In Windows 11, the new Media Player, previously known as Groove Music, offers a modern and visually appealing interface for playing your media files. However, it keeps a record of your recently watched videos or listened-to music, which some users might find intrusive. To help you maintain your privacy, we will discuss four different methods to clear the recent media history in the Windows 11 Media Player, as well as provide additional input and insight into using alternative video players.
Also see: How to Disable Recent Files and Frequent Folders in Windows 11
Method 1: Deleting the MediaPlayer.db-wal file and setting it to read-only
This method offers a permanent solution to prevent the Media Player from saving any new data in your recent media history. By deleting the
MediaPlayer.db-wal file and setting it to read-only, you can ensure that your viewing and listening habits remain private.
- Open File Explorer and paste the following address in the address bar:
- Look for the file named MediaPlayer.db-wal and delete it.
- Open a video or a music file using the Windows 11 Media Player. This action will create a new
MediaPlayer.db-walfile in the same location.
- In the Media Player, go to recent media and remove the video or music file you just opened.
- Go back to the
MediaPlayer.db-walfile in File Explorer, right-click on it, and select Properties.
- Check the Read-only checkbox, then click Apply and OK.
This method ensures that the Media Player will not save any new data in your recent media history, giving you complete control over your privacy.
Related resource: How to Clear Timeline Activity History in Windows 10 or 11
Method 2: Deleting files from the “Transcoded Files Cache” folder
Manually deleting files from the Transcoded Files Cache folder is another way to clear the recent media history. This method might be more suitable for those who prefer a hands-on approach and want to periodically clean up their Media Player’s recent history.
- Navigate to the following folder in File Explorer:
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player\Transcoded Files Cache. Replace the “username” with your actual Windows username.
- Delete all the files in this folder. This action will clear the recent history of the Media Player.
To make this process more convenient, you can create a shortcut to the Transcoded Files Cache folder on your desktop for quicker access in the future.
Useful tip: How to Add Subtitles to Video in Windows 11
Method 3: Removing videos from the Media Player’s Home tab
If you want to selectively remove specific videos or music files from your recent media history, this method is the most suitable. It allows you to remove individual items directly from within the Media Player’s interface.
- Open the Windows 11 Media Player.
- On the right side, click Home.
- Hover over any video thumbnail. A checkbox will appear in the upper-left corner of the thumbnail.
- Click the checkbox to select the video. You can do this for each video you want to remove or use the Ctrl + A hotkey combination to select all videos.
- Above the video thumbnails, there’s a bar of options. At the end of the bar, you’ll see Remove. Click it to remove the selected videos from your recent media history.
This method is useful when you want to keep some recent media items visible while removing others.
Related issue: Windows 11 Media Player Closes Immediately After Opening
Method 4: Resetting the Media Player app
Resetting the app is a more drastic approach to clearing your recent media history. This method restores the Windows 11 Media Player to its default settings, which not only clears your recent media history but also removes any customizations or preferences you have set within the app. While it might not be ideal for regular use, it can be helpful in certain situations.
- Click on Search in the taskbar, type Media Player, and right-click on the app in the search results.
- Select App Settings from the context menu.
- In the settings page, scroll down to find the Reset section.
- Click on the Reset button. A warning message will appear, notifying you that the app’s data will be deleted, and the app will be restored to its default settings.
- Click Reset again to confirm the action.
After resetting the app, your recent media history will be cleared, and the Media Player will revert to its default settings.
While the Windows 11 Media Player offers a sleek interface and a range of features, its lack of privacy control for recent media history can be frustrating. By following the methods outlined in this article, you can maintain your privacy and keep your recent media history clear.
However, if you find that the Windows 11 Media Player doesn’t fully meet your needs or you prefer more control over your media playback experience, you might consider using an alternative video player. There are numerous third-party media players available, such as VLC Media Player and KMPlayer, which offer advanced customization options and better privacy controls. These alternative media players not only support a wide range of video and audio formats but also provide a higher degree of user control, allowing you to tailor your viewing experience to your preferences.