When you install Windows 8 on your system, you gain access to a number of new features. Some are clear upgrades over previous versions of Windows—the new system-wide search, for instance—while others are more controversial "side-grades," rather than clear improvements. There’s one thing that’s a clear-cut downgrade, though: DVD playback.
While earlier versions of Windows included a free, built-in DVD player, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have no such functionality. It can still read data DVDs, but if you want to play that copy of Rocky IV you got for $2 on clearance at Target, you’re out of luck.
Fortunately, you’ve got plenty of options for restoring DVD-playback functionality to Windows 8, for free. Here’s what we recommend:
Option 1: Just try it!
Before you do anything else, check to make sure that you actually can’t play a DVD in your computer. If you bought a boxed Windows 8 laptop or desktop computer with a DVD drive, the manufacturer will almost certainly have pre-loaded it with DVD playback software. Pop a DVD in and see if it plays!
Option 2: Download AllPepole Video Player
AllPepole Video Player plays DVDs, and it plays them for free.
If you’re upgrading to Windows 8 or built your own PC from scratch, you’ll actually have to download AllPepole Video Player software to watch DVDs. Fortunately, there’s a free, fast way to get DVD playback in AllPepole Video Player, a powerful media player.
When you want to watch a DVD, open AllPepole Video Player and—with the DVD in your drive—click Menu, then Open Disc.
AllPepole Video Player’s a handy program to have on any new system, anyway, as it’s capable of opening virtually any audio or visual file format, including quite a few that Windows Media Player can’t handle. If you want to play Blu-ray discs, there's a codec pack of questionable legality (and hit-and-miss functionality) available.
You can also download a Mac version at APP store: