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How to Fix VLC Not Playing YouTube Videos

Louie Morgan
Louie Morgan Originally published Nov 28, 23, updated Dec 05, 23

VLC (VideoLAN Client) is a powerful open-source media player compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS. It's a video toolkit playing local files and streaming YouTube videos directly from the Image name.

However, errors are inevitable. You can sometimes face the frustrating error "VLC not playing youtube videos." But don't fret. Our guide compiles 8 expert solutions for smooth YouTube playback in VLC. Let’s get into it.

In this article
    1. Update the VLC Media Player to the Latest Version
    2. Disable Cookies Forwarding Setting
    3. Disable Hardware-accelerated Decoding
    4. Download and Replace the Existing YouTube.lua File
    5. Rename YouTube.lua file
    6. Reset the VLC Preferences
    7. Give up YouTube AV1 Streaming in VLC
    8. Change the File Cache Size and Network Caching Values in VLC
    1. Repairit Video Repair (Software)
    2. Repairit Video Repair (Online)

Why VLC Can’t Play YouTube Videos

Why VLC player doesn’t play YouTube videos? Here are a few possible reasons:

  1. YouTube API Changes
  2. YouTube frequently updates its API, and if VLC hasn't been updated to align with these changes, it may struggle to play YouTube videos.

  3. Incompatible VLC Version
  4. Outdated versions of VLC may lack the necessary features or fixes for optimal YouTube video playback.

  5. Codec and Format Compatibility
  6. VLC relies on codecs to play videos. If the video on YouTube uses a codec or format not supported by VLC, it won't play correctly.

  7. Network Connectivity Issues
  8. Slow or unstable internet connections may interrupt video streaming, leading to playback problems in VLC.

  9. Firewall or Security Software
  10. Security software or firewalls may block VLC from accessing YouTube, causing playback failures.

  11. YouTube URL Parsing
  12. Changes in YouTube's URL structure can impact how VLC parses video Image names, leading to errors.

  13. Cookie Forwarding Setting
  14. The Cookie Forwarding setting in VLC allows it to handle authentication and access YouTube content. If YouTube's security rules change, it might mess up how VLC handles authentication, making it hard to access content.

  15. Hardware-Accelerated Decoding
  16. VLC's hardware-accelerated decoding may conflict with certain YouTube video codecs or cause playback issues if not properly configured.

8 Quick Solutions to Fix VLC Not Playing YouTube Videos

Encountering issues with VLC not playing YouTube videos can be annoying, but there are simple solutions to get things back on track. Each solution addresses specific aspects that might be causing the problem. Let's explore each of them.

Solution 1: Update the VLC Media Player to the Latest Version

Over time, YouTube may update its API. If VLC is not synchronized with these changes, it can result in playback issues. Updating VLC to the latest version ensures compatibility with the most recent YouTube API, resolving potential playback issues.

Step 1: Open VLC Media Player.

Step 2: Navigate to the Help menu and click Check for Updates.

check for updates

Step 3: Click Yes to install the latest version.

update the vlc media player

Solution 2: Disable Cookies Forwarding Setting

Changes in YouTube's security protocols may disrupt the functionality of the Cookie Forwarding setting in VLC, impacting authentication. By disabling this setting, VLC doesn't forward cookies during the streaming process. Thus resolving related issues.

Step 1: Open VLC and go to Tools.

Step 2: Select Preferences (or press Ctrl + P).

click preferences

Step 3: Click Input/Codecs.

Step 4: Under Advanced, disable Cookies and Forwarding.

disable cookies and forwarding

Step 5: Click Save.

Solution 3: Disable Hardware-accelerated Decoding

Incompatibility between VLC's hardware-accelerated decoding and YouTube's video codecs can lead to playback problems. These include stuttering or failure to play. Turning off hardware-accelerated decoding in VLC resolves this issue by relying on software decoding. This can ensure compatibility with YouTube's video formats.

Step 1: Open VLC and go to Tools.

Step 2: Select Preferences.

Step 3: Click Input/Codecs.

input/codecs

Step 4: Disable Hardware-accelerated decoding under the Codecs section.

Step 5: Click Save.

disable hardware-accelerated decoding

Solution 4: Download and Replace the Existing YouTube.lua File

The YouTube.lua file in VLC might become corrupted or outdated, affecting the ability to stream YouTube videos. By downloading a fresh version from the official VLC GitHub page and replacing the existing file, any issues within the Lua script are addressed.

Step 1: Visit the VLC GitHub page.

Step 2: Click Raw to view the raw code.

Step 3: Right-click and select Save As to download the file.

Step 4: Search and delete the youtube.luac file.

delete the youtube.luac file

Step 5: Replace it with a downloaded youtube.lua file.

Step 6: Restart VLC, press Ctrl + N. Paste the YouTube video URL, and click Play.

click play

Solution 5: Rename YouTube.lua file

Renaming the YouTube.lua file forces VLC to use a fresh configuration. This is beneficial when there are conflicts or issues with the existing file, as renaming it prompts VLC to create a new configuration. This resolves any potential parsing or playback problems associated with the Lua script.

Step 1: Locate YouTube.lua file in your VLC installation directory.

Step 2: Right-click on the file and tap Rename.

rename youtube.lua file

Step 3: Change its name. For example, "YouTube_old.lua."

Solution 6: Reset the VLC Preferences

Misconfigurations in VLC preferences can lead to playback issues. Resetting the preferences involves deleting or renaming the "vlcrc" file, allowing VLC to revert to default settings. This resolves any misconfigurations that might be causing playback issues.

