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Updated by Alisa Cassiel - Last Updated: Contact Author

Windows 10 Won't Play Video Files? Here Are the Fixes

In the previous Windows 10 troubleshooting post, we have gone through how to fix the audio and video out of sync issue. Still, in this guide, we will continue with one of the video-related issues, ie, Windows 10 won't play video files.

Windows 10 cover

This problem can be in many places when you are using the Windows 10 computer, for example, when you are watching an online or streaming videos on YouTube, Netflix, etc, when you play an offline video file with Windows Media Player, after you re-installing your previous Windows operating system (like Windows 7, which will soon be out of support from Microsoft on January 14, 2020.) to Windows 10, or more.

Accordingly, its solutions also have many options. Some of them can be for all situations, while, some of them may just work under certain circumstances. But don't worry, because we will list them all, which we have tested and are effective, and mark out in what kind of situation each solution can be applied.

Now let's dive right in.

Method 1. Re-boot Your Windows 10 Computer

This way is kind of the most common one that users will try. And in other words, it does works mostly but it is just temporary. The words mean that after you restart your computer, the video file can be played, however, after a while, or when you open your computer next time, the issue would come back again. So this is not one way which can solve the issue once for all, but deserves trying.

Method 2. Run Video Playback Troubleshooter

This way works for all situations. Video Playback troubleshooter is a built-in feature in Windows 10 which is specifically designed for fixing problems of playing movies, TVs, and video. And here are the how-to steps,

Step 1. Press the Windows Key and I key simultaneously. Choose the Update & security in the pop-up Windows.

Windows 10 Settings screen

Step 2. On the next screen, choose Troubleshoot. Then scroll down to find the Video Playback feature, and click the Run the troubleshooter button to activate this feature.

Windows 10 Video Playback troubleshoot feature

Method 3. Update the Display Driver

When the display driver is out of date, there would also be a high chance for video not playing correctly or at all in Windows 10. And here is how to check and update your display driver.

Step 1. Right-click on the start icon, and find the Device Manager option.

Windows 10 Device Manager feature

Step 2. Then in the device manager window, find the Display adapters, right-click on the Graphics card, choose Update driver option.

Windows 10 display adapters feature

Method 4. Turn off Hardware Acceleration in Browsers

This way is only for the browsers, obviously. If the online or streaming video files cannot be played in your browser, then this way may be your saver. The action that we will take is just turning off the hardware acceleration feature in browsers. But different browser may have its unique UI, so the how to turn it off would vary.

For Chrome

Click 3 vertical dots on the top left > Settings > Click Advanced at the end > Go down and under System, switch OFF Use hardware acceleration where available.

For Firefox

Click 3 horizontal bars on top right > Options > Under Performance uncheck use recommended performance settings > Uncheck Use hardware acceleration when available.

For Edge

Windows Key+R > Enter inetcpl.cpl > Advanced tab > Check Use Software rendering instead GPU rendering (This is the first option appearing beneath Accelerated graphics).

Method 5. Change the Video File Types

We have to know that not all video formats are supported on Windows 10, which means that the video file would not be playable when its format is not on Windows 10's list. And you would suffer from the same situation as the user below,

I just updated to Windows 10 and tried to watch a movie that's on my laptop. When I clicked to play it opened Windows Media Player and went black and after a while said that "Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file." Are you telling me that because I updated to Windows 10 I can't play .mp4, .avi, Matroska and other videos with these codecs? That's laughable and a step back from Windows 7. I also tried playing these videos on another player (KMPlayer) and it also didn't work there so I've figured this is a Windows 10 error. - A User from Answer.Microsoft

And here are two guides where you can check the supported video and audio formats on Windows 10,

Supported audio and video formats (Windows Runtime apps) >>

File types supported by Windows Media Player >>

However, when the file format is not supported, what can we do, anyway? The most simple way is changing the original format to the supported one. Here we recommend VideoProc to help you with this task. Because it is a professional video conversion tool, which supports all kinds of video and audio formats.

Step 1. Download and install VideoProc on your computer.

Step 2. Run VideoProc, and choose the Video tab on its homepage.

Step 3. Click the +Video button to load the video file which is not playable.

load video in VideoProc

Step 4. Then, at the bottom of VideoProc, choose one video format in the Video feature. If there you cannot find you want, you can also check the Target Format option for more.

choose video format in VideoProc

Step 5. Lastly, click the RUN button to start the conversion job.


Windows 10 not playing video files is kind of a very complicated issue, which can be caused by many factors. So basically, we would like to recommend you try the methods above one by one until you fix this issue. If you have any problem when you try these methods, please let us know and we will answer you as soon as possible. If you have a better solution, please share it with us and we will add it to this post to help more users.


Alisa Cassiel

Alisa Cassiel, an English Copywriter of Digiarty, has 4 years of writing and marketing experience. Love writing and always provide thoughtful how-to guides and tips related to video processing, recent hot topics, new digital devices, hit movies, music, etc. She is a life-enthusiast who is independent, persistent, enthusiastic, energetic, and interested in music, exercise, travel, dance, painting.

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