https://etherpad.mozilla.org/babylon-toolbar-survey

I'm wondering if we should include a message at the beginning of the article explaining how to get rid of this toolbar.

I know this is not standard but this article is far from being standard (90% of the traffic comes from a crappy toolbar)

Ibai said

I'm wondering if we should include a message at the beginning of the article explaining how to get rid of this toolbar. I know this is not standard but this article is far from being standard (90% of the traffic comes from a crappy toolbar)

I don't think we should add a note at the beginning of this article explaining how to get rid of a toolbar. If this is something that needs to be documented in the KB then we should create a new "Uninstalling Toolbars" article - something like http://kb.mozillazine.org/Uninstalling_toolbars - and link to it from one of the Navigation articles on the home page (Fix problems with Kaspersky, Norton, Google or other toolbars or Fix problems with your home page or search).

If you decide to include a note in this article about removing the Babylon toolbar then I think it should be at the very bottom of the page, underneath the "Troubleshooting" section, so that it doesn't distract from the rest of the article content.

Ashishnamdev

The Babylone Toolbar is sucking more while using Firefox. It slows down Firefox start up and it's processing. Many Times Firefox Doesn't response when Babylone is present in Firefox. there should be some Code included in Firefox For Removing programmatically such unwanted Tool Bars. we should include article about such issues in our discussion forums.

Related discussion:

scoobidiver said

I disagree to add unrelated content to an article. You can use the survey feature to add a popup with a link to the article you want for users coming from a specific website. For the Babylon case, see this discussion about adding a section in the article about malware or creating a dedicated article about unwanted toolbars.
Verdi said
I forgot this - Gavin Sharp made us a restartless add-on that resets your home page, location bar search and search bar search - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/searchreset I think it might make sense to add something about it (and hijacking by add-ons) to: We might also create a new article that has you delete toolbar add-ons and then run this to fix the case where, for example the Ask toolbar (or you-name-it-spam-toolbar) has gotten installed accidentally.

AliceWyman said

Ibai said
I'm wondering if we should include a message at the beginning of the article explaining how to get rid of this toolbar. I know this is not standard but this article is far from being standard (90% of the traffic comes from a crappy toolbar)

I don't think we should add a note at the beginning of this article explaining how to get rid of a toolbar. If this is something that needs to be documented in the KB then we should create a new "Uninstalling Toolbars" article - something like http://kb.mozillazine.org/Uninstalling_toolbars - and link to it from one of the Navigation articles on the home page (Fix problems with Kaspersky, Norton, Google or other toolbars or Fix problems with your home page or search).

If you decide to include a note in this article about removing the Babylon toolbar then I think it should be at the very bottom of the page, underneath the "Troubleshooting" section, so that it doesn't distract from the rest of the article content.

Alyce I will agree if the vast majority of the traffic wasn't coming from the Babylon toolbar. The way it is today 90%+ of the traffic comes from the toolbar and from the survey we know that half of them want to remove the toolbar.

I don't think that 2 lines will hurt 50% of the users and we will help a lot to the other 50%.

I agree that we should create an article as you propose but I will like to see how do you want to give it the right visibility so we can improve the experience of this frustrated users.

Ibai said

Alyce I will agree if the vast majority of the traffic wasn't coming from the Babylon toolbar. The way it is today 90%+ of the traffic comes from the toolbar and from the survey we know that half of them want to remove the toolbar.

I don't think that 2 lines will hurt 50% of the users and we will help a lot to the other 50%.

I agree that we should create an article as you propose but I will like to see how do you want to give it the right visibility so we can improve the experience of this frustrated users.

What are the two lines about removing the Babylon Toolbar you would add to this article? Maybe we could add a "Babylon Toolbar" section to the proposed Remove a toolbar that has taken over your Firefox search or home page article that is waiting for a draft?

What about scoobidiver's idea, You can use the survey feature to add a popup with a link to the article you want for users coming from a specific website.? I don't know the mechanics but if you could include the information (or an article link) in a popup only seen by users coming from Babylon's website that would be ideal.

The two lines should be somethings like this formatted as a warning or not:

"If you are interested in removing a toolbar (or Babylon toolbar) visit Uninstalling toolbars to learn how".

I will be surprised that this will ruin the quality of the article or have any other negative side effects beyond creating and exception to a rule that we have been trying to enforce (i.e. maintain articles on topic). If we acknowledge that this is an exception because of a major outlier (it's the most popular article because of an external factor) we should be ok.

I'll be cool with the pop-up idea but we don't have that feature and developing something when we can use this workaround is not something that I'm comfortable fighting for.

Ibai, The Remove a toolbar that has taken over your Firefox search or home page article has a first draft. Can you review it?

