How to Fix “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” in Windows 7

Windows Media Player is a staple media player for Windows users, allowing them to enjoy music, videos, and other multimedia content. However, encountering the error “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” can be frustrating and disruptive. This error message typically indicates a problem with the Windows Media Player service, preventing it from functioning correctly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the causes of this error and provide step-by-step solutions to help you get your Windows Media Player back up and running smoothly.

Understanding the Error: Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed

The “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” error occurs when the Windows Media Player service encounters an issue preventing it from executing properly. This could be due to various factors, including:

  • Corrupted or Missing Files: Damaged or missing system files essential for Windows Media Player’s operation can trigger this error.
  • Conflicting Software: Other programs or services on your computer might interfere with Windows Media Player’s functionality.
  • Insufficient Permissions: If Windows Media Player lacks the necessary permissions, it might be unable to access required resources.
  • Outdated Drivers: Outdated or faulty drivers for your sound card or other multimedia hardware can cause playback issues.
  • Virus or Malware Infection: Malicious software can damage system files, leading to errors like this.
  • Registry Issues: Problems within the Windows registry can sometimes disrupt the proper functioning of Windows Media Player.

Troubleshooting Steps: Resolving the “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” Error

Now that we understand the potential causes of the error, let’s explore the most effective troubleshooting steps to resolve it:

1. Restarting the Windows Media Player Service

The first step in troubleshooting this error is restarting the Windows Media Player service. This can sometimes resolve temporary glitches and allow the service to function correctly.

  1. Open the Run dialog box: Press Windows Key + R.
  2. Type “services.msc” and press Enter.
  3. Locate the “Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service” in the list.
  4. Right-click on the service and select Restart.
  5. Wait for the service to restart and then try opening Windows Media Player again.

2. Reinstalling Windows Media Player

If restarting the service doesn’t resolve the issue, you can try reinstalling Windows Media Player. This will replace any corrupted or missing files and potentially fix the error.

  1. Open the Control Panel: Click the Start menu and search for “Control Panel”.
  2. Navigate to “Programs and Features”.
  3. Locate “Windows Media Player” in the list of installed programs.
  4. Right-click on Windows Media Player and select Uninstall.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation.
  6. Download and install the latest version of Windows Media Player from the Microsoft website.

3. Running System File Checker (SFC)

System File Checker (SFC) is a built-in utility in Windows that scans for and repairs corrupted system files. This can be helpful if the error is caused by damaged files related to Windows Media Player.

  1. Open the Command Prompt: Press Windows Key + R, type “cmd”, and press Enter.
  2. Type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter.
  3. Wait for the scan to complete. If any corrupted files are found, SFC will attempt to repair them.

4. Updating Drivers

Outdated or incompatible drivers for your sound card or other multimedia hardware can cause playback issues. Updating your drivers to the latest versions might resolve the “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” error.

  1. Open Device Manager: Press Windows Key + R, type “devmgmt.msc”, and press Enter.
  2. Expand the “Sound, video and game controllers” category.
  3. Right-click on your sound card driver and select Update Driver.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to update the driver.

5. Checking for Conflicts with Other Software

Sometimes, other programs on your computer can interfere with Windows Media Player’s functionality. To check for potential conflicts, you can temporarily disable other programs that might be related to media playback or networking.

  1. Open Task Manager: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Go to the “Startup” tab.
  3. Disable any programs that might conflict with Windows Media Player, such as media players, streaming services, or networking software.
  4. Restart your computer and try using Windows Media Player again.

6. Repairing the Windows Registry

Problems within the Windows registry can sometimes cause issues with Windows Media Player. You can attempt to repair the registry by using a registry cleaner tool or by manually editing the registry (caution: proceed with extreme care). However, this is a more advanced step and should be attempted only by users with a good understanding of the Windows registry.

