[Fix] Windows Media Player error "Item is unplayable - please reacquire the content"

Issue: Hello. When I try to play a video file using the Windows Media Player, I receive the message “Item is unplayable – please reacquire the content” with the 0xC00D36E5 error. How do I fix this?

Solved Answer

Windows Media Player is a well-known media player application from Microsoft. It comes with various versions of the Windows operating system and supports a wide range of media formats such as audio, video, and images. One of the many advantages of using Windows Media Player is the ability to organize and manage media files, create playlists, and burn CDs and DVDs.

The “Item is unplayable – please reacquire the content” message in Windows Media Player with the error code 0xC00D36E5 usually appears when the media file you're attempting to play is corrupted or damaged in some way. It could also be due to a problem with the file's digital rights management (DRM). This error message is frequently frustrating for users because it prevents them from playing media files.

Users may face a variety of consequences as a result of the error. It may limit their ability to work on projects that require the use of specific media files or prevent them from accessing their preferred media content. This error message can be resolved by redownloading or purchasing the media file, checking for updates to Windows Media Player or the Windows operating system, and disabling any third-party plugins or extensions that may be interfering with the application.

In this guide, you will find 6 steps that should help you fix Windows Media Player error “Item is unplayable – please reacquire the content”. Keep in mind that the manual troubleshooting process may be lengthy. To avoid it, you can use an automatic maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9. It can fix most system errors, BSODs,[1] corrupted files, registry[2] issues, or clear cookies and cache.[3] Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Fix Windows Media Player error Item is unplayable-please reacquire the content

Solution 1. Replace the USB Stick

If you receive the 0xC00D36E5 error while playing a file from your USB drive in Windows Media Player, it is recommended that you try switching to a different USB stick or memory stick to resolve the issue. Try playing the same file from a different USB stick to see if the error persists.

Solution 2. Check the File Format

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To address the 0xC00D36E5 error on your media player, you should verify if the file format is compatible with your player. If not, consider converting the file to a format that is supported. For example, if your file is in MP4 format and your player doesn't recognize it, convert it to AVI and try again.

Solution 3. Install Missing Codecs

Codecs are pieces of software that enable the playback of media files. During the file creation process, custom codecs are frequently used. If you want to play such a file, you must have the corresponding codec installed on your computer. While locating the exact codec can be difficult, you can either install it if you have access to it or conduct an online search based on the file extension to find the necessary codecs.

Solution 4. Update the Media Player

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  • Run the Windows Media Player application
  • Press Alt + H on your keyboard
  • Click on the Check for updates section
  • If an update is available, the application will automatically download and install it

Solution 5. Reset the Media Player

  • Click on the Settings app from the search results to open it
  • Press on the Apps option
  • Scroll down and find the Windows Media Player app from the list of installed apps
  • Click on the app to open its Settings
  • Click on the Advanced options button
  • Scroll down and click on the Reset button
  • A confirmation dialog box will appear. Click on the Reset button again to confirm.
  • The Media Player app will now be reset to its default settings.

Note: Resetting the Media Player app will erase all its settings and preferences. It will also remove any customizations or changes made to the app.

Solution 6. Reinstall the Media Player

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  • Left-click on the Windows button and search for Control Panel
  • Under the Programs section, click on Uninstall a program
  • Click on Turn Windows features on or off in the left-side panel
  • Expand the Media Features folder
  • Uncheck the Windows Media Player option, and then click on OK
  • The system will now begin to uninstall Windows Media Player
  • Restart your computer and return to the same Turn Windows features on or off setting
  • Select the Windows Media Player option this time and click on OK
  • Restart your computer again
  • Verify whether the issue is resolved

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Access geo-restricted video content with a VPN

Private Internet Access is a VPN that can prevent your Internet Service Provider, the government, and third-parties from tracking your online and allow you to stay completely anonymous. The software provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, ensuring optimal performance and not slowing you down. You can also bypass geo-restrictions and view such services as Netflix, BBC, Disney+, and other popular streaming services without limitations, regardless of where you are.

Don’t pay ransomware authors – use alternative data recovery options

Malware attacks, particularly ransomware, are by far the biggest danger to your pictures, videos, work, or school files. Since cybercriminals use a robust encryption algorithm to lock data, it can no longer be used until a ransom in bitcoin is paid. Instead of paying hackers, you should first try to use alternative recovery methods that could help you to retrieve at least some portion of the lost data. Otherwise, you could also lose your money, along with the files. One of the best tools that could restore at least some of the encrypted files –  Data Recovery Pro.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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