FIX: Online/Offline videos won’t play on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Playing videos is a core part of the Windows 10 experience, allowing you to enjoy great moments in front of your PC.
  • A variety of issues can make viewing videos impossible. Therefore, it's time to address them all.
  • For example, use WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe to find the necessary codec for your media file.
  • For even more troubleshooting guides like this one, take a closer look at our Software Issues Hub.
windows 10 error video could not be decoded

Video is perhaps the most consumed type of content today, whether you’re streaming online or watching offline from your computer or device.

Windows PCs have over the years enabled many of its users to not just create, but also embed and edit videos from their computers, using different Office programs and apps.

Windows 10, the latest operating system in the Microsoft stable, has seen steady uptake from consumers, but this too has come with many troubleshooting concerns.

One of these concerns is videos not playing in Windows 10. Among the quick fixes for this is restarting your computer, but should this not help, try the troubleshooting tips below.

What can I do if videos aren’t playing on Windows 10?

  1. Uninstall and reinstall the display driver
  2. Convert the video into a readable format
  3. Update drivers automatically
  4. Check if the proper codec is installed/run Optimize compatibility
  5. Install missing plug-ins
  6. Open video in browser
  7. Check for all available Windows updates
  8. Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering
  9. Turn off the X-reality setting

1. Uninstall and reinstall the display driver

  1. Right-click Start and select Device Manager.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  2. From the list of devices, select Display drivers to expand the list.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  3. Right-click on the device and click Uninstall.
  4. Ensure the option to delete the driver package from the system is checked/selected so that the driver package installed is deleted.
  5. Go to the Action menu.
  6. Select Scan for Hardware changes, to reinstall the driver.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  7. Close and restart the computer.

2. Convert the video into a readable format

  1. Download Adobe Premiere Pro free into your computer.
    • Register an Adobe account if you don’t already have one.
    • Sign up for the free 7-day trial.
  2. Install Adobe Premiere Pro.
  3. Log into your Adobe account and open Adobe Premiere Pro.
  4. Load a Video File into the Adobe Media Encoder Queue.
    • You can do this by clicking the + button in the queue panel to add your video to the queue.
  5. Choose a file format.
  6. Choose Quality Preset.
  7. Select your save location.
  8. Start the conversion and wait.
  9. Try opening the video again.

Sometimes the issue may be that the video’s format is not compatible with any of the video players installed on your PC.

One workaround for this issue is to open the file in a video editor or a converter, transform it into a readable format, and play it again.

One great video editor that is extremely versatile in terms of what file formats it can handle is Adobe Premiere Pro.

Not only can it open pretty much any type of video that was recorded on any type of camera, but it is also a professional-level video editor, so you can’t regret choosing it.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro

Looking for a way to convert a video into a readable format? Use this industry-leading video editor!
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3. Update drivers automatically

install DriverFix

If you don’t have the necessary computer skills in order to follow the steps above regarding the display driver, don’t even think of this option any longer.

You can permanently damage your computer by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions. However, this doesn’t mean that you should forget all about this idea.

When drivers are outdated, PCs often start becoming sluggish and cause noticeable performance problems, including video issues like the ones you currently experience.

Suppose you need to update the driver, but you don’t know how to properly complete the task? Install DriverFix and update all your drivers with one click.

DriverFix updating drivers

Yes, that’s all it takes to get back to enjoying your videos and have your computer running like new again.



Update your display driver to the latest version and make videos play again! DriverFix is up for the task!
Free trial Download here

4. Check if the proper codec is installed/run Optimize compatibility

install WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

If your videos are not playing on Windows 10, it could be that you don’t have the proper codec installed.

For example, someone could send you a PowerPoint presentation with media based on a codec that your PC doesn’t have.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe can fix the video not playing on Windows 10 error by converting video formats/codec to MP4, MKV, WMV, AVI, MOV, H.264, etc.

This process happens fast and efficiently, and the end results ensure professional-level quality.

