What is the 0xc1010103 Error Code in Windows 10/11?

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So, you’re trying to play the movie file you have just downloaded using Windows 10/11’s default media player, only to get the error message “Can’t play. Choose something else to play. This item is in a format we don’t support. Error code 0xc1010103.” What should you do?

Well, we understand that this 0xc1010103 playback error can be very frustrating, especially if you’ve waited months to download that flick. But don’t worry because we’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll discuss what this error is all about and suggest a few possible fixes.

What Causes the 0xc1010103 Error

The 0xc1010103 error occurs when a Windows user attempts to play a video file using the default media player. It’s simply suggesting that Windows does not support the file’s format.

You may ask, what triggers this error code to show when in fact Windows supports a number of file types, including MKVs? There are many reasons why this error code shows. We’ve listed some below:

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  • A temporary glitch – Have you just installed a recent Windows update? Then it is likely that it’s causing the problem. There might be a temporary glitch caused by a file in the temp folder. If you suspect that a temporary glitch is what is causing the 0xc1010103 error to show, then you need not worry because it will eventually go away once Windows has cleared that folder. Still, you can resolve the problem yourself by using the Video Playback troubleshooter.
  • A corrupted GPU driver – Another possible culprit behind the 0xc1010103 error is a corrupted GPU driver. In this case, you can solve the problem by running your computer in Safe Mode and uninstalling all the active display adapters. More details on how to do this will be explained below.
  • Junk files – Junk files are among the most notorious causes of Windows errors. They mess with your system processes, causing errors to pop up at random. This is why experts always suggest running regular scans to get rid of these unwanted files.

How to Fix the 0xc1010103 Error in Windows 10/11

Some Windows users have successfully gotten rid of the error code by simply restarting their machines. However, if a simple restart doesn’t work, feel free to try any of the solutions below.

Solution #1: Use the Video Playback Troubleshooter

If you have just recently installed a Windows update, it is possible that the error is showing because of a glitch within the temp folder of the Videos app. By using the Video Playback troubleshooter, some Windows users have resolved the error.

Here’s how to run the Video Playback troubleshooter to fix the 0xc1010103 error:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R combo. And then, enter ms-settings:troubleshoot into the text field. Hit Enter to open the troubleshooter.
  2. Once the troubleshooter opens, navigate to the right-hand section of the window and find the Find and fix other problems option.
  3. Click Video Playback and hit Run the troubleshooter to launch the utility.
  4. At this point, wait until the utility completes its startup procedures. It will then proceed with an initial scan. If it finds a potential problem, click Apply this fix to repair it.
  5. After this, reboot your computer and check if the problem has been resolved.

Solution #2: Update the GPU Drivers

If the 0xc1010103 error code is showing consistently regardless of the type of the file you are trying to open, then it is possible that there is a problem with your GPU drivers. This is common among Windows laptops configured with both a dedicated and an integrated GPU.

To fix the problem, some affected users tried to give their machines a speed boost while in Safe Mode. After this, they uninstalled the display drivers and replaced them with the updated version.

Here’s a detailed guide on what to do:

  1. Open the Run dialog box using the Windows + R Into the text field, enter ms-settings:recovery and hit Enter to open the Recovery tab of the Update and Security settings.
  2. Go to Advanced Startup and click Restart Now. After confirming your action, your machine will reboot directly into the Advanced Startup menu.
  3. After rebooting, go to Troubleshoot and select Advanced Options.
  4. Click Startup Settings.
  5. At this point, your computer will restart again. But this time, it will bring you directly to the Startup Settings menu. Once there, press the F4 key to boot your computer in Safe Mode.
  6. Once the startup sequence is finished, press the Windows + R shortcut to open the Run dialog box. Into the text field, enter devmgmt.msc and hit Enter to launch the Device Manager.
  7. Click on the Display adapters menu to expand it and uninstall the drivers for your graphics devices by right-clicking on them and choosing Uninstall Device. Take note that if you are using a laptop with an integrated and dedicated GPU, you need to uninstall both.
  8. Close the Device Manager and press the Windows + R combo again to open the Run dialog box. Now, enter appwiz.cpl into the text field and hit Enter to access the Programs and Features section.
  9. Check the list of installed apps and uninstall anything signed by your GPU manufacturer (Intel Graphics, AMD or NVIDIA). Normally, these apps are grouped together by Publisher. To uninstall them, right-click on each of them and choose Uninstall. After that, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.
  10. After uninstalling the apps and their drivers, reboot your computer back to normal mode. This may take time, so you have to wait for the startup sequence to be completed.
  11. Now, open your preferred browser and visit the website of your GPU manufacturer. Locate the latest driver version of your GPU model and download it.
  12. Be sure you download a compatible version. Reboot your computer one last time.
  13. Try to play the video once again and see if the error persists.

Solution #3: Remove All Junk Files

The longer you use your computer, the more unwanted files accumulate. Delete those files regularly to improve your computer’s speed and performance and prevent errors.

To remove junk files, you can go through all folders on your computer and delete any suspicious-looking files. However, we don’t really suggest doing so, especially if you are not familiar with these files. Deleting an important system file might only result in more problems.

What we suggest you should do is use a reliable PC Repair tool instead. In just a few clicks, all junk files will be deleted from your computer. It’s that easy!

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, the above solutions help. If you are trying to play a video but the 0xc1010103 error keeps bugging you, then try any of the solutions above. Use the Video Playback troubleshooter or update your graphics drivers.

Do you know other ways to resolve the 0xc1010103 error? Let us know in the comments.

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