How-To Geek

Make Windows Media Player Automatically Open in Mini Player Mode

Windows Media Player has an interesting option that will let you open files in the Mini Player mode instead of the full player window. This is especially useful for opening music files where you really don’t need the full-size window.

To set this option, go to the Options page (linked off the Now Playing button) and look at the first tab, which should be “Player”.

You’ll see a textbox titled “Start the mini Player for file names that contain this text”. The default value in this field is “voiceatt.wav”, obviously designed to use the mini mode for voicemail attachments.

If you want to make all mp3 files open in the mini player, just type .mp3 into the window:

Or if you have all your music stored on a single drive like I do, you can type the drive letter, or even the folder path to your music collection: 

If you want every single file to always open in the mini player, just type a single colon : character into the field. This doesn’t work quite as well for videos, though…

Now when you double-click on a file in Windows Explorer, it will open in the mini player by default. On to the screenshots!

Windows Media Player 11 on XP (Mini mode)

Windows Media Player 11 on Vista (Mini mode)

The Vista version is definitely cool with the transparency, but I almost like the XP version better.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/24/07

Comments (23)

  1. WillF

    Looks like this feature is new in version 11 — I can’t see that option in version 10.

  2. Kirtan


    Is there any way to remove all the blue shiny appearance of Windows Media Player. I find the default interface too space-consuming. When I minimze it to skin mode (Classic mode), the playlist doesn’t appear. I want WMP to look like Winamp.

  3. Mr. N

    Hehehe niiiice , thank you :)

  4. Niniel

    Is there a way to change the mini player skin? All skins I have tried so far always revert back to the standard skin when switched to mini-mode. I was hoping to find a smaller skin, without the media player icon.

  5. TikaL13

    I wanted to know if you can apply that to a link on your website… For example… I have a link to a song i wrote on my site. When you click on it, it automatically opens your player in mini mode?

  6. Big Texx

    Good lookin……

  7. Big Texx

    Good lookin’ out……very interesting, I hate when the music player pops up when I just simply wanna play a song, and then I have minimize and etc……

  8. akyle

    i have a=something wrong with my windows media player, i want to watch some movies but all i can hear are voices/sounds, i can not see the movie/people in the movie. how to fix it?

  9. ..

    Is there a way to change the mini player skin? All skins I have tried so far always revert back to the standard skin when switched to mini-mode.

  10. Brian

    I was wondering if anyone knew how to turn off the feature of the little pop-up box with song info when a new song starts when in mini player mode? I find it distracting, and defeating the purpose of why I minimize the player in the first place. Thanks!

  11. Pat

    On my wife’s PC (Win 2000) windows explorer has a built in music player. It resides just to the left of the pane with the list of song files. I simply click one time on a song and I can hit the play button. Very handy but I can’t figure out how to configure XP to do that. Any ideas?

  12. Di

    can i change windows media player from the default blue to Black?

  13. roeelo

    mmm… it’s doesn’t work for me…
    any other options?

  14. Terry

    How do you make multiple file extensions open in mini player mode? Eg. .mp3, .mpu, .wav, etc…

  15. Angel

    Hi everybody,

    … I want some help, to see the miniplayer, but with its mini-screen, to see the video from the song too, not only the main controls in this minimode option…

    sorry for my english, and thaks again…

  16. tony678

    I want to start windows media player automatically when i logon to windows. How do i do that?

  17. NIP

    not working anymore

  18. murali

    i want to start the windows media player in full screen mode automatically.There is any possiblities for that

  19. Jonathan

    Easy fix guys instead of all the technical stuff of regedit and rubbish- Forget about your windows media player for a moment. Go to your task bar on your desktop and right click, then choose the following within the pop up menu > Toolbars > windows media player (needs to have a tick) and wuala all done.

  20. atul

    thanks sir

  21. Samreen

    i have tried both ways…using the Tools>Options>entering file extension
    and also
    Taskbar>Toolbars…for media player does not appear in the list, only quick launch and desktop
    Both options are not working for me
    I have media player 11,…any other suggestions???

  22. porky

    using chrome, vista, player 11..when i click on streaming audio ,it opens in a new other pc’s it opens in a seperate player…how can i get it to open in a seperate player all the time?.i want to stay on the web page where the audio link is, but if i press the back button ,i loose the audio..

  23. ryp

    How to make it always in now playing mode?

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