Solved: How to Fix VLC not playing MP4 Videos?

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VLC media player is a go-to player for many users and video enthusiasts and MP4 is a popular video file format among most users you would have seen VLC as their default media player in most computers.

We can imagine how you felt when you saw random errors saying unable to play the file for no reason, Well, follow this article to fix them yourself and get the MP4 File back playing VLC.

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Why VLC Player Cannot Play My MP4 File?

MP4 files may not be playing on a VLC media player is a thing of concern, it could be due to any reasons like video file corruption, missing codecs, and outdated applications.

Did we say you can fix the MP4 video file not playing issue with the VLC media player? Yes, you could do that when the MP4 video has minor issues. If that doesn’t work for you will need to take the support of an efficient video repair software.

The upcoming section will list solutions to solve VLC not playing MP4 files.

7 Solutions To Fix MP4 Files Not Playing In VLC

Fix 1: Update VLC Media Player

If you are using an older version of the VLC media player then it may be able to play MP4 files or any other video files.
To check for updates: Open VLC and navigate to Help > Check for updates. Update the Player if any updates are available.

check for updates in vlc media player

Fix 2: Install MP4 Codecs

Install the required MP4 codecs to Play the video file on the VLC Media Player, without codecs VLC media player won’t be able to play as it cannot recognize the audio or video codec.

You can download the missing codec from the official Media Player Codec Pack.

Fix 3: Disable Hardware Decoding

VLC media player cannot handle the rendering effects on the video files, it occurs mostly when your MP4 file has more subtitle track. You can disable it to play the video file.

  • In the VLC media player, Go to Tools and select Preferences.

open preferences option

  • In the next tab, Click on Show Settings from the lower left and select All button.
  • Go to Input/Codec > Video Codec> FFmpeg, and disable the ‘Hardware decoding’ option.

disable the hardware decoding option

Fix 4: Different Output Mode

Using a different mode to output the video, can fix the MP4 file not playing in the VLC issue:

  • Open VLC, go to Tools and choose Preferences.
  • Click on Video and check the Enable Video and Window decorations.
  • In the Output drop-down menu Select OpenGL Video Output

choose OpenGL Video Output and save

  • Save the settings and restart the player.

Fix 5: Automatic Repair

Try to repair the MP4 video file using the built-in feature, Enable the Automatic repair feature to fix the corrupt video files, Here’s how to do it:

  • Launch VLC and click on Tools > Preferences > Input/Codecs.
  • Navigate to Files and select Damaged or Incomplete MP4 file, choose Always fix in the action section, and Click on Save.

fix the corrupt mp4 file

Fix 6: Convert Video File Format

Converting the video file format is the easiest way to escape the missing codec issue by converting MP4 to MOV, AVI, or WMV file formats.

VLC player can handle MOV and AVI files smoothly without any compatibility issues.

To convert the file format using VLC:

  • Click on Media and select the Convert / Save option.

click on convert and save option

  • Click on Add under the File Selection and upload the MP4 File.
  • After importing click on the Convert / Save button.

add the mp4 file

  • Expand the drop-down next to Profile and select the preferred video output format and destination to save the video file.

browse a destination for the video file

Now check if the converted video files are playing in the VLC Media Player.

If all the solutions above did not fix the issue then your MP4 video file must be severely corrupted and it requires a professional video repair tool to get it fixed.

Fix 7: Repair Corrupt MP4 File

SFware Video Repair is an efficient video repair software to fix all kinds of video formats from severe corruption issues and it is an easy-to-use software with simple UI.

To repair corrupted MP4 files on your PC, download, install, and launch the software and follow the steps below:

Step 2: Click on the Add File to select the corrupt MP4 video file.

select the mp4 file

Step 3: If the header of the MP4 video file is corrupted or not found,  provide a reference file i.e., other healthy MP4 files.

select a reference mp4 file

Step 4: The tool will start repairing the video file.

process of repairing mp4 file

Step 5: After completion Preview the repaired file.

preview the repaired mp4 video

Step 6: Click the Save button and choose a location to save the repaired video.

Tips To Avoid MP4 Problems In The Future

As the proverb says “Prevention is better than cure” This applies to videos as well, You can prevent Video file corruption and other playback issues on MP4 by following some of these tips:

Use Reliable Software: Use reliable and updated software for editing and playing the MP4 Files to prevent corruption issues with your video

Stay away from meta content: Do not alter the meta components or header of the MP4 file, it’s critical and better left unaltered to keep the video file healthy.

Mind the playback errors: Watch the distorted images, audio issues, or sudden interruptions while playing the MP4 file as early signs of corruption and react immediately to repair the video file.

Scan the Storage device: Protect the storage device containing MP4 files using an updated antivirus tool to prevent virus and malware attacks from corrupting the video files.

Backup: Take backups of the video files that you care about, they can come in handy in case of corruption or any other data loss as well.


Hassles with the VLC player not playing MP4 video files are very annoying, However, the solutions listed in this article are capable of getting them fixed.

You can choose the solutions in any order, if you notice any video corruption signs at the beginning itself, do repair the video files with an advanced tool like the SFWare video repair tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Windows Media Player play MP4 Files?
Yes, Windows Media player can play MP4 Video files.

2. What codec is required for MP4?
MP4 Files with H. 264 codec is most commonly found and provides the best results.

3. Is MP4 and M4V the same formats?
MP4 and M4V are closely related file formats with different file extensions.

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One thought on “Solved: How to Fix VLC not playing MP4 Videos?

  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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