Tuesday, 18 January 2011

How to uninstall Windows Media player and replace it with VLC player.

I have broken many Windows rules in terms of computing and will probably continue to do so. One rule is that you are not supposed to remove Internet Explorer web browser because it is bundled with Windows. So if you remove it you could damage Windows or Windows could stop working.

But a few months ago I did uninstall Internet Explorer and I have also deleted the IE registry files. And both my two laptops are still working. Now I have uninstalled Windows Media player and have replaced it with VLC player instead.I have not had any problems with Windows Media player and it is an excellent video and audio player. But because I already have VLC player and Miro video player,I never use Windows Media player. So I did not see the point in keeping it if I am not using it. So I have uninstalled it.

This post explains how I uninstalled Windows Media Player and replaced it with VLC player. But I must warn you,this will permanently remove Windows Media player from your computer. And you will not be able to install it again as Windows won't let you do it.And as long as you have another media player on your computer,such as VLC player or other. Removing Windows Media player should not effect anything and you will still be able to play videos and record them with your web cam and save files. So if you are sure you want to uninstall it,here is how.

Windows Media player is bundled with Windows. For Windows XP and Windows Vista it is Windows Media player 11 and for Windows 7 it's Windows Media player 12. Windows Media player cannot be uninstalled through programs or updates menu like other programs can be. It can only be removed by deleting the file in programs on C drive or on your computer hard drive. This removes the program as if you delete the file you delete the program. But there is one problem-the Windows Media file like Internet Explorer is owned by Trusted Installer. Which means you cannot delete it,as it will not let you do it.

So first of all you have to take ownership of the file,that is transfer the ownership of the file from Trusted Installer to your administer or user name on your computer. To do this you have to edit the file or like I did the easiest way is to use Unlocker,which I downloaded from the Internet.

Unlocker will delete any kind of file on your computer without the need to edit it. And so I was able to delete the Windows Media program file using Unlocker,which deleted the whole of the file. After this you can go one step further like I did and delete the registry keys for the program. To do this type regedit in the stat menu and this then opens the registry. Then delete the the keys for Windows Media player. But you don't have to do this as just deleting the file on your hard drive is enough. And you should not alter or delete anything in the registry if you don't know what you are doing as this could cause problems on your computer. So deleting the registry keys is only for the very experienced computer user.

I deleted the registry keys of both Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Media player because, I did not want Windows update to try to reinstall both IE8 or Windows Media back onto my computer.Which is what Windows tries to do when you install updates.Even if you have turned Windows update off and only install updates manually as I do. And it's true that Windows Media player does not have any components in it that is used in Windows. So it is safe to delete the keys. Now restart your computer.

Windows Media player is now completely uninstalled from your computer.And your other media player will be replaced as the default program for playing all video and audio files. The best program to replace Windows Media player with is VLC player. I chose VLC player because it is most compatible with Windows.

VLC player is very much like Windows Media player in many ways but the difference is that VLC player plays videos in wide screen and high quality and it is a better player. It also has additional features that Windows Media does not have. You can save a video from a web page and play it directly in VLC player and you can also save that same video on your computer. And although you cannot upload a video saved from a web page or video site onto your website. As VLC will save the video in a file but does not convert videos into the correct format. So you can watch the video but cannot upload it as video sites only except video files in wmv,flv or mp3 format. VLC player will also play music and audio files including voice mails from chat programs like Google Talk and others. VLC player is also open source and is free to install and use. It will also play videos recorded with your webcam and save them in wmv (Windows Media view) just like Windows Media player did. There are other players you could use to replace Windows Media player but VLC player is the best one for this purpose as Windows will automatically recognise this as the default program.

Links-Unlocker tool for deleting files like Internet Explorer,Windows Media player and other files that cannot be deleted in the normal way. Download link-click here.

VLC Media player-download link-click here.

Photo-VLC Media player in action.

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