Why Is My VLC Not Playing mp4? | Solved

(Summary: 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 unplayble mp4 video.)

The VLC (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.

Screenshot of VLC not playing mp4 file

There could various reasons for VLC not playing MP4, the most basic cause might be an outdated version of your VLC Media Player.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

If you are not able to figure out what is wrong then just do this simple checkup;

  • Check if your MP4 video file is playing on any other media player or not; If it is not playing, go to [Fix Corrupted MP4 File | SFWare Repair MP4 File]
  • In VLC, try playing any other MP4 video file and see if it’s playing. If it is not playing, go to [Fix VLC Media Player Error | VLC not playing MP4]

Now let us see some of the common scenarios as to how an MP4 file gets corrupted or Why VLC is not playing MP4:

  • 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 viruses
  • VLC media player doesn’t have appropriate Codecs to play the MP4 file
  • MP4 video file header is unreadable or damaged
  • Due to improper downloading method or any sort of interruption while downloading can lead to MP4 file corruption making the MP4 file unplayable in VLC Media Player.
    Now that you know the reasons and scenarios that are responsible for a VLC player not playing mp4 files. Follow the next sections to see how to fix a unplayable video file in VLC player and also using a video repair tool.

Fix Corrupted MP4 Files | SFWare Repair MOV File:

An MP4 video file can get corrupted due to many various reasons. For example, audio-video sync issues, codec issues, improper file transfer, interruptions while compressing an MP4 video, etc. SFWare Repair MOV Tool can quickly fix these issues and can also repair a corrupted MP4 file with ease.

The best part is, in the process of repairing your corrupt or unplayable MP4 file, your original file will be untouched and safe.

The tool works on a copy of your original file which creates a healthy new file and then copies the audio and video streams separately which does not alter the video quality. This process makes the repairing of the MP4 video file smoother and safer.

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.
  • Now, click on “Corrupted File” and provide the location and click on the “Repair” option.
  • 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 or repair corrupted MOV files too. SFWare MOV Repair Tool is efficient enough to mend MP4 video files as well as large MOV files. Make use of free trial version so that anyone can get a complete idea of the tool before buying the SFWare Repair MOV Tool’s full version software.

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” dropdown 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”.
  • Disable the “Hardware Decoding” option.
  • Save all these changes and restart your VLC Media Player for the change to take effect.

All the above mentioned sections of this article will certainly help you fix the issue and configure VLC Media Player in a proper way. If you were successful in fixing VLC player not playing mp4 video, do let us know in the comment section below.