Normally you couldn’t just play .mkv (Matroska) video on Media Player of Windows 8. That’s because Microsoft just don’t set its Media Player capable to play .mkv files by default. It means you’ll need very special tricks (don’t worry it is easy) to make it possible. Yet, that video and music player app that comes as default program on every version of Windows is not also capable to play DVD videos on Windows 8. Hence you’ll need to download “Media Center Pack” which is available for free until January 31, 2013.
Lets talk about Matroska video again. For me, the easiest solution is to install and use third-party media player app(s) and codec packs but that always ended up installing more than I need to play the formats that are not supported. So another solution is a trick to make Windows 8′s default player app capable to play the movie format I want. In case of Matroska (.mkv), when we force it to play, the Media Player will display such error message..
“The selected file has an extension (.mkv) that is not recognized by Windows Media Player, but the Player may still be able to play it. Because the extension is unknown by the Player, you should be sure that the file comes from a trustworthy source.“
And when the “YES” button is clicked, following message will also appear..
“Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.“
Here’s The Trick
- Download Haali Media Splitter (FREE)
- Install the program
- Open Windows Media Player app
- Open the .mkv video you wish to watch
- Voila.. it plays just fine now..
That’s because by installing Haali Media Splitter it adds support for various containers to Windows 8 including: Matroska MKV, MP4, AVI, OGG/OGM, and MPEG TS.
The last thing you may wish to do is to associate the .mkv file extension to always be opened with Windows Media Player and not other media player(s) installed on your OS. To do that simply :
Launch Windows 8 start screen >> Enter Default Programs >> Load the control panel applet that is displayed as a result >> Select the associate a file type or protocol with a program link here >> Scroll down to mkv and click on change program at the top right corner of the window >> Select Windows Media Player from the list of suggestions. But if it is not displayed immediately, click on More Options and select it from the list of additional programs or by browsing your PC for an application. That’s all. So now each time you double-click any .mkv file, Windows Media Player will automatically open to play that file.