Disable/Turn Off/Delete/Uninstall/Remove Windows Media Center From Windows Vista, XP, 7

Valuable Guidelines To Disable Or Turn Off Windows Media Center (WMC) In Windows Vista

Windows Media Center application offered by Windows Vista is perfect for users who wish to turn their computer system into a home-entertainment center which can be easily managed with the help of special remote control. This exclusive Windows Media Center (WMC/MCE) is generally included in Vista Ultimate and Home Premium editions of Windows Vista.

Some Vista Ultimate and Home Premium users might not find this feature interesting or useful. However, it is important to note that Windows Media Center cannot be uninstalled directly by using “Uninstall Programs & Features” from Control Panel. It is also not possible to turn it off from Windows Features page as it does not appear over there.

As Windows Media Centre happens to be an integrated part of Windows Vista operating system, it cannot be removed or uninstalled. You may however turn off or disable the WMC service so that it does not start or run even if you press the WMC button.

There exist a number of ways by which you can successfully disable the Windows Media Center (WMC) or stop it from executing in Windows Vista.

Lets start with the costliest and simplest of all ie to Switch to Non-Premium Windows Vista editions

This might possibly be a costly workaround. You may switch to non-premium Vista editions such as Windows Vista Business and Vista Home Basic which do not include Windows Media Center (WMC) in the package.

Now I’m sure it’s not worth to go the costly way and hence these following links will surely help you achieve the same without any hassles:

1> Simple technique to Uninstall / Delete / Disable / Remove Windows Media Center,

2> Simple way to Stop Windows Media Center Services from Startup,

3> Step by step method to Disable Windows Media Center From Registry / Group Policy

How To Disable Windows Media Center From Registry / Group Policy

Disable WMC using Group Policy/Registry

Run GPEdit.msc (i.e. Group Policy Editor). Expand “Computer Configuration” if you wish to disable WMC for all user accounts on the computer. Expand “User Configuration” incase you wish to disable WMC only for the logged on user.

Next, Expand “Administrative Templates” and then “Windows Components”. Now choose “Windows Media Center”. Alter the setting for the option “Do not allow WMC to run” as “Enabled”.

Now that you have set the Windows Media Center disable policy, every time you try to run WMC, you will get a message informing you that the program cannot be opened due to software restriction policy.

How Can Home Premium Edition Users Disabe Windows Media Center

Home Premium edition users need to note that this edition does not include a Group Policy Editor (GPEdit.msc). Nevertheless, the policy that blocks WMC from running can be set in the registry manually.

To set policy registry key, you firstly need to open Registry Editor (command can be found here). Now locate the registry key mentioned below:


Then, right-click on “Microsoft”, select the option “New Key”. Name the key as “WindowsMediaCenter”. Within the registry branch “WindowsMediaCenter”, create new DWORD value and name it as “MediaCenter”. Set its value to 1.

As an alternate option login with the user ID which has admin rights. Go to command prompt by using CMD in run option and type the below mentioned command:

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsMediaCenter/v MediaCenter/t REG_DWORD/d 1/f

Incase, you wish to get back to re-launch WMC anytime in future. You simply need to delete the registry key named “WindowsMediaCenter” from the Registry Editor. As another option, you may run the below mentioned command in command prompt with elevated privileges.

reg delete HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsMediaCenter /v MediaCenter /f

Read the main post if you still are unable to disable Windows Media Player.

Can I Stop Windows Media Center (WMC) Services from Startup

Can I Stop Windows Media Center (WMC) Services from Startup in Windows XP / 7 / Vista

Run System Configuration utility (MSConfig) and go to the Startup tab. You will find a list of item entries. You need to uncheck the ones that have “ehome” as the path to command line, like ehTray.exe. This prevents the WMC related services from running on Startup.

However, from my personal experience, to be on a safer side, it is better to disable the WMC services as mentioned in the previous post.

Read the main post if you still are unable to disable Windows Media Player.