How to Play MP4 on Windows 11: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Playing an MP4 file on Windows 11 is surprisingly easy. In a nutshell, you just need to open the file using a compatible media player that is either built-in or downloaded. Windows Media Player or the Movies & TV app can play MP4 files natively. If they don’t work for some reason, you can always download a reliable third-party media player like VLC Media Player.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Play MP4 on Windows 11

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to open and play an MP4 file on a Windows 11 computer. Each step will walk you through the process, from locating your MP4 file to watching it seamlessly.

Step 1: Locate Your MP4 File

Start by finding the MP4 file you want to play.

You can usually find your MP4 files in your Downloads folder, or wherever you saved them. If you have trouble locating the file, you can use the search bar at the bottom of your screen and type in the file name.

Step 2: Right-Click the MP4 File

Right-click on the MP4 file once you’ve located it.

A context menu will appear after you right-click. This menu gives you several options, including the ability to open the file with different applications.

Step 3: Select “Open With”

Choose the “Open With” option from the context menu.

This will bring up a list of programs that can open MP4 files. Windows should list its default media players at the top, such as Windows Media Player and the Movies & TV app.

Step 4: Choose Your Media Player

Pick either “Windows Media Player” or “Movies & TV” to play your MP4 file.

If you prefer using a third-party media player, like VLC, you can select it from the list. If it’s not listed, you may need to download and install the application first.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Video

The MP4 file will open in the media player you selected, allowing you to watch the video.

If the file doesn’t play as expected, make sure the media player you chose supports MP4 files. VLC Media Player, for example, supports almost all video formats and is a great alternative if you run into issues.

After completing these steps, you should be watching your MP4 video without any problems. Following these steps ensures you can enjoy your media files seamlessly on your Windows 11 device.

Tips for Playing MP4 on Windows 11

  • Use VLC Media Player: If you face issues with default players, VLC is a great alternative that supports almost all video and audio formats.
  • Update Your Media Players: Ensure your media players are up-to-date for best compatibility and performance.
  • Check File Integrity: If an MP4 file won’t play, it might be corrupted. Try another file to see if the issue persists.
  • Explore Other Players: Besides VLC, players like KMPlayer and PotPlayer also offer robust features for playing various media formats.
  • Use Codec Packs: Consider installing codec packs like K-Lite Codec Pack to expand the range of playable file types.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Play MP4 on Windows 11

Why won’t my MP4 file play on Windows Media Player?

Your MP4 file might not be compatible due to missing codecs. Try using VLC Media Player or another third-party application.

Do I need to install a new media player to play MP4 files?

Not necessarily. Windows Media Player or the Movies & TV app can play MP4 files. However, VLC Media Player is a good alternative if you face issues.

Can I convert MP4 files to another format on Windows 11?

Yes, you can! Use conversion software like HandBrake or online converters to change the file format.

What should I do if my MP4 video is choppy or lagging?

This could be due to high video resolution or low system resources. Try closing other applications or reducing the video resolution.

Is there a way to make VLC the default media player for MP4 files?

Yes, right-click an MP4 file, go to “Open With,” select “Choose Another App,” check “Always use this app,” and select VLC Media Player.


  1. Locate your MP4 file.
  2. Right-click the file.
  3. Select “Open With.”
  4. Choose your media player.
  5. Enjoy your video.


Playing MP4 files on Windows 11 is a straightforward process, but it does help to know the steps and have a backup plan if something goes awry. Whether you use the built-in Windows Media Player or opt for a more versatile third-party option like VLC, you should be well-equipped to enjoy your videos with minimal fuss.

If you’re looking for more robust media management or have specialized needs, exploring third-party media players can offer you a richer experience. Additionally, ensuring your media players are up-to-date and having a few troubleshooting tips up your sleeve can save you a lot of headaches down the line.

Now that you know how to play MP4 on Windows 11, go ahead and enjoy your media files! For further reading, consider looking into advanced media player features or even exploring media file conversion techniques to maximize your viewing experience.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy