How-To Geek

Create Custom Playlists in Windows Media Player 12

A playlist is a group of songs or media files that are grouped together based on a theme. Today we’ll look at how to create your own custom playlists in Windows Media Player 12.

Create Custom Playlists

Open Windows Media Player and switch to the Library view. Click on the Play tab at the top right to reveal the List pane.


If you currently have songs listed on the List pane, you can remove them by clicking Clear list.


To add songs to your playlist, right-click on the song title, select Add to, and then click Play list.


You can also drag and drop the song title right onto the play list area. Hold down the Control [Ctrl] key while clicking to select more than one track at a time.


Changing the Playlist Order

You can click and drag each item in your playlist to move it up or down.


You can also right click on the title and select Move up or Move down, or to completely remove a track from your playlist.


You have the option to shuffle your list by clicking the Options list icon and selecting Shuffle list from the dropdown list.


By selecting Sort list by you can sort by Title, Artist, Album, Release date, and more.


Saving and naming your playlist

To save your playlist, click on the Save list button.


You’ll be prompted to enter a name for your playlist in the text box. Click away when you are finished.


Windows Media Player will display your most recent playlists in the Navigation panel.


Simply select the playlist anytime you want to listen to it.



Custom playlists are a great way to group your music by themes such as mood, genre, activity, season, and more.

If you are new to Windows Media Player 12, check out our post on managing your music in 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 05/14/10

Comments (8)

  1. Roi

    Yep! I’ve been using Playlists in WMP12 a lot!
    I have a playlist for soothing, relaxing music when im stressed/doing homework
    I have a playlist for rock songs
    I have a playlist for pop songs
    And then I have a playlist with everything together :D

  2. No

    This doesn’t work. Hasn’t worked in about a year and a half. I’m not sure what the deal is with WMP but currently on both Win7 computers I own, attempting to create a playlist results in a “Windows Media Player encountered a problem while creating or saving the playlist” error. Such simple task that’s been broken in WMP for many folks (I’m definitely the only one). With absolutely zero attention by microsoft.

  3. Biffo

    I’m in exactly the same position. I follow the instructions and get exactlly the same message every time : “Windows Media Player encountered a problem while creating or saving the playlist” . Can anyone help?

  4. IndianaJones

    Same f…ing problem with the error and no help. What a waste. They just dont f…ing care.

  5. Jason

    I get the same message and cannot create :(

  6. Rhaynz

    I get the same problem and can’t create for many months until I figure it out. This is windows7. Try…
    1. Right click the title of the music, then click ADD TO PLAYLIST.
    2. Hit the LIST OPTIONS button on the upper right corner, then click SAVE LIST AS.
    3. On the File name, type the name of your playlist.
    4. Then click FOLDER in the upper right, hit folder again.
    5. Click Save button or Ctrl+S in your keyboard. You can now drag and drop music to add musics into your playlist.

  7. Kar

    @Rhaynz You rock! Works perfectly now. Thank you!

  8. DDelue

    Rhaynz, thanks for posting this fix it works perfectly!

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