.WMV File Extension

.WMV File Extension

File Type

Windows Media Video

Developer Microsoft
3.8  |  319 Votes
Category Video Files
Format Binary

What is a WMV file?

A WMV file is a video stored in the Microsoft Advanced Systems Format (ASF) and compressed with Windows Media Video compression. It is meant to be played in Microsoft media players, such as Windows Media Player and Microsoft Movies & TV. WMV files may be encrypted for use with Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems.

More Information
Screenshot of a .wmv file in Microsoft Windows Media Player
WMV file open in Microsoft Windows Media Player

In 1999, Microsoft introduced the Windows Media Video (WMV) compression format. This compression format is used to transform .ASF videos into WMV files, which can be streamed over the Internet and played using Microsoft media players. For example, YouTube allows users to upload WMV videos, and Windows Media Player's default video file format is WMV. In addition, some paid video services provide users with DRM-enabled WMV files, which can be played only on the device used to download the files.

However, as Windows Media Player's popularity has waned, and as developers have created cross-platform video file formats that rival WMV files' compression ratio, WMV files have fallen out of favor. .MP4 files are now much more popular than WMV files.

How do I open a WMV file?

You can open and play a WMV file in a variety of media players, including:

Open and view .WMV files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open WMV files

Updated January 27, 2021

Verified by FileInfo.com

The FileInfo.com team has independently researched the Windows Media Video file format and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS apps listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

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