Fix: VLC media player lagging in Windows 10

By: Milan Stanojevic
5 minute read

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VLC media player is one of the best media players in the world. This payer is available on wide range of platforms, but Windows 10 users reported some issues with it. According to them, VLC media player is lagging during video playback.

VLC media player lagging, how to fix it?

Table of contents:

    1. VLC media player lagging video
    2. VLC media player lagging 1080p
    3. VLC media player lagging mkv

Fix – VLC media player lagging video

Solution 1 – Change caching value

If the VLC media player is lagging while playing video, you can fix this problem by changing the caching value. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open VLC player and go to Tools > Preferences. Alternatively you can press Ctrl + P shortcut.
  2. When Preferences window opens, go to the bottom of the page and under Show settings select All. The look of your Preferences window will now change.
  3. Go to Input / Codes section and locate File caching (ms) option. Change the value from 300 to 600 or 1000 and click Save.

The aforementioned solution works for local files on your PC, but if you’re trying to view a file that is shared on the network, you need to do the following:

  1. Repeat all steps above.
  2. Locate Network caching (ms) value and increase it.
  3. Click Save to apply changes.

Solution 2 – Change Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding

Users reported that you can fix lagging video issues in VLC by changing the Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding option. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open all Preferences window in VLC.
  2. Go to Input / Codecs > Video codecs > FFmpeg.
  3. Locate Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding option and set it to All.
  4. Click the Save button.

Keep in mind that this option will slightly degrade the quality of the video in order to improve your playback. If you want to keep the quality of your video, be sure to try different options first. Some users are also suggesting to check Allow speed tricks option in FFmpeg settings menu, so you might want to try that as well.

Solution 3 – Disable Hardware decoding

According to users, you can fix this issue by disabling Hardware decoding. This is a useful feature, but sometimes it can cause conflicts with certain drivers, so you might want to disable it in order to fix video lagging issues. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Preferences window.
  2. Go to Input / Codecs.
  3. In Codecs section locate Hardware-accelerated decoding and set it to Disable.
  4. Click Save.

Users reported that in some cases turning on Hardware decoding can fix this issue, so you might want to try turning it on.

Solution 4 – Change the video output module

If you’re having problems with video lagging in VLC player, you can fix that issue simply by changing the output module. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open all Preferences.
  2. Go to Video > Output modules.
  3. Experiment with different output modules until you find the one that works for you.

Fix – VLC media player lagging 1080p

Solution 1 – Change the power settings

Sometimes your power settings can cause this issue to appear especially if you’re using Battery Saver or Power Saver profile on your laptop. These two profiles are designed to lower the power consumption by reducing the performance of your hardware. HD video is demanding and it requires hardware power in order to play smoothly, therefore to fix VLC media player lag you’ll have to change your power settings by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter power options. Select Power Options from the menu.
  2. Select High performance profile.

Keep in mind that using High performance power profile will consume more power and drain your battery faster, but the issues with 1080p video should be fixed.

Solution 2 – Assign the proper GPU to VLC

If you have a laptop that has both integrated and dedicated graphic card, be sure to assign the right card to VLC. To do that, simply open your graphic card configuration tool such as Nvidia Control Panel or Catalyst Control Center and assign the appropriate card to VLC. Although assigning dedicated graphic card to VLC is usually better, several users reported that using integrated graphics card with VLC fixed the problem for them, so you might want to try that.

Fix – VLC media player lagging mkv

Solution 1 – Change FFmpeg threads to 2

If VLC is lagging while playing mkv files, you might want to try changing the number of FFmpeg threads. According to users, you can do that by following these steps:

  1. Open all Preferences window in VLC.
  2. Go to Input / Codecs section > Video codecs > FFmpeg.
  3. Locate Threads setting and change its value to 2.
  4. Click Save and restart VLC to apply changes.

Solution 2 – Make sure that your drivers are properly installed

VLC uses your GPU for video processing and if you want to properly view mkv videos without any lag, you should install complete driver package. Some drivers allow you to choose between full installation or the minimal installation, therefore be sure to download and install full version of graphic card drivers.

In addition, some users recommend that you download ATI Avivo tool in order to fix mkv lagging issues in VLC.

Solution 3 – Convert to a different format

Sometimes the best solution is to convert the .mkv file to a different format. Mkv files can be demanding, therefore you might want to use video converter and convert them to any other less demanding format.

Problems with VLC media player and lagging can somewhat ruin your multimedia experience, but you should be able to fix this problem by changing VLC settings. If that doesn’t work, you can always try a different multimedia player such as Daum PotPlayer, SMPlayer, GOM Player or MPC-HD that tend to better utilize your GPU.

However, if you’re still having issues on your PC or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool to fix various PC problems, such as file loss, malware and hardware failure. It will also optimize your PC for maximum performance.


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