How-To Geek

Using VLC Player Under Vista

As many people already know, the most supportive application for playing media ( Video ) files on your computer in VLC Player. The problem is that it doesn’t always work correctly on Windows Vista.

The application in itself is not the most high-end eye candy on the market, but for support of media files, no other player comes close. VLC Player contains the codecs required to play a host of Media formats.

Vista, as the new OS, has many problems with application compatibility, and VLC is no exception. Most people will find that VLC has issue in terms of video output. To resolve this issue, follow the steps below.

1) Open VLC player
2) Click Settings > Preferences

3) Expand the Video Menu
4) Highlight Output Modules item ( by Clicking on it )
5) Located bottom right of the window, click Advanced Options

6) Under Video OutPut Module? Select either one of the following options ( If one fails, try the other )
DirectX Video OutPut
Windows GDI Video OutPut (I had best luck with this)

Note that Default is usually the best option, so this is only to be changed if you have problems.

7) If these fail, you can try Dummy Video OutPut Function, or even one of the others.

Hope This Helps!

  • Published 04/20/07

Comments (115)

  1. The Geek

    I gotta say a huge thanks to Alan for submitting this article… helped me watch a number of .mkv files that wouldn’t work on Vista for some reason.

  2. Jason

    Many thanks for this solution to a very frustrating problem.

  3. Corinne

    OMG Thank you so much man. This helped me so much. I couldn’t get anything to work but now I can. Your a live savior.

  4. mrcpu

    WHile it works good, gomplayer is an awesome media player that works OOB under vista, and leaves VLC in the dust…

  5. Natalia

    Hey thanks a lot! VLC is really helpful but Vista is pain in the ass. Thank you for the guide!

  6. Wole

    Thanks for the info!

  7. n

    thanks a million. sure helped me.

  8. veilstyle

    thank you for the tip. I couldn’t get vlc player to display any video, the audio worked fine. the windows gdi solution gave me the best results.


  9. brenie

    thanks man big respect 2 all the computer nuds who got this working hopefully your lads well get divx working ive heard an american dudes got it working

  10. Lisa

    Thank you so much for this article! I know nothing about computers and was so upset that I couldn’t get VLC to play files when I upgraded to Vista. It is now perfect! Thank you very much!

  11. Al Mohallim

    Thanks, it works great now.

  12. yahd

    good job …thankzzz

  13. Tu


  14. andry

    thanks a lot
    worked at my first try
    under windows GDI.

  15. johnte

    Great help, had shitty problems until now! could not understand why I could play the same files on the comp. when they where on a DVD compared to on the disc using VLC.

    hack the planet

  16. Hans

    Thanks a lot mate

  17. Thao

    I still have problem with VLC play my anime files. When playing the movie, it will froze 2 or more times. Not sure it is the codec or what. Please help!!!

  18. claudia

    i could kiss you your the best

  19. Anirudh

    hey thanks pal…..
    it was a great help…. It solved the issue with image buffering in the VLC player..

    thanks again

  20. Kishore

    Great tip. It worked for me.

  21. Dave

    Hey thanks a lot bro, keep it up …


    oh great geek. i praise you for this. thx for solving my problem ;=)

  23. biggib

    thanks you make my vista seem just a bit better

  24. Carlo

    Very Very Useful

    Thanks Alan you saved my life

  25. Gazza

    Thanks alot man I couldnt get a thing working before only the audio track straight away it worked. Thanks again!

  26. chittal

    thanks a bunch..this was wonderfull, whats the deal with windows vista it sucks man…i hate it..but will have to deal with it

  27. chris

    bloody genius. thanks a lot mate

  28. Wolverine26

    Thanks a bunch m8, worked super. Nasty Vista can now co operate with VLC.

  29. Sumit

    Thanks allot dude…. take care

  30. jamesbond007

    Thx a lot dude…u r a life saver!!!

  31. Liz

    Amazing! Worked perfectly, thanks :D

  32. Kellowatt

    Thanks alot. Switch to the Windows GDI and it worked like a charm.

  33. Cirrus

    Thanks a million!

  34. Montza

    Googled this issue, found this page, fixed my problem – very appreciative, you have released me from ‘death by vista media player’

  35. icq

    use GOM player. the best.