Step 1: Open Preferences with Ctrl + P.

Step 2: Click Reset Preferences.

reset preferences

Step 3: Confirm and press OK.

click ok

Step 4: Restart VLC to check if the issue is fixed.

Solution 7: Give up YouTube AV1 Streaming in VLC

AV1 streaming may encounter compatibility issues in certain scenarios. By switching to another streaming option and adjusting the preferred video resolution, VLC avoids potential conflicts related to AV1 streaming playback problems.

Step 1: Open VLC and go to Tools.

Step 2: Select Preferences.

Step 3: Click on Input/Codecs.

Step 4: Change the Preferred video resolution to another option under the Codec section.

preferred video resolution

Solution 8: Change the File Cache Size and Network Caching Values in VLC

Adjusting these settings in VLC helps manage how videos are loaded and buffered during playback. By modifying the file cache size and network caching values, you optimize the buffering process, reducing the likelihood of interruptions and ensuring a more seamless experience when playing YouTube videos in VLC.

Step 1: Open VLC and go to Tools.

Step 2: Select Preferences.

Step 3: Click on Input/Codecs.

Step 4: Under the Advanced section, adjust the File caching values to 2000 and Network caching values to 1500.

change file and network cache values

Step 5: Click Save.

BONUS TIP: Fix Downloaded YouTube Videos Not Playing in VLC Easily

When it comes to downloaded YouTube videos, problems can go beyond what we face with online streaming. Despite trying the usual fixes, VLC might still struggle to play downloaded videos due to file corruption.

Downloaded YouTube videos can act up because of file corruption, incomplete downloads, or formats that VLC doesn't like. The regular fixes we use for streaming issues might not cut it here, as they focus more on online problems and not fixing corrupted files.

But, don’t panic. Here’s a wonderful solution - Wondershare Repairit. This user-friendly software is designed to tackle various video playback issues, including VLC's struggle with YouTube videos.

  • Repairit has an easy-to-use interface and dependable repair features focusing on fixing video playback problems.
  • Whether your YouTube videos are corrupted, damaged, or refusing to play in VLC, it is here to make things easy.
  • its powerful algorithms dive deep, detecting and fixing corruption or errors causing VLC issues.

Repairit gives you two choices: online or software, to match what you need.

  1. Online Version: Quick fixes, super convenient. Upload and repair your videos straight from your web browser. Perfect if you want a fast solution without dealing with software.
  2. Software Version: A bit more heavy-duty. It handles bigger files, gives you more options, and works offline. Great if you're dealing with lots of videos or big-sized ones.

Select the best that suits your situation.

Repairit Video Repair (Software)

Step 1: Download and install Repairit on your device. Then, click the +Add button to upload your corrupted YouTube videos.

Free Download
Free Download
input corrupted youtube videos

Step 2: After adding the YouTube videos, the interface displays detailed information for each file, such as:

  • Image name
  • location path
  • Size
  • watching time
  • Resolution
  • filming equipment

Click the Repair button to initiate the YouTube video repair process.

repair corrupted youtube videos

A pop-up window will be seen in your screen once the repair is complete. Click OK to retain the repaired videos.

click ok

Step 3: Click the Preview button to see the repaired video content.

click preview

If it’s good, click Save and select a location path to save the fixed YouTube videos.

save the repaired videos

Wait for a few moments to save the repaired YouTube videos.

repaired youtube videos saved successfully
Free Download
Free Download

Repairit Video Repair (Online)

Step 1: Upon accessing Repairit’s online video repair page, locate a window prompting video uploads. To proceed, use the Add button or simply drag and drop your YouTube video files into the designated area.

upload corrupted youtube videos

All uploaded YouTube videos will be displayed on the interface, providing detailed information about each video.

uploaded corrupted youtube videos

Step 2: Click the Repair button to commence the repair process. A progress bar for each YouTube video will illustrate the repair progress. Allow a brief moment for the process to complete.

corrupted youtube videos repair
icon note
Note: If a severely damaged video cannot be repaired, utilize the Upload Sample Video option. Add a video with the same format as the corrupted one to facilitate a more professional repair.
advanced online video repair

Step 3: After repair completion, click the play icon to preview the fixed videos. If satisfied, choose either the download icon beside the “play” icon for individual videos. Or click Download All to download all repaired YouTube videos.

preview and save repaired youtube videos

Conclusion

If VLC is not playing YouTube videos, try these 8 solutions, from updating the VLC Media Player to changing the file cache size and network caching values. If the issue persists, you can use the Repairit file repair solution. It can quickly fix corrupted YouTube videos and supports various internal and external storage formats. Give it a go for a hassle-free video playback experience.

FAQ

  • Can VLC play all YouTube videos?
    VLC may not support some YouTube videos due to changes in YouTube. Check if the video is accessible directly on YouTube, and try updating VLC to the latest version.
  • Why do I get a network error when playing YouTube videos on VLC?
    Network errors may occur due to issues with your internet connection, firewall settings, or changes in YouTube's streaming protocols. Check your internet connection, turn off firewalls temporarily, and ensure that VLC has permission to access the internet.
  • Does VLC support live streaming of YouTube videos?
    VLC generally supports live streaming, but compatibility may vary based on changes in YouTube's streaming protocols. Ensure your VLC version is up-to-date and check for any announcements regarding YouTube live streaming support.
Louie Morgan
Louie Morgan Dec 05, 23
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