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How to Fix VLC Not Playing MP4 Video File Issue | 2023 Guide

VLC not Playing MP4 video files is one of the most common issues. In this article we have explained everything you should be knowing on how to fix this VLC issue to play your video file. However, in case the video file you are trying to play is corrupt or damaged, we recommend you make use of professional Video Repair Software like Remo Repair Video.

The VLC media player is one of the most widely used players and supports almost all sorts of video file formats. Although MP4 is supported by VLC, there are times when you encounter choppy video playback issues or your VLC player doesn't play some video files. 

Table of Contents

1. Fix VLC player issues – MP4 not playing on VLC

2. [Most Recommended] Fix Corrupt Video File Playing MP4 file with a Video Repair Software

Why is My VLC Media Player Not Playing MP4 videos?

This issue of VLC not playing MP4 video can be due to various reasons, we have covered the most common scenarios below:

  • Trying to play the MP4 video on an outdated VLC player
  • VLC settings are disabled and stopping you from playing MP4 video
  • MP4 video having codec issues
  • In worse cases, your MP4 video file might be corrupt or damaged.

Fortunately, there are simple workarounds that can easily fix VLC not playing MP4 files. Stay till the end of the article, along with making your MP4 video playable on VLC, you will also be able to fix any corruptions with your video file using Remo Repair MOV.

In this process of fixing the issue, the first thing you need to do is to check where the problem lies. 

Is it your MP4 file that is corrupt? 

or is the VLC player the culprit?

vlc not playing mp4 videos

No Worries, it’s a no-brainer task! First, play your MP4 video on any other media player such as Windows Media Player or others. Also, try playing other MP4 videos on the same VLC player.

  • If MP4 is playing on other media players, then it’s your VLC  that is the culprit; to fix your VLC player issues just go with Part 1.
  • If your MP4 not playing video on other media players, then the problem lies with your MP4 video. It's a simple task to fix the unplayable MP4 video, just go to Part 2 or you can just go ahead and make use of a video repair tool that can help you to make your MP4 video file play on any media player.

How to Fix MP4 not playing on VLC

Method 1: Upgrade to the latest version of VLC

Method 2: Install VLC MP4 Codecs

Method 3: Convert MP4 File Format to Any VLC Compatible File Format

Method 4: Disable Hardware Video Decoding in VLC

Method 5: Configure Video Output Mode on VLC

Method 1: Upgrade VLC to Latest Version to Fix MP4 File Won’t Play

If your MP4 codec is not compatible with the VLC player, VLC Player won’t play MP4.

Usually, older versions of the VLC player will have trouble playing MP4 videos. All you need to do is just upgrade or download the latest version of the VLC player and try playing the MP4 video. If this doesn’t fix the problem, then move on to the next method.

Method 2: VLC MP4 video codec problem - Install VLC MP4 Codecs

One of the main reasons behind MP4 video not playing is that VLC could not identify the audio or video codecs used. Therefore issues such as VLC not playing video only audio or playing only audio but no video or at times both occurs. 

If you have tried downloading the latest version of the VLC media player but are still unable to play your MP4 files. You must consider installing the VLC MP4 codec pack from the official VLC site.

Method 3: VLC Media Player Incompatible File Format Issue

Another main reason why VLC won’t play video is due to incompatible video file formats. Where VLC can’t recognize the input’s format. Thereby making it impossible for the user to play MP4 video files on VLC.

The easiest way to fix this issue is by converting the file to any VLC-compatible file format. 

VLC Media Player can be used to convert the video file formats.

Many users have complained that VLC crashes when converting file formats. If you faced this same issue we suggest you reinstall the VLC media player.

Method 4: Disable hardware video decoding in VLC

VLC not playing MP4 can be due to the fact that your hardware decoding of the player is not able to handle the rendering effects. It seems that your video has too many subtitle tracks and the video card you are using is not able to accelerate the video. The Best solution to solve this is to disable the hardware video decoding option on VLC. Below are the steps to do this:

  • Open the VLC player and go to
    Tools --> Preferences. Then in the lower left of the window, click on Show Settings and select the ALL button.

  • Here, all the options will be displayed now. Here navigate to
    Input / Codecs -> Video Codecs -> FFmpeg
    Here disable the Hardware decoding option
    fix vlc not playing Mp4 by disabling hardware decoding
  • Once it is done, you can now close VLC and open it up again. Then, just try to play your MP4 video and check if this works. If this doesn’t help, then try the next option.

Method 5: Configure video Output Mode on VLC

Now, it’s time to check the Video Output Mode configuration. Here all you need to do is to configure your X server attribute correctly. For this, just open the VLC player and go to

Tools -> Preferences -> Video section -> check the Enable Video box in case it is un-clicked.

Then check the box for Window decorations, in case it is unchecked. Then select ‘X11 video output (XCB)’ in the Output drop-down menu. Now, just save all the settings you made and open your VLC Player again. Now, your MP4 video should be playing on the VLC player successfully.

Fix Not Playing corrupted MP4 file using Video Repair Software

There are various reasons behind MP4 video corruption - improper transfer, codec issues, audio-video synchronization issues, interruption while compressing the video or converting the video file format and the list grows.

However, you can easily fix any issue with your MP4 or any other video file format using the video repair tool by Remo

Remo Repair is the most recommended tool across the globe to fix any issue related to MP4 and all other video formats. Built with a safe adaptive algorithm that understands the corruption with the help of a reference file, Remo makes the repair process look too simple. For example, all your issues with the MP4 video file will be fixed in just a couple of clicks. 


These are some of the easy methods that help you fix MP4 not playing on the VLC issue. We hope, this article helps you to solve your video playback issue and if you have any queries please do comment below.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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