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The "N" editions of Windows 10 include the same functionality as other editions of Windows 10 except for media-related technologies. The N editions don't include Windows Media Player, Skype, or certain preinstalled media apps (Music, Video, Voice Recorder).
If you use N editions of Windows 10, you must install other software from Microsoft or other companies to have this communication functionality; to play or create audio CDs, media files, and video DVDs; to stream music; and to take and store pictures.
New features such as Cortana, Windows Hello, and PDF viewing in the new Edge browser rely on Windows Media files that aren't included in N editions. And some websites and software, such as Windows Store apps or Microsoft Office, use Windows Media-related files that aren't included in N editions.
Users of N editions can make websites and software work correctly by installing theMedia Feature Packfor N editions of Windows 10 (KB3133719).
The media-related features that are not provided in N editions of Windows 10 include, but are not limited to, the following.
Windows Media Player user experience
Enables Windows Media Player features, such as the ability to play media files and audio CDs, manage media in a library, create a playlist, provide media metadata (including album art), create an audio CD, transfer music to a portable music player, and play streamed content from the website.
Windows Media Player ActiveX control
Exposes methods and properties for manipulating multimedia playback from a webpage or an app.
Windows Media Format
Provides support for the Advanced Systems Format (ASF) file container, the Windows Media audio and video codecs, basic network streaming capability, and digital rights management (DRM).
Windows Media DRM
Enables the secure delivery of protected content for playback on a computer, portable device, or network device.
Media sharing and Play To.
Enables music, pictures, and videos on a networked computer to be shared with other computers and devices on the same network. Also enables computers to find those kinds of files on the network.
Provides support for content protection, audio and video quality, and interoperability for DRM.
Windows 8.1 Portable Devices (WPD) infrastructure
Communicates with attached media and storage devices, including devices that support the Media Transfer Protocol.
MPEG, WMA, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, AMR, Dolby Digital audio, and Opus codecs
Enable playback of digital audio content such as MP3, WMA, MPEG-2 audio, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, AC-3, and Opus.
VC-1, MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, H.263, and VP9 codecs
"Standards-based codec components" that enable Windows 10 software experiences such as Windows Media Player to support activities that include the playback and creation of multimedia files that are encoded with standards-based codecs.
A preinstalled app that plays digital music.
Movies & TV
A preinstalled app that plays digital video.
A preinstalled app for recording sounds.
A preinstalled app for messaging and communications.
Effect on other features
The following Windows 10 features aren't removed in N editions but are affected by having the media technology removed:
App Sync:This feature doesn't work.
OneDrive and Photos:These apps can't play videos.
Xbox:Some functionality that is associated with this app, such as Game DVR, doesn't work.
HomeGroup:Integrated media sharing through streaming features doesn't work.
Webcam:This feature doesn't work.
Windows Portable Devices:There's no support for media synchronization, image acquisition, or file browsing.
Windows 10 camera devices:Cameras that use the picture transfer protocol (PTP) don't work.
Sound Recorder:Recordings are limited to the WAV format.
Alarms and Clock:Alarm and timer sounds don't play.
Group Policy for removable disks:This feature doesn't work in N editions of Windows 10 Pro.
Cortana Personal Assistant:Speech interaction with Cortana doesn't work.
Windows Store media content:Audio and video content that's obtained through the Store can't be played. Also, preview of audio or video content in the Store doesn't work.
Wireless Display:This feature doesn't work.
PDF Viewing in Edge:This feature doesn't work.
Windows Hello:This feature doesn't work.
Toast Notifications:Sounds that are set for toast notifications don't work.
Reset this PC:If you use this feature to reset or refresh a computer that's running an N edition of Windows that has the Media Restore Package installed, the Media Restore Package is lost. The package must be reinstalled to restore missing system binaries.