On the problem with Babylon-related website(s) linking to this article, I wasn't sure how exactly that's being done. I did a forum search and came up with this earlier topic from a couple of months ago:

I see no problem with the Babylon Toolbar itself including a link to this article or with websites with radio streams or other features that require the Firefox WMP plugin linking here. So, I suppose I don't see why you want to include a note about uninstalling toolbars to this article. If it's just that 40% -50% of the survey respondents want to get rid of the Babylon toolbar, I think simply coming to support.mozilla.org and finding the Remove a toolbar that has taken over your Firefox search or home page article (when approved) should be enough. I don't think we need to add a link about uninstalling toolbars to this article but that's not up to me, if you include a short link, if Michael Verdi or another reviewer approves it.

By the way, it looks like the problem with Babylon toolbar and Firefox crashes (mentioned in your survey analysis) was fixed by a Babylon update. See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=715757#c23 which links to https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=715744 (includes Babylon contact info, if you need it).

AliceWyman said

Ibai, The Remove a toolbar that has taken over your Firefox search or home page article has a first draft. Can you review it? On the problem with Babylon-related website(s) linking to this article, I wasn't sure how exactly that's being done. I did a forum search and came up with this earlier topic from a couple of months ago: I see no problem with the Babylon Toolbar itself including a link to this article or with websites with radio streams or other features that require the Firefox WMP plugin linking here. So, I suppose I don't see why you want to include a note about uninstalling toolbars to this article. If it's just that 40% -50% of the survey respondents want to get rid of the Babylon toolbar, I think simply coming to support.mozilla.org and finding the Remove a toolbar that has taken over your Firefox search or home page article (when approved) should be enough. I don't think we need to add a link about uninstalling toolbars to this article but that's not up to me, if you include a short link, if Michael Verdi or another reviewer approves it. By the way, it looks like the problem with Babylon toolbar and Firefox crashes (mentioned in your survey analysis) was fixed by a Babylon update. See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=715757#c23 which links to https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=715744 (includes Babylon contact info, if you need it).

The problem that they talk about is crashes. That's cool and it seem to be solved. There's a more fundamental issue about toolbars and it's the fact that they take over the whole experience and they are installed against the will of the users (when they install it voluntarily it's because they are asked to do so because otherwise their site is not going to work well (sic) ).

The scenario that we are seeing here is that almost 100k visitors a week to SUMO use this article as entry point and what they want is the article that about Uninstalling toolbars (You have done a great job there, kudos). What I'm saying is that we should simplify the way this 100k users land in that article. As simple as it is. If we leave it the way it is, a lot of people will simply give up on SUMO because they don't understand how to find the article they need (Uninstalling Toolbars). Makes sense?

underpass

Hello, it seems that the page reported in this article

http://hg.mozilla.org/qa/litmus-data/raw-file/tip/firefox/plugins/mediaplayer.html

is no more available. Thanks for your attetion.

I made a revision already, but no one approve it yet :)

This was reported by underpass in the KB articles forum:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/forums/knowledge-base-articles/709216 Plugins disabled by Firefox 21

underpass said

Hello, We've found an issue, reported by a user on the Italian forum and described in this bug https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=844553

I replied ....

This affects the Windows Media Player plugin, which is installed in the Mozilla Firefox\plugins folder ... and is no longer detected in Firefox 21, as reported in /questions/955703.

I updated MozillaZines article, http://kb.mozillazine.org/Windows_Media_Player#Installing_the_new_plugin to add:


Important: Mozilla/Firefox 21 no longer scans the <installation directory>/plugins folder by default. If you have installed the new WMP plugin and it is not detected, set the preference plugins.load_appdir_plugins to true in about:config (bugs 844553 and 872325).


This article needs a similar update for Firefox 21 and above.

P.S. I checked and this article is already on the "Needs changes" list, with a reference to the related bug: *Bug 872325 - Windows Media Player firefox plugin stops working after upgrade to v21.0.

I am editing the article at this moment.

Add: Completed!

I want to take a screenshot for my locale to the article so i followed the article but the windows media player did not show up in the plugins manager.

So i did i search for "np-mswmp.dll" on my harddrive and turns out the file was installed in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox Beta\Plugins".

But thats not the Firefox i normally use. I have multiple Firefox'es installed.

So maybe there should be a note about that for people that have multiple Firefox'es installed.

scootergrisen said

I want to take a screenshot for my locale to the article so i followed the article but the windows media player did not show up in the plugins manager. So i did i search for "np-mswmp.dll" on my harddrive and turns out the file was installed in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox Beta\Plugins". But thats not the Firefox i normally use. I have multiple Firefox'es installed. So maybe there should be a note about that for people that have multiple Firefox'es installed.

People who have multiple Firefox installations and install the WMP plugin are "edge" cases and think the idea is to keep the KB for average users and edge cases will be handled in the forum.

If you want to add a note, though, you can ... maybe something like this?

{note}Note: If you have multiple versions of Firefox installed, you'll need to locate the plugin file "np-mswmp.dll" and copy it to the "Plugins" folder of the other version, for instance, to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox Beta\Plugins (you'll need to create the Plugins folder if it's missing). {/note}

In the case of this article, the mozillaZine link has more information that would be helpful, here: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Windows_Media_Player#Installing_the_new_plugin

What I did, since I have multiple versions of Firefox AND SeaMonkey installed, was to create a "plugins" folder under %AppData\Mozilla and copy the "np-mswmp.dll" file to the %AppData\Mozilla\plugins folder, where all Mozilla applications will find it. All of my Mozilla applications show the following in about:plugins:

Microsoft® Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin
   File: np-mswmp.dll
   Path: C:\Users\wymette\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\plugins\np-mswmp.dll

I posted the following in the Use plugins to play audio, video, games and more kbforum discussion, https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/use-plugins-play-audio-video-games/discuss/6223 [Fx41] Add a note for users who install Firefox Win64 that only the Flash plugin works.

Firefox Win64 installers were made available for Firefox 40 Beta at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/all/ and should be available on https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/ for the Firefox 40 release. When Firefox 41 is released, Win64 installers will be available for download on mozilla.org . We should add a note to this article (and to the linked Java, Silverlight, Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime articles) that only the Flash plugin currently works in Firefox win64 builds. Related bugs: Bug 1165981 - Whitelist Flash for NPAPI on 64 bit Firefox on Win64 Bug 1187005 - Some plugins (Microsoft Silverlight, Java,...) are not recognized as installed with Firefox 64-bit build on Win64 Bug 1181014 - Make Firefox 41 win64 builds on the Release channel available on mozilla.org.

The release target for Win64 builds was moved to Firefox 42. See bug 1181014 comment 12.

Windows 64-bit Firefox requires Windows 7 or above (bug 1093741).

P.S. I made a new revision to make the incompatibility warning {for fx42, win7,win8,win10} since the Windows 64-bit builds aren't scheduled for the release channel firefox/all page until at least Firefox 42.

Hi.

One user mentioned, Flip4Mac is no longer free (not sure if it actually has been before). Is there an alternative? And if so, can we update the Mac version of this article accordingly?

Michal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip4Mac Quote: On January 12, 2006, Microsoft discontinued the Macintosh version of Windows Media Player and began distributing Flip4Mac Player for free until May 1, 2014 when Telestream began charging for Flip4Mac Player.


The Mac version of this article links to the Flip4Mac website: http://www.telestream.net/flip4mac-wmv/overview.htm ... where the basic Flip4Mac Player costs $9.99.

If no one has any other suggestions I'll remove the Mac content.

I have an edit pending to keep the Windows and Linux content and remove most of the Mac content except for a note.

Looks like the free VLC Media Player is an alternative to Flip4Mac for playing Windows Media and that there's a Web plugin that seems to be a separate download (dmg file). Recent threads on Apple's forum:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7066680?start=0&tstart=0 How to install VLC web plug-in ...The above thread from June 2015 is about installing the Web plugin in Safari. Not sure if it's the same process in Firefox.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7611054?start=0&tstart=0 Windows Media Player on Mac

...The above July 2016 thread mentions that VLC Media Player will play Windows Media files, as long as they're not under DRM ... and that there are also WMV player apps in the App store (it doesn't mention paid or free. though).


VLC links: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html https://wiki.videolan.org/Documentation:WebPlugin/ http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.html

I have a new revision pending to suggest VLC Media Player as a free alternative to Flip4Mac. I'm just not sure if the VLC Web plugin is currently available or if it works in Firefox.

P.S. I couldn't find a Web plugin download on VLC's website (maybe it's included in the VLC Media Player installer, like it is on Windows?). I did find this: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/40724/vlc-web-plugin

AliceWyman said

P.S. I couldn't find a Web plugin download on VLC's website

I found this 11 Feb 2016 post on the videolan forum: https://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=130676 Mac Web Browser Plugin 2.2.2 Missing From Site

The VLC Web Browser plugin package (VLC-webplugin-2.2.4.dmg) is currently available as a separate download, from the "Download VLC" drop-down menu at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html DownloadVLC-WebBrowserPlugin

DownloadVLC-WebBrowserPlugin

P.S. I made a new revision and self-approved as RFL.