I'd like to sync my music from my internal hard drive to an external hard drive.

Windows Media Player doesn't recognize my USB external hard drive as a syncable device. If I plug in any USB flash drive, it shows up as a device, but I can't seem to get it to recognize my external hard drive.

Per some googling suggestions, the only suggestion I came across was to try enabling the "Portable Device Enumerator" service, but that yielded no luck.

Is there any way to sync my music from WMP to an external hard drive?

  • Does it have to be done within wmp? There are many syncing tools out there that could keep your music synced without involving wmp. – Paul Jun 1 '12 at 4:11
  • Yeah, I'm aware of plenty other tools, but I've been using WMP to sync to my flash drives and was hoping to keep it consistent. – dtbarne Jun 2 '12 at 17:57

It seems ridiculous that there is no good solution to this, but here is my obvious workaround.

I sync'ed the music I wanted to a flashdrive first, then just tranferred it from the flash to the harddrive by clicking and dragging.

It's double-handling, I know, but it's the only way to get exactly what you want out of WMP. Personally I just wanted my 'Top Rated' songs on the harddrive to listen to while playing Xbox, but I also wanted them to remain in their Artist/Album folders for easy selection. This workaround did that for me.


It seems like WMP has serious problems with syncing to large external drives, but no problem with smaller Flash drives.

In the thread Windows Media Player 12 and USB Drives, some people have reported success after reformatting their external drives in NTFS, others rather with FAT32. I have reproduced the problem with my own large external disk, but have no intention of reformatting it.

Even when successfully synced, WMP will sometimes insist for no reason on converting the music to other formats when copying externally.

Some people have tried to solve this problem by keeping their music only on the external drive, since WMP will happily import music files from it. This introduces more problems when the drive is to be turned off, as treated in this article.

In conclusion: You could try to reformat the drive as NTFS or as FAT32 and it might work or not, or some other weird problems might follow this first success. All in all, I think WMP sync feature is too full of bugs to be called reliable. I really suggest using some other and less problematic sync product.

  • adding to answer....you don't need to format to make it NTFS. you can convert while retaining the data by using DOS convert command – tumchaaditya Jun 4 '12 at 9:14
  • 1
    @tumchaaditya: I would prefer reformatting in all cases, even if the disk is already NTFS, since sometimes WMP has problems with factory-format. – harrymc Jun 4 '12 at 10:40
  • Yeah, it is already NTFS, and I'm really not keen on reformatting it. If there is indeed no better solution, I'm going to have to use something else. – dtbarne Jun 5 '12 at 20:04
  • For a large list of such products, read Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility (the comments are also very informative). – harrymc Jun 6 '12 at 5:36

Basically, the answer is no. Use another tool. Doubletwist is my tool of choice in this case.

  • When suggesting programs, you should link to the homepage, and give a blurb or paragraph explaining why you are recommending that tool – Canadian Luke Jan 16 '13 at 4:23

In Windows 7 I was able to get Media Player to Sync to a 8 gig Pen-Drive by: getting the drive emulated as a Portable device. Follow:

1) Right-Click the Pen Drive - and select Open as Portable Device 2) Restart Media Player.

Hope this option is available for your Large Hard Drive.*
and ensure that the "Portable Device Enumerator" service is running.

  • 1
    I really wanted this to work, but there is no "Open as Portable Device" for my drive. – dtbarne Jun 27 '12 at 16:29

I spent about 2 days trying to get media player music transferred to my usb stick to play music in my car. Media Player would not recognise usb as a syncable device. The only way I could find to do this is probably a round-a-bout way but at least it worked. I have Windows 7

  1. Make and name a new folder in your library.
  2. Insert your usb stick
  3. Open media player, open artists or albums (however your music is saved in M.P.)
  4. Double (left) click on artist
  5. Now right click album, click on 'open file location'
  6. Highlight preferred songs or whole album and drag these into usb drive.

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