How to Fix DVD Player that Won’t Read Disc

There are several ways to fix a DVD player that won’t read a disc. It’s typically caused by a dirty or scratched DVD disc, not the player. But the disc also needs to be compatible with the player. 

This post will show you how to fix a DVD player that won’t read a disc. I’ll walk you through all the steps to try and fix this issue and explain the common causes of this problem. The goal is to get your DVD working quickly. 

Let’s dive in. 

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning a dirty DVD disk is the most common fix for a DVD player that won’t read a disc. You can use a soft rag or cloth to get rid of any dust or smudges. 
  • Other fixes include turning off parental controls that might restrict playback and double-checking for compatibility. 
  • If the DVD disc is severely damaged or not compatible with the player, you won’t be able to get it to read. 

How to Fix DVD Player that Won’t Read Disc

There are several ways to fix a DVD player that won’t read discs. But there are also a few reasons why the disc isn’t reading that can’t be fixed. I’ll address both of these issues in the following sections. 

Method 1 – Clean the DVD Disc

The most common reason a DVD disk won’t play in a DVD player is that the disc is dirty. DVDs can easily get smudged or dusty, and if it’s too bad, the player won’t be able to read the information on the disk. 

All you need to do to clean the disc is use a soft rag or cloth to wipe it clean. You can also use a DVD cleaner with a rag or cloth. Wipe the bottom of the disc gently to avoid causing any further damage. 

You can typically see smudges or dust by looking at the disc. After you clean it, inspect it to see that it’s clean before putting it back into the player. You might need to clean it several times to remove the grime. 

Keep in mind that scratches, cracks, and other types of permanent damage are also common causes of a DVD disc that won’t play. If the disc is damaged and not just dirty, there isn’t anything you can do to get it working. 

Method 2 – Check Parental Restrictions

Some DVD players come with parental restriction features. With these features enabled, the player might not play discs that are rated R or above. This feature needs to be turned off to get the disc to play. 

The process for turning off this feature can be different for each DVD player. But it’s typically accessed from a settings or setup menu. You might need to search around the menu of your DVD to find where you can make the changes. 

Once you locate the parental restrictions feature, you can turn it off. This will allow the DVD player to play any disc, regardless of its rating. Be sure to turn the feature back on afterward if you want to keep the restrictions in place. 

Look at the owner’s manual for the DVD player for step-by-step instructions on how to tweak these settings. You can also use the remote control to explore the settings and menu until you find it. 

Method 3 – Ensure that the Disc is Compatible with the DVD Player

Another reason a DVD player might not be reading the disc is that the player and disc are incompatible. There are several different types of DVDs formats, such as Blu-Ray and standard. 

If you have an older DVD player and a newer disc, there’s a good chance they might not be compatible. If this is the case, you won’t be able to play that particular DVD disc in the player. 

You might be able to get another version of the disc that is compatible with the player, but there are no settings to adjust or anything like that to fix the issues. Be sure to check for compatibility before purchasing any new DVDs. 

If you don’t know what type of discs your DVD player is compatible with, you can easily check the paperwork that comes with the player. Or do a quick online search of the make and model of the player. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to how to fix a DVD player that won’t read a disc. 

How do you clean a DVD player that won’t play? 

You should start by cleaning the DVD itself and not the actual player. If that doesn’t work, you can use a cotton swab dipped in a small amount of rubbing alcohol to clean the lens in the player that reads the disc. 

Can a DVD player be repaired? 

While it is possible to repair a DVD player in some situations, it’s not always the most economical decision. Most DVD players are cheap, and a repair can cost more than just buying a new one. 

Do DVD players need to be cleaned? 

If the DVD player has a lot of dust or dirt in it, this can prevent the lens from properly reading discs. You can clean the lens using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Just be careful and don’t use too much liquid. 

Final Thoughts

If you follow the tips and tricks in the post, you should be able to get your DVD player to read discs. But remember that if the disc is severely damaged or incompatible with your player, you won’t get it to work. 

Do you have any fixes for a DVD player that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments below. 

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