How to Play an SRT File on Windows Media Player

By Nick Grimes

While some movie files optimized for play within Windows Media Player have built-in subtitles, which play embedded in the picture itself, others can have subtitles added after the fact by use of an SRT file. This text document is tagged in such a way that Windows Media Player can use it to generate onscreen subtitles for the movie or video file it corresponds to. If SRT files are not playing for you, a quick codec install for Windows Media Player will fix the problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows PC with Internet access
  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Media compatible movie file and corresponding SRT file

Step 1

Download DirectVobSub. This is the codec pack that tells Windows Media Player how to handle SRT files. A download link for DirectVobSub can be found in the Resources section. Download the version of the DirectVobSub installer that corresponds to your version of Microsoft Windows.

Step 2

Run the DirectVobSub installer. If the installer does not work for you, see the Tips section. Once you have installed DirectVobSub, open Windows Media Player.

Step 3

Ensure that the SRT file you wish to open is in the same directory as the movie file you wish to play. The movie and SRT file must be named in exactly the same way. If you are trying to open "my_foreign-movie.wmv", the SRT file must be "" The only acceptable alteration would be a suffix to specify the language: "," for example.

Step 4

Open the movie in Windows Media Player. If the SRT file is correctly named and is a valid SRT file, it will open automatically alongside the movie. Subtitles from the SRT file will play within the movie in Windows Media Player.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you cannot run the DirectVobSub installer, the codecs can be manually installed. Download and open the DirectVobSub package (without installer) that corresponds to your version of Microsoft Windows. Unzip the package and copy the files within to your computer's "C:/WINDOWS/system32" directory. Open the "Start" menu and select "Run." Type "regsvr32" followed by the name of each file to be installed. You will be notified when your files are successfully installed.