How I Fixed My wmplayer.exe Always Running on Vista Issues

This has been going on for a while. The symptoms were:

  • Windows Media Player (wmplayer.exe) was running on boot, not visible of course, even after creating a new account
  • Sometimes when playing an MP3 with WMP it would play, but when losing the WMP window the mp3 would continue playing (and wmplayer.exe would still run)
  • Sometimes MP3s playing die off after 10 or 20 seconds
  • This happens even though “media watching” is turned off in WMP

With a bit of help from Dana I figured out that wmplayer.exe was being run via mobsync.exe. Going to All Programs -> Accessories -> Sync Center opens up the Mobil Sync Center. Even though I had nothing set up under “View Sync Partnerships”, going into the ‘set up new sync partnerships’ on the lefthand menu I found that my SDHC card reader and my USB key were in there.

Now my assumption was that if I didn’t set up something, it would leave them alone, however if you right click on each device in the list and go to “Setup” (WMP will pop up for some reason or other) and then un-check the sync this device automatically option.

After doing this for each device listed and rebooting, I found I didn’t have my wmplayer.exe issues anymore! Wooo!

So it looks like Vista is trying to be really helpful, and preemptively getting WMP ready to sync up any new devices you plug in. This means that on boot it sees the device, runs WMP to watch the media or whatever it’s doing, and there for the slug that is WMP is running all the time for you (no, I’m not saying that iTunes isn’t a beast as well).

Hope this helps someone out there, I searched to find how to fix this to no avail before.

12 Comments on “How I Fixed My wmplayer.exe Always Running on Vista Issues”

  1. Awesome, I’ve been trying to track down the cause of this myself. Another very annoying side effect (at least for me) is when you double click a media file to launch media player, the file plays but the window doesn’t pop-up. Really something MS needs to fix. Thanks for the solution!

  2. The item I found under my “setup partnerships” list was “Offline Files”. I disabled the “Offline Files” service in service manager, since I don’t use it, and poof the problem is completely gone.

  3. I had the same problems as the author, but mine could not be solved through the sync center. Turned out that it was a WMP gadget I installed on my miniscreen, “windows sideshow”. (A small screen on my computer box for checking e-mails and such). When I disabled the Windows media player (through the control panel) the problem went away.

  4. I really hate that wmplayer shit, it’s driving me crazy, I have to close it from task manager everytime I watch a video, play music etc.. tried sysnc center, my USB disks which I use for ReadyBoost were in list but when I select setup and try to uncheck sync this device setting it doesn’t work!

  5. Thank you soooo much! This is another example of Microsoft knows best. Why they assume you want to sync everything with WMP by default is beyond me and the fact it broke WMP by continuing to play media even after you shut it down is enough to want to smash your PC to bits.
    You really should submit this to MSDN and tell them they’re a bunch idiots for me while you’re there 😉

  6. In my case, the culprit was the Logitech G15 “LCD Manager” software that, by default, enabled Windows Side Show as one of the program options. Disabling both program options (one for monochrome and one for color) fixed it. wmplayer.exe no longer restarts itself after ending the task.

  7. Thank you, Thor. I also have a G15 and wmplayer.exe kept running in the background for no apparent reason. Disabling both of those programs also permanently shut down wmplayer.exe for me.

  8. You are my hero, thank you so much. Again Microsoft does something completley unneccessary that just drains my resources…. I am happy that whatever problem I have with Windows it just takes a little googling and a little patience to solve it and good, helpful people like yourself.

  9. I had the same problem and nothing I could find was my problem, in the end mine was a Google desktop addon (windows dock) which has a media player function and since removing it, i have had no issues

  10. Hey Thor (Hammer of God), thank you! I reformatted last week, and ever since, I have had this problem. Watch a movie, close it in the middle, and the sound is still there (wmp still runs in background). I tried the author’s fix, and didn’t see any devices to disable. Saw your post, and I too have a G15 keyboard. Just curious why this is the first time this has been an issue. I have reformatted… five times since getting the G15? Must be new drivers or something. Anyways, thanks for the help. Your suggestion was my fix.