How to Play MPG File in Window Media Player

By Jason Artman

A file with the extension .MPG is a video file compressed with the MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 video encoding standards. A file compressed with the MPEG-1 encoding standard is roughly equal in quality to a VHS cassette, while a file compressed with MPEG-2 is similar to a DVD in quality. MPEG-1 files can be played in Windows Media Player with no modifications. However, MPEG-2 files may require the installation of a third-party video codec on some versions of Windows.

Playing an MPEG-1 MPG File in Windows Media Player

Step 1

Launch Windows Media Player. Click the "File" menu at the top of the screen, then click "Open." Alternatively, press the "Ctrl" and "O" keys simultaneously.

Step 2

Browse to the location of the video file and double click it. If the file is encoded with the MPEG-1 standard, it begins to play. If the file does not play, it may be encoded with the MPEG-2 standard. Skip to Section 2 to learn how to install an MPEG-2 codec for Windows Media Player.

Step 3

Close Windows Media Player when you are finished watching the video.

Playing an MPEG-2 MPG File in Windows Media Player

Step 1

Browse to the download page for the MPEG-2 video codec using the link in the "Resources" section of this article. Click the "Download" button and save the resulting file to the desktop. Extract the file to the folder of your choice.

Step 2

Double-click "MPEG-2.EXE." A new window appears with the word "Ready" in large red letters.

Step 3

Click the "Install Codec" button. The program responds with "Codec Installed OK."

Step 4

Close the window and play the MPG file using the steps in Section 1.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have an MPG file that you are still unable to play in Windows Media Player after following the steps in this article, try using a third-party media player such as VLC. VLC contains the codecs for many different types of video files and generally requires no extra codecs to be installed.
  • If you experience a problem with installing the MPEG-2 video codec on your computer, it may be because you are missing the runtime files necessary for Visual Basic 6 programs to work properly. The runtime files are available from Microsoft using the link in the "Resources" section of this article.