  36. Zac

    Thank you so much. I was so mad when I got my new comp and couldn’t watch my vids. Thanks you again you are the best person ever…

  37. zade

    thx for this. after changing the option video isn’t cubical anymore =D

  38. jay

    that worked great! thanks so much.

  39. Nitin Mathur

    man this is perfect, it wrks…thnx

  40. Zeeshan

    thank u very much! gdi option worked for me too! :) u r geat

  41. jules

    just to advise you a new version(0.86c) has been released recently with a better vista compatibility
    and a hotfix.

    released note:

    Best regards from France :-)

  42. pankaj

    Thx a lot dude…GreatTip….

  43. ihsan

    cheers dude now i can watch the movies i download :D

  44. sunil

    thanks a lot dude..

  45. puneet agrwal

    thanks a lot for this article .this is really helpful

  46. Jackie

    thank u so much!

  47. Fikus

    thanks Man

  48. Edsjag

    Nice one. Worked a treat!

  49. satya

    thanks it works now

  50. Ryk3n

    thanks nice ….

  51. Jeff

    Media Player Classic (search for Real Alternative or Quicktime Alternative on Google) seems better than VLC, will play most things including Real and Quicktime, and has lots of really cool functions including fast play and reverse, and drag along location bar with realtime viewing of file.

  52. sameer

    i have o.8.6C and i tried all of your options, my .avi file is not working?

  53. blank

    It’s people like you at keep me from smashing my computer against the wall. Thanks bud:)

  54. Paz

    Your are the best :)

  55. jay

    Great man…
    Thank you so much for this. You solved a big problem. Now I can answer back to the critics of windows vista who were mocking me for using it.

  56. Reji Thomas

    Can I use a Motorola S9 Bluetooth head phones to listen to music from my Vista Home premium??

  57. Martin

    Thanks a million dude.. Was fighting with this for last 10 months or so.. Thank u very much..

  58. Malicia

    Great! Big and long french kiss dear Geek.

  59. Deepu

    Thanks for this………..

  60. lcb

    Many thanks for the tip. It works. You are fantastic.

  61. Tom, Berlin, Germany

    Thanks for advise. I now use opengl.

  62. Leo

    Thanks, this is a real problem and VLC worked so well in XP that I can’t help wondering…a conspiracy?

  63. joe

    thanks a lot! really helped!

  64. Susan

    Hi…I get perfect video, but no audio. I have Windows Vista…help!

  65. AlanmCc

    Hi Susan, I also find this with infrequent files. Lukely the files which i am unable to hear in VLC can normally be played in windwos media player. This is just the codecs used.

    VLC will play most, but Windows media sometimes play the very few that VLC wont

    Regards, Alan

  66. Leonard

    Thanks a bunch mate.

    My video was pixelated and I didn’t know why. I cam across this now its all fine!

  67. Ravi Sekhar

    hey thanks a lot buddy.. it works…

  68. naddy

    Hi there thanks for this
    vlc did not work at all always got hung up I changed the setting and got a message from vista
    telling me it had to change the colour scheme I said ok since then it is working.
    Ought to buy more RAM as it looks like
    cheers for the comment though

  69. hej

    worked graet, before i hade a black screen :(

  70. anurag

    i was also facing the same problem while playing video files through VLC on vista, but thanks to the above solution, it is now working fine.

  71. jyothis

    Hey, thanx alot. Selecting ‘Windows GDI Video OutPut’ worked for me.

  72. Ashish

    Thanx a ton…….. I had a long time problem that got solved…

  73. stenc55

    I’m using VLC for a long time for watching TV directly from my ISP instead of using STB and tuner. I’m searching for plugin for showing VLC in sidebar. Can anyone make it?

  74. ERBy

    A lots of thanks to you…Now i can watch video on my VLC

  75. Ashis

    Thanks so much :)

  76. Panz

    Thanx Pal – u’re gr8!!

  77. mohan

    vlc player will work properly but hot keys are not working in windows gdi video output.give best solution for it.

  78. Dhirendra

    Mani mani thnks for the info.

  79. abraham

    Thanks so much.

  80. varun

    dude… still not working…

  81. Sham

    working now. thx

  82. Steven

    wow thank you so much! This has saved me from a headache!

  83. McManus

    Thanx a lot bro!!!

  84. Da Mofs

    You are the best.

  85. AJ

    I could have never figur out why. I was about to try another player…IT was really very helpfull

  86. Rich

    Thank you so much. great tip to a very annoyingly problem Vista SUCKS.

  87. Gemini

    very nice solution … i like it n it is very helpful 2 me

  88. StormLexer

    Thanks, seems to have worked.

  89. devender

    thanx for the help dude

  90. gadzooks64

    I love VLC but I wish the media controls would work with it. Is there anyway to get that working?

  91. samuel

    many thanks.. it workd perfect … 1ce again many thanks for posting the solution n t pipol who gave it…i have not just this even the real player is not working in my vista.. n flash player with mozilla…
    if i get a solution for this ill b ver y thankfull…. if any 1 can help me out plzzz do so….

  92. asterix5

    You can now watch TV on your Sidebar with FreeHD gadget :D

  93. Abhishek Pakrashi

    You are the champ – what I had tried for the last couple of days and failed seemed to work instantly……I am so so happy….

  94. Krishna Arjun

    This is great info and it works on Vista with perfection.. Thanks a lot !!

  95. Pinghead

    Tried all the above as I was setting up my new media PC to no avail, but a great forum.

    UN-INSTALLED the free trial version of Windows Live One Care and it worked straight away.
    I have to admit it was an annoying program anyway, with its constant requests and pop ups.

    Wont say anymore as I don’t want to open the Microsoft can of worms again.

    Hope this helps some of you out there that experienced my problem.

  96. Meet

    Thanks a lot man!!!!! It worked and now I am able to play some video in vlc that I tried in real,quick time,WMP but to no avail.

  97. oracle

    thanks so muuuuch!

  98. Scott

    I have a new version of vlc and need help with it can u help me? I can’t fiend the settings button and im so lost please help me.

  99. terrence shikwambana

    vlc is most advance software for playing any media document even though it doesn’t look fancy keep up the perfect work on services

  100. amit

    Thanks man! I tried Windows GDI Video OutPut on the 1st try and got it to work..

  101. ooya

    Thanks so much. I just got Vista. As I work primarily with video, I was devastated already. GDI output setting fixed all problems. : )

  102. Gyanendra

    Thank you so much !!!
    This works even in Windows 7 :-)

  103. swami


    Awesome article..I was breaking my head to solve this..but got solved in seconds after reading this article..Can i publish this article again in my blog as its very very useful.


  104. Pretender

    Recently I have downloaded some movies, some of them are working and some others doesn’t…I do have a VLC player. Thing is those movies don’t work with any kind of players I have, it always gives me a pop up to a website that I do believe belongs to the VLC player downloading, and right after that says , we are sorry your country is not included or something like that…I do live in the Netherlands…Any help would be really appreciated , I just don’t understand why some of those movies wouldn’t want to work. Thanks in advance!!!

  105. Alan

    HI Pretender

    What you have is actually a fake movie, that wants you to download an video playign applcaition in order to view the video.

    And if you downlaod the player yu will likely be asked for payment, so your computer will be infected with a virus.

    Best delete any movies that tell you , that yo need a player. Downlaod VLC 1.x and it shdoul play majority if not all real movie files.

    Regards, Alan

  106. nikita

    Thankyou very much for this post!! It’s excellent! Whithout this information I wasn’t able to see any videos on the VLC! Thanks a lot.

  107. bridget

    I’m having a problem downloading VLC media player. I have tried downloading it from various sights but I get an error everytime. Where can I download VLC?

  108. Rebecca

    Thanks. Solved something that had annoyed me for ages. Used Windows GDI Video OutPut, with Windows 7 and vlc 1.1.2

  109. Zark

    thank you soooo much
    we recently had to install vista and vlc wasnt too happy about it
    but you’ve saved the day
    thank you

  110. Alma

    Wow!!!!! Thanks

  111. Mian

    I will try than will update Thanks i hope it will work

  112. Renzo

    biji palir! it works

  113. Lois

    thanks a lot…great help it works!

  114. Blackrose_81

    i install win vista 4 times but every time i have problem that when i play any video it not giving proper colour i jst wana say GREATTTTTTTTTTTTTT THANKS FOR HELP

  115. Larry

    Didn’t work!

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