A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

What to Do When VLC Won’t Play YouTube Videos

Downloading videos from YouTube is a common practice and there are plenty of softwares that allow you to do that. However, once on your computer, you might have encountered difficulties playing the latest downloads with VLC but not with the older videos. The present article discusses different solutions for this problem, so if this is what you are searching for, then keep reading.

The Downloader

One of the most common causes of this problem is related to the download software you are using. There are some downloaders, such as RealDownloader that haven’t been updated for some time, which means that they aren’t compatible with YouTube’s latest updates. We recommend that you uninstall the adds-on for this software and replace them with compatible ones, such as the YouTube Video and Audio downloader adds-on for Mozilla Firefox.

The Extension of the Downloaded Videos

Another compatibility problem may be related to the extensions of the video formats. To check if this is your case, follow these steps:

  • Click on Start.
  • Type Control folders in the search bar. Press Enter.
  • Folder Options will open. Click on the View tab.
  • Uncheck Hide extensions for the known file types. Click OK.
  • Now compare the extension of old and new video files.
  • Do not forget to undo the changes: go back to Folder options, then click on the View tab and select the Restore Defaults button, then click on OK.
  • If the two extensions seem to be different, then try updating the downloading software.

A Missing Codec

If you wonder what is a codec, here’s a little explanation. The word codec comes from Encoding and Decoding. What codecs do is compress and decompress digital media files.

However, if you can’t play videos on VLC, this may be because your computer is missing an audio or a video codec. To check which ones are installed on your computer, you can use a dedicated software or use the Windows Media Player help file with follow these steps:

  • Check your Internet connection.
  • Open Windows Media Player (WMP).
  • Go to <bold>Menu and select Help.
  • Click on About Windows Media Player.
  • Click on the Technical Support Information link.
  • The page will open in your browser. You can check the audio and video codecs installed on your computer.

K Lite Codec Pack contains the most popular codecs that media players use.


A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

Ask a question
CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jean-François Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.
This document, titled « What to Do When VLC Won’t Play YouTube Videos », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).