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How to Fix Video Lag in VLC Media Player on Windows – All things you need to know

VLC is a versatile media player that supports a variety of file formats. Some users, however, may experience video lag when playing high definition or heavy video files. We’ve put together a guide to help you fix this problem.

Understanding Video Lag in VLC Media Player

What exactly is video lag?

Video lag is the freezing or stuttering of video files. It can happen when a player has trouble decoding and rendering the video data. This can be a frustrating and disrupting experience, especially if you are watching videos or movies with complex visuals or fast-paced actions.

Video lag causes in VLC Media Player

Video lag can be caused by a number of factors. The most common causes are:

  1. Video codecs that are outdated or incompatible
  2. Hardware resources are insufficient
  3. The video output setting is incorrect
  4. Drivers that are outdated or have software conflicts

We’ll walk you through the steps to fix these problems.

How to fix video lag in VLC Media Player for Windows

Update VLC Media player

Install the latest VLC Media Player on your device before you try any other solution. Updates can include bug fixes, performance enhancements, and new features to resolve video lag problems. Follow these steps to update VLC Media Player:

  1. Open VLC Media Player.
  2. Click “Help” on the menu bar.
  3. Click “Check for updates”
  4. Follow the instructions on screen to download and install an update if one is available.

Step 2: Update video codecs

VLC Media Player can experience video lag if the video codecs are outdated or incompatible. Install the latest codecs on your device. Download the latest codecs from trusted sources such as K-Lite Codec Pack and Combined Community Codec Pack.

Step 3. Adjust VLC Player settings

You can adjust several settings to enhance the performance of VLC Media Player. Here are some settings you can tweak:

  1. Hardware acceleration can reduce video lag by utilizing your device’s GPU. Follow these steps to enable hardware acceleration:a. Open VLC Media Player. b. Select “Preferences” from the “Tools”, located in the main menu. c. Select the “Input/Codecs tab.” d. In the “Hardware-accelerated decoding” dropdown menu, select “Automatic” or the specific hardware acceleration method supported by your GPU (e.g., DirectX Video Acceleration, Video Acceleration API). Click “Save” to save the changes and restart VLC Media Player.
  2. VLC Media Player’s video lag can be fixed by changing the video output module. How to change the output module for video:a. Open VLC Media Player. Click “Tools” on the menu bar, then select “Preferences.” Click the “Video tab.” Choose different output modules from the dropdown menu “Output”, e.g. DirectX, OpenGL or Windows GDI, until you find the one that best suits your device. Click “Save”, then restart VLC Media Player.

Step 4: Update device drivers

  • Drivers that are outdated can cause accidents

VLC Media Player has performance problems and video lag. Follow these steps to ensure your device drivers are current:

  1. Select “Device Manager”, by pressing Windows + X.
  2. Expand the “Display Adapters” section.
  3. Click on the graphics card, and then click “Update Driver.”
  4. Follow the instructions on screen to update your driver.
  5. Restart your computer after the driver update and see if you can resolve the issue.

Step 5: Optimise your computer’s performance

VLC Media Player can experience video lag due to insufficient hardware resources. Try the following to optimize your computer performance:

  1. Close programs that are not needed: You can free up system resources by shutting down any programs or processes in the background which may be using your device’s memory, CPU or GPU.
  2. Make sure your computer’s power options are set to the “High Performance” setting.
  3. Windows visual effects are disabled. Turning them off can improve the performance of your computer. Click on the “Performance section” and click “Settings” to disable visual effects. Click “Apply” after selecting “Adjust performance for best results.”

Step 6 – Check for Software Conflicts

Video lag problems in VLC Media Player may be caused by conflicting software on your device. Check for compatibility problems if you’ve recently updated or installed an application. Uninstall any software you think might be the cause of the conflict. Then, check if video lag is gone.


VLC Media Player video lag can be frustrating, but by following the instructions in this guide you will be able identify the issue and fix it. Keep your drivers and software updated, optimize the performance of your computer, and tweak VLC Media Player’s settings for smooth, lag-free playback. Consider upgrading the hardware of your device or switching to an alternative media player if you still experience video lag.


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