HomeGame GuidesMicrosoft is removing AC-3 Dolby Digital Codec from Windows 11 24H2

Microsoft is removing AC-3 Dolby Digital Codec from Windows 11 24H2

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Microsoft has published a new support page with details about codec support in Windows 10 and 11. For those who don’t know, codecs are bits of software that allow various audio and video files to be played on a computer. By default, Microsoft operating systems come with plenty of pre-built codecs, with more available in the Microsoft Store. However, the upcoming Windows 11 version 24H2 will introduce some changes.

According to the new support page, Windows 11 version 24H2 will remove the AC-3 codec, also known as “Dolby Digital” for multi-channel or “surround sound”:

As of Windows 11, version 24H2, the AC-3 codec is no longer included in Windows. However, many device manufacturers will pre-install the AC-3 Codec. In these cases, you will still be able to play files encoded with the AC-3 audio codec.

No word on why Microsoft decided to remove AC-3 from Windows 11 24H2. Also, Microsoft isn’t saying what will happen to AC-3 support when upgrading to older 24H2 releases or Windows 10. However, users shouldn’t panic—many third-party apps, such as VLC, include AC-3 support.

For reference, here are the codecs included with Windows by default:

video Audio
  • MPEG-4, H.264
  • H.263
  • VC-1
  • Windows Media Video (WMV)
  • DV
  • VP8
  • Motion JPEG
  • Audio MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (e.g. MP3, MP2)
  • Advanced Audio Coding (AAC, M4A)
  • Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
  • Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC)
  • waveform (WAV)
  • Windows Media Audio (WMA)
  • 3GP, 3G2
  • Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR)

Additionally, some codecs are available from Microsoft in the store. They are inclusive MPEG-2 (MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video formats), HEVC (H.265), VP9, AV1and Internet media expansion (audio and video OGG, Vorbis and Theora). Keep in mind that some of them, such as HEVC, are not free.

You can learn more about codec support in Windows 10 and 11 on the official support page. Windows 11 24H2 is expected to ship later this year, and is now available for public testing in the release preview channel.

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