Still running Windows 7 but have never used the Media Center? Here’s how it works and what you can do with it.
Microsoft put the kibosh on Windows Media Center as a built-in application in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. But those of you running Windows 7 can still tap into the Media Center program. With Media Center, you can access your videos, music, photos, and more. You can play DVDs and view slide shows. You can even watch live TV and record TV shows. So, how can you get Media Center up and running to view your multimedia content? Let’s check it out.
First, if you’re running Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate, then Media Center is automatically baked in and accessible. If you’re running Windows 8.1, you could access Media Center by purchasing an add-on program called the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack. Microsoft stopped selling the Pro Pack back in 2015. But you may still be able to find the program from third-party resellers via Amazon.
And what about those of you running Windows 10? Are you out of luck as far as Windows Media Center? Officially, yes. Unofficially, no. Microsoft doesn’t make a version of Media Center for its newest flavor of Windows and even removes the program if you upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. But you can grab an unofficial, and I mean very unofficial, version that you’ll find from a thread on the My Digital Life forums. You’ll have to set up an account on the forums to view the links to download this unofficial version. But you’ll want to be cautious since this is a third-party product that is not supported by Microsoft and may or may not fully work in the latest edition of Windows 10.
Here, I’ll show you how to set up and use Media Center in Windows 7. To get started, click on the Windows 7 Start button, click on the All Programs link, look for the Windows Media Center shortcut, and click on it to launch the program. Windows Media Center loads.