Windows Media Player 11 is constantly monitoring several folders in the My Documents folder structure for media changes. If you do not use WMP 11 as your main media player you might be wasting resources caused by this monitoring. By default the My Music, My Pictures and My Videos folders are monitored and new files are automatically added to the Windows Media Player 11 library.
Folder Monitoring can be disabled for most folders listed in the section of Windows Media Player. To remove folder monitoring right-click the Windows Media Player title bar and select Tools > Options from the menu.If you do not see a menu press Alt first to bring it back. Click on the Library tab and there on the Monitor Folders button.
The folders monitored are either My Personal Folders or My folders and those that i can access. Only one of those is active and needs to be removed and ignored. The default folders cannot be removed at all and the Rip Folder can not be removed or ignored at all.
The default folders shown which are all shown as Automatically Added can be changed to Ignore which means that those folders will not be monitored anymore. Change all folders possible to Ignore and click on OK to make the changes.
Update: Newer versions of Windows Media Player do not have the Monitor Folders button anymore listed under Libraries in the options of the program.I'm not sure if this is because there is no monitoring going on anymore, of if Microsoft removed the option to prevent that monitoring gets disabled on the system.
Update 2: It is still there, but you access it in a different manner in newer versions of Windows Media Player. Here is what you need to do in new WMP versions if you want to disable or change the folders that get monitored automatically for new media:
Repeat the process for all different media types. If you do not want any folder monitored, simply remove them all from the various library gathering dialogs. You have to do this individually for each media type unfortunately.
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