For any experienced iOS users, it’s not surprising there are often some nuances that come with owning an Apple device. Apple’s desire to use its own software formats is one such example. Because of that, playing file types like Windows Media Video, better known as WMV, can often be problematic. This file type is a Microsoft standard, so it plays nicely with Windows apps and not Apple. The good news is that WMV file playback on the iPhone or iPad is not only possible but really quite easy. Keep reading to see how you can play WMV files directly on your iOS device.
Download the Right Apps to Play WMV Files
Until such time when Apple bakes something into its software to play WMV files, you’ll need a third-party solution. Fortunately, plenty of those apps exist. In this case, downloading an app like PlayerXtreme Media Player is the best possible (and free) solution for “native” WMV playback.
Alternatively, Internet-favorite VLC is also an option for playing back WMV files on iOS. Once you download PlayerXtreme, if and when you come across a WMV file, opening it is just a few taps away. Both apps integrate codec packs that enable playback for a variety of file formats Apple does not natively support.
Opening WMV Files
Once PlayerXtreme is installed, viewing a WMV video file is incredibly straightforward in iOS 13. Downloading any WMV video file in iOS 13 will land it in the “Downloads” folder in iCloud Drive. Tap on it one time, and you will quickly discover that “native” file playback does not exist in iOS. Instead, you only see the name of the file format on the screen.
To open the file and view playback, follow the steps below.
1. At the bottom-left corner on the screen is the “Share Sheet” icon. The icon looks like a square with an arrow rising out of it. Tap on the arrow and pull up the Share Sheet.
2. Scroll all the way to the right until you see PlayerXtreme listed. If you do not see it listed, hit the “More” icon and locate the app. When you see “Copy to PlayerXtreme”, click on it.
3. You will now be provided with four different options for viewing the file: Play, Save & Play, Save only and Cancel.
4. Press “Play” and the WMV file will begin playing in the app.
5. Repeat with any other WMV video file on iOS. PlayerXtreme will be available for playback across iOS thanks to the Share Sheet.
Converting Files to MP4
For some macOS users, using third-party video apps for file playback is a bridge too far. If you count yourself among that group, consider converting the files to a more Mac-friendly MP4 video. To accomplish this conversion, there is a range for free video converters across the web. One of the most-liked cross-platform choices is Any Video Converter. You can also get it done with VLC.
1. To get started, download and install the software.
2. Once the installation is complete, open AVC and find the option to “Drag media files here.” You can do multiple files at once or one file at a time.
3. Locate your file in Finder on the Mac and File Explorer on Windows 10. Drag the file into AVC, and the software will upload the video.
4. Select your export format. In this case, choose MP4 and, in the case of the Mac or Windows, the device you want to watch on. Both versions of the app provide a list of possible export formats for Apple and non-Apple devices.
5. When your export choice is made, you can choose the export location underneath the “Output Location” option. You can choose any location on your Mac or Windows computer.
6. Click on “Convert Now” and let AVC do its thing. Depending on the file size, this could take a few moments, a few minutes or longer.
7. After the file is reformatted, it will appear on your “History” tab, which also provides a magnifying glass icon so you can quickly locate it in Finder or File Explorer.
You can also use AirDrop to share files between macOS and iOS.