How to restore deleted Windows Media Player files

Updated February 21, 2017

Windows Media Player (WMP) has been an integral part of Microsoft Windows operating systems, supporting many types of media ranging from audio to video. The WMP application adds versatility and expands the usefulness of your PC, which increases the overall value. In addition to playing your media files, WMP also manages your media files. Similar to how CD/DVD towers hold and organise hundreds of discs, WMP can also hold hundreds of songs and albums. WMP can also get rid of unwanted songs with the click of a mouse button, by removing them from your playlists and library. There are times, however, when you wish to restore deleted media to WMP and that process is very easy.

Open WMP. Click on the WMP icon located in "All Programs" on the "Start" menu. Alternatively, find the WMP icon in the "Quick Launch" toolbar, located on the taskbar by the "Start" button.

Access the "Library." Click on the "File" menu at the top of WMP. Select "Add to Library" and wait for the dialogue box labelled as such to pop open.

Restore files. Click the "Advanced Options" button in the "Add to Library" dialogue box. In the "Monitored Folders" column ensure the folder containing your original music is selected, which is indicated in the "Type" column as "Rip Folder."

Glance below the "Monitored Folders" section and ensure a check-mark is populated for "Add files previously deleted from library." Click the "OK" button and wait for the "Add to Library by Searching Computer" dialogue box to open.

Monitor progress. In the "Add to Library by Searching Computer" dialogue box look at the "Progress" bar, indicated by a green line moving from left to right; also, below that, monitor the "Files found:" and "Files added:" counts.

After the progress displays "Search Completed" look to see if "Files Added:" is greater than "0" (zero), indicating files deleted from WMP have been restored.


When files are deleted from WMP two options are available: "Delete from library only" or "Delete from library and my computer." If you selected the latter, then the above steps will not work; your files may have been sent to the Windows Recycle Bin. Simply open the Recycle Bin and find your deleted WMP files (music, video, etc.). Right-click the file(s) and select "Restore." This will add the file(s) back to the original folder monitored in WMP. If WMP does not automatically add the files to your library, you may have to repeat the steps above. Please see "Microsoft: Recover files from the recycle bin," in the References section for more information.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Damarious Page is a financial transcriptionist specializing in corporate quarterly earnings and financial results. Page holds a medical transcription certificate and has participated in an extensive career analysis and outplacement group workshop through Right Management. The West Corporation trained and certified him to handle customer support for home appliance clients.