VLC does not play video; only audio works

👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 03 Jul 2022    📁 TECH

VLC, which stands for "Video Lan Client," is one of the most well-known and widely used free and open-source multimedia players. It is capable of playing the majority of multimedia files (audio, video, and images) as well as streaming protocols. It is cross-platform software, so it is available for many platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, *BSD, Solaris, BeOS, QNX, and other well-known Linux.

If you are a user of VLC, at some point in your life, you may have run into a problem such as VLC being able to play audio but not video, someone getting a blank screen instead of video while the audio continues to play, dragging the playback and having the video stop displaying, and sometimes previously working video also starting behaving in the same manner. These are just some of the problems that you may have run into if you have used VLC. If something like this has happened to you, know that you are not the only one.

And you may have already tried things like restarting your computer or removing VLC and then reinstalling it from a local copy, but if these types of problems still persist and you're getting frustrated about it, then guys,  OurTechRoom is here to assist you in identifying the issue and resolving it with the appropriate solutions.

Reason and Solutions to the problem

The reason and solutions to the problem are as follows:

1 File may be destroyed or corrupted

If you have a file that is damaged or corrupted, VLC might not be able to display your video and instead show you a black screen. This happens when the file has been damaged or destroyed.

If the file is what's causing the problem, you will see this behaviour.

Solutions: You could also try playing the video file using a different kind of media player.

2 Check File Format 

If you are playing mp3 files by mistake and searching for video in it and waiting for the video to play, this may not be possible.

Solutions: Try checking the file format of the file. Whether it is audio files or video files.

Some basic audio and video files format is as follows:

Audio Files : mp2,mp3, wav, Ogg, asf,aac, midi , m4A, FLAC, WMA, m3u, aif, mpa , pls,aiff ,aac , pcm etc. 
Video Files:  mov, swf, mp4.mkv, flv, wmv, avi, 3gp,vob, aaf, mod, mpeg etc.

You must verify that the files you are going to play should be in Video file format.You can find more video files format supported by VLC then click here.

3 Reset the VLC Settings 

It's possible that you could be playing around with the settings of VLC, and as a result, you may have made some audio/video-related changes that have caused the video to stop playing.

Steps for the solutions are:

This can be the case so you can reset the VLC settings with the following steps.

  1. Open VLC Player
  2. Click on Tool from the Menu.
  3. Click on Preferences
    Tools Preferences VLC
    fig. Tools > Preferences VLC
  4. At the bottom, click on Reset Preferences.
    reset preferences vlc
    fig. reset preferences vlc

    In the popup of "Are you sure you want to reset your VLC media 
    player preferences?" Click on Ok.
  5. Close VLC and open it again.

This will reset VLC to Default Settings.

4 Check for VLC updates 

Sometimes, if there is a new video format that was just recently created, and you have the video in that format, and let's say that your VLC player is old, and you haven't updated it in a long time, then the video might not play properly. There is a greater possibility that VLC will be unable to recognize this new video file format, and as a result, it will be unable to play the video. 

In other words, the most likely cause is a video file encoded with a CODEC that the current version of VLC cannot decode.

Solution: In order to install all of the necessary Codecs and settings, it is necessary to update VLC Players. And then try playing the video files while your VLC player is restarting.

Steps to update VLC:

  1. Click on Help from the menu.
  2. Click on Check for updates
  3. If the updates are available then a popup appears, there just click on "Yes" to update to the latest version.
vlc check for updates
fig. vlc check for updates

5 Reinstall VLC 

The reason is the same as above.

Solution: Reinstalling VLC by downloading the most recent and up-to-date version from the official website, which will download all of the latest codecs available, which should resolve the issue.

You have to reinstall not from your local computer, you have to download from an official source and get the latest version so that you will get the latest version of VLC.

6 Auto Fixed Corrupted Videos Issues.

VLC media has an in-built feature that can repair damaged or corrupted video files. This feature is disabled by default, but enabling it may assist you in resolving Video issues.

The steps are as follows :

  1. Open VLC.
  2. Go to Tools from the Menu
  3. Click on Preferences
  4. Click on Input/Codecs
  5. Under Damage or Incomplete AVI file, select Always Fix. 
    fig. set damage or incomplete AVI to always-fix
  6. Click on Save 
  7. Close VLC and reopen the video in VLC.

7 Alter the Video Output Scheme 

Sometimes modifying the Video Output Scheme can fix the problem. The VLC provides an extensive variety of output schemes. You can try each of the output schemes.


  1. Open VLC.
  2. Go to Tools from the Menu
  3. Click on Preferences
  4. Under Video Menu, select output dropdown from automatics to other formats like  OpenGL video output.
change video output modes
fig. change video output modes

8 Hardware Acceleration 

If you find stability issues in video/audio, frame drop issues, heavy video or any other issues you can disable hardware acceleration. If you have low specs system then also you can disable it.

Solution: let's disable Hardware Acceleration in VLC. Here are the steps:

  1. Open VLC
  2. Click on Tools in the menu.
  3. Click on Preferences
  4. Click on "Input/Codecs" from the menu.
  5. Then under Codecs, find "Hardware-accelerated decoding"
  6. Then select "Disable" from the dropdown.
  7. Click on Save 
  8. Close the VLC and reopen the video in VLC.
fig. Disable Hardware Acceleration in VLC

9  Enable Video if disabled

Go and check whether Enable Video is Enable or not. If not enabled then just enable it.

Solutions: Steps are as follows.

  1. Click on Tools in the menu.
  2. Click on Preferences
  3. Click on Video from the menu
  4. Then at the top checked the checkbox Enable Video. Also, check on Window Decorations
fig. Enable Video in VLC

10 Aspect Ratio Issues

You may already be aware that videos come in a variety of sizes and aspect ratios. As we know that video can be in different sizes and aspect ratios. And if you try to forcefully scale the video, we may get a black screen in VLC.


Tools > Preferences> Video > Force Aspect Ratio >Remove the value > Save

11 Decrease File caching (ms)

If the skipping and lagging playback in VLC is a result of the high-definition video stored on your local hard drive, then you should increase the value that comes after "File caching(ms)".The value for caching is specified in milliseconds here; change the default setting of 1000 to 300, which is equal to 0.3 seconds.

Solution: You can set File caching of video with the following steps:

  1. Click on Tool from the menu.
  2. Click on Preference 
  3. Click on Interface and then at the bottom click on All .
  4. Click on Input/Codes 
  5. On the right pane, search for video file caching to a value less than 600ms
File Caching VLC Issue
fig. File Caching VLC Issue


Having Video/Audio issues in media players is always a great problem. And the problem is even more if you cannot solve the issue. 

If your VLC is having problems playing MP4, MKV, or FLV files, we hope that the solutions described above will be able to help you fix those problems. It is important to keep in mind that even if nothing else works, you can always try to repair the video files using Video Repair tools from wondershare.