In Windows 10 there are two applications Groove and the Windows Media Player. By default .MP3 files play in Groove which is the latest edition to Windows 10. However, there is also the older Windows Media Player.

When I choose Open With only then does it show Windows Media Player whereas Groove music appears only on need basis. I don't understand the difference between the two. Are their store related applications or desktop versions?

  • user285oo6 - Groove is a Windows Store application specifically a Universal Windows application. Which means any device with access to the Windows Store that supports Universal Windows applications can run it. Windows Media Player can only be installed on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. Windows Phone 10 for instance would not be able to run Windows Media Player but can run Groove. I only viewed this question because of a poor quality answer moving it to the top of the list.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 28, 2015 at 15:55
  • Both suck tbh, no support still for open standards like ogg! MedaiMonkey ftw! There's UWP version in MS Store but very limited compared to full blown desktop version.
    – nawfal
    Jul 22, 2016 at 15:35

5 Answers 5


Windows Media Player is your old traditional desktop app for Media Playback.

Groove Music is the Universal Windows app i.e. Store app. Universal means that Groove Music will be available on every Windows 10 device, be it an Xbox One, a Lumia phone or a PC.

Groove Music is one of the apps optimised for Microsoft's Continuum* initiative and is likely to get updates more frequently than Windows Media Player.

All things aside, Groove Music sounds better than Media Player. I would choose it over the other anyday.

* Continuum is the feature of Windows 10 which allows you to use your Windows 10 phone or tablet as a desktop or the other way round.

  • would it be ok to uninstall windows media player then? You can turn the feature off.
    – GiH
    Mar 30, 2016 at 19:15
  • @GiH Theoretically, it shouldn't affect the other. Let me try it. Apr 2, 2016 at 5:59
  • @GiH Tested it and it works without Windows Media Player. Apr 3, 2016 at 9:35
  • I had felt the opposite of the above there's lack in audio clarity,issue's with groove music player like it freezes abruptly while playing which i never faced in media player till date
    – user285oo6
    May 12, 2016 at 13:45

I have to disagree about sound quality, i noticed the difference immediately.

This is via sennheiser HDR 180 headphones from a panasonic LCD

I find Groove to be much better sound quality than WMP, particularly in how high volume in WMP often produces rumbling distortion, but GM does not.

Music is clearer and more full bodied with GM. Particularly vocals you hear every breath, but good headphones is the requirement. Speakers maybe you wont notice so much difference.

As a test use a song like grease hopelessly devoted to you - olivia newton john - where the singer holds notes a lot, with edge and good headphones you will notice a much longer life to the note as the singer lets it go - as it fades the fade off is beautiful, so are the highs of the notes


As the other answer states, Groove is a universal app that will run on all versions of windows 10, where Windows Media Player is more for PCs.

However contrary to what the other answer states, there is little if any difference in how the two programs sound. You either must have an amazing sound system or extremely well trained ears to notice any difference between the two. The vast majority of users are not going to be able to tell the difference between the two if their lives depended on it.


It's very simple.

Groove: Nice to look at, doesn't work properly yet WMP: Face only a mother could love, works properly

  • 1
    five years on, this is still the correct answer
    – Injektilo
    Nov 23, 2020 at 16:12

The volume for the same sound is higher on WMP than in Groove. I can't hear a lot of things on Groove while keeping my volume low.

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