How To Fix “VLC is Unable to Open MRL File” Error 2021?

A lot of us use a VLC media player to play video files on our desktops or laptops. It wouldn’t be wrong for me to say that it is one of the most popular applications used to play videos and films. VLC is, in general, a very efficient application and its users are quite happy with its performance, but there are times when this application also faces slight malfunctioning. In this article, we will help you solve a major problem related to the VLC – “VLC is unable to open MRL file” error.

vlc is unable to open the mrl

This error is very persistent and VLC has not been able to fix it in the numerous updates and newer versions as well. “VLC is unable to open an MRL file” error happens when VLC tries to open a video or a movie that is not located on the local device, but somewhere different. Many times, VLC can’t locate the file for a specific reason and that is when the “VLC is unable to open the MRL file” error will be displayed on your screen. There can be numerous reasons for this error to occur, like a firewall roadblock of application error, or a fault in the host content as well. 

So, in this article, we will help you know the process of fixing the problem of “VLC is unable to open MRL file” error, in a step by step manner. We have actually followed these steps and got appropriate results, and hence, we are putting this down for you to use in case you are facing the same problem. 

Ways To Fix “VLC is Unable to Open MRL File” Error

Check whether the Source is Working or Not

The first step that you should follow is to check whether the source of the file you are trying to play is functioning or not. This problem takes place when you are trying to play URL- based videos or streaming movies through it. To check whether the source is working or not, go to file > click on network stream and copy the link of the URL that you are trying to use. 

Paste the URL that you have copied to a different video player or to your browser and check if it plays or not. If the video starts playing, your issue is solved. But in case it doesn’t play in other applications as well, the possibility is that your source is problematic and not your VLC media player. If the video functions properly in other applications, here is what you should do in the next step. 

vlc is unable to open the mrl 'dvd:///d:/'. check the log for details.

Uninstall Firewall or Modify the Settings

 If you find out that the reason for your “VLC is unable to open MRL file” error is not a bad or a problematic source, the next step to take is to change the firewall settings. A lot of times, firewalls that are overprotective, which are generally third party applications, block the path that is needed by VLC to play certain footage. The steps to rectify this problem vary with the type of firewall that you are using.

If AVG is the firewall that you use, you have to go to firewall > tools/firewall settings, and then click on applications. Once the application window opens, you can change the VLC media player action to “Allow for all”. In case you are using any other firewall, you can look for the steps to alter the actions and remove the blockage if any. A lot of people may find it troubling to find the relevant steps for their firewall. In this case, you can discard the firewall and take help of the built-in solution. 

Discard the Current VLC Player and Install the Latest Version

The VLC player not being able to open MRL files can also happen due to the outdated version of the application that is installed on your device. A lot of us have gotten rid of the problem by simply uninstalling the VLC media present in our devices, and installing the new and updated version of it. To discard the current VLC player on your device, press the Windows key + R. When a text box opens, type “appwz.cpl” and press Enter. This will open a Program window. Then, you have to find the VLC media player from the given list and select on the option of Uninstall/change.

You can get the link to download the latest version of VLC from the internet. Install the application on your device and mostly it will work fine. If the error still occurs, follow the further steps.

Claim the Files as Yours

You might get the “VLC is unable to open MRL file” error when you try to play it from an external source or drives, or external disks. If you try to claim the files that you are playing as your own, you might be able to fix this issue easily. Here is how you can claim your files: right-click on the error that is showing up and open properties. Go to the security button and click advanced under permissions. Choose the “change” button and enter “Administrator” in the box. Select “apply all” and your file ownership is changed.

The device will understand that you are the owner of this file and you might not face any further issues with the opening of MRL files on VLC media player.  


These were a few ways to fix your problem of “VLC unable to open MRL files” error. A lot of people have been facing this problem recently and hence, we decided to come up with a few solutions to help you with this issue. We hope one or a combination of a few of these will help your VLC media player to read and run the MRL files without any error. Lastly, we hope this article has been helpful to you in solving your VLC media player related issues.

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