How-To Geek

Update Metadata and Cover Art in Windows Media Player 12

If you use Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7, you may notice some of your media is missing information when displayed in the library. Today we look at how to edit and update metadata and cover art in WMP 12.

By default, Windows Media Player will pull metadata, such as the title, artist, album, and cover art from the Internet. If you did not accept that default option during setup, we’ll need to turn the feature on first.


Select Tools > Options from the top Menu bar.


On the Library tab, ensure that Retrieve additional information form the Internet is checked. Click OK.


Editing Metadata

Now we’re ready to update some files. Find a media file with incorrect details or cover art. Right-click on the title and select Find album info.


This will bring up the Find album information window. Here you’ll see the existing information that Windows Media Player interpreted as correct on the left side. The results of  WMP’s search for the media information are on the right.

Click on Artists,  Albums , or Tracks to scroll through the search results and try to find a match. You can also type in new keywords in the Search box and hit enter (or click the Search button) to perform a new search.


If you find a correct match for your media file, click to select it and click Next.


You’ll be prompted to confirm your selection, then click Finish.


You should now see your media file displayed properly in Windows Media Player.


Manually Entering Metadata

If your search for the correct media information comes up empty, you can always manually enter the information yourself.

On the Find album information window, click Edit under Existing Information.


You can edit the existing information in the text boxes or the Genre dropdown box.


There are a couple hidden text boxes below. Click next to Contributing Artist or Composer to enter that information.


Choosing Your Own Cover Art

If your media file doesn’t pull the proper cover art, or if you simply wish to find a different image, you can add your own. Search online for a suitable image. An ideal size would be around 300 x 300 pixels, give or take. Right-click on the image copy the image.


You’ll need to switch to Expanded title (if you haven’t already) to paste the image.


Paste your new image by right-clicking on the current image and select Paste album art. Note: If the image is not suitable size or type, the Paste album art option will not be available.


Your new cover art will appear in Windows Media Player.


Even though it is pulled from the Internet, cover art is cached on your computer and will still be available when you are disconnected from the Internet.

Are you new to Windows Media Player? If so, check out our article on how to Manage your music with Windows Media Player.

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 04/27/10

Comments (15)

  1. X-Tremo

    Something like this for Ubuntu?

  2. Manzel

    Is there a way to prevent WMP 12 from overwriting the folder.jpg (which I have in high quality) with its own LQ version?

  3. Kerensky97

    Big word of warning here. WMP12 will corrupt any non-standard ID3 tags you have on your files. If you’ve ever used 3rd party software that adds tags (such as Musicbrainz, etc.) having WMP12 edit your ID3 info will ruin those tags.

  4. lord_jedi

    Thank you! I’ve been through nearly 1 year without proper album art covers for my songs. Thank you! Thank you!

  5. Yves M.

    Jesus. Isn’t there a more automated way of doing this? I have over 5000 albums. This will take for ever ;-)

  6. metalmancer

    yves m., wmp is actually very efficient for this. the manual “find album info” process is only needed for albums that are unique in some way. like if its an unreleased rare album for example.

  7. Bebop de Billbop

    WMP has this annoying habit of grouping everything that came from one physical disk together. So when I rip songs from a compilation CD I made from old vinyl, it wants them always to be from the same album, metadata-wise. I have tried ripping the music using other software (Roxio), and letting WMP “find” it, but now all those files have zero track lengths and I can’t change their Details within Properties — I get “error 0x8007000D the data is invalid.” Very frustrating.

  8. Phan Binh

    Thanks for he useful topic but actually I’m having trouble with WMP tagging system. I just can’t add information to .WAV; .WV; .APE and .FLAC files. Isn’t it means that WMP does not support information of those types?

  9. Tony

    Phan Binh,

    seems there is a 3dparty plugin for WMP with FLAC/APE tagging support. Google for WMP Tag Support Extender.


  10. Richard

    What I don’t understand is, well – I don’t understand what should seem so simple!
    Why doesn’t edited metadata in WMP library show in Windows Explorer?
    Why does album artwork not show in WMP Library, but when seeking album info a small thumbnail appears on the left (i.e. that which I’ve got?).
    Why does an unknown album stay an unknown album even when edited in library. Means have to enter everything twice.
    Doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m a simple soul at heart. (XPSP3 WMP11)
    There’s got to be an easier way. Why is everything so complicated?

  11. Salim

    that’s what i need <3
    thank You

  12. Simon

    THANK YOU!!! Windows products always do this… has all the features but of course then it’s hard to find. wonderful summary. Perfect for editing your own compositions and providing album art!

  13. me

    I agree with Yves M, at 7000+ albums, this is total nonsense. ESPECIALLY when you carefully edit metadata and copy to a new machine and it ignores all your edits.

  14. Bertram

    Album Art does not attach to new songs when adding new songs to an already existing album. (AND, HELL NO, IM NOT TURNING ON THE AUTO UPDATE FUNCTION:::::THAT JUST #$@!s EVERYTHING UP) (NOTE: I am NOT in widows media player at this point) I open the folder that the songs are stored in. I change the view of the folder contents so that I see large images of the files. Only one of the files shows the album cover. The other files show the standard blue music note indicating NO IMAGE is attached to such file. I do not have a copy of the album cover on my computer nor is there one on the internet. I want to copy the attached image from the one music file that has it to all the other music files in the current folder.

    Having said this, if I do open windows media player it does show the image with all of the songs that are stored in the above mentioned folder, but if I copy any of the songs to another computer the album cover does not copy over unless it is the file that actually has the album cover as described above.

    Do you know how to copy this information outside of Windows Media Player from one file to another?

  15. macsalty

    I cannot check the “retrieve additional information…” box, it is grayed out. Now what?

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