How do I fix my DVD player? Troubleshooting tips for a player that won’t read discs

Having trouble with your DVD player not reading discs? Frustrating as it may be, this common issue can stem from various factors and can be easily resolved with a few troubleshooting techniques. In this article, we will explore some useful tips to help you fix your DVD player and get back to enjoying your favorite movies and shows in no time.

1. Check the disc

When your DVD player refuses to read discs, it’s essential to start troubleshooting by examining the discs themselves. Ensure that the disc you are trying to play is free from scratches, smudges, or dirt. Often, a small speck of dust or a fingerprint can hinder the player from reading the disc properly.

Inspect the disc for any visible signs of damage. Deep scratches or cracks can prevent the laser inside the player from accurately tracking the data, resulting in playback issues. If you find any significant damage to the disc, it may be irreparable and require a replacement.

Also, check if the disc is compatible with your DVD player. Different formats such as DVD, CD, and Blu-ray require specific players. Make sure you are using the appropriate disc format for your player.

By meticulously examining the disc and ensuring its compatibility, you can rule out any potential issues related to the disc itself and move on to other troubleshooting steps if necessary.

Clean the DVD player

Cleaning the DVD player is an essential troubleshooting step if your player won’t read discs. Over time, dust, dirt, and lint can accumulate on the laser lens, causing reading issues. To clean the DVD player, follow these steps:

1. Power off and unplug the DVD player: Before you start cleaning, make sure to turn off the DVD player and disconnect it from the power source to avoid any electrical mishaps.

2. Open the DVD player: Carefully open the disc tray and remove any disc that may be inside.

3. Use compressed air: Use a can of compressed air to blow away dust and debris from the disc tray, laser lens, and other accessible areas inside the player. Be gentle and make sure not to tilt the can.

4. Clean the laser lens: Take a clean, lint-free cloth and dampen it slightly with water or lens cleaner specifically designed for electronics. Gently wipe the laser lens in a circular motion. Avoid using excessive force or scratching the lens.

5. Allow the player to dry: Give the DVD player a few minutes to dry completely before reconnecting it to the power source and testing it with a disc.

Regularly cleaning your DVD player can help maintain optimal performance and resolve many issues related to disc reading errors.

Verify the DVD type and region compatibility

When troubleshooting a DVD player that won’t read discs, it’s essential to consider the compatibility of the DVD with your player. Different DVD players support specific disc types and regions, and using an incompatible DVD may result in playback issues.

Firstly, check if the DVD you’re trying to play is in the correct format. DVDs come in various formats such as DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and more. Ensure that your DVD player supports the format of the disc you are using.

Additionally, DVDs are region-coded, meaning they can only be played on players that are coded for the same region. For example, if you have a Region 1 DVD, it will not work on a Region 2 player. Make sure your DVD player and the disc you are trying to play have the same region code.

To determine the region code of your player, refer to the user manual or the manufacturer’s website. If a mismatch in disc type or region compatibility is identified, try using a different DVD or consider purchasing a compatible one to resolve the issue.

Update the firmware or software

Updating the firmware or software of your DVD player can often resolve issues related to reading discs. Firmware updates are released by the manufacturer to improve the player’s functionality and address any bugs or compatibility issues.

To update the firmware, start by checking the manufacturer’s website for the latest version available for your specific DVD player model. Download the firmware update file onto your computer and save it to a USB flash drive.

Ensure that your DVD player is connected to a stable power source and turned off. Insert the USB flash drive into the player’s USB port. Turn on the DVD player and navigate to the settings or setup menu. Look for an option related to firmware or software update and select it.

Follow the on-screen instructions to initiate the update process. The DVD player will detect the firmware update on the USB flash drive and begin installing it. Do not interrupt the update process as it may lead to further issues.

Once the update is completed, restart the DVD player and test it with different discs. If the firmware update was successful, the player should now read discs without any problems.

