Unable to Play Midi Files in Any Audio Program Win8.1

I have used Win95-Win7, and I have always been able to play midi files out of the box. I'm not trying to play these midi files through a USB device nor am I trying to create midi files using a USB midi device. I'm simply interested in playing midi files in any audio player like: Windows Media Player, VLC, IrfanView, Clementine or anything else.

Steps I have taken:

1. Using the file explorer I found my collection of midi files and tried to play one through Windows Media Player. I got the following dialog: "Windows Media Player cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device. There might not be a sound device installed on your computer, it might be in use by another program, or it might not be functioning properly."

 - I tried shutting down every program running on the system, and trying again, but I got the same result.

2. Downloaded, installed, and tried playing them in GomAudio. 

 - I don't get a warning dialog, but the program tries to play, and then just skips it in its play list.

3. Downloaded, installed, VLC. I got the following message: "No suitable decoder module: VLC does not support the audio or video format "MIDI". Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this."

 - From what I read on the internet, I guess there was a license issue with VLC and they took out support of midi files playing under Windows.

4. Downloaded, installed IrfanView which is known for opening all types of files. I get a warning dialog when it tries to play a file, and it says something about Windows, but I can't read the whole message before it disappears.

5. Read some audio sites that suggested using "Vista MIDI Fix" program, but I believe that is more for if you have multiple USB midi devices which I have non. When I run that program it says: "No MIDI devices found!" as if there is nothing installed on Windows 8.1 to play the files.

6. I downloaded, installed, and tried Timidity++ too, but that just gave me silence as well without really playing the file.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 


Hello Steve,


Thank you for contacting Microsoft Community. I really appreciate for the efforts you have put so far to resolve the issue.


Be assured that we will help you to resolve this issue


Since the files do not work with any of the players that you have tried to download/install. Issue looks specific to the files.


Are you able to play different file formats?


If yes, then try to create or download different set of .midi files and try to play them with WMP and update us accordingly.

In the mean while also try to uninstall/reinstall audio drivers from the device manager. Please follow the below step to uninstall/reinstall the audio drivers from the device manager: 

1. While on the Windows 8.1 desktop, press Windows logo + X key.

2. Please select Device Manager from the list.

3. Locate and expand Sound, Video and Game Controllers, then right-click on driver and click on Uninstall.

4. And then restart the computer.

5. Once you restart the computer the default generic audio drivers would automatically install.

6. Now try to check if you are able to play the .midi files through Windows Media Player.

Hope this information is helpful. Please do let us know if you need further assistance, we’ll be glad to assist you.


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Question Info

Last updated February 6, 2019 Views 1,119 Applies to: