Windows Media Player not adding albums to media library

Have been moving my music collection around and noticed that nearly half of the files didn't get added to the media library when monitoring the folder, or manually scanning it.

After investigating for awhile, I discovered that folders marked with the System attribute were being ignored by the media library.  I guess this is understandable, but left me with two questions:  First, how did only certain folders get this attribute set.  Secondly, how do I go about changing it?

About 130 of 410 total folders had the System attribute set.  I don't know exactly how it got set, but it may have something to do with the folders being stored temporary on a Samba-based file share.

My first though was to type attrib -s *. /s /d

However, while *. should match only files without extensions (which includes directories), attrib matches all files when given the *. wildcard pattern.  I was worried that the various WMP related files such as AlbumArt* and Folder.jpg and Thumbs.db would also lose their System attribute.

Executing the attrib command above did attempt to reset those files as well, but since they are also marked with the Hidden attribute, and error was presented and attrib moved on.

What I learned was that with Windows Media Player version 10, the media library will not automatically add folders that are marked with the System attribute.  If you are having problems getting artists or albums to import correctly into the media library, check the System attributes.


  • how would u check the system having this same problem. how did u completely fix it.

  • To find out if a directory entry has the System attribute set, you have to open the Command Prompt. Then navigate to Music folder, which is usually under your profile as "My Music"

    cd /d "%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Music\"

    Then get a listing of the directories that have the System attribute set:

    dir /ads /s

    This lists directories only that have the System attribute set. Then use the ATTRIB command to reset the System attribute:

    attrib -s *.* /d /s

    This will turn off the System attribute on all files and directories. A number of files that are hidden will generate errors, but that can be ignored.

    Good luck!

  • tell u music folder is actually in "D:\MUSIC\My Music" thats where my music is all stored...u think u can help me out with that.....i have 2 drives just incase u want to noe. my music is in the second drive "D:\MUSIC\My Music"

  • If the music is in d:\music\my music then you type the following at the command prompt:

    attrib –s “d:\music\my music\*.*” /s /d

    You’ll get a number of errors on files like Desktop.ini, Thumbs.db, Folder.jpg and AlbumArt*.jpg

    Those errors are okay. The directories will have their system attribute reset.

  • Okay, when I look at my attributes all I see is the letter A....what can I do now?

  • Thanks Chuck! Worked for me. No idea why the system attribute was set on all my music after I reinstalled Windows.

  • Thanks!!! Same here - a reinstall of XP had set the S attribute on my music folders. I have been "touching" the same drive with XMMMS on Ubuntu, so perhaps did it? Who knows? Any, all fixed now and many thanks.

  • Hi! Have the same problem, but with my image directorys. Tried out the way you explained above, but with no results. None of my directorys has the attribute set. But stil the WMP can't find the directorys. I'am usin win xp.

  • Great ! Many thanks ! I have been looking for a long time to make this work out and finally found it !

  • Wow!!! been searching for months. Had moved all my music to my d drive and wmp only scanned certain folders. Was driving me crazy. Ran the attrib command and wammo all files/folders found!! Thanks.

  • I have been searchign for so long, but i didn know how to, but now i know how to do that, and i have added more 650 songs in my media player

  • Thank you so much, I ran the command and had about 1,000 things scroll by way too fast to read any of it. But WMP is adding all the files now.

  • If my music has many sub-directories, must I access every single folder manually to change the attributes?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Brilliant solution! More helpful than the Micrososft site. I bought a new Vista computer and half my music colleciton wasn't showing up. This did the trick. Microsoft bug???

  • Thanks for the attrib trick ( attrib -s *.* /d /s), it's working.

  • There once was a man named Chuck,
    who gave a man named Brian some luck.
    Chuck made Brians day,
    so Brian said Hey,

    Thanks bro i been workingon this for way too long.

  • thanks for the help.. certainly solved all my problems!

    thumbs up!

    didn't know we all face the same problems don't we..

  • Excellent bit of advice,
    I'd redirected my music folder to another drive and it seems vista had set the system attribute on some of the folders for some reason.
    This sorted it out.

  • Thanks, it works....

    Been trying for days to find the solution...

  • Thank you for all, it works PERFECT
    I've been looking for a fix for 6 months
    Thanks a lot

  • Thanks!!!

  • I know this sound stupid, but how do you open command promt to start with.


  • andy: type "cmd" in the runwindow. startmenu -> run
    Or you can use the windowsbutton on your keyboard + R to get to the runwindow.
    "cmd" or "" is the right one to type in.

  • Thanks Chuck,
    This worked perfectly on my Vista Business OS with my music on a mapped network drive.

  • To remove all attrib on your music, so that Windows Mediaplayer finds them, do as follows:
    Make a new text file (right click the desktop-New-Text dokument). Type attrib –s “d:\music\my music\*.*” /s /d
    and save the file as name.bat. Now run the bat file by double clicking.

  • Boy am I glad I found this posting. I recently rearranged/deleted my entire library to start over and nothing except for pictures was making it back into WMP11. I had tried deleting the databases, etc. This worked like a charm!

  • I tried this and it seemed to work great, EXEPT:
    I have TWO external hard drives with music on them (lots). They are in files w/structure like this: j:\My Music 2\Artist\Album\Songtitle....Your fix found 330 or so more songs (of my 110k+), but still there are files/songs there that are not being recognized. The ID3 tags are accurate so I'm just kind of lost. Can you suggest anything?

