Why Won't My Laptop Play Movies?

Playing a film on a laptop requires the correct software and hardware, as well as a compatible disc, if the film is on DVD. Troubleshoot problems playing movies by thoroughly investigating these three areas.

Look for the words "DVD ROM" on your disc drive.


Your laptop may lack the right software. To play movies streamed or downloaded from the Internet, you need a compatible media player, such as VLC, Windows Media Player or RealPlayer. You can download these for free.


To play DVDs, your laptop needs a DVD drive. Your drive may accept only compact discs, especially if the computer is older. A drive normally has a DVD logo if it can play DVDs. You can add hardware to play DVDs.


The disc may be defective. Wipe gently with a damp cloth to remove any dust, and try again.

Most built-in DVD software plays only one type of DVD. If you bought your laptop in the U.S. or Canada, it most likely plays only region 1 discs. Check the DVD region before you purchase a disc. Alternatively, install VLC Player to play DVDs from all regions.