How to Play DVDs in Windows

This tutorial will guide you all the way through the steps required to play DVDs on your Windows PC – using great (and free!) software, rather than whatever may have came installed on your computer.

It’s very much worth pointing out up front that this guide was initially published back in 2011 – and in the last 10+ years it has become considerably easier to play a DVD on a computer running Microsoft Windows.

With that said, one of the big “problems” that existed back then still exists today – the DVD software that came with your PC is probably pretty bad, or it’s a trial version and wants you to pay to continue using it. Please don’t. There are a slew of great apps that can play DVDs in Windows, and most are free.

For this tutorial we’re going to use our favorite media player (for all operating systems, not just Windows) – VLC.

  1. Make sure the DVD you want to watch is in your DVD drive.
  2. If it’s not already on your PC, download VLC and then install it. The installation is as easy as clicking ‘Next’ a few times. Once the installation has completed, launch VLC.
  3. Select Media from the title bar and then Open Disc… from the list of options.
  4. Click the Browse button.
  5. Select your DVD drive and then click the Select Folder button.
  6. Now click the Play button.
  7. Ta-da! The DVD will start playing. If it has a ‘menu’, you can hover your cursor over the menu item and double-click it.
  8. You can skip ahead chapter by chapter, use the ‘slider’ to fast forward and rewind etc.
  9. If you want to kick back and not have to worry about being close to your keyboard and/or mouse to pause, fast forward etc, you can use your iPhone as a remote control for VLC.

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