Introduction: Plex Media Player Setup for Windows

Picture of Plex Media Player Setup for Windows

Welcome to Plex. If you're looking at this instructable you're probably trying to make sure you're setting up plex properly. It's really quite simple. The program is better to use than the web-browser version in many ways.

Pros: Many more features, full quality streaming, supports multi-channel audio

Cons: More than likely will transcode AND cause server lag AND won't get full streaming quality

This instructable will help you setup Plex Media Player for Windows 64-bit. This is the new program that was released by Plex to replace the Plex Home Theater program. One thing I know most people will find better is that it has mouse support among many added features, tweaks, design changes, etc

Step 1: Before We Begin

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Please note older systems NOT running 64-bit windows will NOT be able to install this program. To check if you are running 64-bit windows:

Windows 7 - Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties. Under System, you can view the system type.

Windows 8 - Update to 8.1 (you'll thank me later)

Windows 8.1/10 - Right click the windows icon, then click on System. Under System, you can view the system type.

Step 2: Download the Correct Program and Install

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Go to and click on Download at the top. Next click on "Get an app". It will auto select the windows 64 bit app. Please download and install. If asked to restart pc, please do so.

Step 3: Plex Media Player Settings for Laptop or PC

Picture of Plex Media Player Settings for Laptop or PC

After you reboot, go ahead and open Plex Media Player for the first time. You will be presented with a login screen. If you have not already done so, please make an account. Input your username and password, check "Remember me", and click "Sign In".

You will be presented with your library and on deck. Please click on settings on the top right hand corner.

On the left click on "Player" and then click on "Show advanced". Then for Local, Remote, and Online Quality, select "Original". Check both "Direct Play" and "Direct Stream" and click on "Save Changes". Refer to the screenshot to make sure your settings look like mine.

This is all you have to do! It looks and feels JUST like the web browser but it works way better. YES you can use the mouse!! I know a lot of people were getting annoyed having to use the keyboard only.

IF you are watching with you're laptop/pc connected to the TV, then there may be more settings. Please continue to the next steps otherwise you may close these instructions and get to watching!

Step 4: WARNING!: This Only Applies to Some People. Please Read Carefully.

Picture of WARNING!: This Only Applies to Some People.  Please Read Carefully.

A HTPC is a computer that is specifically plugged into your home theater setup. It combines the ability to view digital or physical media AND you can also use it as a PC.

**NOTE**: these settings are not for those who plug an HDMI into a laptop to watch on their TV here and there. You are "filthy casuals" and honestly changing some of these settings will cause you problems with audio playback when you unplug the HDMI (unless you remember to change the settings again).

Still with us? No problem. We will guide you on how to get the best
viewing experience when watching on your home entertainment setup. These next few settings are in depth tweaks for those with an HTPC (Home Theater PC) that's connected to your TV/Projector setup with surround sound.

Step 5: Setup Windows Sound Devices

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1. Right click the speaker icon in your taskbar (bottom right of your screen) and select "Playback Devices". You should see how your device is playing sound. In my example, I have my HTPC hooked up to my Denon 5.1 receiver.

2. Select your playback device and select "Configure".

3. Select 3.1/5.1/7.1 etc and click Next

4. Make sure all your speakers are selected and click Next

5. Are your speakers full range? Select which ones are and finish setup.

This setup does not affect Plex audio setup BUT now your HTPC is properly setup for sound when playing videos on other programs. Continue to the next step to configure Plex settings.

Step 6: Plex Media Player Settings for HTPC

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1. With Plex Media Player open, click on the "Enter TV Full Screen" button. You will be presented with a TV friendly layout.

2. Click on your username at the top right and then select settings.

No pictures will be provided for this. Just follow along.

MAIN: Select "Automatically Sign In"

AUDIO: Select Device Type as "HDMI", Channels as "5.1", and checkmark what audio formats your TV/Soundbar/Receiver supports. Usually Dolby Digital and DTS are supported, Dolby Digital Plus is backwards compatible so you can probably go ahead and select that too. The rest are for people who know what the choices are so don't bother with those. Only checkmark if it applies to you!

VIDEO: Local, Remote, and Online Quality should be "Original", select "Allow Display Mode switching" only if your TV/Projector supports switching to 24/30hz otherwise leave it unchecked, Hardware Decoding should be "Enabled", Select "Allow Direct Play" and "Allow Direct Stream". On Network cache, select "Extra Large".

SUBTITLES: edit these however you'd like.

More information for technical users is found here:

This is all you guys need to do to setup Plex Media Player properly to get the most out of your media!


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