This update supersedes update 3010081 in Windows 10 version 1511.
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This Media Feature Pack applies to Windows 10 version 1511. If you have a different version of Windows, please go to KB 3145500 to find the appropriate Media Feature Pack for your version of Windows.
The N and KN editions of Windows 10 include the same functionality as Windows 10, except for media-related technologies (Windows Media Player) and certain preinstalled media apps (Music, Video, Voice Recorder, and Skype). You must install other software from Microsoft or another company for this communication functionality and to play or create audio CDs, media files, and video DVDs, to stream music, and to take and store pictures. New features such as Cortana, Windows Hello, and PDF viewing in the new Edge browser rely on Windows Media files that are not present in these editions.
Some websites and software, such as Windows Store apps or Microsoft Office, use Windows Media-related files that are not incorporated into these editions of Windows. Users can make these websites and software work correctly by installing the Media Feature Pack for N and KN editions of Windows 10.
The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
Download the update package now.Note The installer for this package mistakenly identifies the update as “Feature Pack for Windows (KB3010081)” However, this is the correct update package for Windows 10 N or Windows 10 KN build 1511.
The N and KN editions include the same functionality as Windows 10 editions, except for Windows Media Player and related technologies. The excluded technologies include, but are not limited to, the following features:
Windows Media Player user experience: Enables Windows Media Player features such as the ability to play media files and audio CDs, manage media in a library, create a playlist, provide metadata (including album art) for media, create an audio CD, transfer music to a portable music player, and play streaming content from a website.
Windows Media Player ActiveX control: Exposes methods and properties to manipulate multimedia playback from a webpage or an app.
Windows Media Format: Provides support for the Advanced Systems Format (ASF) file container, the Windows Media audio and video codecs, basic network streaming capability, and digital rights management (DRM).
Windows Media DRM: Enables the secure delivery of protected content for playback on a computer, portable device, or network device.
Media sharing and Play To: Enables music, pictures, and videos on a networked computer to be shared with other computers and devices on the same network. Also enables computers to find those kinds of files on the network.
Media Foundation: Provides support for content protection, audio and video quality, and interoperability for DRM.
Windows 8.1 Portable Devices (WPD) infrastructure: Communicates with attached media and storage devices, including devices that support the Media Transfer Protocol.
MPEG, WMA, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, AMR, and Dolby Digital audio codecs: Enables the playback of digital audio content such as MP3, WMA, MPEG-2 audio, AAC audio, FLAC and ALAC audio, and AC-3 audio.
VC-1, MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, and H.263 codecs: 'Standards-based codec components' (as they are collectively called) enable Windows 10 program such as Windows Media Player to support activities that include the playback and creation of multimedia files that are encoded with standards-based codecs.
Groove Music: A preinstalled app that is used to play digital music.
Video: A preinstalled app that is used to play digital video.
Voice Recorder: A preinstalled app that is used to record sounds.
Skype: A preinstalled app that is used for messaging and communications.
Effect on other features
Some features are not removed. However, they are affected by the media technology removal in the N and KN editions. These features include the following:
App Sync: This feature does not work.
OneDrive and Photos: These apps cannot play videos.
Xbox: Some functionality such as Game DVR that is associated with this app does not work.
HomeGroup: Integrated media sharing through streaming features do not work.
Webcam: This feature does not work.
Windows Portable Devices: There is no support for media synchronization, image acquisition, or file browsing.
Windows 10 camera devices: Cameras that use the picture transfer protocol (PTP) do not work.
Sound Recorder: Recordings are limited to the WAV format.
Alarms and Clock: Alarm and timer sounds does not play.
Group Policy for removable disks: This feature does not work in the N and KN editions of Windows 10 Pro.
Cortana Personal Assistant: Speech interaction with Cortana does not work.
Windows Store Media Content: Audio and video content acquired via the Store cannot be played. Also, preview of audio or video content in the Store does not work.
Wireless Display: This feature does not work.
PDF Viewing in Edge: This feature does not work.
Windows Hello. This feature does not work.
[German]For users with a Windows 10 N variant, Microsoft has released the Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N version 1909. Here is some information about this topic and how to obtain this pack.
What is Windows 10 N?
Windows N is the version of the operating system without media player and media functions. It has been offered by Microsoft (under pressure from the EU competition authorities) for years. N stands for no media features. Also for Windows 10 there is a so-called N-variant – Windows 10 KN is a reduced version developed for Korea without media features. In practice, I think that OEM manufacturers do not offer Windows 10 N installations. Usually, it is students or other users who at some point will be able to purchase a Windows 10 N installation at a reasonable price.
Who needs the Media Feature Pack and why?
If someone uses a Windows 10 N, the media functions are missing. In addition to the missing Windows Media Player, which could be substituted by VLC player, there are other problems. Without the media features that are missing in Windows 10 N, there are more limitations.
- Apps with media play back features (Groove Music, Video app etc.) won’t work
- Connecting smartphones, cameras and mobile devices via USB cable fails, because there is no support for media transfer using Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) and Media Transfer Protocol (MTP).
- New features like Windows Mixed Reality, Cortana, Windows Hello, and the PDF display in the new Edge browser based on Windows Media files are not included in Windows 10 N.
This Microsoft site lists further functional limitations of the Windows 10 N version. Only by installing the Media Feature Pack are the missing functions retrofitted and it is, for example, possible to import photos or display PDF documents again.
Note that the Media Feature Pack for N versions of Windows 10 is not compatible with Windows Mixed Reality. Users who want to use Windows Mixed Reality must install a non-N version of Windows 10.
Where can I get the Media Feature Pack?
Microsoft provides the Media Feature Pack for the Windows N variants for free. The problem is that each Windows 10 version needs the appropriate version of the Media Feature Pack. For Windows 10 N Version 1909 (November 2019 Update) you need the Media Feature Pack for Version 1909.
In the past, you had to manually download the Media Feature Pack for the Windows 10 N version from a Microsoft site Media Feature Pack list for Windows N editions. Colleagues from deskmodder.de point out that a direct download will no longer be available.
1. Instead you have to go to the Settings page and navigate to Apps – Apps and Features.
2. There you have to select the command Optional Features and on the next page the button Add Feature.
For a Windows 10 Version 1909 N variant, the Media Feature Pack should be offered for installation. At the latest after a restart of the system the media functions should be available.
Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N Version 1809
Windows 10 N: Media Feature Pack for Version 1903 released
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