Long-time subscriber J. P. Biddle wrote with a question about Windows Media Player running on Windows 7:
I have an interesting question. I noticed in Windows 7 64 bit under active tasks windows media player. I try to kill it but you can’t or it comes right back. It’s not listed under start up. Is this a new feature of Windows 7?
J. P. Biddle
I wrote back to J. P. to suggest that the program was probably not Windows Media Player, per se. I expected that it was the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service. Yes, I think it’s new with Windows 7.
What’s the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service? In Windows XP and later versions, there are many programs that are already included within Windows and provide essential (and non-essential) functions. Rather than simply being embedded in the main core of Windows, they exist as separate executable files. Microsoft calls these "services" and treats them in a different way than normal applications are treated.
The Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service is design to share Windows Media Player libraries with other networked players and media devices. It requires the Universal Plug and Play service.
I suspected that J. P. may have an application that requires it to be running. On my computer, the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service is set to "Manual" startup (which means that it will start if some other program tries to access it).
When I checked, the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service was running on my Windows 7 desktop. I stopped it and it stayed stopped.
J. P. wrote back to let me know that he still hadn’t been able to solve it:
Mine won’t stop. It just re-fires. I can’t think of any program that requires it. It’s wmplayer.exe. I used WinPatrol and it’s listed on active tasks, but not start up and not in services.
The one you mentioned is in manual and not the same. No matter what I do I can’t get it to stop. I’ve Googled this and tried everything and nothing seems to work. I can’t figure out where it’s starting up from.
A couple months ago my computer kept waking up in the middle of the night. After a lot of research I found that Windows Media Player had scheduled itself to check for updates every night. But it wasn’t listed in the normal schedule area.
It took a regedit fix to solve it. It just annoys me that MS itself doesn’t follow the same protocol that other programs use.
J.P. didn’t mention what Windows Registry change he made using regedit (regedit.exe), which is the Microsoft tool for editing the Windows Registry.
It’s possible that the automatic restarting is caused by that registry change.