How to Install VLC and Make it Default on Widows 11

laptop 5722338 640
laptop 5722338 640

This post shows students and new users the steps to install VideoLAN (VLC) media player on Windows 11 and also make it the default media player for video and other multimedia formats. VLC is a free, open-source cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files and various streaming protocols.

If you find yourself needing a robust media player when using Windows 11, then VLC should be your first app to try. It practically plays almost any media format, including DVDs, Audio CDs, multimedia files, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

VLC is also the most popular media player and works across multiple platforms including, Windows, Linux, macOS, and others. VLC has fully transitioned to the new Windows 11 design on the Windows system with a more fluent look and rounded corners, support for snaps, and more.

To get started with installing VLC and making it your default media player, continue below.

How to install VideoLAN on Windows 11

As mentioned above, VLC makes playing media on Windows and other platform fun. If you need a free and open-source media player that works, then install VLC and the steps below show you how.

If you haven’t already installed VLC, then click on the link below to install it.

Download VLC on Windows

Click on the Download VLC button to download the app on Windows.

After downloading, go to your Downloads folder, or when prompted to install, simply click Ok to begin the installation.

During the installation, choose your language, and select which features too including with VLC. By default, all are selected as shown below.

On the next screen, choose the folder to install the VLC media player. By default, it is installed in the C:\Program File\ folder.

Click the Install button to install.

After a few moments, the VLC media player should be installed and ready to use. Click Finish and VLC will automatically open.

You’ll be prompted with VLC Network Access Policy on the first launch. Choose two options:

  • Allow metadata network access
  • Regularly check for VlC updates

The VLC media player is now ready to play your multimedia formats.

How to make VLC default media player on Windows 11

Although VLC is installed, it’s not the default media player on Windows 11. When you try to play a multimedia file, Windows will open Windows Media Player instead.

If you want VLC open for all media formats, then follow the steps below.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for the majority of its settings app. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from the System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + I shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Apps, and select Default apps on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

On the Default apps settings pane, under Set defaults for application, use the search box to search for Movies & TV to narrow the app list or scroll down the list and select Movies & TV.

Currently, as you can see, Movies & TV is the default app for all media formats. You’ll need to switch each media file default app to VLC as shown below.

Change the defaults for each file type; once you’re done, your list should look similar.

That should do it! Now all the media types that Movies & TV were the default will be changed to VLC.


This post showed you how to install VLC and make it the default app on Windows 11. Please use the comment form below if you find any errors above or have anything to add.

Posted by
Richard W

I love computers; maybe way too much. What I learned I try to share at


  1. Thank you! Wish I had done this before my internet went down for a few days.

  2. Movie & TV search stated ” We couldn’t find anything to show here. Double check your search criteria”

  3. Very useful. But in Win11, which apparently does not list MP4 as a recognized file type – how do I get VLC to automatically be used for MP4 files. If I use explorer and “open with” can select VLC, but if I just click on an MP4 it comes up with what I think is Media Player.

    Is there a solution to automatically use VLC for MP4s?

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