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Can VLC Media Player correctly play MKV video files

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If you have downloaded some MKV HD movies that you would like to put them on players like VLC Media Player for playback, you may wonder if VLC can correctly play MKV videos. VLC is the most popular open source media player on the internet. In fact, as it is claimed on VLC official site, VLC does support MKV files. However, sometimes, we still have trouble in playing MKV in VLC.

play mkv on vlc

For example, if your MKV files is HD or the file length is long, when add or import MKV to VLC, VLC player says MKV doesn’t have cook audio codec and more. And the videos will be loaded for a while, and then VLC freezes and I have to force quit.

Then how to solve the problem? Here are three possible solution to Successfully Play MKV in VLC.

Solution 1: Change Parameters

If the MKV file that is skipping is playing from a local hard drive, choose the “All” settings at the bottom of the dialog to show all of the options, then navigate to Input / Codecs -> Access modules -> File.

The caching value here is set in milliseconds, so setting the value to 1000 will buffer for 1 second (the default is 600, or 0.6 seconds). The problem with setting this option too large is that if you want to manually skip to a new point in the file, there will be a larger lag while the content is buffered again.

Solution 2: Disable hardware decoding

Some users resolve choppy VLC Playback on mkv files by disabling hardware decoding. Normally you would want hardware acceleration of the decoding process, but in some cases, it can conflict with your drivers, and it is worth a try.

Solution 3: Convert MKV to VLC most friendly format

In order to add MKV files to VLC Media Player for playback, the most effective and easy way is to convert MKV to VLC playable format. Along with some help from third-party software. With Pavtube Video Converter, a great MKV Converter for VLC, you can easily achieve your goal smoothly.

Related topic: Play MKV with AC3 on VLCPlay 4K Video with VLC | Play H.265/HEVC with VLC | Play MXF with VLC

For Mac users, you can download Pavtube Video Converter for Mac (best Mac Video Converter Software) to convert MKV to VLC on Mac OS X El Capitan.

Free trial for Windows version


Free trial for Mac version


The following guide shares with you how to encode 1080p/720p MKV to VLC Media Player for playback step-by-step.

Step 1. Install and launch the MKV Converter for VLC, and click “Add file” or “Add from folder” button to load your MKV files. The software supports batch converison so that you can add several MKV files to convert at one time.

convert mkv to avi

Step 2. Click on “Format” boarder to set output format.

Now that we’re converting MKV for VLC Media Player, a recommended format is “DivX AVI – Audio Video Interleaved(DivX)(*.avi)” or “H.264 Video(*.mp4)” from “Common Video” option.

vlc supported format

Step 3. Finally click on “Convert” button to start converting MKV to MP4/AVI for VLC Media Player.

In this way, you can get MKV files playable on VLC without problems. We hope this short article will bring some new multimedia life to your VLC Media Player.

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