Simplifying the process of converting the files that can’t run on Windows 10 by using this incredible software allows you more time to ensure that all the other elements of your project ar up to standard.

On top of these, that’s your chance to get access to any video, regardless of codec HEVC/H.264 or frame rate. 

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

Let WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe examine your media file and determine which codec it needs.
Free trial Visit website

Looking for some all-in-one video codec packs? Take a look at this list with our top picks.

5. Install missing plug-ins

install missing plug-ins

You may be missing Adobe Flash or Silverlight plug-ins that could enable video playback, especially for Internet Explorer.

Get the right or missing plug-ins and then check if the video is playing again.

6. Open video in browser

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Tools.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  3. Click Manage Add-ons.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  4. Under Add-on Types, click Toolbars and Extensions.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  5. Under Show, click All add-ons.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  6. Select the Flash and Silverlight add-ons.
  7. Click Enable and try playing the video again.

Some sites have online videos that cannot play from other applications. Try opening through your browser by pressing Esc to dismiss the video, right-click on the video, and click Open Hyperlink.

If it doesn’t open, check that the plug-ins are enabled.

7. Check for all available Windows updates

  1. Click Start and select Settings.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  2. Click Update and Security.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  3. Click Windows Updates.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  4. Click Check for Updates.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  5. Install the updates that are pending.

If you can’t open the Setting app, take a look at this detailed article to solve the issue.

Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.

8. Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering

  1. Click Start and select Control Panel.
  2. Select the Network and Internet option.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  3. Select Internet Options.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  4. An additional window titled Internet Properties will open.
  5. On this window, select the tab labeled Advanced.
  6. You will see a section titled Accelerated Graphics.
  7. There is a check-box underneath labeled Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering. Check it.Videos not playing on Windows 10
  8. Scroll down the list until you see an additional section labeled Security.
  9. Find the checkbox labeled, Enable 64-bit processes for Enhanced Protected Mode*, and check it.
  10. Now select Apply and OK.
  11. Restart your browser, and try watching a video again. If it still does not work, restart your device and try again.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

9. Turn off the X-reality setting

tyro to turn off X-reality setting

If you’re using a Sony VAIO, you can fix the Videos not playing on Windows 10 issue by checking the settings.

Something in the pre-installed Sony software prevents playback, so go to the VAIO control center app, under the Image quality tab, and find the X-reality for mobile setting. Turn it off.

Did any of these solutions fix Videos not playing on Windows 10 issue? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.

Also, leave there any other suggestions or questions you may have.

FAQ: Learn more about videos

  • What are the best video players for PC?

The best video players for PC include VLC Media Player, GOM Media player, and more.

  • What are the best video editors in the world?

The best video editors in the world include Adobe Premiere Pro, Power Director, Adobe After Effects, and more.

  • What are video codecs?

A codec is a device or software that is used to compress or decompress a digital media file, such as a video or song. The lack of a codec means that you will be unable to play that video or audio file.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • None of these solutions worked for me. I’ll post below my response on the Nvidia forum for my video card, including a description of the problem I was having:

    A week or so after I installed the MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 in an AMD system (8320 processor, 32 GB RAM), audio/video stopped playing in Windows 10. The problem affected ALL videos: Amazon Prime, YouTube, and MP4s on my PC. The video would start and then come to a stop with an occasional next frame jerking into view.

    I tried ALL recommended solutions – Windows troubleshooters, updating everything, reverting to an earlier Nvidia driver, etc. – nothing worked.

    Finally, I removed all traces of Nvidia and MSI software from the system and reverted to the Windows native drivers.

    Problem solved. Everything’s working fine. OBVIOUSLY, I’m not posting this for the hardcore gamers, but for those who may have bought a used 980 to do video editing, and for access to advanced features in Photoshop that don’t work with older video cards (e.g., Oil Paint filter).

    Yes, I would love to use Nvidia software if it would improve performance in Davinci Resolve video editing software, etc. (Yes, I did try an older version 391 of the Nvidia software – no change). But for now, I’m just happy to have found a solution.