Windows Digital Rights Update Tool removes WMA DRM protection

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 24, 2017

Digital Rights Update Tool is a new application for Windows 10 by Microsoft that allows you to remove DRM protection from WMA audio files.

Windows users who use Windows Media Player to rip audio CDs to WMA audio files on devices running Windows may notice one day that DRM protection was added to the audio files.

The same may be true for WMA songs or albums acquired on the Internet, as they make use of DRM as well usually.

Note that you may select mp3 as the output format in the options instead of WMA.

DRM is added automatically to the audio files when they are downloaded after the purchase, or during the audio CD ripping process. While that means that the audio files can be played on the system they have been downloaded to or ripped on, problems may occur when the audio files are moved to another machine.

The DRM of the audio files may have been linked to a particular machine, or a particular version of Windows Media Player. This led to all kinds of issues, for instance after Windows Media Player updates, Windows upgrades, or the transfer of the audio files to another Windows PC.

This meant for some users that they could not play the ripped or purchased audio files anymore because of DRM issues.

Digital Rights Update Tool

Digital Rights Update Tool

Microsoft has released an application for Windows 10 that takes care of DRM related issues. The Digital Rights Update Tool was designed to remove the copy protection from WMA files. Microsoft notes that it works only for WMA audio files, and even restricts this to ripped audio files, and not those that have been purchased online.

The Digital Rights Update Tool removes the copy protection you added when ripping CDs to the .wma format from within Windows Media Player. Other forms of copy protection cannot be removed.

Get started by clicking theFolder button above to select your music, then click the Play button to start. Choose whether or not to make backups under Settings.

I never purchased WMA audio files online, and cannot test whether the Digital Rights Update Tool works with purchased WMA files as well.

The tool has a basic interface. Simply click on the folder icon of the tool to open a file browser and add WMA audio files to the application.

Once done, click on the play button to start the process. You may create backups of the original files, but need to enable the option in the preferences before you start the process.

Closing Words

Microsoft released the Digital Rights Update Tool exclusively for Windows 10 devices. While it is not available for devices running older versions of Windows, you may run Windows 10 in a virtual machine to use the application on those devices as well.

The tool, at least, seems to work well for audio files that you ripped using Windows Media Player. (via Born)

Now You: Is audio ripping still a thing?

software image
Author Rating
1.5 based on 5 votes
Software Name
Digital Rights Update Tool
Operating System
Windows 10
Software Category
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Thomas Grace said on November 18, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Fully Agree, It happened to me the same way but have intermittent conversions when the tool feels like working. Windows O/S should be ashamed of themselves for creating a ripping tool in previous versions that defaults to ‘their’ .WMA format and then fail to transfer digital rights to newer O/S platforms. This update tool is about as useless as the O/S they vreated.

  2. John Harkins said on August 4, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Screwed. Years ago, I Ripped all my CD library to WMA format for fidelity reasons. Everything was great until I transferred 1000’s of WMA files with DRM to a new PC with Not-So-Wonderful Windows 10 that does not support even Windows 7 functionality. Nothing works. After reading this comment thread on the White Knight DRM Remove Tool from WMA ripped files, I guess I need to get busy RE-RIPPING all of those CDs w/o DRM. If yall disagree, please chime in and thank you in advance. .

  3. Honest John said on June 16, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    You’re wasting your time.

    It doesn’t work.

    Win 10 has stripped the DRM codec from all .wma files.

    Without the DRM codec, the files are useless.

    Making an update tool that is supposed to update a codec that doesn’t exist is an exercise in futility.

    It’s a farce. So Microsoft’s response? Release software that is even more useless to fix a problem that it created.

    You can’t make this stuff up!!

  4. Sensible Underwear said on April 24, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    What information is sent back to Microsoft or other third parties when using it?

  5. syscrh said on April 24, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Sure, CD ripping is still a thing. As of myself, I buy everything on CD and rip it to FLAC afterwards.
    The reasons are mainly:
    – law: I’m allowed to copy the CD for private use onto unlimited storage devices, but this is not always the case with digital audio tracks I bought on the internet
    – quality: CDs still offer better quality than the digital audio file you can buy on the internet
    – experience: I prefer having a CD with a cover and booklet rather than buying music without the haptical feeling (I do also often prefer lesser-known artists and music which gets as few as possible electronically modified)
    – …

    1. Rick A. said on April 25, 2017 at 12:33 am

      Agree with everything you said. Would like to add that with buying CD’s i don’t have to get into shitty scrApple’s itunes or shitty Google’s Google Play’s ecosystems. i’ll NEVER make an account with either service, give my money to them and my purchases are stuck with that service, screw that.

      i remember downloading itunes on my Windows XP just to try it as a music player, YUCK was it awful, straight Bloatware that always has updates and installs other shit that you don’t need and even if you uninstall that other stuff every update re-installs the Bloatware,

  6. hirobo said on April 24, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    lol, who the heck uses WMA in this day and age? MP3 & FLAC for me all the way!

    1. Doc said on April 24, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      On the other hand, who (except maybe Neil Young) uses FLAC? MP3 with a good encoder sounds just fine, and takes up 10% of the space…

  7. dw4rf_tos5n said on April 24, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Ripping to WMA hehe, that’s a good one.

  8. Pete said on April 24, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I can not find a descent uninstaller for it……………

  9. George said on April 24, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Ripping CD’s is definitively a thing. Using EAC is a science in itself.

  10. Norm said on April 24, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    “The Digital Rights Update Tool removes the copy protection you added when ripping CDs to the .wma format from within Windows Media Player. Other forms of copy protection cannot be removed.”
    Who is the “you” in the sentence above? So I guess that if I didn’t want it I shouldn’t have added it. That’s like telling
    a mugging victim “You went and got yourself robbed”.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 24, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Yes, I noticed the “you” as well in the sentence and don’t think it should be used in that sentence.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.