"Windows Media Player cannot find the file" when trying to Rip CD


When ripping music you get one of the following errors:
“Windows Media Player cannot find the file. If you are trying to play, burn, or sync an item that is in your library, the item might point to a file that has been moved, renamed, or deleted.”

“Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. You may not have the appropiate permission to access the item.”


Check to make sure your library paths are correct.

  1. In Windows Media Player go to: Tools -> Options… (you may need to press Alt to show the menu)
  2. Click the “Rip Music” tab.
  3. Under Rip music to this location you should see a path to the location of where your Ripped music will be stored.
  4. If this is blank it will cause the error. To change it, click the “Change…” button.

If this does not work try the following:

  1. Close Window Media Player
  2. Start > Computer
  3. In the left hand pane under Libraries Right click on “Music” then click Properties.
  4. Click “Include a folder…”
  5. Navigate to a folder where you want to store all your music and click the “include folder” button.
  6. You should now see this path in the Library locations:
  7. Select the path you have just added. Click the “Set save location” button
  8. Click OK.

Try running Windows Media Player again and rip your CD this should resolve your problem.
Otherwise try removing media player in “turn window features on or off”, restarting and adding it back on.


  1. This solved the problem for the most part. Now I am getting a message that says “Windows Media Player cannot rip one or more tracks from the CD.” Now what?

  2. The folder where my music is stored was there but I needed to check “set save location”…Now the folder is showing in rip music to this location!! Thanks!

  3. Thankyou for this. This was absolutely driving us nuts, I tried many other options to no avail. This worked immediaitely. Happy Easter.

      1. Two years later and your advice on how to fix the Ripping program in Windows Media Player worked like a charm. Thank you!!

        Kimberly in Tulsa, OK

  4. Thank you so much for your help! I don’t rip many CDs and had forgotten I had it set up to rip to my E: drive. Duh!! Once I changed the location it fixed my problem. I really appreciate your help!

  5. Oh thank god. This saved my ass. So so easy and yet there is nothing in the Windows Media Player help on this topic!!

  6. To make it simpler just Right click windows media player and “Run as Administrator” then navigate to “tools”, “options”, and you should be able to change it to anything you want.

    1. DGB – thanks a lot Running WMP as administrator allowed me to set the destination.

      I recently reinstalled Win 7 (a new hard disk and about the 5th reinstall of WIN7) , and for the first time I decided to set a system partition C: and a data partition E: I think that then I made a mistake somewhere and basically confused Media Player. It did not show a rip-destination and would not let me set a rip destination in “options” and would not save any settings. I have spent 5 days on and off trying to fix this – I tried the fixes in this thread and many many others- with no success. Luckily I read a bit further today and saw your post.
      Fixed in seconds! It was something I had not thought to try.
      Widows annoys me that even though I am the only user on the laptop, and have the administrator account, I still need to select “run as administrator”.
      Anyway, Thanks a lot.

      1. Damn, I got all excited when I saw your post–I am having the same problem; there’s no folder next to the “Change” button under the rip options and nothing happens when I click it. I also have partitions with my My Music folder set to a folder on a partition other than C.

        I thought for sure this would solve the problem, but no dice. I ran as administrator but still nothing happens when I click the Change button.

        I know there’s something wonky in my registry–every time I create a new folder, I get an error that the folder cannot be found, then I hit enter and the folder is there just fine (a minor, annoying inconvenience). I’m too busy/lazy to reinstall. I’ll repost if I figure out how to fix.

        1. Hi again, I fixed the problem by running WMP from the Program Files folder, rather than from the Program Files (x86) folder. I don’t know why that worked, but it worked perfectly.

  7. Thank you so much for this information. I am running windows 8 so I was concerned that it was a windows 8 problem. But your help was better then Microsoft’s help page. Thank you for your hard work you put into your website.

  8. The second option sent me to the correct location where I found a large number of folders – one of which was marked as the default folder where the ripped files were actually being stored – NOT the one I wanted – the one Media Player keep reverting to after I attempted to change within the program each time. I removed this default folder from this list, and it is finally working correctly again (it took a while for the player to apparently make a number of changes in the background at this point)! Thanks!!!

  9. After tearing my hair out trying to fix this ‘ripping’ problem, your solution worked perfectly. When I followed your instructions it the became obvious what I had done to cause this (deleted a folder I used on the last rip). Many thanks.


  11. Thank you second option worked – i have now worked out that when I reinstalled Windows 8.1 I chose coppy settings from previous PC

  12. Worked for me too running windows 8.1 Many thanks. Was fed a load of bull from where I bought the laptop, including ‘you cant rip cd’s with windows media player’!

    Now works perfectly

  13. Hello,

    I am having this same problem, however I don’t have any “Tools” or “Options” on my WMP. 🙁 What’s wrong??

  14. Yay! Thank you so much, have been trying to fix this problem for hours, but this worked straight away 🙂 Thank you thank you thank you 🙂

  15. Thank you very much. The second approach, going into the libraries folder, worked first time. I have been trying all sorts of things for hours. You really helped me on this! Thanks again!

  16. I had the same problem, reason was that last time I ripped a CD it was to my memory stick. This then became the default folder. So when ripping without memory stick I got the same message.
    Fixed using option 2

  17. DBG! Thanks, nothing worked, no way clicking change did anything, but then going in as administrator was the charm, thanks so much.

  18. I was getting nowhere until I read your post. It’s brilliant and the step by step instructions are foolproof. You solved my problem. Thank you most sincerely.

  19. Further to the 2nd method: The last time I ripped, I had been burning all my files directly to a USB flash drive and WMP wanted to keep burning them there even though I no longer had a flash drive installed. So, after step 3 in the above instructions, I simply unclicked the non-existent flash drive and clicked the “My music” folder and all was right in the universe once again! Thanks for this. I was going nuts trying to figure out what the problem was. The “Change…” button in rip settings was rendered inactive (I’m assuming) because of the ghost location WMP had been looking for.

  20. Thank you so much for this. Just spent whole afternoon trying to get it to work. Stumbled across your solution AND ALL IS WELL!!!! Just wondering now why it went wrong, but at least that won’t give me a sleepless night!!
    Thanks again David.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *