How to Fix VLC Lagging or Stuttering?

15 minutes read

When encountering video lagging issues, specifically on VLC media player, it’s important to consider video corruption as a possible cause. While there are free methods available to address MP4 or MOV video lagging, they may not be effective if there is underlying corruption. In such cases, Remo Video Repair software is recommended. It operates with a read-only mode interface, allowing quick and efficient fixing of video stuttering or lagging on VLC with just a few simple clicks.

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VLC lagging, stuttering, skipping, buffering, or jerky refers to interruptions, delays, or a lack of smooth or flawless video playback when watching or streaming video files. 

This issue can manifest in numerous ways, including:

- Freezing Frames: The video you are trying to play freezes, but the audio part continues to play effortlessly.

- Choppy Video Playback: Instead of playing smoothly, the video plays in a jerky or fragmented, or skippy manner.

- Delayed Response: Delay between the audio and the video.

- Skipping Frames: Some frames or parts are skipped, making the video jump forward.

The issue of VLC stuttering or video skipping can be due to various ways, including Insufficient hardware resources such as RAM or CPU and GPU. Issues with the Software include conflict with other resource-intensive applications, outdated Media Player, and corruption of video files. Incorrect or improper configuration Settings within the VLC or changing the hardware acceleration decoding. Issues with the video files, where you might be trying to play high-quality and high-resolution videos on an older system that is not equipped to handle them well.

Identifying and pinpointing the cause of the lag, jerk, or stutter while playing videos on VLC can be helpful in fixing the issue.

This article helps you understand the issue and provides you with the right solution to help you fix it as effectively and quickly as possible.

VLC Player Lagging or stuttering

Table of Contents:

How to Fix VLC Lagging on Windows or Mac?

  1. Close Background Applications
  2. Try Reducing the Video Quality or Resolution
  3. Converting the Video File format to a VLC compatible File Format
  4. Upgrade VLC Media Player, Codecs, Drivers, and the Operating System
  5. Repair Corrupt Video Files Using the Remo Video Repair Tool
  6. Increasing File Cache Values
  7. Disabling Hardware Decoding

As mentioned earlier, depending on the reason that might have triggered the problem.

If you think the issue was caused by insufficient resources, I suggest closing the VLC Media Player and other resource-intensive applications running in the background. This will help you free up some vital resources.

If you have faced the problem of VLC lag with 4K videos, VLC 2160p videos that are choppy, or 1080p videos that do not play properly in VLC, the easiest solution you can try is to reduce the quality or resolution of the videos.

Since reducing the video resolution is not a permanent fix, you can try converting the problematic video's file format into a different video format.

The next solution you can try is to find out if your media player is outdated. Check if any new versions are available. Upgrading your Media Player, Codecs, and Operating System can help you easily troubleshoot various issues, errors, and problems that are hampering your productivity and disrupting fun. 

Before trying other complex solutions, I recommend that you ensure that the video file(s) you are trying to play on VLC are safe or have not become corrupt. Issues like corruption are serious and shouldn't be ignored at all costs. 

The easiest way to find out is to play the same video file on other video players or systems. 

If you have encountered the same issue on different video players and different devices. Then for sure, the videos that were skippy or jerky have gotten corrupt.

If you think the issue was caused by changing the Media Player settings or enabling the hardware acceleration settings, you can try modifying cache values and disabling hardware decoding.

Method 1: Close Applications Running in the Background

Closing unnecessary background applications will help you free up valuable CPU and RAM. This allows your system to dedicate more resources to decoding and buffering the video files more efficiently, eliminating the issues of lag, jerkiness, and stuttering.

Method 2: Reduce the Video Quality/Resolution to Fix the VLC Laggy Playback Issue

The VLC media player supports almost all audio and video formats. However, regardless of its compatibility. Sometimes, VLC lags or stutters while playing HD videos.

The issue manifests as strange or random visual artifacts, distorted colors, or modified adjustments or settings like brightness, contrast, or saturation. To fix the issue, you can try reducing the quality of the VLC media player's high-definition videos.

How To Change the Quality of a Video in VLC?

1. Launch the VLC Media Player. In the top menu bar. Click on the Tools option and then on Adjustments and Effects.

2. The Adjustments and Effects window will be displayed. In this window, you can try adjusting various options like Hue, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Gamma, and many more. 

3. Once you make changes, click the Save button. Restart the VLC Media Player and try playing the same video files.

If reducing the video resolution in VLC was unhelpful. The issue might be due to an incompatibility between the VLC Video Player and the Video File Format.

Method 3: Convert the Problematic Video Format To Resolve the VLC Playback Stutter

This solution is extremely helpful if you are trying to play videos of WMV, RM, RMVB, HEVC, H.265, etc, formats. Smooth playback of these formats requires the installation of newer codec packs. 

However, you can also convert the choppy, jerky, skippy, stuttering video file format to a different and highly compatible video file format.

Steps To Convert Videos to Another Format Using VLC Media Player

1: Launch VLC and click Media > Select Convert / Save option.

Go to Convert/Save option in VLC

2: In the Open Media window, Go to File > Click Add button to select the video file you want to convert >  Hit the Convert/Save button.

Select video that is lagging

3: Now, click the Browse button to select the destination folder and hit the Start button. Wait until VLC converts your video file so that you can play your video without any lag or stutter.

Converting MP4 video to healthy Video

Once you have converted the problematic video file format to a new one, I recommend restarting your media player and trying to play the video files.

To fix choppy video issues, you can try any reliable and authentic video converter tool, in addition to the VLC Media Player.

The VLC Media Player lagging issue still persists, then, an outdated VLC Media Player, Codecs, Drivers, or the Operating System are the culprits. 

So, in that case, to answer one of the most commonly asked questions, “How to fix the VLC Media Player Video lagging issue”? The answer is to update it.

Method 4: Upgrade the VLC Media Players, Drivers, Codecs, and Operating System to Fix the VLC Laggy Playback Issue

Updating your VLC Media Player, Display Drivers, Codecs, and Operating System to the latest version is essential for resolving video lagging issues, including those experienced on the VLC media player. By keeping your drivers and other things up to date, you can ensure optimal video playback and minimize glitches or interruptions while using VLC on your Windows computer.

Updating VLC Media Player:

1. Launch the VLC Media Player.

2. Click the "Help" option at the top menu bar. Select the "Check for Updates" from the dropdown menu.

3. VLC Media Player will try to find any pending updates.

Suppose any pending updates are available. VLC Media Player will prompt you to download and install it on your system.

Suppose no updates are available, or your media player is up to date. Then, the VLC Media Player will display a message stating you're using the latest version of the VLC.

Updating Drivers:

1: Press the Windows button and R at once. Type devmgmt.msc in the Open box and then click OK. This will open the Device Manager.


2: Expand Display adapters. Right-click on the display hardware and click the Update driver option.


3: Click on Search automatically for updated driver software. Windows will then search for the latest driver version online.


4: Follow the self-explanatory instructions to update the graphic or display driver. 

Updating OS:

I have also encountered a few VLC users who complain of “VLC audio stutter in Windows 10” or “VLC player hangs in Windows 10.” The issue might be due to using an old operating system. In such cases, upgrading to a newer or latest one can be a good bet when it comes to solving various problems. 

This article explains how to upgrade to Windows 11. If you are a Mac user, it explains how to upgrade to Mac Ventura.

If you are still facing the issue of VLC video not playing smoothly even after trying the basic troubleshooting solutions, then there might be some serious issues with the videos. 

Method 5: Repair Laggy, Skippy, Jerky, and Choppy Video Files Using Remo Video Repair

Apart from seeing stuttery, freeze, skippy, jerky, choppy, and blurry. If you are also seeing issues like the "Black Screen," "audio and video out of sync," "distorted images or playback," or "blocked pixels." One might also encounter error messages while playing the video file(s).

All of these can signal trouble with your videos, where the main problem is corruption.

Regardless of the reason why your video files have gotten corrupted. Specialized tools like Remo Video Repair are here to help you fix and repair even the most severely corrupt video files with absolute ease.

The tool works seamlessly with all video file formats and Windows and Mac OS versions.

Steps To Repair Laggy, Skippy, Choppy Videos on VLC Using Remo Video Repair

1: Download, install, and launch Remo Video Repair software on your computer.


2: Click on the Select File to choose the corrupt video that was stuttering, jerking, skipping, or choppy while playing it on VLC Media Player and click the Repair button.


3: Once the repair process is completed, you can preview the video for free. If you are satisfied with the result, you can click the Save button to restore it to any desired location.

save repaired video

I am 100% sure that the corrupt video has been fixed by now and that you were able to resume playing it seamlessly. In case the VLC player stuttering playback issue is not yet resolved, you can try increasing the VLC buffer or the VLC caching size. This will, in turn, increase the VLC buffer time.

Method 6: Increase VLC File Caching Values To Fix VLC Lagging Issue

The file caching option or parameters in the VLC Media Player refer to the amount of time VLC takes to preload data before playing it. Preloading a part of the video ensures a super smooth video playback to avoid or handle any delays in data streaming or reading.

You can modify the file caching parameters to fix the VLC choppy playback issue.

1. Go to the VLC media player.

Launch VLC media player

2. Select Tools and Click the Preferences option.

Go to Preferences option

3. Then, go to Input / Codecs.

click on input codecs

4. Under Show Settings, select All and click on Input / Codecs.

5. Here, you need to change the File caching (ms) value (the default value is 300). Possibly, it is set to a higher value, which might lead to HD videos lagging or stuttering. So, change the File caching value to a smaller value (Setting the value to 1000 will buffer for 1 second) and click Save.

file caching ms

[Note: If the stuttering video file is located on a network share, you can change the caching value for Network caching (ms)].

The last solution in this list involves disabling the hardware acceleration option to fix the issue.

Method 7: Disable Hardware Acceleration Decoding 

Enabling hardware decoding might cause choppy video playback issues. To resolve this, you need to disable hardware encoding. Even though hardware encoding is required for the decoding process, sometimes it creates playback issues. Hence, disabling it to fix VLC lag or stutter is better.

1: Open VLC and navigate to Tools > Preferences.

Open Preferences in VLC to fix the VLC lagging

2: When you see the settings window, click on Input and Codecs on the left sidebar.

Open Input/Codecs under Simple Preferences

3: Disable the Hardware-accelerated decoding option and click Save to update the changes.

Disable Hardware accelerated decoding to fix the VLC lagging Issue

I am sure you could fix video lagging or stuttering issues using the above methods in the VLC media player.

The next section discusses tips for avoiding stuttering or jerky videos in the future.

Pro Tips to Avoid HD Videos Lagging on VLC:

  1. 📺Reduce Video Resolution: Ultra HD or 4K videos can cause stuttering or lag due to their large size and format. Try reducing the video resolution or size to improve playback performance on VLC.
  2. ⬆️Update Windows OS: Updating your Windows operating system to the latest version can resolve compatibility issues and enhance system performance, ultimately fixing video lag on VLC.
  3. 📂Clear Cookies and Temporary Files: Deleting cookies and temporary files can free up system resources and alleviate video lag or buffering problems on VLC.
  4. ▶️Update VLC Media Player: Always keep your VLC media player updated with the latest version. Updating VLC can fix stuttering video issues and ensure optimal playback performance. 
  5. 🌐Improve Internet Connection: Ensure a stable and fast internet connection if you are streaming videos. Slow internet speeds can lead to video lag. Additionally, closing unused web windows or applications can help allocate more resources to VLC for smoother playback.
  6. 👩‍💻Update Web Browser: If using VLC for online streaming, ensure your web browser is updated to its latest version. Browser updates often include performance enhancements that can contribute to a better video playback experience.

Frequently Asked Questions on VLC Lagging Issue

Why video is stuck in VLC?

The video gets stuck or freezes in VLC because of the bad frames in VLC. You can resolve this issue with videos stuck in vlc by updating the media player, increasing cache value, disabling hardware decoding, etc.

Why is my VLC Choppy?

Choppy videos vlc happen because of issues in the codec, corrupt video files, outdated media player, etc. Choppy videos can be fixed by updating VLC, changing output settings, enabling GPU acceleration, etc.

Why is the MP4 video not playing in VLC?

If the video has an incompatible codec, you will face the issue of playing MP4 videos. Refer to this article to fix MP4 not playing on VLC.

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…