Common VLC Media Player Problems & Their Complete Fixes

Summary: Although VLC is one of the best media players available for any platform, a few common problems the user might come across when playing videos on it. These problems can vary from audio syncing issues to video stuttering issues, and if you’re facing any such of them, you shouldn’t worry. There are usually very simple solutions available to fix them, and we’re going to familiarize you with a few in this article.

Common VLC Media Player Problems & Their Complete Fixes Common VLC Media Player Problems & Their Complete Fixes

The VLC media player is a go-to application to open and play any format of video files, including MKV, MP4, MOV, etc. VLC offers a simple and user-friendly interface that gives a seamless video- watching experience to users. It is supported on all major platforms ranging from Windows and macOS to Android and iOS. Most app stores also recommend VLC as a perfect media player for video and audio files. 

To watch movies or listen to music with VLC, you must download the media player and install it on your system first. But even after performing the correct download and installation, you might face video stutters and audio syncing problems with a few videos. Have you ever wondered why this happens? There could be many reasons for it, but what’s great is that you can overcome such problems through a few easy-to-follow steps.

Allow us to share the most common causes for unexpected visual and auditory problems in VLC media player, and introduce you to a few easy fixes.

Common issues on VLC and you can solve them

Here’s a quick look at some of the most common issues you may encounter when using VLC media player. The solutions are also given with each issue.

Issue #1:  Video stuttering/lagging

If your video file is stuttering constantly or lagging (audio is running, but video is stuck), then you can do the following to fix this issue. 

Fix 1: Changing cache values

Incorrect cache values can cause stuttering/lagging issues in VLC media player. To overcome them, follow these steps:

  • In VLC, press Ctrl + P to open Preferences,or navigate to Tools > Preferences from the menu bar.
  • In the pop-up window that opens, by default, the Show Settings option at the bottom will be set to Simple. Select the All option to get the advanced settings.
VLC_Interface Settings
  • In the advanced settings, navigate to Input/Codecs and go to File caching option. Here, set the value from 300 to 1000 and click on Save.
VLC_InputCodecs Settings

We recommend that you restart the VLC media player now and reload the video file to see if the stuttering or the lagging is fixed. If not, head on to try the next fix.

Fix 2: Changing video output module

If you’re facing severe video lagging issues in VLC, changing the video output module setting may fix it. Here are the steps to do this:

  • Open Preferences window in VLC as shown through Steps 1 and 2 in the previous fix.
  • Navigate to the Video output module option and select a different output module from the drop-down list to see if that works with the video file.
VLC_Video Output Module
  • If the lagging and stuttering stops, then the video is processed using the correct video output module. If the problem persists, you can take a look at the following fix.

Fix 3: Disabling Hardware-Accelerated Decoding

Among the users who were facing this issue, those who disabled the Hardware Decoding option have reported that it fixes the stuttering issues. Here’s how you can do this: 

  • Open Preferences window in VLC as shown through Steps 1 and 2 in the first fix.
  • In the search bar, type Hardware decoding. This will lead you to the video codecs part where you have to access the FFmpeg option and disable the Hardware decoding option.
VLC_FFMPEG Codecs Settings

This must fix any stutters or lags in the video file. If it doesn’t, you can be sure that there is a problem with the video file itself.

Issue #2: VLC media player crashing

If your VLC player is crashing every time you load a particular video, then there are several reasons for this issue. Some issues include corrupted files, pre-loaded MKV files, and outdated VLC media player. Let us take a look at how to fix these issues.

Fix 1 – Repair corrupt files

Suppose VLC keeps crashing or causing massive stutters and lags for a particular video file. In such a case, you should know that most probably the video file is corrupted.

You can use the free software Stellar Repair for Video to repair your corrupted video files of any format, including MP4, MKV, MOV, etc. This software can repair video files of any size with just a few clicks on Windows as well as macOS. It is free to download to test demo version and offers advanced features in the paid version.

Let’s see how you can install it and fix your corrupted video files:

  1. Click on the “Free Download” link on the website.
  2. After the file has been downloaded, double-click to install the application.
  3. Once the installation is completed, launch Stellar Repair for Video and follow these steps to repair your corrupted video files.
  • On the software’s interface, click on the box that says Add File to add the video file that needs to be repaired. You can also add multiple files here.
Stellar Repair for Video_Add Files
  • After adding the files to the tool, click on the “Repair” button to start the repair process. A progress bar will be displayed to show how much of the process has been completed.
Stellar Repair for Video_Repair Process
  • After the video files have been repaired, you can preview them before saving them to your Windows or macOS machine.
Stellar Repair for Video_Preview Repaired Files

After repairing the video file, try opening it on VLC. If it runs without any issues, then you have successfully repaired the corrupted video file.

Fix 2 – Disable Pre-loading MKV files option

Some users have reported that disabling this option has helped with the VLC crashing issue. Follow these steps:

  1. Open VLC Preferences window as shown in the fixes above.
  2. Navigate to Input/Codecs > Demuxers > Matroska and uncheck the Pre-loading MKV files option. Click on Save option.
VLC_Matroska Codecs Settings

If this doesn’t work, move to the next fix.

Fix 3 – Reinstalling VLC media player

If your VLC player is crashing or stuttering even after trying all the solutions listed above, maybe the problem lies in the application itself. Follow these steps to uninstall and reinstall VLC on Windows:

  1. Press Windows + X keys and select Apps and Features.
  2. Select VLC media player and uninstall it.
  3. Reboot the computer and then reinstall the VLC setup file from the official website.
  4. Run the installer setup and install VLC.

If you encounter issues even after trying all these solutions, double-check your compatibility with VLC and the current OS that is running on your computer.


So these were some of the most common issues you could encounter when using VLC and how you can fix them. In most situations, VLC is not set up properly, due to which it has such trivial issues. We hope these fixes were effective in getting rid of the problems posed by the player and the video file itself. In case of corrupted files Stellar Repair for Video can be a very useful tool as it is simple to use and highly effective. Stellar also offers other great software to help you with data recovery, video, and photo repair. 

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