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How to Fix VLC Not Playing MP4 Problem

featured image vlc not playing mp4 VLC is an open-source and cross-platform media player designed for streaming videos, opening images, listening to music, and others. It is available to download and install on several devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets, for free. Additionally, it supports several videos and audio formats, including AVI, WMV, WMA, MOV, and MP4, to name a few. But here's the catch, it is still software that sometimes experiences bugs and issues. One of the most common problems of it is the "VLC not playing MP4" concern. Although MP4 is a very friendly format that is available on multiple platforms, media players, and devices, there are times that VLC could not play it. If you wonder why this happens, we got all the answers here. We scoured and examined the best ways to fix this irritating problem and provide a better alternative for Windows and Mac if the solutions fail.

Navigation of Contents

Reasons Why MP4 Video not Playing in VLC

First, let's know the grounds why sometimes VLC Player not playing MP4. Also, it is necessary to determine if the problem is with VLC Player or with the MP4 file itself. Also, knowing the causes of the problem is vital so that it won't happen again. Let's check all of them here.

things to consider

Main Reasons:

  1. The current version of your VLC Player is not updated.
  2. Hardware acceleration on VLC is enabled.
  3. The MP4 video itself is corrupted. To check this, play the video using different media players. If it is not working, the file is corrupted.
  4. The video settings on your VLC Player are incorrect, or the MP4 codec of the video is incompatible with VLC.

Effective Methods to Fix VLC Cannot Play MP4

Since we already know why the "MP4 file not playing in VLC" problem exists, let's now discover the solutions to fix it. As mentioned, we listed four common reasons why it happens. Don't worry, as we will provide all the solutions needed to fix such problems. Kindly follow the steps provided below.

VLC is not updated:

  • If the MP4 file plays on a different media player, we can conclude that the problem is with your VLC player. One quick fix for that is to update it.
  • To check it, launch VLC and click the "Help" tab. From here, select "Check for Updates" and see. Update the player if a new version is available.
  • Try and play the MP4 file using VLC.

vlc check update

Disable Hardware Acceleration:

vlc show settings

  • On VLC, go to the "Tools" menu and click "Preferences." Find the "Show settings" option at the lower-left corner of the window and change it to "All."
  • Next, go to "Input/Codecs" and hit the dropdown menu on "Video codecs." Choose "FFmpeg" from the list that will show, then search for "Hardware decoding."
  • Finally, change the option from "Automatic" to "Disable" and click the "Save" button.
  • Restart VLC and try to play the MP4 video.

vlc disable hardware acceleration

MP4 file is corrupted:

vlc preferences

  • Rename the corrupted MP4 video by adding ".avi" at the last part of it.
  • Next, go to VLC and click "Tools" to select "Preferences." From here, find "Input/Codecs" and click it.
  • Then, next to the "Damaged or incomplete AVI file" option, click the dropdown menu and change it to "Always fix."
  • Click the "Save" button and restart VLC to check the file.
  • If the video is still not playing, you need to redownload the video and recheck.

vlc fix mp4 corrupt

Check and fix the video settings:

  • If the MP4 codec is not compatible with your VLC Player, we need to get the correct VLC codec pack to fix it.
  • In that case, you need to uninstall VLC entirely on your computer.
  • Next, get the latest version on its official website of VLC Player to download its latest version and reinstall it. The latest versions already have most codecs needed to play MP4 files.
  • Once reinstalled, watch the MP4 video.
  • However, if VLC is still not working, check the better method below.

vlc interface

Alternative Way to Fix VLC Unable to Play MP4 Issue

If you finished all the tips provided above, but it is still not working, don't give up. As we told you, we have a better option to fix this concern so you can continue watching your favorite videos on VLC. So, if all else fails, why not consider converting the MP4 file to other VLC supported formats? In that case, an all-in-one converter like the AceThinker Video Master would be your go-to choice. The powerful software supports more than 1,000 different video and audio formats, making sure we can convert the MP4 video to a format that will surely play on VLC. Let's all solve the MP4 not playing on VLC concern using this excellent video converter.

Key Features:

  • Aside from the supported formats, Video Master can also convert a video/audio file into formats compatible with popular devices, including Android and iOS smartphones, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc.
  • You can also upload any video/audio formats and convert them quickly.
  • Video Master adopts Blu-Hyper technology to accelerate the conversion speed by using your graphics card to aid the process.
  • The software converts the video while preserving its original high quality, even for up to 4K resolution.

Try it for Free

Step 1 Install the MP4 to VLC Converter

Click a specific "Download" button that suits your computer's OS (Windows or Mac). Open the downloaded .exe file, and it will open a prompt to save the software on your computer. Follow it until Video Master is successfully installed.

vm main interface

Step 2 Configure its Settings

Launch Video Master to access its interface. From here, click the "Menu" button located at its top-right corner. Choose "Preferences" from the list that will appear to launch the settings window. From here, you can modify the output folder, enabling acceleration and other settings. Hit "OK" to save all the changes you've made.

vm configure settings

Step 3 Upload the MP4 File

Next, let's upload the MP4 video that is not playing. Hit the "Add Files" button to launch the file explorer. Search or browse the MP4 video that we need to convert. You can drag and drop the file straight to Video Master to add it.

vm upload mp4

Step 4 Convert to VLC

Once you uploaded the MP4 video, hit the "Dropdown" menu on the "Convert All to" option to show the format list. Go to the "Video" tab and select one VLC supported format; for this instance, we choose AVI. Then, choose the video quality you prefer and click the "Convert All" button to start.

vm convert vlc

Step 5 Play the Converted File using VLC

Wait and let Video Master convert the MP4 to a VLC supported format. Once done, the output folder where it is saved will appear. After that, watch the converted video using your VLC Player.

vm play vlc


  • Video Master can compress a large video file into a smaller file size to save disk space.
  • The software also has built-in video editing tools like adding watermark, effects, filters, and others to enhance it.

  • Bulk conversion is not available on its free trial version.
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