Clear Playlists and Library in Windows Media Player

Do you have a bunch of items in your Windows Media Player playlist that are no longer there? I got a question from my lovely ex-girlfriend Carrie, asking me how to clear out all of the Playlists so that she could start from scratch.

Option 1 – Clear Individual Lists

  1. In Windows Media Player, navigable to a list of items you wish to delete.
  2. Press “CTRL” + “A” to select all items.
  3. Press “Delete“.
  4. Repeat these steps for additional lists you wish to delete.

Note: If you want to delete the file from Media Player but do not wish to delete the actual media file from your computer, go to “Tools” > “Options” > “Library” and deselect the “Delete files from computer when deleted from library” option.


Option 2 – Obliterate Everything

  1. Close Windows Media Player
  2. From a file explorer, navigate to the following location:
    • Windows 8, 7, & Vista – C:\Users\username\Application Data\Local\Microsoft\Media Player
    • Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Player
  3. Delete all files in the “Media Player” folder.

When Media Player is relaunched, we found that it cleared everything out of the Playlists and the Library. It did start searching for media on the PC automatically, and the Library list started rebuilding, but that was fine with her, since the goal was to just get rid of stuff that wasn’t there anyway.

If you don’t want to library to rebuild, you will have to right-click the list “Music“, “Videos“, “Pictures” options on the left pane from the library view, select “Manage library“, and remove the folders where your media is located.

Please be aware, clearing files out of the Media Player folder might wipe out some other personal settings. If you need the settings back though, you can simply restore them from the Recycle Bin.


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