If you’re experiencing lag when watching 4K videos on Windows 11 and looking for a solution, try the methods we’ve mentioned below. Most people prefer to watch videos of the highest quality, and 4K is one of the highest qualities that publishers are using nowadays.

But If you are experiencing lagging, crashing, no image, or no sound issues while playing 4K videos, it may be due to older hardware, an older version of Windows, or the use of a video player that does not support 4K resolution videos.

so, If you want to play 4K videos smoothly on your computer, follow the methods below. We have listed the best ways to play 4K videos on Windows 11, so without any further delay, let’s move on to the methods.

What is 4K Video Quality?

What is 4K Video Quality?
Source: wikipedia.org

You may refer to 4K video quality as Ultra High Definition, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This resolution is approximately four times higher than HD video, and many people also call it 2160p. 4K videos deliver much more detail, sharpness, and vividness in images.

If you want to fully experience the potential of 4K video, you need a large television or monitor. Nowadays almost every television and monitor company is launching TVs and monitors with 4K resolution support.

How to Play 4K Videos on Windows 11

Here, we have mentioned some of the most common methods that can help you watch 4K videos on Windows 11.

1. Check if Your Monitor Supports 4K Video

If you want to enjoy 4K videos, your monitor must support 4K resolution. Without 4K support, it is pointless to continue reading this article. We know that 4K TVs and monitors have recently become available in the market, and everyone can’t have one.

Therefore, it is important to check whether your monitor supports 4K video or not. If you are thinking of purchasing a TV or monitor, be sure to verify this factor before making a decision.

2. Update Windows OS

Check if your Windows OS version is up to date, as older versions may cause problems while playing 4K videos. To update it follow the steps given below.

  1. Press Windows + I to go to Windows settings.
  2. Click on the Windows Update option.
    Click on Windows Update
  3. Click on the Check for Updates button in the top right corner. If you see an update, click the Download and Install option.
    Click on the Check for Updates button
  4. After successfully updating, check whether 4K video is playing or not.

3. Update Graphic Drivers

The graphics card is also important for rendering high-resolution videos like 4K, so if your graphics drivers are outdated, you’ll need to update them.

  1. Press Windows + X and select Device Manager.
    open Windows device manager
  2. Click on Display adapters then right-click on the driver and click on Update driver.
    Update Driver
  3. Select Search automatically for drivers. Before clicking on this, make sure that your computer is connected to the internet.
    Search Automatically for drivers
  4. If an update is available, it will automatically download and install it on your device. Once the process is complete, restart your computer and try playing the 4K video.

4. Change The Power Mode

Windows 11 power mode is always set to balanced mode by default, which is sufficient for most tasks. However, sometimes some functions, like playing 4K videos, require more resources to work smoothly. In such cases, try switching to high-performance mode.

  1. Go to Windows Settings by pressing Win+I.
  2. Click on System > Power.
    System > Power
  3. Click on Balanced right next to Power Mode to open the Dropbox menu and select Best Performance.
    Best Performance

5. Use a Third-Party Media Player

There could be a possibility that your current media player is not compatible with 4K videos, due to which you are unable to play 4K videos. Therefore, I suggest trying another video player that supports 4K resolution videos.

Use a Third-Party Media Player

VLC is one of the best video players that you can try to play 4K videos on Windows 11. In VLC, you can also play videos up to 8K, and it is always updated with the latest features.

6. Disable Hardware Acceleration

If you’re using a third-party media player, try disabling hardware acceleration, as it can help improve performance by offloading specific tasks from the CPU to dedicated hardware components. If you are using a VLC player, then follow the steps below.

  1. Open VLC player > Tools > Preferences.
    Disable Hardware Acceleration
  2. Click on Input/Codecs, then go to the Hardware-Accelerated option and set it from Automatic to Disabled, Click on the Save option.
    Automatic to Disabled
  3. Restart the VLC player and try playing the 4k video.

How to Fix Codec Error for 4K Videos

If you are getting a “to play this video, you need a new codec” error message while playing a 4k video, it means that the HEVC(High-Efficiency Video Coding) video extension is missing from your system.

Use this method only if you are using Windows Video Player. You can skip this method if you are using a third-party media player like VLC.

  1. Press the Windows key and search for Microsoft Store, then click on it.
    search for Microsoft Store
  2. Type HEVC video extension in the Microsoft Store search bar and click to open it.
    HEVC video extension
  3. Click on the Price button to install. Note that before installation, you need to pay $0.65.
    Click on the Price button

Download HEVC Video Extension for Free

If you don’t want to pay for HEVC Video Extension, follow the steps below to get it for free.

  1. Open any browser you use and search for the Codecs.com website.
  2. In the search bar, enter HEVC Video Extension and click on the extension link.
    enter HEVC Video Extension
  3. Click on the Download button.
    Click on the Download button
  4. After downloading, double-click on it to install, and then click on the Install button.
    double-click on it to install,
  5. Restart your PC and enjoy playing 4K videos on Windows 11.


We are wrapping up this article! These are the best ways to play 4K videos on Windows 11. You can skip the HEVC video extension method and opt for a third-party media player.

However, if you don’t want to install any third-party video player, the HEVC video extension will help you play 4K videos in Windows Media Player.