How to Find Lost Digital Rights Management on My Computer

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Digital Rights Management, or DRM as it is more commonly referred to, allows the owners of digital material to ensure that anyone using them has purchased the data. DRM license files can apply to both audio and video files purchased a number of places. Many users have lost their Windows Media Player DRM files, often due to updating their computer or migrating to a new one. No matter what the reason, if you are having DRM issues, make a backup as soon as possible. You must have an active Internet connection to restore DRM licenses.

  • Search for your backed-up DRM licenses by navigating to "Start"->"Search" and type "DRM*.bak" to locate the file. The .bak file is a backup of your DRM license.

  • Copy and paste the DRM backup file to your desktop. While this step is unnecessary, it will make the backup file easier to find.

  • Start Windows Media Player and navigate to "Tools"->"Manage Licenses" (or "License Management" depending on the version of Windows Media Player).

  • Select the DRM backup file you placed on your desktop from the file browse dialogue box and click "OK."

  • Ensure that your Internet connection is active and click "Restore Now" to restore your DRM licenses.

Tips & Warnings

  • Back up your DRM licenses often by starting Windows Media Player and navigating to "Tools"->"Manage Licenses," (if "Manage Licenses" is not present, it will display "License Management"). Click "Back Up Now." Some DRM licenses cannot be backed up, so check the terms of purchase before buying DRM-protected content.
  • Due to the fact that many DRM licenses maintain information based on the hardware configuration of the computer they are installed on, making major hardware changes could make your DRM-protected media unplayable. These steps apply to Windows Media Player 10 and lower. Windows Media Player 11 no longer allows the manual backup or restoration of DRM licenses. Windows Media Player 11 has an automated DRM recovery system.

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