Set X64 Version Of WMP11 As Default Player In Windows Vista

If you are running 64-bit Windows Vista Operating System on your computer, you must be aware that the 32-bit (X86) version of WMP11 (Windows Media Player 11) is set as default media player. However, Vista 64-bit OS supports both, 32-bit (X86) as well as 64-bit (X64) version of WMP11. 

WMP11 32-bit version is chosen as the default player in Vista to eliminate any compatibility issues related to codecs and other add-ons and plug-ins associated with DirectShow, as many of them are designed for X86 operating systems.

But these days there are a lot of codecs available which support X64 computing platform, especially the 64-bit FFDShow codec which has the ability to decode video as well as audio media files.

Keeping this perspective in mind, if you wish to set WMP11 64-bit version as the default player in your Windows Vista OS, you can easily do so by using any of the methods mentioned below.

Method 1:

WMP11 X86 version is located at the path “%Programfiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player” whereas the WMP11 X64 version is located at “%Programfiles%\Windows Media Player”. Hence, if you wish to use 64-bit WMP11, you need to launch Windows Media Player from the X64 location. For doing so, use the following process.

  • Click on Start button to open the Start Menu. Click on “Run” and execute the following command

 

%Programfiles%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe

  • As another option, you may simply create a shortcut for WMP11 on the desktop with location and target set as above so that you can easily access it.   

 

Method 2:

 

In this method, you need to first execute the command “unregmp2.exe” in order to alter the OS shortcuts, so that they point to 64-bit WMP11. Secondly, you need to make necessary changes in the system registry to modify the file associations and set WMP 64-bit as the default program for opening any media file. Follow the below mentioned procedure to switch to 64-bit WMP11.

  • Open Command Prompt with elevated admin rights and type the below mentioned command followed by Enter.

 

%windir%\system32\unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:64

  • Go to Start and select “Start Search”. Type in “regedit” and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.  
  • Go to the below mentioned registry branch:

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wmplayer.exe

  • Within the right pane, check for the registry subkey named “Path”. Once found, double-click on it and fix its value data as “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Media Player”. Also look for the subkey “(Default)” which is generally the first entry and set its value data as “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe”.   
  • Finally, exit the Registry Editor

 

Anytime in future, if you wish to change or revert the default player in Vista back to 32-bit WMP11, you need to use the below mentioned steps.

  • Open Command Prompt with elevated admin rights and type the below mentioned command:

 

%windir%\system32\unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:32

  • Open Registry Editor and go to the following registry branch

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wmplayer.exe

  • Reset the value data for the subkey “Path” back to “%Programfiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player”. Also change the value data for subkey “(Default)” and make it “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe”.
  • Close the Registry Editor to finish.
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