VLC Is Unable To Open The MRL: Fix With Potential Fixes

‘VLC is unable to open the MRL’ error occurs when some VLC users try to play or stream a YouTube video. As they search for the YouTube video or enter its corresponding URL, this error message pops up. As a result, the users are neither able to watch the video nor save it on their HDDs. The error actually appears when the VLC player tries to access a file that is located in a location outside the local computer. Thus, the remotely located content becomes inaccessible for some reason and the VLC player displays ‘VLC is unable to open the MRL DVD’ error. This article has tried to pinpoint all the possible sources of this error along with the appropriate fixes.

Methods to Fix VLC is Unable to Open the MRL

We have brought some of the tested ways of eliminating this error. So, move your way down the following methods to identify the one that works for you:

Method 1: Check whether the Source is Working

It is the primary thing you need to check before moving with the remaining methods. Since the error mostly occurs with streaming or URL-based contents, make it is essential to ensure that the source you are trying to access is activated. To check that, go to the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Open Network Stream.’ Now, copy the URL of the video you are trying to access and paste it into your browser or another video player. If the network URL does not work, then the problem seems to be arising from the source of the video. Hence, you can relax by thinking that the VLC player version is not associated with this error.

On the other hand, if the network URL functions after copying it to another browser or media player, then proceed to the succeeding method.

Method 2: Save the ‘YouTube.lau’ File in VLC’s Playlist Folder

It is another that has been proved to eliminate the ‘VLC is unable to open the MRL ‘ error. So, follow the steps mentioned below to save the ‘YouTube.lau’ file:

  1. Launch a browser and open the official page of VLC.
  2. Click the ‘Download’ link located at the top of the window to save ‘YouTube.lau’ file.
  3. Tap the ‘File Explorer’ button on the Windows taskbar and navigate to the folder where you have saved the ‘YouTube.lau’ file.
  4. Right-click on the particular file and select the ‘Copy’ option.
  5. Then navigate to the ‘C: Program Files (x86)VideoLANVLCluaplaylist’ folder path.
  6. Go to the Playlist folder, right-click on an empty space and select ‘Paste’ for adding the ‘YouTube.lau’ file to it.

Method 3: Disable Windows Firewall

According to the opinion of several users, ‘VLC is unable to open the MRL’ error is caused by the Windows Defender Firewall. Thus, Turn off Windows Firewall for VLC player and check whether it solves the issue:

  1. So, to the search bar on the Windows Operating System of your PC and enter ‘Windows Firewall’ in it.
  2. If the search box is not visible, then press the Windows logo key and ‘S’ at the same time to make it visible.
  3. Select Windows Firewall from the search results and click the ‘Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off’ option.
  4. Select the ‘Turn off Windows Defender Firewall’ option and click the ‘OK’ button to save the changes.
  5. Now, try to stream the YouTube content which was striking the error.
  6. Hence, you will need to add the VLC player to an exceptions list.
  7. Again, go back to the Windows search bar, type ‘Windows Firewall’ in it and press ‘Enter.’
  8. After that, click the ‘Allow an app through Windows Firewall’ link and hit the ‘Change Settings’ button.
  9. Expand the apps list, locate VLC, and see whether it is selected or not.
  10. If not, then check the box for VLC and click ‘OK’ to close the Windows Firewall window.

Method 4: Uninstall VLC to Install Its Latest Version

If the ‘VLC is unable to open the MRL’ error occurs due to an internal application glitch, then this solution will work for you. So, you need to uninstall and reinstall its latest version by the following steps:

  1. Press Windows logo key and ‘R’ to open the Run application.
  2. Type ‘appwiz.cpl’ in the Run box and press ‘Enter’ to open the ‘Programs and Features’ window.
  3. Scroll through the application list and find out the VLC media player.
  4. Right-click on this app and choose the ‘Uninstall/Change’ option.
  5. Remove the VLC media player by following the on-screen wizards.
  6. Use a third-party uninstaller to remove the traces of VLC entirely from your PC.
  7. Then restart the system and open a web browser.
  8. Visit the official website of the VLC media player and tap the ‘Download’ button to reinstall its newest version.
  9. Restart the PC if prompted and check whether VLC is able to access the YouTube content or not.

Method 5: Claim the Ownership of Problematic Files

For some users, VLC shows this error when it tries to access files located on a removable external drive or external storage device. Thus, they have resolved this issue by claiming the ownership of files that VLC fails to access. Go through the following steps in order to claim the ownership of files:

  1. At first, search for the files causing the VLC error, right-click on them and choose ‘Properties’.
  2. On the ‘Properties’ window, click the ‘Security’ tab and tap the ‘Advanced’ button under it.
  3. Then, hit the ‘Change; button at the top of the ‘Properties’ window that is associated with the owner.
  4. Type ‘Administrator’ in the box next to ‘Enter the object name’ option and click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.
  5. Check the ‘Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object’ box.
  6. Hit the ‘Apply’ button to change the permission settings and attempt to open the problematic files with the VLC.

Method 6: Check VLC Updates

Sometimes updating VLC to its latest version remove the ‘VLC is unable to open the MRL’ error. So, go to the ‘Help’ menu and choose ‘Check for updates in VLC’ option. You will come to know if a VLC update is available. If VLC media player updates window displays an update, then click ‘Yes’ and tap the ‘Install’ button to update the software.

Method 7: Uninstall the Third-party Antivirus Software

If one or more third-party antivirus software is causing this issue, then open Control Panel from the Run application. Then choose ‘Programs’ and click ‘Uninstall a program’ link. From the list of programs installed on your PC, locate the antivirus utility. After that, right-click on the software and select ‘Disable’ option from the popup menu. Repeat the same process if there is more than one antivirus software installed on your PC.

Alternatively, you can open the antivirus software’s window and check whether VLC is blocked or not. If VLC is present among the blocked applications, then change the software’s settings to unblock VLC for all networks.

Hope, you have managed to get rid of ‘VLC is unable to open the MRL’ error by the methods explained in this article. If not so, then try to download the YouTube video by using a third-party downloader. Then save the downloaded video to the computer’s hard drive. After that, select its clips from the drive folder for playing it in VLC media player. But, remember that this trick is only possible when you the source of the video is correct or working properly.

Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa