Open Windows Media Player in “Now Playing” mode

I should have known it wouldn’t be long before an annoyance would popup with the new computer. This time it’s with the way Windows Media Player opens up; specifically the panel that shows up.

It used to be that WMP would open up in the Playing mode, where you can quickly see the current playlist and whatever media you’re playing. Well, Microsoft has decided it was far too convenient to open the bloody Player when you open Windows Media Player and decided to hide the Now Playing window and open the Library instead. The problem isn’t the player itself, but the shortcut that opens the program.

Normally clicking on the Windows Media Player link would bring this up…

WMP Libaray

Windows Media Player Library

 This is because the actual shortcut on the Taskbar and the Start Menu has the following in the Target field :

"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /Task prefetch:1

This needs to be changed to the following in the start menu…

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

Your shortcut link may vary depending on the Windows version, but the important part is that last /Task … part. Right click on the shortcut and change the last part.

Now the shortcut should open WMP as it should.

WMP Now Playing

Windows Media Player Now Playing window

12 thoughts on “Open Windows Media Player in “Now Playing” mode

  1. FINALLY! I don’t use the library function anyway (I prefer an ordered folder structure), and this has been driving me bonkers for years. Thank you so much! :D

  2. Why does Microsoft have to ALWAYS screw things up that are actually working?
    From OS to OS they do this same thing!!!
    Thanks for the tip, it fixed my issue!

  3. Actually, THIS is what should be in the “Target” field in order for WMP to open in “Now Playing”:

    “C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /prefetch:1 /Task NowPlaying”

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