Resolved| Why Does VLC Not Playing YouTube Videos?

author portrait
0 min

feature vlc not playing youtube videosHave you ever encountered the frustrating issue of a VLC media player not playing YouTube videos? You are not alone in this problem. VLC is one of the most famous video and audio players, and YouTube is the biggest video-sharing platform on the internet. So, it's no surprise that users often encounter this problem. The great news is that some simple solutions can help you resolve this issue and get back to enjoying your favorite YouTube videos on VLC. In this article, we will discuss why VLC not playing Youtube Videos and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix the problem. Whether you're a long-time VLC user or a newcomer to the platform, this guide will help you overcome the issue of VLC not playing YouTube videos and get back to enjoying your media content hassle-free. So, keep reading to discover how to troubleshoot this issue and make the most of your VLC media player.

Possible Reasons Why VLC is Not Playing YouTube Videos

Is your VLC media player not playing YouTube videos? If so, there are several possible reasons for this issue. These reasons may include compatibility issues between VLC and YouTube's video format, network connectivity problems, outdated software versions, etc. To fully understand why VLC does not play YouTube videos, let's take a closer look at these potential reasons:

Incompatibility Issues: VLC may be unable to play YouTube videos due to compatibility issues between the two platforms. YouTube frequently updates its platform, and sometimes, VLC may be unable to keep up with these updates. As a result, the two platforms may have compatibility issues, leading to VLC not playing YouTube videos. Additionally, YouTube uses a specific video format, and if VLC does not support that format or lacks the necessary codecs, it may fail to play the videos.

Outdated VLC Version: An outdated media player version can also prevent VLC from playing YouTube videos. VLC regularly releases updates to fix bugs and improve performance; if you have an outdated version, it may not be able to play YouTube videos. An outdated VLC version may not be compatible with the latest YouTube updates, resulting in playback issues.

Network Connectivity Problems: VLC may only be able to play YouTube videos if you have a fast and stable internet connection. However, if you experience network connectivity problems, it can hinder the playback of YouTube videos on VLC. These issues can cause VLC not to stream YouTube videos smoothly. They can also cause buffering, long loading times, or even complete failure to load the video.

YouTube API Changes: Changes in the YouTube API can also cause “VLC can't open YouTube”problem. If YouTube makes any changes to its API, VLC may not be able to recognize the new API. This can result in a playback issue and prevent VLC from playing YouTube videos.

Codec Issues: Codec issues can also cause VLC to not play YouTube videos. VLC has codecs, such as H.264 and VP9, that it uses to decode video files. If the YouTube video you are trying to play uses a different codec, VLC may be unable to play it. In this case, you can try to install the codec pack or use a different media player that supports the codec used in the video.

possible reasons why vlc not playing youtube

7 Steps to Resolve VLC Can't Open YouTube Videos

If there are reasons why VLC is not playing YouTube video, there are also steps you can take to resolve these issues. The following steps can guide you if you encounter this problem on your Windows or Mac computer. You can start from the first step until you find a solution that works for you. Read and learn them below.

Method 1. Check and Update VLC

Sometimes, the VLC not playing YouTube videos can be resolved by simply updating the VLC media player. Updating the software can ensure you have the updated version with all the necessary bug fixes and compatibility updates. This solution is the first step you must try, as it can often fix the issue without further troubleshooting. To do this, simply open the VLC media player and head to the "Help" menu. From there, access the "Check for Updates" option and follow the prompts to update VLC to the latest version. This will ensure you have the top up-to-date version of VLC with all the necessary fixes and improvements to play YouTube videos smoothly.

check and update vlc

Method 2. Turn the Hardware-accelerated Decoding to Disable

Another step to resolve VLC media player not playing YouTube videos is to disable hardware-accelerated decoding. Hardware-accelerated decoding is a default setting in VLC that uses your computer's GPU to decode videos for smoother playback. It helps improve performance and offload the processing load from your CPU. That is why it is enabled by default in most cases. However, in some instances, hardware-accelerated decoding can cause issues with certain videos, including YouTube videos. Moreover, disabling hardware-accelerated decoding can sometimes fix playback issues, such as stuttering or freezing, when playing YouTube videos. You can do this through the following steps:

  • Launch the VLC media player and head to the "Tools" tab to access the list of options. Move your cursor over "Preferences" and click on it to proceed. You will be prompted with the Simple Preferences window.
  • Point your mouse cursor to the "Input/Codecs" option and click on it to expand the submenu. Tick the box next to "Hardware-accelerated decoding" and change the setting to "Disable."
  • Save the changes by ticking the "Save" button at the bottom of the window. Then, the program will be relaunched to verify if the changes have resolved the issue.

disable hardware accelerated decoding

Method 3. Increase the File Cache Size of VLC

One way to resolve VLC not playing YouTube videos is by changing the file cache size in VLC. File caching allows VLC to temporarily store video data in memory and determine how much of the video to load ahead of time. But by default, VLC sets the file cache at a low value of 300 milliseconds. This causes issues with streaming videos, such as YouTube videos. Due to its limited cache, the video may encounter interruptions and buffering. You can try increasing the file cache size if you think VLC's not playing YouTube videos is due to buffering issues.

  • First, open the VLC software and go to the "Tools" tab. Then, select "Preferences" from the dropdown menu. You will be prompted with the Simple Preferences window.
  • Navigate to the "Input/Codecs" option and click on it to display the submenu. Under the "Advanced" section, locate the "File caching (ms)" option. Then, increase the value to a higher number, such as 2000 milliseconds, to set the desired cache size.
  • Lastly, go to the "Network caching(ms)" option and set a higher value to 1500. Once you have made the adjustments, click the "Save" button and restart VLC to apply the changes.

increase the file cache size of vlc

Method 4. Reset the VLC Preferences to Default

If you're experiencing playback issues with VLC, another troubleshooting way you can try is resetting the preferences to default. This can help troubleshoot any settings that may be causing VLC to have problems playing YouTube videos. To reset VLC preferences to default, follow these steps:

  • Launch the program and access the "Tools" tab in the VLC media player. Pick the "Preferences" option from the dropdown menu to view the Simple Preferences windows.
  • Scroll down to the bottom left corner of the window and find the "Reset Preferences" button. Hit that button to initiate the process of resetting preferences. You will be directed with a confirmation message asking if you want to reset all preferences.
  • Ensure you have saved any important preferences or settings before proceeding, as this process will erase all customizations made to VLC. Once okay, click "Yes" to confirm and let VLC reset all preferences to default.

reset the vlc preferences

Method 5. Change YouTube.luac to YouTube.lua File

Getting a new YouTube.luac file can sometimes resolve playback issues with YouTube videos in a VLC media player. This file contains the necessary codec for VLC to play YouTube videos smoothly. Moreover, it handles the latest changes and updates from YouTube, such as format and API. Therefore, if you are experiencing issues with YouTube videos in VLC, you can try changing the "YouTube.luac'' file to "YouTube.lua." This can be done by following these steps:

  • Visit the VLC media player website and download the "YouTube.lua" file from their official repository. This file can be found in the "lua" folder.
  • Press the Windows key + E to open and access the File Explorer. Enter the path to the "lua" folder from the address bar in the VLC media player installation directory.
    Such as:
    -For 32-bit desktop: C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\playlist
    -For 64-bit desktop: C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\playlist
  • Locate the "YouTube.luac" file and remove it from the folder. Once you have deleted the "YouTube.luac" file, replace it with the downloaded "YouTube.lua" file. This will replace the outdated or corrupted YouTube.luac file with the updated YouTube.lua file.

change youtube luac file to youtube lua file

Method 6. Reinstall VLC

If none of the above solutions work, you can reinstall the VLC media player. This solution is often a last resort, but it can help to fix VLC Player and any underlying issues. By doing so, all settings and configurations will be reset. Moreover, reinstalling VLC can also help resolve any damaged or missing files that might be causing playback issues with YouTube videos. To reinstall the VLC media player, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to your computer's Control Panel and select "Programs" or "Programs and Features." Then navigate to "Uninstall a program" or "Add or Remove Programs."
  • Find VLC Media Player in the menu of installed applications and select it. You must hit the "Uninstall" option and wait for the program to be uninstalled completely.
  • Obtain the latest version of the VLC media player from the official website and acquire it on your computer. Adhere to the on-screen instructions to finish the installation process. Once done, open the program and try to play YouTube videos again to see if the playback issues have been resolved.

reinstall vlc

Method 7. Convert the YouTube Videos to a Different Format

The problem when you try to play YouTube video in VLC media player may also be due to compatibility issues with the video format. In such cases, converting it to a different format may help resolve the playback issues. This is where AceThinker Video Master can be helpful. This program is a powerful video converter that can transform YouTube videos into various formats. It supports all major video file formats, such as MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, and WMV. It is designed to help users save and play YouTube videos in compatible formats, eliminating playback issues and video corruption. Moreover, the conversion process is quick and allows batch conversions. It also enables users to add subtitles to their videos and save them in high resolution up to 4K. Adhere to the detailed steps to convert your YouTube videos into compatible formats using VidElement.

Try it for Free

Free DownloadWindows 8/10/11

Secure/Safe Download

Step 1 Acquire the YouTube Video Converter

To get started, you need to install the tool on your computer by selecting one of the "Download" buttons provided above. You can choose either the download button for Mac or Windows based on your device. Once you select the appropriate button, an installation wizard will display to guide you through the installation process. Once you have successfully installed the tool, simply launch it on your PC to access its main interface.

acquire the youtube video converter

Step 2 Import the YouTube Video

Open a YouTube video file by clicking the "Add File" icon on the left or hitting the "Plus" sign in the center to add a video from your PC.

import the youtube video

Step 3 Select the Preferred Format

After adding the YouTube video, click on the dropdown menu to view all the available file formats. Select the desired format to convert your video.

select the preferred format

Step 4 Convert and Save the YouTube Video

After the conversion is complete, a window will pop up displaying the converted YouTube video. You can play the video by clicking on the file and selecting "open".

convert and save the youtube video


If you are facing the issue of VLC won't play YouTube videos, don't worry; there are various potential solutions to fix the problem. We have discussed some possible reasons VLC may not play YouTube videos, such as compatibility issues, outdated software versions, network connectivity problems, YouTube API changes, and codec issues. We have also provided eight troubleshooting steps to help you overcome this issue. So, why try these solutions step-by-step until you find one that works for you? Following this solution, you can enjoy your favorite YouTube videos on the VLC media player without hassle.

Leave your comment and join our discussion
User Guide