VLC Won’t Play MP4 Files – How to Solve?

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam

Published On - July 29, 2020

VLC Player is a powerful audio and video player that can play the majority of the available video file formats. MP4 is a container that can host both audio and video files. Because MP4 is supported by social media platforms, video streaming websites, you will find many of your videos in the MP4 format. Generally, the VLC player runs all the MP4 files easily. But sometimes, the VLC player does not run even the healthy MP4 files. Here are some common scenarios;

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“Some of my video files are not playing in the VLC player. These are songs that I had downloaded from a website. These videos are playing in the Windows Media Player, but not in the VLC player.”

“I have downloaded some movies to my laptop. But the VLC Player is not playing movies videos. The videos are in MP4 format.”

If you are using facing the same scenarios, then you need to recognize the cause behind the issue and then fix it as early as possible.

Cause – 1 Disable hardware decoding

When the VLC player runs a video, then it renders its video effects and subtitle tracks. Suppose the selected Video is a high-definition video that requires better specification or multiple subtitle tracks. Sometimes, when the graphic card of your computer is also an older one and cannot process the high-definition Video. You can overcome such a problem by deactivating the hardware decoding in the VLC Player. Follow the steps;

  1. Start VLC Player and go to the Tools tab. After opening the drop-down, choose Preferences.
  2. choose Preferences

  3. In the Simple Preferences wizard, there is a Show settings section at the bottom. Click the All button.
  4. Click the All button

  5. In the Video Codecs category, click FFmpeg and choose the Disable option in the Hardware Decoding. Click the Save button.
  6. Click the Save button

Now restart the VLC Player and try to run the MP4 Video. The change in the hardware decoding will not affect the rendering of the video. But a high-definition video may not work well after disabling the hardware decoding.

Cause – 2 Change the Video Mode

Sometimes, the properties of a video are not supported by the default video settings of the VLC Player. You can make some adjustments in the video settings and try to run the unplayable Video.

  1. In the VLC Player, go to Tools and choose Preferences.
  2. Click the Video option.
  • If the Enable Video is unchecked, then check it.
  • In the Output drop-down, choose ‘X11 video output (XCB)’.
  • Restart VLC Player and try to run the Video.

Cause 3 – An Outdated VLC Player Version

If you are having an earlier version of the VLC player, then it will also not run a new video file with new features. You should download the latest version from the website of the VLC player –


Cause 4 – Repair the Corrupt Video File

If the video file does not play on the VLC player as well as on other media players, then it means that it has gone corrupt. The reasons may be an improper transfer, bad codecs, synchronization issues in audio-video streaming, bad compression due to an abrupt stopping, etc. If the MP4 has faced such errors, then you need to repair corrupt MP4 video file otherwise it will not play in any medial player. You need to repair the Video using the Recoveryfix Video Repair tool.

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Follow the steps presented below:

  1. Download and install the Recoveryfix Video Repair software. Then start it from the Application menu. In the home screen, click the Add File(s) button.
  2. click the Add File(s) button

  3. After choosing the MP4 file that is not playing, click the Repair Files button
  4. click the Repair Files button

  5. Choose the folder where you need to save the repaired file. Click OK.
  6. Click OK

  7. The tool will repair the video. You can see the status of Success. There is a Saved File Location link that you can click to go to the folder directly.
  8. click to go to the folder directly
    After saving the report in the CSV file, click the Close button to finish the repair process.

Corruption in a video file (of any format including MP4) makes it unplayable, and you may lose some essential videos. If you do not want to miss all such videos, then use the services of the Recoveryfix Video Repair tool that can repair videos from all the major formats. It will repair the video file and remove all the corruption in minimum time.

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