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Cannot play your MKV file in the VLC Media Player? Hang on; we have got some solutions for you. Many users get similar problems now and then when they try to play videos in the VLC Media Player. Some issues are related to the player itself, while some are due to corruption in the video file. We have listed a set of solutions based on the type of issues users experience while running their MKV videos in the VLC Media Player.

Issues faced by VLC while playing MKV file

When VLC is not playing the MKV file, it shows different symptoms.

  • Black screen error
  • No sound in the player
  • Choppiness in video
  • Skipping of MKV files
  • Unidentified codec: VLC could not identify the audio or video codec.” error
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is an MKV file?
A. MKV is a video format that stands for the Matryoshka Video File. It is an open standard container that can store a large number of video files, audio, pictures, and subtitle tracks. MKV file format can be utilized as an alternative to AVI and MP4 formats.

Q. What reasons are responsible for VLC not playing MKV file?
A. There are multiple reasons why MKV files do not play in VLC Media Player. They include conflict due to hardware decoding, missing codecs, missing components, incorrect audio/video codec settings in VLC, corruption in MKV file, etc.

Q. VLC Media keeps on crashing while loading the MKV files. Any suggestion?
A. In the VLC Media Player Simple Preferences page, unselect the Pre-load MKV files in the same directory option (you can see the screenshots below). Then try playing the MKV video again.

Fixes for “VLC Not Playing MKV File” Issue

Here, you can try to fix the issue using the VLC Media Player settings and features.

  1. Play it using another media player
  2. You can try this as sometimes playing videos on another media player can help. For this, right-click on your MKV video file and click on the Open with option.

    Open with option.

    Then choose another media player on your system to check if it plays with that.

    choose another media player

    And if it plays with another media player, then the problem is not with the MKV video file. So, you can try re-installing the VLC Media Player.

  3. Modify Input/Codecs settings
  4. If you have faced issues where the VLC Media player has skipped your MKV video file, you can work with Input/Codecs settings to fix the issue.

    1. Open the VLC Media Player. Go to Tools>Preferences.
    2. Preferences

    3. Now click on the All option under the Show Settings section at the bottom of the page, select Input/Codecs from the opened list and go to the Advanced section on the right panel to increase the value of File caching to 1000. Click on Save to save this setting.
    4. File caching

    5. Try playing your MKV video in VLC Media Player.
  5. Enable Audio & Video Output settings
  6. If you face an audio issue or video not displayed issue while playing your MKV files in VLC Media Player, check the VLC Media player settings for the same.

    To enable Audio Settings:
    Go to Tools>Preferences in the VLC Media Player, switch to the Audio tab, and then check if the Enable audio option is selected or not. If not, select it and click Save.

    Enable audio option

    To enable the Video Settings:
    Switch to the Video tab on the Simple Preferences page and then check for the Enable Video option. You can also modify the Video Output mode to the suitable one (here OpenGL video output) and check if it helps. Click Save to save the settings finally.

    enable the Video Settings:

  7. Disable the hardware decoding feature
  8. Sometimes, the hardware decoding feature in the VLC Media Player can conflict with the system drivers and result in choppy or distorted videos. Its solution is to disable this feature from the VLC settings.

    1. Open the VLC Preferences page.
    2. Move to the Input/Codecs tab.
    3. Under the Codecs section, select the Disable option from the drop-down list against the Hardware-accelerated decoding section and then click on Save to save this setting.
    4. Hardware-accelerated decoding

  9. By installing MKV Codec for VLC
  10. If you received an error “unidentified codec: VLC could not identify the audio or video codec” while trying to play the MKV file in VLC Media Player, it means that the MKV codec for VLC is unavailable on your system. So, it is advised to install these codecs on your system first and then try playing the MKV video.

    installing MKV Codec for VLC

Even after trying the above solutions, if you are not getting the resolution, then there is some serious issue with your MKV file. You can opt for a professional video repair solution to fix all corruption and issues within your MKV video file.

Why choose the Kernel Video Repair tool?

Our suggestion is to try the Kernel Video Repair software for repairing your corrupt video files. We prefer this solution due to its unmatchable combination of the simple GUI, design, features, and functionalities. Its support for bulk repair, multiple video file formats/device types, and Windows versions are outstanding. There are more features to explore, which you can do by working on its free trial version.


Though VLC Media Player is popular and supports all common video file formats, sometimes it may show issues with certain video formats like MKV. You can try various methods to fix video not playing issue depending on its cause. However, if MKV video file corruption is the problem, then try the software.


Kernel Video Repair