You need to install Media Feature Pack in Windows 10 N/KN editions to enable all multimedia features. Features like Windows Media Player, Music, Video, Voice Recorder, etc. are not included in the N/KN editions of Windows.
Why are these features not included in Windows 10 N Edition?
This is because of European laws. N stands for No Media. European competition authorities forbid companies to package media products inside of Windows to make sure other media companies can compete with Microsoft on the Windows platform.
The story is similar in the case of Windows 10 KN Edition. Microsoft abides by the Korean laws and does not add the multimedia functionality by default in Windows.
So who needs the Media Feature Pack?
To add the multimedia functionality in Windows 10, you will need to install Media Feature Pack. Microsoft explains in this article about which functionality is not available in the N and KN editions of Windows 10. Here are some of the points:
- New features such as Windows Mixed Reality, Cortana, Windows Hello, and PDF viewing in the new Edge browser that rely on Windows Media files are not included in Windows 10 N.
- Some websites and software, such as Windows Store applications and Microsoft Office, use Windows Media-related files that are not included in Windows 10 N edition. Except for Windows Mixed Reality, users can make these websites and software work correctly by installing the Media Feature Pack for N versions of Windows 10.
- The Media Feature Pack for N versions of Windows 10 is incompatible with Windows Mixed Reality. Users who want to use Windows Mixed Reality must install a non-N version of Windows 10.
In this article, we will explain the steps to install and activate Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N/KN Version 1909 (also applies for Version 1903).
But first, how do I check if I have N/KN edition of Windows 10?
This is simple. Go to Run –> winver.
It will tell you exactly which version and edition of Windows you are running. Here is a screenshot of mine:
Install Media Feature Pack in Windows 10 N/KN Version 1909
Earlier, Microsoft used to provide download links for media feature packs for each new version of Windows 10. But from Version 1903, the MFP has been added to optional features and can be installed directly from the control panel. Let’s go through the steps to add Media Feature Pack:
- Open Windows Settings and go to Apps.
- Under Apps & Features, click on Optional features.
- Click on Add a feature
- Find Media Feature Pack from the list.
- Clicking on the item will enable the Install button. Press the button to download and install the feature automatically.
Please note that you will need to install Windows Media Player separately. You can find and install it using the same list.
After the installation is complete, you can see Media Feature Pack and Windows Media Player in the list of optional features in the Apps.
After installing Media Feature Pack, you can install media codecs from Microsoft Store to make the most out of your multimedia experience. Here are some interesting codec packs:
VP9 Video Extensions (Play streaming videos over the Internet)
Web Media Extensions (For Edge and Windows 10 to support open-source media formats)
HEIF Image Extensions (Read and write high-efficiency image files)
Uninstall Media Feature Pack from Windows 10
Uninstalling Media Feature Pack from Windows 10 is very similar to the installation. Here are the steps involved:
- Go to Windows Settings –> Apps.
- Under Apps & Features, click on Optional features
- You will see Media Feature Pack in the list of installed optional features
- Click on the item and the Uninstall option will appear.
- Click on the Uninstall button to completely remove Media Feature Pack from Windows 10.
Please note that you need an active Internet connection to install optional features in Windows 10. And a restart is required after installation of Windows Media Pack to start working correctly.
What are your thoughts about this functionality by Microsoft? Did you prefer to download the Media Feature Pack or are you comfortable with Microsoft adding the tool to its optional features?