7. Running a Virus Scan

If you suspect a virus or malware infection might be causing the error, run a full system scan using your antivirus software. Ensure your antivirus software is up to date and run a comprehensive scan to detect and remove any malicious programs.

8. Reinstalling Windows

If none of the previous troubleshooting steps resolve the “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” error, you might need to consider reinstalling Windows. This is a more drastic measure, but it can effectively resolve deep-seated issues affecting Windows Media Player. Before reinstalling Windows, ensure you back up your important data to avoid losing it during the process.

Preventing the Error: Maintaining a Healthy System

While the above solutions can help resolve the error, it’s also crucial to maintain a healthy system to prevent it from recurring. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Regularly update Windows: Ensure your Windows operating system is up to date with the latest security patches and bug fixes.
  • Keep antivirus software updated: Regularly update your antivirus software to protect your system from malware and virus infections.
  • Use reputable software sources: Download software only from trusted sources like official websites or reputable app stores.
  • Run disk cleanup and defragmentation: Regularly run disk cleanup and defragmentation tools to keep your hard drive organized and optimize its performance.


The “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” error in Windows 7 can be a nuisance, but by understanding the potential causes and following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively resolve it. Remember to restart your computer after each step to apply the changes. If the error persists, consider seeking further assistance from Microsoft support or a qualified computer technician. By addressing the root cause of the error and maintaining a healthy system, you can enjoy the seamless functionality of Windows Media Player for your entertainment needs.


1. What Causes the “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” Error?

This error usually occurs when the Windows Media Player service is not running correctly. This could be due to various reasons, including corrupted system files, conflicts with other programs, or outdated drivers. Additionally, a lack of administrative privileges or incorrect settings within the Windows Media Player itself can also contribute to the error.

It’s important to troubleshoot the issue systematically to identify the root cause. Checking the status of the Windows Media Player service, running system file checks, and updating drivers are some of the initial steps.

2. Can I Fix This Error Myself?

Yes, you can fix this error yourself by following the steps outlined in the article. The methods involve troubleshooting the Windows Media Player service, checking for corrupted system files, and updating drivers.

These steps are relatively straightforward and do not require any advanced technical knowledge. However, if you are uncomfortable making changes to your system settings, it’s always best to consult a professional for assistance.

3. Are There Any Other Solutions Besides the Ones Mentioned in the Article?

While the article provides a comprehensive guide to fixing the “Windows Media Player Server Execution Failed” error, some additional solutions might be helpful. For instance, you can try reinstalling Windows Media Player or temporarily disabling your antivirus software to see if it resolves the issue.

Remember to enable your antivirus software again once the problem is fixed, as it plays a crucial role in protecting your computer from malicious threats.

4. Can This Error Be Prevented?

While there’s no foolproof way to prevent this error, maintaining your system’s health can significantly reduce its occurrence. Regularly updating your system, running antivirus scans, and keeping your drivers up-to-date can minimize the risk.

Additionally, being mindful of the software you install and avoiding downloading files from unreliable sources can further safeguard your system from potential problems.

5. Will Fixing This Error Affect My Other Programs?

The methods described in the article are designed to address the specific issue with Windows Media Player and should not affect your other programs. However, it’s always a good practice to back up your important data before making any significant changes to your system.

If you encounter any unforeseen issues after implementing the solutions, you can revert to the backup and seek professional assistance if needed.

6. Is This Error Specific to Windows 7?

While the article focuses on Windows 7, the error can occur in other Windows versions as well. The solutions outlined in the article are generally applicable across different Windows versions, with slight variations depending on the specific operating system.

If you are facing this issue on a different version of Windows, you can refer to online resources and troubleshooting guides specific to your operating system for further assistance.

7. What Should I Do If the Problem Persists?

If you have tried all the solutions mentioned in the article and the error persists, it’s best to contact Microsoft support for further assistance. They can provide more specific troubleshooting steps or diagnose the issue for you.

You can also consult with a qualified computer technician for on-site assistance if you prefer a more personalized approach.

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