How to Stop HD Video from Freezing while Playing in VLC

When high definition videos of large sizes are opened in VLC Media Player—the HD video doesn’t play perfectly at all times. The HD video freezes and skips a few frames while the audio plays perfectly. The video might hang a few seconds and loop around the same point again. This is an error that is not so rare to the users of VLC. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can try to fix the video lag.

There isn’t a single or perfect solution to fixing the choppy videos. If you have to play movie files that take up large GBs of space there are a couple of things we can do. The basic idea is to increase the number of seconds videos are cached. It doesn’t matter whether the videos are being played locally from a hard drive or from a network location. VLC needs to cache the video in the player itself while playing. We can increase the cache to ensure that the videos play smoothly. The other thing that improves HD video frame rate is switching the video output to DirectX DirectDraw or OpenGL. Make some changes in the video FFmpeg codec also seems to help.

So, to fix this video freezing issue try a combination of these methods till the video plays smoothly:

Increase Cache Values

Even when playing an offline video, VLC needs to cache it. It preloads a certain portion of the video from the hard drive to your computer’s main memory or RAM. From there, the player accesses it and plays it. It happens constantly as a video is being played. For HD videos, buffering larger portions to the memory helps with the constant lag.

Here’s how to increase file caching

  • Open Tools > Preferences [CTRL + P].
    VLC Tools Preferences
  • In Show settings select the All
    Switch to Full Preferences
  • In Advanced settings, click on the parent option that says Input / Codecs.
  • In Input / Codecs scroll down to the options under the heading Advanced.
  • Change the values for File caching (ms) from 300 to a higher value like 1000 or 2000. The value is in milliseconds.
    Inputs / Codecs Advanced Preferences

Note: You can also change the values for Network caching (ms) and Disc caching (ms) to see whether it improves your playback performance. Network caching is for files that are stored on a network but are being played in your current system.

Change Video Output Settings

  • In the menu bar, click on Tools > Preferences [CTRL + P].
  • From the options present, click on Video.
  • In Video Settings, under Output change the value from Automatic to DirectX (DirecDraw) video output. Try OpenGL video output as well.
    DirectX (DirectDraw) Video Output
  • Click Save.

FFmpeg Loop Filter Skipping

  • Open up Tools > Preferences [CTRL + P].
  • Under Show settings click the radio button that says All to switch from Simple to Advanced Preferences.
  • Navigate to Input / Codecs > Video Codecs > FFmpeg.
  • Under FFmpeg audio/video decoder find the option that says Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding.
  • Change it from None to All.
    Video Codec FFmpeg

Additional and Optional Step

  • In the same FFmpeg audio/video decoder settings, find Hardware decoding and ensure the value is Disable.

Click Save at the end.


  1. ankit
    October 17, 2016 - 3:06 am Reply

    Thank you so much yaar,it really worked, earliar in the 5 min video song it use to freeze videos at least 30 times but now not even once,thank you so much.

  2. dennis
    September 1, 2016 - 3:15 am Reply

    wow thanks it worked!!

  3. pam
    August 20, 2016 - 10:14 pm Reply

    thank you!!! it worked!..

  4. mateen khan
    August 19, 2016 - 3:37 am Reply

    Thank you so much.
    it works

  5. desertraven2k
    July 9, 2016 - 4:47 pm Reply

    I tried all these steps, the only thing that worked was increasing the Cache value, but then it only extended the time before the video still froze and then stopped. It doesn’t seem to effect all TS files, but most.

  6. Ken Bahrbee
    July 9, 2016 - 12:47 am Reply

    This method works perfectly. I tried a few other guides that missed the Input/Codecs input caching. Once I upped the network cache, my slow wifi connection problem disappeared. This was the one and only guide that helped me solve the stutter problem. I set my cache to 10000 (for 10 seconds).

  7. Hybrid
    July 1, 2016 - 8:11 pm Reply

    Glad to see its working out for everyone cuz I still can’t watch star wars without it skipping

  8. Raj
    June 6, 2016 - 10:07 am Reply

    Excellent advice….

  9. Fraz Qureshi
    May 27, 2016 - 9:17 am Reply

    Thanks! Increasing Cache values fixed the lag issue .

  10. zullu
    May 3, 2016 - 8:40 am Reply

    sorry trick no 2 cause this error. Now its alright this trick is working thanks

  11. zullu
    May 3, 2016 - 8:36 am Reply

    it causes the whole vlc window pink and did’nt show any video.just hear audio

    • Mike
      June 16, 2016 - 9:57 pm Reply

      This is the exact same thing that happened to me. Help please??

      • ashish
        June 17, 2016 - 1:56 am Reply

        Can you undo the Step 2 and it will revert.

  12. Saboor
    April 28, 2016 - 2:39 pm Reply

    Really worked out for me… Thank you…

  13. Moses Mawanga
    April 8, 2016 - 4:29 pm Reply

    Thanks man. Your a genius.

  14. Mick
    April 5, 2016 - 11:15 pm Reply

    Sorry mate, didn’t work for me. Still skips backwards.

    • Saulat
      May 26, 2016 - 9:15 am Reply

      Same Here.

  15. sushil
    March 10, 2016 - 2:02 am Reply

    Hey bro, It truly works. Thank u so much.

  16. Cliff
    February 2, 2016 - 6:14 pm Reply

    Thank you for the clear instructions to fix this perplexing problem.

  17. Dennis
    January 22, 2016 - 10:49 pm Reply

    I just got an SJ4000 action cam and cannot get the camera to work via USB on the VLC media player. When I open capture device and select play I get nothing or perhaps a single frame shot. Any suggestions on settings that will help me see the live camera video on VLC?

  18. greetings from Poland
    January 17, 2016 - 10:43 pm Reply

    Thank you very much. One question: linux distros and DirectX API?

  19. Veysel
    December 3, 2015 - 10:03 am Reply

    it happenned yesterday, I gonna fix using this information, thanks

  20. Jose
    September 5, 2015 - 9:10 pm Reply


  21. pushkarsingh32
    August 27, 2015 - 9:34 am Reply

    Nice tutorial for vlc I dint notice this feature earlier.

Leave a Reply