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

If you need a robust media player when using Windows 11, then VLC should be your first application to try. It plays almost any media format, including DVD, audio CD, multimedia files, as well as VCD and various streaming protocols.

VLC is also the most popular media player and it works on multiple platforms including Windows, Linux, MacOS, and others. On Windows system, VLC has fully transitioned to the new Windows 11 design with a more fluid appearance and rounded corners, snaps, and more.

The new Windows 11 comes with many new features and a new user desktop, including a centered start menu and taskbar, rounded corner windows, themes and colors that will make any computer look and feel modern.

If you’re excited about Windows 11, keep reading our posts about it.

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

How to install VideoLAN in Windows 11

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

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

Download VLC on Windows

Click on Download VLC to download the application in Windows.

After downloading, go to your Downloads folder or when prompted to install it, just click OK to begin the installation.

During installation, choose your language and select which features to include with VLC. By default, everything is selected as shown below.

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

Click on the Install on pc button to install.

After a few moments, the VLC media player should be installed and ready to use. Click Finish and VLC will open automatically.
On the first launch, you will be prompted for the VLC Network Access Policy. Choose options:
  • Allow access to the metadata network
  • Check periodically for VlC updates
VLC media player is now ready to play your media formats.

How to make the default VLC media player in Windows 11

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

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

Windows 11 has a centralized location for most of its setup applications. From system settings to creating new users and updating Windows, everything can be done from the System settings crystal.

To access the System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click Start ==> Settings as shown in the following picture:

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

The Windows settings panel should look similar to the image below. In Windows settings, click Applicationsand select Default apps on the right panel of the screen shown in the image below.

In the Default App Settings pane, under Set App Defaults, use the search box to search Movies & TV to narrow down the list of applications or scroll down and select Movies & TV.
Currently, as you can see, Movies & TV is the default application for all multimedia formats. You will need to change each default media file app to VLC as shown below.
Change the defaults for each file type, and once you’re done, your list should look similar to this.
You should do that! Now for all media types that Movies & TV was the default, it will now switch to VLC.

Conclusion:

In this tutorial we have seen how to install VLC and make it the default application in Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, use the comment form below.

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