How to Disable DRM in Windows Media Player?

Users can disable the digital rights management, or DRM, that Windows Media Player appends to files when they are ripped from CDs through the software's settings. The exact process varies based on the version of Windows Media Player installed on users' computers.

Windows Media Player may append a DRM license to any files copied from CDs to a user's media library. This license limits the usage of these files to the computer that ripped the files. By turning off DRM, users can avoid the process of backing up and restoring their licenses and continue using the files even if they change their computer's hardware or move to another PC.

Windows Media Player in Windows 7 and later

  • Open Windows Media Player
  • If the Player is in "Now Playing" mode, click the "Switch to Library" button
  • In the Library, click "Organize"
  • Click "Options"
  • Click the tab labeled "Rip Music"
  • Deselect the "Copy protect music" option if it is selected

Windows Media Player in older versions of Windows

  • Open Windows Media Player
  • Click on "Tools"
  • Click on "Options"
  • Click on "CD Audio"
  • Uncheck the "Enable Digital Rights Management" option

Windows Media Player applies copy protection only when audio is ripped to the Windows Media Audio, or WMA, format. Therefore, if users want to limit the distribution of songs they rip, they cannot use the MP3 format.