Windows 10 – Play DVDs for Free

You can watch DVDs on your Windows 10 PC for free. Here’s what you need:

  • A DVD-ROM drive, either internal or external or virtual such as Virtual CloneDrive
  • VideoLAN’s VLC desktop software, an open-source (read: free to use) media player that includes support for DVD media. (Note that I don’t recommend the VLC app in the Windows Store, which is a separate version that does not support DVD playback.)

During the VLC installation process, make sure “Discs Playback” is selected (it is by default). Once it’s installed and running, pop in your DVD, then click Media > Open Disc…, or just press Ctrl-D.

In the window that appears next, click Play — and then sit back and enjoy. I tested this with, appropriately enough, a DVD of “The Simpsons,” and it worked like a charm. Your mileage may vary, of course; there are always potential glitches with DVD regions, video codecs and the like.

But for most folks, this is the free and easy path to DVD nirvana in Windows 10. Thanks for the $15 app, Microsoft, but no thanks.

By the way, neither Microsoft’s app nor VLC offers direct support for Blu-ray media. There are some VLC add-ons that may work, but your better bet is to buy Blu-ray movies that come with digital versions.

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