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Windows 7: How to make WMP actually open in 64 bit. (sort of)

18 Jul 2010   #1
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 
How to make WMP actually open in 64 bit. (sort of)

Well I have wasted a day on this, so I might as well share it.

As you may be aware, 64 bit Windows 7 comes with both 32 and 64 bit Windows Media Player. However! for some reason, Microsoft, in their Infinite Wisdom, decided to make everything play in 32 bit only Media Player. You can change it around so that the shortcut on your Taskbar points to "Program Files" rather than "Program Files (X86)" but it will still open in 32 bit. Not only that, but you can't change Program Defaults to the 64 bit version! Effectively, the 64 bit version is just sitting there taking up space on your hard drive and not actually useful at all.

Now there used to be a simple Regfix for this with Vista, but Microsoft, again in their Infinite Wisdom have locked it out in Win 7.

Well after many hours of googling, and picking up little snippets here and there, I finally figured out how to do it.

So without further ado, here is how to make Windows 7 default to Media Player 64 bit:

1. Download "Windows Media Player Switch Script" from here: Unlock WMP x64 in Windows 7 x64 at Chris123NT's Blog

2. Extract the files to a folder of your choice and then run "set 64 bit ad default WMP" as Administrator (right click, run as Admin)

3. Reboot.

4. Now, (and this is the really fun part) Click Start>Default Programs. then click "Associate a File type or protocol with a program"

5. Go through every single Windows Media Player extension, and change it to "Windows Media Player" (Note: there will now be 2 Windows Media Player entries in the "Default Program" Window, with no way to tell the difference, the 2nd one (reading from left to right, and top to bottom, like a book) is 64 bit)

Unfortunately, there is no way to "batch change" them that I could see, you have to do every single extension by hand, singly.

I would actually not change them ALL unless you have a few hours to kill (there are alot) just change the ones for extensions you actually use.

Lastly: Unpin WMP from your taskbar, and open a music file or video, Pin the new Icon to the Taskbar, (the one that was pinned was 32 bit Media player, otherwise you end up with 2 Media Player Icons on your taskbar)

I hope it helps someone

2. Reboot


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jul 2010   #2
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

thanks for sharing, martin.

one question: is there any benefit to using 64bit wmp as opposed to its little brother?

(it's all academic to me anyway, as i'm a winamp man, but i can't help wondering...)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2010   #3
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mickey megabyte View Post

one question: is there any benefit to using 64bit wmp as opposed to its little brother?
That I can tell? Probably not. The only advantages that I can see, is that you don't need to download two sets of Codecs for Media Centre and Media Player if they are both 64 bit (which media centre is by default) as the X64 Codecs work on both.

Or if your like me, and just prefer to use 64 bit software on a 64 bit system

I suppose it might make a difference on HD videos or something, if they can run in a native 64 bit environment, but I cant confirm that.
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18 Jul 2010   #4
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

ok thanks
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18 Jul 2010   #5
BugOutMachine

Windows 7 / Windows 8.1
 
 

I followed these instructions but when I went to Associate my files with WMP64 I only had one Media Player listed... could it be that I already had it running and if not, how does one determine which of the two programs is running?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2010   #6
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

The way to tell, is to launch Media Player and then open Task Manager (CTRL-SHIFT-ESC) under the processes tab, if it says "wmplayer.exe*32" then its 32 bit, if it just says "wmplayer.exe" then its 64 bit.

Just a thought, actually the first thing I did was this: Windows Media Player (WMP) - Vista Forums and then what I outlined.

The Script I posted, says it does the same thing though.... might be worth following the instructions there as well though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2010   #7
BugOutMachine

Windows 7 / Windows 8.1
 
 

Thanks for the info! I'm able to verify running the x64 version of WMP. It's just strange that I did not have the dual Media Player options like your setup when I went into my Default Programs.
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18 Jul 2010   #8
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

I suspect thats because you did the right instructions first time I kind of screwed mine over, and tried to do the Vista regfix first, thats probably what broke it.

If someone else can confirm that the Script thing does actually do what its meant to, I will update the OP

By the way thank you for the rep, Normally I send a Visitor Message, but yours is disabled.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #9
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mickey megabyte View Post
one question: is there any benefit to using 64bit wmp as opposed to its little brother?
Nope, there's no reason to.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by severedsolo View Post
Or if your like me, and just prefer to use 64 bit software on a 64 bit system
That's a dangerous, or at the least, wasteful way of thinking. Just because your OS is x64, doesn't mean the included apps are, or should be used. IE8, for example, is absolutely pointless right now in x64 form. WMP would be the same. One of the reasons I upgraded to Windows 7 was that codecs weren't needed anymore for common formats. On most forum boards, the mere discussion of installing codecs on a W7 system raises eyebrows. To each his own though, since it is your system. I prefer to stick with file formats that play natively, because codecs can ruin a system faster than malware in some cases.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2013   #10
RudeBoySes

Windows 8.1 (x64)
 
 

It took me a while to figure out how to do it correctly.
- there are many tutorials available Online but none were complete.

ie. inconsistent.. sometimes WMP x64 would launch.
ie. both x32 & x64 would show for "Open with...".
ie. both would still be listed under registered file-type applications, etc.

Here's how it should look.. only WMP x64!


Here's how to do it properly.
1. Execute following command in CMD Prompt:
Code:
unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:64
2. Open regedit & edit %ProgramFiles(x86)% to %ProgramFiles%:
Code:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wmplayer.exe
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wmplayer.exe
HKLM\Software\CLASSES\CLSID\{cdc32574-7521-4124-90c3-8d5605a34933}\LocalServer32
HKLM\Software\CLASSES\CLSID\{45597c98-80f6-4549-84ff-752cf55e2d29}\LocalServer32
HKLM\Software\CLASSES\CLSID\{ed1d0fdf-4414-470a-a56d-cfb68623fc58}\LocalServer32
normally.. most tutorials would end here..

3. Now search the registry using "wmplayer.exe" as keyword.
- verify found keys contain %ProgramFiles% and not %ProgramFiles(x86)%.
- there are atleast 20 keys that must be edited.
- and some require "taking ownership".

HOW TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF REGISTRY KEY?
- Ensure you're running as Administrator.
- Right click key > select "Properties".
- Highlight "Administrators" > select all checkboxes under "Allow".
- Click "Advanced" > Owner tab > highlight "Administrators" > click Apply.
- Press OK until all windows are closed
- Now you can edit the key.

Look at how many keys i had to edit manually!
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 How to make WMP actually open in 64 bit. (sort of)




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