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Windows Media Player 12 tricks
written by: admin

Date Written: 7/28/14 Last Updated: 4/26/24

  1. Full Size Album Art

    1) Go to the registry path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences
    2) PlayerModeAlbumArtSelected set to 0.  You may need to create the DWORD 32 bit value.
    3) ShowAlbumArt set hexadecimal value to 1 ref

      Note: Making changes to Visualizations will revert the registry settings to the default settings.

      Pro Tip: When you find the registry value you want to edit, go to Favorites in the menu and click Add to favorites.  Now you can easily open the registry location in your favorites for fast editing.

  2. How can I restore the Advanced Tag Editor from Windows Media Player 11?

    Option 1: TagScanner Not a modification to wmp 12, but it does allow you to easily add lyrics to mp3 files as well as a host of other options for editing your tags. direct link

    A big plus is the ability to batch edit files.  For example, you can add album art to many songs at once as opposed to one at a time with Windows Media Player Plus in option 2.

    Option 2: plugin: Windows Media Player Plus brings back the ability to edit your mp3 tags much like Advanced Tag Editor from WMP 11.  Website link

  3. Obtaining the toolbar that you remember from wmp 11 link.  Unfortunately you need to turn it on and off manually each time.  To turn it on (after the toolbar has been installed) first minimize the player and then right click on the toolbar and select "Window Media Player" in the list of toolbars to turn on.

  4. Shuffle bug and workaround Shuffle will always play the same song first and then every song played after that will be randomized after that first song.  A quick fix is to make the first song 1 second of silence long and name it 0 or 1.  I also changed the album artist to 0_ampty. ref  you can download it here:

  5. How to disable "Always on top".  Go to "now playing" and right click on the window and uncheck "Always show Now Playing on top"

  6. Start the player in the Now Playing pane change the target in the shortcut to:

    "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /Task NowPlaying ref

  7. What is Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service and how do I turn it off?  It is a service that allows you to share and index music files across different user accounts or to other devices like a laptop or playstation or xbox.  It may use a lot of resources.

    To disable:

      Winkey --> type Services.msc Enter --> right click on Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service and select Stop.  Right click on Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service again and for Start up type select Disabled.

  8. Where are the menus in the Now Playing pane?  Great question!  Windows Media Player is designed to be more visually compact, which is not very useful to power users.  The best workaround is to use the Alt key when in the Now Playing pane.  It will bring up most of the options you need and remember.  For more, take a look at and familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts documented here.

  9. How and where can I see how many files are in my library?

    • Method 1: In Library click on Music category on the left --> click on one of the audio files --> ctrl+a.  The number of songs and total duration will be displayed at the bottom right of your player for about 4 seconds.
    • Method 2: In Library click on Music category on the left --> double click on any song.  Just below the list pane on the right is the number of songs and total duration.

  10. Is there a keyboard shortcut to view the Now Playing list in the Now Playing pane? Sort of.  Use Shift+F10 then L.  Sometimes certain songs can cause the list to disappear again.

    See also workaround posted at the end of this article.
    See also keyboard shortcuts listed below.

  11. How can I get my old Windows Media Player 11 icon back? Create a shortcut for Windows Media Player 12.  In "properties" there is a button to change the icon.  You will need to use one that is in the icon format.  You can find a great many at the Icon Archive.

  12. Can I downgrade to Windows Media Player 11 on Windows 7? I have not tried it, but you can try visiting this link. Alt

  13. How to start the player maximized. Right click on the shortcut and select Properties --> Shortcut --> Run --> in the dropdown menu select Maximized.

Full Screen Lyrics

Genius.com a great source for lyrics.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt + EnterFull Screen
Ctrl + ASelect All
Ctrl + BPlay previous item
Ctrl + EIn Library, Put cursor in search bar
Ctrl + FPlay Next item
Crtl + HToggle Shuffle
Ctrl + JToggle CD/DVD Tray
Ctrl + MIn Library, Toggle menu bar
Ctrl + NIn Library, Create a New Playlist
Ctrl + OOpen
Ctrl + PToggle Play or Pause
Ctrl + QIn Library, Queue items highlighted
Ctrl + SStop Playing
Ctrl + TToggle Repeat
Ctrl + UOpen URL
Ctrl + WClose
Ctrl + Shift + CToggle Lyrics
Ctrl + Shift + SPlay Slower
Ctrl + Shift + GPlay Faster
Ctrl + Shift + FFastest Play Speed
Ctrl + Shift + NPlay at Normal Speed
Ctrl + 1View Library
Ctrl + 2View Skin
Ctrl + 3View Now Playing
Ctrl + Mouse Wheelwhen hovering over lyrics increases or decreases text size
Shift + F10Right click on Now Playing screen menu list
F10Switch to Library
F8Increase Volume
F9Decrease Volume
F7Toggle Sound
F2In Library, Edit Title
F4In Library, Toggle Display
F6In Library, Increase Size of Icons
Shift + F6In Library, Decrease Size of Icons

See also: Digital Citizen: 1/9/10: Windows Media Player 12 Menus & Views Explained

Using the Search box


Windows Media Player 11 tricks
Windows Media Player 12 Menus & Views Explained
CD Covers Also has cover art for games and movies.
Microsoft Windows Media Player Software Development Kit (SDK)

Disappearing List Pane Bug

Bug: After the player is first opened when songs with lyrics play the list pane disappears, however, after bringing the list pane back (Shift+F10 then L) the list does not disappear.


  1. Make sure the first song in the playlist is a one second song without lyrics.  Song two needs to be a song that is 1 second or less with lyrics, the third song needs to be a duplicate of the first.  The rest of the songs in your playlist can be anything.

  2. Open the player with the player stopped, the list pane needs to be open without manually opening it.  If the list pane is not displayed, open the list pane manually and close the player and reopen it.  The list pane will now be displayed automatically when opened.

  3. Turn Shuffle off if on.  If it was on then turn it off and restart the player.

Play your playlist and the bug will be gone.  Sadly, these steps need to be repeated after opening the player again.  You can now turn shuffle on if you like, just be sure to turn it off again before closing the player.

I realize this workaround can be annoying, but it is the only one I know of.

See Memo blog post

Bug: Minimized WMP can't be restored

Bug: When using the player you may minimize the player and discover that the player will not return to fullscreen or windowed.

Fix: Right click on the icon on your taskbar and click on "Windows Media Player".  Next left click on the WMP player icon and the player will be restored to full screen.

TAGS: table, windows media player, windows, software tips, wmp 12, audio, keyboard shortcuts
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