  • Works for me! Thanks!

  • thnx Charles Opperman
    it did work perfectly

    you should b recruited by Microsoft, lol

  • Wow. Nice find. Worked perfectly.

  • I keep getting "parameter not correct"

  • hey its my i have another error lol and i styl need help wiht my first one :P

    attrib -s *.* /d /s

    when i step in that it says it suppesed yo reset the files but for me it says" Not resetting file....?????? what do i doooo??

  • ok i have gotten it to work now but not theres another error... i cant connect to the internet (im on my bros) when i did "attrib -s *.* /d /s" it turned off the System attribute on all files and directories but umm how do i put them back on?? plz help

  • i m devloping a websit for uploading and downloding videos
    as well as audio so i wnt to know tht hw to use windows media player in 2005.. plz help

  • Thanks, spent a few days on this. I set my samba server to ignore the system attrib (archive, hidden) and use the permission setting for read only. I use SWAT, so I do not know the config file text. This seemed to fix "I cannot load files into Vista Media Center" from my samba share.

  • Great fix. Anyone know how I can get XP (SP3) to not set the attribute on my music folders in the first place?


  • Chuck:
    You don't know how happy I am that I found your post on this. This issue has been driving me batty for months. I've tried everything I knew, researched, read, and still couldn't get it fixed. When I ran the command to switch the "s" attribute off, BAM, it worked. I feel like I owe you dinner. Or perhaps better these days, a tank of gas for you car.


  • Wow it actualy works thanks

  • Hey Chuck - excellent fix!
    I recovered 240 songs!

  • Awesome job... worked great!

  • Beauty!!! worked a treat just wish i'd found this months ago Thankyou very Much!!!!

  • I've had a similar problem that required a different solution.

    I have albums composed of WMA files with missing ID3 tags on an external USB drive. This drive is monitored by WMP, but it was ignoring the files w/o the tags, and would not add them to the library no matter the library settings or how many times I tried to force the update.

    I ended up:

    1. Copying the files over to the local personal (default) music folder.

    2. Deleting the Media Player database file (you may get away with forcing the library update, but if that doesn't work, there are instructions available at

    3. Did a 'find album info' and used the search function to find the correct album.

    4. And then did an 'Apply Media Information Changes.'

    I wouldn't say this was slick, but it got the job done. My only other advice is that if you have file names such as 01 Track 1.wma, rename the files with the correct names first.

    Best of luck.

  • And oh yeah,:

    5. After the files were updated, I copied the local album folder back onto the external drive, replacing the previous folder. You will want to be sure to copy the entire folder so that the hidden files go with it (or show hidden files first, and then copy them all).

    6. I've had mixed luck getting the library to update with the new file location, but if it doesn't, it does not seem to hurt deleting the entire database and letting it rebuild. With WMP, it seem like this is often the best solution, and it has never caused me a problem.

  • Oh thanks mate you are such a star..

    it was really bugging me that quite a few of my albums weren't showing. After re-running Add to Library it found another 800 missing tracks....

  • Great Chuck, I have been wondering around by days, you are great, thanks a lot.

    Not even on MS had an answer for that.

  • Thanks man, i'v been suffering for days and now case solved:)

  • that worked.. thanks a ton.. i have been trying registry settings for hours.. this worked as promised.

  • Thanks man..i was unable to add all the mp3 files and this had plagued me for months ...

  • Thank you verry much my friend. I have been searching the reason for weeks.

  • Wow, thanks a ton! It's 4 years after the original post but saved my life after a reformat and a bunch of different hard drive transfers. Found all 20,000 of my songs!

  • You da man!

  • Thanks for the info. It worked great for me.

  • I have a similar but different problem. WMP won't allow me to select the external drive for monitoring. When I go to 'Add to Library' and navigate to the external drive, the 'Add Folder' OK button is disabled. If I click on folders located on the drive, same problem. I got it to work once by making the drive shared, but now that does not work either.

  • I have a problem. For some reason my media player 11 will not add any folder that I want to add music. So it won't add music at all. I back tracked the player to 10 then it does but when I put it back to 11 it takes all the music off and will not add the folders that I want.

  • I just get the "Not resetting hidden file" error...

  • Thanks for the solution. Did you ever figure out why the the attribute was being set in the first place?

  • you take any version of will always store a Audio CD with artist name UNKNOWN ARTIST........

  • Genius, thank you so much, all my vids went from media player 12 on newly installed windows 7. My music vids are on the A drive so I made a note pad file as advised with    
    attrib –s “a:\Music vids\*.*” /s /d
    written in it, saved it on the desk top and clicked it. 1 second later all my vids are in media player. brilliant! Saved me hours of messing around getting nowhere, so a big thankyou!

  • I have my music files on my 'E how can i get all my albums to media player it seems that not all my music files were added in media player

  • I have my music stored on my 'E drive but nat all my music is on media player. How do i get it to the media player

  • Thanks a lot :-)

  • Whiskey, Thank you so much, it worked! I tried evevthing under sun!

  • U R a genius. i have searched for an answer to this for over a year now. thank you so much!

  • Well it looks like y'all got it so I'm in !
    and let Y'all know later

  • Whysky! Cheers mate. You really bailed me after i'd given up!

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