Solved: Why VLC Not Playing MP4?


This article is compiled with various sections that are tailor made to answer why is VLC not playing MP4 and provides you easy methods to fix unplayable MP4 video on VLC media player.
Screenshot of VLC not playing MP4 file

About VLC Media Player

(VideoLAN Client) Media Player is the most widely used media player application all over the world. It is designed in an extensible way that allows you to choose multiple modules to control the video output, regardless of the file format they are saved in.

VLC has a very user-friendly design and interface. Being an open-source platform and consisting of great compatibility, MP4 file format is easily supported by VLC, however there can be times wherein your VLC is not playing MP4.

Why VLC Cannot Play MP4 Videos?

There could various reasons for VLC not playing MP4, the most basic cause might be an outdated version of your VLC Media Player.

  • Improper syncing of audio and video streams in MP4 files which makes it unplayable on VLC.
  • Interrupted downloading of MP4 video files which make the file corrupted.
  • Using untrustworthy third-party apps to modify or edit MP4 videos which cause corruption.
  • When an MP4 file is affected with harmful virus or malware
  • VLC media player doesn’t have appropriate codecs to play the MP4 file
  • MP4 video file header is unreadable or damaged
  • Any sort of interruption while downloading can lead to MP4 file corruption making the MP4 file unplayable in VLC Media Player.

The next thing you need to do is to check where the problem actually lies? Is it your MP4 file that is corrupted which is why your VLC is not playing an MP4 video file, or is it your VLC Media Player which is lacking resources to play the file.

Check if your MP4 video file is playing on any other media player or not; if it is not playing, Click here to fix corruption in MP4 file.

Fix VLC Media Player Error | VLC not playing MP4:

Quick-Fix #1: VLC Media Player’s Video Output Mode might not be configured properly.

In this method all you need to do is to configure the video output mode and few settings in a proper way, follow below:

  • Open VLC Media Player and go to Tools
  • Select Preferences
  • Go to the Video section and click on Enable Video in case if it is not already clicked.
  • Check if “Windows Decoration” is clicked, if not, click it.
  • Click on the Output’s drop down menu and select X11 Video Output (XCB)
  • Save all these changes and restart your VLC Media Player for the change to take effect.

Quick-Fix #2: MP4 Video Codec problem, Convert your MP4 to VLC Compatible.

If an MP4 file contains a VLC incompatible video codec, then VLC will not play MP4.

You can download the VLC codec pack from the official VLC Media Player site.

Now, you just have to disable Hardware Video Decoding in VLC Media Player. MP4 is a container video format which generally contains a number of audios, video, and subtitle’s data.

Your hardware decoding of the player is not able to handle the rendering effects since your video might have too many subtitle tracks and the video card you are using is not able to accelerate the video which causes VLC to not to play MP4. The solution to resolve this is by disabling Hardware Video Decoding. How? follow the below steps:

  • Open VLC Media Player and go to Tools and then select Preferences
  • In the lower-left on the window, click on Show Settings and select All button
  • All the options will be displayed in the left now, navigate to Input/Codecs > Video Codecs > FFmpeg
    Fix MP4 files not playing in VLC
  • Disable the Hardware Decoding option.
  • Save all these changes and restart your VLC Media Player for the change to take effect.

If none of the above methods worked for you to fix the trouble with VLC player and MP4, there might be chances of MP4 file corruption. To Fix MP4 file corruption, you can make use of SFWare, the most trusted Video Repair tool.

SFWare Video Repair Tool built with a unique algorithm that lets the user to fix severe corruption or damaged on any video files including MP4, MOV, AVI and other formats. The tool is designed to work on a copy of your original file to keep the original video file untouched and unaltered.  Download and try repairing MP4 file for free..

Steps to repair MP4 video not playing in VLC using SFWare Repair MP4 Tool:

  • On the main screen of the tool, click on “Healthy File” and provide the location of a healthy MP4 file of the same codec.browse the healthy file
  • Now, click on Corrupted File and provide the location and click on the Repair option.
    File is being repaired
  • Wait for the MP4 video file repair process to complete.
  • Once the process is successfully completed, you can preview the successfully repaired MP4 video file by clicking on the Preview option and then save the file at any location of your choice.

With the above steps, the corrupt or unplayable MP4 file is repaired and now it should play on VLC Media Player too. This tool can be used to fix corrupted MOV files with no sound too. SFWare video repair tool is efficient enough to mend of MP4 video files and even large MOV files.


All the above mentioned sections of this article will certainly help you fix the issues if VLC is not playing MP4. This will help you configure VLC media player in a proper way. If you face any hurdles in repairing MP4 while using our video repair tool, you can always rely on our well-trained technical assistance team.

One thought on “Solved: Why VLC Not Playing MP4?”

  1. Quick-Fix #2: worked for me. The film before was showing only the upper half and the lower half was green.

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