Check the connection cables and ports

When your DVD player is not reading discs, it is crucial to check the connection cables and ports that are responsible for transmitting the audio and video signals. Begin by ensuring that the cables are firmly plugged in to both the DVD player and the television or audio receiver. If any of the cables are loose or disconnected, securely connect them and try playing a DVD again.

In addition to checking the cables, also inspect the ports themselves for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice bent pins or other physical damage, it may be necessary to replace the cables or even the DVD player itself. It is also recommended to try using different cables or ports if available to rule out any potential issues with a specific cable or port.

Checking the connection cables and ports is a simple yet often overlooked troubleshooting step that can effectively resolve issues with DVD players that won’t read discs. By ensuring that the audio and video signals are properly transmitted, you increase the chances of fixing the problem and enjoying your favorite movies once again.

Reset the DVD player

Resetting your DVD player can often solve common issues and get it working again. Here’s how to do it:

1. Power off your DVD player: First, make sure your player is turned off. Unplug it from the power source or simply switch it off using the power button.

2. Locate the reset button: Look for a small reset button on the DVD player. It is usually recessed and may require a paperclip or a similar object to press it.

3. Press and hold the reset button: Insert the paperclip into the reset button and hold it down for about 10-15 seconds. This should effectively reset the player’s settings.

4. Power on the DVD player: After releasing the reset button, plug the player back into the power source or switch it on using the power button.

5. Test the player: Insert a disc and see if the player can read it now. If it works, you have successfully reset your DVD player.

By resetting your DVD player, you are restoring it to its default settings, which can help resolve various playback issues. If resetting doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to consider seeking professional help or purchasing a new player.

Seek professional help or consider purchasing a new player

If you have tried all the troubleshooting tips mentioned above and your DVD player still won’t read discs, it might be time to seek professional help or consider purchasing a new player.

Professional help can come in the form of taking your DVD player to a certified technician who specializes in repairing electronic devices. They have the necessary knowledge and tools to diagnose and fix the specific issue with your player. However, keep in mind that repair costs can sometimes be high, depending on the severity of the problem.

Alternatively, if your DVD player is old or no longer under warranty, purchasing a new player might be a more practical solution. DVD players have become relatively inexpensive, and you can find options that offer additional features like streaming capabilities or Blu-ray compatibility. Before making a purchase, make sure to research different brands and models to ensure you find a player that fits your needs and budget.

Remember, seeking professional help or purchasing a new player should be your last resort after exhausting all other troubleshooting options.


1. Why won’t my DVD player read discs?

There could be various reasons why your DVD player is not reading discs. It could be due to a dirty or damaged disc, a malfunctioning laser lens, or a problem with the DVD player’s firmware.

2. How can I clean a dirty disc?

To clean a dirty disc, gently wipe the surface with a soft, lint-free cloth in a straight line from the center of the disc towards the outer edge. Avoid using circular motions or abrasive materials that could scratch the disc. If the disc is heavily soiled, you may need to use a mild solution of water and dish soap.

3. What should I do if the laser lens is dirty or damaged?

If you suspect that the laser lens is dirty, you can try using a DVD lens cleaning kit. Simply insert the cleaning disc into the player and follow the instructions provided. In case the lens is damaged, it may require professional repair or replacement.

4. Is it possible that the DVD player’s firmware is causing the issue?

Yes, outdated or corrupt firmware could prevent your DVD player from reading discs. Check the manufacturer’s website for any available firmware updates for your specific model. Follow the instructions provided to update the firmware, if necessary, and this might resolve the issue.


In conclusion, troubleshooting a DVD player that won’t read discs can be a straightforward process with several possible solutions. By first checking for simple issues, such as dirty discs or faulty connections, users can save time and effort. If these basic steps prove unsuccessful, cleaning the lens or updating the firmware may resolve the problem. However, in more complex cases, seeking professional help or considering a replacement might be necessary. Understanding the common issues and following these troubleshooting tips can help users get their DVD players back in working condition.

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