“I want to use VLC to open a movie DVD, but it says VLC is unable to open the MRL, how to fix the error?” As a free media player, VLC is popular around the world. Usually, it is fuss-free, but sometimes users may encounter errors when accessing files from the internet, DVDs, CDs, or an external hard drive. If you intend to learn more about the VLC error and how to resolve this problem, continue reading.

Part 1. What Is MRL and Common VLC MRL Issues

What is MRL in VLC? Short for Media Resource Locator, MRL is a file specific to the VLC Media Player. Although an MRL file does not include any media content, it helps VLC to locate the multimedia resource. It works as a map, leading your VLC to the file that you wish to play. As long as VLC is unable to find the MRL file, you will be presented with an alert saying VLC is unable to open the MRL.

According to the video file type that you intend to open, you may see the error as follows: VLC is unable to open the MRL dvd:///d:/. Check the log for details.


VLC is unable to open the MRL https://. Check the log for details.

VLC Error YouTube

VLC is unable to open the MRL file. Check the log for details.

VLC Error Local

Part 2. Why VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL

There are lots of reasons why the error of VLC is unable to open the MRL occurs on your computer. To help you figure out what causes the error and avoid it, we list the main reasons here:

1. Incorrect URL sources

2. Ownership or copyright issues.

3. Obsolete VLC clients.

4. Overprotective firewall.

5. Faulty YouTube script.

Part 3. How to Fix VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL

If you are not sure how to fix VLC is unable to open the MRL error, you are not alone since most people won't have a clue how to do it either. Therefore, we demonstrate the troubleshooting for each situation below.

How to Fix VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL on DVD/Blu-ray

Solution 1: Exempt VLC from Windows Defender

Step 1Open the Control Panel from the Start menu, head to System and Security, and choose Windows Defender Firewall.

Step 2Click Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall on the left side, and hit the Change settings button.

Step 3Find the VLC media player on the list, untick the box under the Private column, and hit OK.

Allow VLC

Note: If you are using third-party antivirus software, disable it when you encounter the VLC is unable to open the MRL error.

Solution 2: Claim File Ownership

Step 1Right-click on the file or folder that you wish to claim ownership of, and choose Properties.

Step 2Switch to the Security tab, click the Advanced button, and hit the Change link.

Step 3Input Administrator in the box under Enter the object name to select, and click OK.

Input Admin

Step 4Check the box of Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object. Hit Apply to apply the changes.

Check Replace

Step 5Now, reopen the DVD in your VLC to check if the error disappears.

How to Fix VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL on YouTube

VLC can open online video files, such as YouTube. Chances are that you may encounter the VLC can't open MRL error when playing YouTube videos. The good news is that the developer team has released a solution to fix the error.

Step 1Access https://github.com/videolan/vlc/tree/master/share/lua/playlist in your browser, and download the lua file to your desktop. Then rename it to youtube.luac.

Download Lua

Step 2Open a file explorer window, navigate to the directory where you installed VLC, and open the lua folder. Open the playlist, and drag the youtube.luac into the sub-folder.

Paste Lua

Step 3Then open VLC and it will let you watch YouTube videos normally.

How to Fix VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL for Local Media Files

Solution 1: Take the Ownership

To fix the VLC MRL error for a local media file, you can claim the ownership too. We have demonstrated the workflow above. You can follow the instructions to take ownership of the media file and then play it in VLC again.

Solution 2: Update and Reinstall VLC

Update VLC

Step 1Open VLC, go to the Help menu, and click Check for Updates on a PC. To fix VLC is unable to open the MRL error on Mac, click the VLC menu and choose Check for Updates.

Step 2If a new update is available, hit the Install Update button. Then relaunch your media player.

Step 3As long as the VLC MRL error persists after updating, uninstall VLC from your computer. Restart your machine, and re-install it from the official website.

One-stop Solution to Fix VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL

Another solution to fix VLC is unable to open the MRL on DVD or local media file is using another media player, such as AVAide Blu-ray Player. The streamlined design makes it the best alternative to VLC. Moreover, the huge built-in package of codecs enables you to open any media file quickly.

Best Alternative to VLC
  • Play media files without VLC MRL error.
  • Support DVD/Blu-ray, ISO images, DVD/Blu-ray folders, etc.
  • Compatible with almost all media formats.
  • Offer flexible playback controls.

Here are the steps to using the VLC alternative:

Step 1Open a media file

Launch the best alternative to VLC when the MRL error happens. The alternative media player is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 and Mac OS X 10.12 or higher. Click the Open Disc button to play a DVD or Blu-ray. To play a digital video file, hit the Open File button.

Main Interface

Step 2Control the playback

After the video loads, the playback will begin. The quick control buttons can be found at the bottom. If you need advanced controls, go to the top menu bar.

Play Blu-ray DVD Disc

Part 4. FAQs about VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL

Does VLC support playing encrypted DVDs/Blu-ray?

To play encrypted DVDs or Blu-ray discs, you have to install libaacs and libbdplus in your VLC. Then you can play commercial DVD movies. Another solution is by ripping the encrypted DVD/Blu-ray and then play the videos in VLC.

Is there any free player that can play MRL files?

Since MRL files are specific for VLC Media Player, only this free media player can read them. Moreover, MRL files are not media files but are stored where VLC can find the media files.

Can VLC play a 4K video?

Yes, VLC can ply 4K videos, With the release of VLC 3.0, it enables hardware decoding by default to 4K and 8K playback. However, the video quality is determined by your hardware too.


This piece of troubleshooting has talked about how to fix the VLC is unable to open the MRL error when playing DVDs, Blu-ray discs, YouTube videos, or local media files. You can read our introduction and solutions to get rid of the error quickly. AVAide Blu-ray Player is the ultimate solution to fix the problem. If you have other questions about this topic, please feel free to leave a message below.

By Bryan Simmonds on Aug 23, 2023

Full-featured multimedia player to play Blu-rays, DVDs, 4K UHDs, and other video/audio files.

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