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How to Get HEVC Codec on Windows 11 (Step-by-Step Guide)

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

HEVC is an advanced video codec that achieves a 50% higher compression rate than H.264 for the same quality. Now considerable videos from iPhone, Android, GoPro, DJI, and DSLRs are encoded with HEVC. Statistics show that HEVC is used by over 49% of developers and is still on the rise in 2022. However, there are still many people in search of HEVC codecs for Windows 11.

Today, we are going to show you how to install the HEVC Videos Extensions app and free HEVC codecs for Windows 11, as well as how to get HEVC supported by Windows 11 easily with the best video converter. Check them now.

Does Windows 11 Support HEVC

No, Windows 11 does not support HEVC natively. Microsoft removed native support for it from the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (build 1709).

Since then, all the built-in apps in Windows 11 are unable to play or edit HEVC videos. Third-party software without HEVC codec support on its own cannot process HEVC videos, either. And they ask users to install HEVC video extensions in Windows 11 to help with HEVC encoding and decoding or convert HEVC to supported codecs.

Windows 11 does not support HEVC natively
Windows 11 does not support HEVC natively

How to Install Official HEVC Video Extensions on Windows 11

Once bought and installed the HEVC Video Extensions app from Microsoft Corporation, you can play HEVC/H.265 videos in any software on your Windows 11 devices. For devices that don't have hardware support for HEVC videos, it provides software encoding and decoding.

Meanwhile, these HEVC extensions are developed to utilize hardware capabilities on some newer devices (Intel 7th Generation Core processor and newer GPUs) to support 4K and Ultra HD content.

Here's how to install HEVC Video Extensions from Microsoft Store.

Step 1. Open Microsoft Store. Make sure that you've signed in your Microsoft account and added your credit card to it.

Step 2. Search HEVC Video Extensions in the app. Click Buy and pay $0.99 for it.

How to install HEVC Video Extensions on Windows 11

Step 3. Click the install button and wait for it to download and install on Windows 11. If you haven't installed it on your PC before, click Open to activate the HEVC extension.

Step 4. Now you can close the tab. Open any HEVC/H.265 video on your Windows 11 to check if the extension works.

Note: The playback experience of HEVC videos is not stable and varies in different video resolutions and PC performances.

How to Get Free HEVC Codecs for Windows 11

Many Windows users complained that Microsoft just created a problem on purpose so that they could sell the solution for one dollar. Rather than purchasing HEVC video extensions from Microsoft Store, some of them prefer free HEVC codecs for Windows 11 that also assist in encoding and decoding HEVC or H.265 videos.

If you are on the same side of the fence about this issue, take a look at how to install HEVC codecs on Windows 11 for free.

Libde265

Libde265 is an open-source implementation of the HEVC video codec. It supports WPP and tile-based multithreading and includes all features of the Main profile of HEVC/H.266. After installing it on your Windows 11 PC, you can open lots of HEVC videos incl. high-quality HD and 4K/8K UHD videos, live streams, and video conferences successfully.

Note: It's hard for common users to configure its library. What's worse, there're few video tutorials on installing libde265 on Windows computers.

Free HEVC codec for Windows 11 - Libde265

Download site: https://github.com/strukturag/libde265

VLC

VLC is a free and powerful video media player that supports HEVC since v2.1 and keeps improving support for it in the following years. It uses x265 to decode HEVC/H.265 video files on Windows, Mac, and Linux. With VLC installed, you can watch local videos and streaming on Windows 11 regardless of its codecs.

Note: VLC media player helps only when you want to play HEVC videos on Windows 11. It can't make HEVC compatible with Windows Media Player, Microsoft Movies & TV, Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Pro, and other software on your PC.

Play HEVC on Windows 11 with VLC

Download site: https://www.videolan.org/

How to Get HEVC Supported by Windows 11 without Codec Packs

Transcoding HEVC to H.264 is another workaround to make HEVC videos compatible with Windows 11. The video converting software you can use VideoProc Converter. It serves nicely as an easy yet robust video transcoder for HEVC in 4K, 8K, 1080p, HDR, etc. By taking full advantage of the software and hardware acceleration, it decodes, encodes, and transcodes HEVC/H.265 video at a speed up to 47x real-time faster.

On top of that, VideoProc Converter supports a broad spectrum of video codecs and containers, including but not limited to MP4, MOV, MKV, AVI, FLV, WebM, VP9, VP8, and AV1. With its video conversion presets and complete codec settings, you fix almost all the video compatibility issues on Windows 11 in one stop.

VideoProc Converter - Best HEVC Converter for Windows 11

  • Accept HEVC videos from iPhone, GoPro, drones, cameras, and any source.
  • 1:1 visual quality maintained after converting HD and UHD HEVC videos.
  • Batch process large HEVC videos with only 2% CPU usage.
  • Process HEVC and H.264 with Level-3 Hardware Acceleration tech.
  • All in one: edit, compress, fix, capture screen, download online videos.

Download VideoProc Converter and make HEVC compatible with Windows 11 now!

Step 1. Open VideoProc Converter on your Windows 11 PC and click "Video" on the main UI.

Import MKV Files to VideoProc Converter

Step 2. Drag and drop one or multiple HEVC videos to VideoProc Converter. Select MP4 H.264 in the Video options at the bottom.

Convert HEVC for Windows 11

Tips: To keep the original quality as much as possible, open "Codec Options". Then you can improve the output quality by dragging the slider under "Quality", increasing the bitrate, or enabling "2-pass encoding".

HEVC video quality settings

Step 3. VideoProc Converter enables hardware acceleration engine by default. You just need to choose an output folder, cancel "Auto Copy", and click RUN to start transcoding HEVC to H.264.

Transcode HEVC to codec supported by Windows 11

Now you can open the video file with Windows 11's new Media Player, its built-in video editor, and any multimedia software on Windows 11 without a popup window asking you to install an HEVC codec anymore.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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