How to fix VLC Media Player crashing when playing .MKV files

It appears that some users are unable to open .MKV files with VCL Media Player. A few seconds after starting the .mkv recording, modified users get a bull: “VLC Media Player just crashed” error. Repeating the process gives exactly the same result, and many influential users report that the problem occurs with almost every .MKV file they try to play.

If you’re using an older version of VLC Media Player (the build is outdated from around 2012), the problem can probably be solved by grabbing the existing version of VLC and migrating to include the latest version.

But if you’re skipping passes before your VLC Media Player fails, it’s possible that insufficient processing power is causing the cops: VLC Media Player just failed error. In this case, you should try disabling hardware markup acceleration, switching to DirectX video acceleration, or promoting the default document caching option.

If your machine should be able to enjoy 4K .MKV documents, you should also try to get the application to bypass the loop filter or perhaps allow FFmpeg multithreading to play MKV files.


Why does VLC Media Player hang when playing .MKV files?

Why does VLC Media Player hang when playing .MKV files?

It turns out that one of the most common reasons causing this particular error when playing .MKV files with VLC Media Player is a bug that affects versions of VLC released around 2012.

If you are using a very outdated VLC client, the solution can be as simple as uninstalling the current version of VLC and installing the latest version from the official site.

Note: Keep in mind that VLC’s automatic update feature is known to fail quite often. So don’t dismiss this possible solution just because the application didn’t prompt you to update.

It turns out that the problem can also be caused by a loop filter that is applied before H 264 decoding begins, a process mostly applied to reduce blocking artifacts without reducing image sharpness. But in some cases, the loop filter can actually prevent certain MKV files from playing in the VLC setup.

If this problem occurs with only a few MKV files (some MKV files play fine), you can fix it by going to the FFmpeg audio/video decoder settings and making the loop filter be ignored for each H.264 decoding case.


To fix VLC Media Player crashing when playing .MKV files, follow these steps

To fix VLC Media Player crashing when playing .MKV files, follow these steps

Update your VLC media player

Check the latest update of your VLC player. Visit the company’s official website and install all available updates. It’s possible that the company has added new updates that may solve the problem.

Reinstall the VLC media player

Updates alone may not solve the problem, so reinstall the latest version. First, uninstall your VLC drive.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys at the same time.
  2. Click Applications and Features.
  3. In the list of applications, select VLC Media Player.
  4. Right-click and select Uninstall.
  5. Follow the instructions to successfully uninstall the application.
  6. Then go to the official website.
  7. Download the latest version of VLC Media Player.
  8. Follow the instructions to install the application.
  9. Check if the error persists.
Disable hardware-accelerated decoding

Streaming video often consumes so much processing power that playback of high-resolution MKV files freezes due to insufficient performance.

You can disable hardware acceleration to reduce processing power and load videos.

  1. Open VLC Media Player and right-click the Start icon to open the drop-down menu.
  2. Click Run as administrator.
  3. Select Tools from the menu bar and click Options.
  4. Find Input/Codec and click on it to open it.
  5. Find the Codecs tab, and under it, Hardware Accelerated Decoding. Turn it off.
  6. Click Save at the bottom of the menu to apply the changes and exit.
  7. Restart the VLC player and check if the problem persists.
Disabling Preloading .MKV Files

One of the reasons why your VLC Media Player catches or freezes files is because of the pre-loaded files, since .MKV is a video container format.

  1. Open VLC Media Player.
  2. Click Tools on the menu bar and select Options.
  3. At the bottom of the screen, locate the Show Settings option and select All.
  4. Then find Input/Codecs and expand the menu.
  5. Find Demuxers and expand the menu.
  6. Click on Matroska.
  7. Uncheck Preload MKV files in the same directory.
  8. Click Save to apply the changes and restart the media player.
Enable DirectX 2.0 video acceleration
  1. Click the Start icon and select Run as administrator.
  2. Select Tools and click Options.
  3. Open Input/Codecs and search for hardware decode acceleration.
  4. Click on the drop-down menu and select DirectX Video Acceleration 2.0.
  5. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page to apply the changes.
Restoring VLC settings to defaults

You may have recently made changes to settings that affect video playback. Follow the instructions below to restore the default settings.

  1. Select Tools on the menu bar and click Settings to open.
  2. Click the Interface tab and at the bottom, you will find Reset Settings. Click it to restore the default settings.
  3. Click OK when prompted to confirm.


Frequently Asked Questions

You may be trying to download a corrupt or unsupported file. The VLC player may also be corrupted. Your system may not have enough free space to play HD video. The drivers installed on your computer may be corrupt or out of date.

The VLC media player can recognize and play almost all video formats, including MKV. Best of all, it can also convert them to a more universal format like MP4.

There are several reasons why MKV files cannot be played in VLC Media Player. These include hardware decoding conflicts, missing codecs, missing components, wrong audio/video codec settings in VLC, damaged MKV file, etc.

  1. Right-click the VLC media player launcher icon and select Run as administrator.
  2. Go to the Tools -> Options menu.
  3. Select Input / Codec Category -> Codec Section and set Hardware Accelerated Decoding as Disabled.
  4. Click Save to apply the change.