Playing DVDs on Windows used to be a straightforward affair. Just pop your DVD into your drive and hit the play button when the default Windows DVD player software opens.
Windows 10 DVD Disappointment
A big disappointment for Windows users is after they upgraded to Windows 10, they could no longer play DVD or Blu-ray directly from their disc drives.
If you’re wondering, why Windows has taken this ‘backward step’, here’s the explanation.
Since most newer computers don’t come with DVD drives, Microsoft had decided to do away with the automatic DVD playback on Windows.
They did this by removing the much-used Windows Media Center. Those who suffered most were Windows 8 users who upgraded to Windows 10. Most of them had computers that came with disc drives.
That doesn’t mean you’ve to take your entire DVD collection to your DVD player. Of course, there’s the option of ripping your disc with free DVD ripper software.
If ripping your DVDs to a digital format (MP4) doesn’t appeal to you, you still have a solution.
You can head to the Microsoft Store where Windows DVD Player is available for download. But you have to pay S14.99, at the time of writing. Unless you have a deep pocket and are a hardcore Microsoft supporter, no thanks.
They do offer a Blu-ray player for free. You can play DVDs with it. But you have to use an Xbox.
Let’s forget about these offerings. There are free DVD player software programs out there that can do the job equally well, if not better.
Yes, there are DVD player software programs available as free downloads.
You probably have one already sitting on your computer – VLC Media Player. Maybe you’ve not tried playing a DVD with it.
There used to be Media Player Classic, a lightweight DVD player software. However, it’s no longer available. Development on it has stopped since 2017 after an 11-year run.
You may [already know it but be reminded that you need to have an internal/external DVD drive (DVD-ROM or DVD+/-RW) or Blu-ray drive with your computer to use the free DVD player software programs listed below.
VLC Media Player
You’re invited to throw any video format at VLC. Ninety-nine out of a hundred times VLC would be able to play it.
It’s not for nothing this free DVD player software is called the Swiss army knife of media players.
Most other media players will ask you to install additional codecs to play little-known video formats. VLC will gladly play it without throwing up a fuss. It seems to have every codec under the sun in its cellar.
VLC has another well-known strength. It is multi-platform compatible.
You can install it on your Windows, Mac, and Linux computer. On the mobile side of things, it works with Android and iOS devices.
To play a DVD, all you have to do is go to Media – Open Disc – DVD.
Then proceed with hitting the Play button.
Leawo Blu-ray Player
Leawo Blu-ray Player is a 100% free DVD player computer software for Windows and Mac OS. As its name suggests, it can play Blu-ray and 4K video.
It’s a region-free DVD player. This means you can play DVD movie discs of all kinds, including Region 3 (Asia) and Region 2 (Europe).
You can also navigate to your DVD folder and play your Video_TS files from there.
Leawo supports multi-angle DVDs. If you have them, you get to select your viewing angle of a scene.
This free DVD player computer software you to enjoy an immersive movie-watching experience.
If you would like added functionality with your free DVD player software, choose 5K Player.
Apart from playing your DVDs, this hardware-accelerated player also plays 4K, Full HD (1080p) and 360-degree videos.
It supports AirPlay and DLNA, allowing you to wirelessly stream Video.
It even works with Windows XP and Vista while supporting mac OS and Mac OS X.
When you get tired of playing your DVDs, you can listen to music through its built-in radio player.
Download 5K Player.
Have 3D DVDs to play together with your other collection of DVD movies?
Then Pot Player will do the job for you.
Although the name doesn’t sound serious enough for a software DVD player, it’s as versatile as the VLC Media Player.
All you have to do is load your disc into your computer DVD drive, right-click on the player interface and choose Open and then select Open DVD and you’re in business.
Pot Player works on older Windows platforms like Vista and XP. You can download 32bit and 64bit versions.
You may not have heard of BlazeDVD Free, but it’s one free DVD player software that has recorded about 2.3 million downloads over at CNET.
And it has won a 4/5 star rating, too.
BlazeDVD Free works with Windows 10/8/7 and even Vista and XP.
It supports ‘smooth’ playback of DVD, SVCD, VCD, and CD. It also supports the playback of 1080p files.
Most free media players out there don’t support SVCD and VCD playback. So, if you have some VCDs or SVCDs lying around, get this DVD player and install it.
Playback control is excellent. Apart from the Play, Stop, Fast-forward, and backward, there’s the Next/Last Chapter, Playlist and Add Bookmark functions.
So, how does the Add Bookmark function work? You bookmark the time code at which you decide to stop playing a DVD and close the player.
Then when you return to playing the same disc, you get to resume from where you left off.
Parents will be delighted by the Parental Control feature. You get to set controls to block certain movies from playing or password-protect them.
Check out the 32.5MB BlazeDVD Free download.