How to Clean Up the Windows Media Player Database

It’s important to remember that when you change information, such as “artist” for an MP3 file, WMP updates its library but it does not change the meta-information in the actual MP3 file itself. So if you need to rebuild the WMP database you will lose all the meta information you entered through WMP. (If you want to avoid that you need to use an MP3 tag editor and change the tags in the actual file.). Windows Media Player Database

Troubleshooting

When WMP starts to misbehave, such as if the media library doesn’t get updated, or it plays the wrong media, the best thing to do is to rebuild the database. There are 2 ways to do this:

  1. From the menus, you can ask WMP to “Apply media information changes” which doesn’t usually help.
  2. You can delete the whole database and rebuild it from scratch.

Option 1: Apply Media Changes

This option is simple but usually doesn’t work: in the WMP window, click on Organize, Apply media information changes. Then see if things are any better.

Apply-Media-Changes

Option 2: Rebuild the WMP Database and Library

You need administrator privileges on Windows to do this. These steps let you close WMP, make sure that it stops using the database, deleting the database, restarting WMP, and rebuilding the database.

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  1. Make sure WMP is closed.
  2. Start Control Panel and click on System and Security, then Administrative Tools.

Control-Panel

Click on Services.

Services

Find the “Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service” click on it

WMP-service-down

Make sure the service is down by clicking on the Stop button.

stop

Press the Windows Start button and type %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Media Player. File Explorer will take you to the folder

Database-folder

  1. Delete all the files in the folder. (Don’t delete the sub-folders.)
  2. Restart the WMP sharing service (see step 5)

Start

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