FIX: Media File Not Playing – Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Media Player

I thought this was something that was a beta (or RC) issue, but I have found it happens in the RTM, as well. When you go to click a movie file in Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7 you get a page stating the following:


Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

What you can try:

Diagnose Connection Problems

More information

This problem can be caused by a variety of issues, including:

  • Internet connectivity has been lost.
  • The website is temporarily unavailable.
  • The Domain Name Server (DNS) is not reachable.
  • The Domain Name Server (DNS) does not have a listing for the website’s domain.
  • There might be a typing error in the address.
  • If this is an HTTPS (secure) address, click Tools, click Internet Options, click Advanced, and check to be sure the SSL and TLS protocols are enabled under the security section.

For offline users

You can still view subscribed feeds and some recently viewed webpages.
To view subscribed feeds

  1. Click the Favorites Center button , click Feeds, and then click the feed you want to view.

To view recently visited webpages (might not work on all pages)

  1. Click Tools , and then click Work Offline.
  2. Click the Favorites Center button , click History, and then click the page you want to view.


I have had multiple installs of Windows 7 and the file type has changed. Some times it is MPEG, sometimes WMV, etc. When you first install windows, things work fine, so I was a bit stumped.  I figured it must be a registry problem and I found a fix.

For some reason, the install of certain programs changes the default string value for a media type. The latest culprit was Windows Live programs, but I think this also happens when you do a default install of Quicktime, so it could happen with a variety of programs.

Take the following lines and copy them to a text file and name the file videoTypes.reg.. If you use notepad, make sure to change from .txt files to all file types, as notepad will add the .txt extension.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



























This is from manually checking the file types. If you want to do a more thorough list, I would do the following:

  1. Install Windows 7
  2. Click on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and choose export
  3. Delete out any keys without a Content Type of video/{name of video type}, like this
    "Content Type"="video/x-ms-wmv"

  5. Run this file any time you have a problem.

One caveat here. If you install programs like Quicktime, you may want to delete out items like this:


as this is a file normally associated with Quicktime, but this is your choice.

Peace and Grace,

Twitter: @gbworld


One Response to FIX: Media File Not Playing – Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Media Player

  1. Ray says:

    Fantastic. Thank you!!!!! Worked like a charm. Every time I installed Windows Live, it would break my Windows Media links. With this I am now able to install all the Windows Live components and actually use them and still be able to use my WMP links!!!!!!!!!!

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