As you may already know, Windows 10 Build 16299 is the final version of Fall Creators Update. The OS has received a number of cumulative updates after this build. The latest one as of this writing raises its version to 16299.15. A new update package KB4046355, released for this build, is removing Windows Media Player.
KB4046355 identifies itself as "FeatureOnDemandMediaPlayer" in the update list in Settings. Once the update is installed, it makes the Program Files\Windows Media Player folder empty. The context menus in File Explorer will disappear as well. Only the ActiveX object of the app survives during this operation, which is essentially useless for modern playback standards.
It is not known if this happens due to a bug or whether Microsoft is removing Windows Media Player by default to promote Store apps like Groove Music. There is no official information about this change nor is the support page for KB4046355 available yet.
If you are affected by this issue and need to restore Windows Media Player, reinstall it using the Settings app.
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to Apps > Apps & features.
- On the right, click on the link Manage optional features.
- Find the optional feature named Windows Media Player and install it.
If this move is intentional, it might not be welcomed by users who use Windows Media Player for local media playback or for streaming content to TVs and other devices using DLNA or MiraCast (WMP's Cast To feature). For them, this change is very unpleasant.
What about you? If Windows Media Player gets removed, will you miss it? Tell us in the comments.