VLC is undoubtedly the most popular third-party media player. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its ability to play most codecs. However, those who use VLC know it definitely isn’t perfect. Rather, a well-reported but unresolved error where VLC is unable to open the MRL file.
What is an MRL file?
The concept of MRL (Media Resource Locator) file is specific to the VLC software. Just like URLs for browsers, an MRL file helps in locating the multimedia resource or part of a multimedia resource. The location of the MRL file could be either on the system or the web or a partner system.
VLC is unable to open the MRL file
The VLC is unable to open the MRL file error occurs while trying to play media files that are not locally stored on the system. In case you encounter the error with locally stored files, please comment to let us know.
The error could be caused due to ownership issues, obsolete VLC client, an overprotective Firewall, and incorrect URL source.
- Check whether or not the source URL is working
- Whitelist the source in the Firewall settings or disable the Firewall temporarily
- Claim ownership of the file
- Re-install the VLC client
To resolve this issue, try the following solutions sequentially:
1] Check whether or not the source URL is working
If you are trying to stream media content from a URL source, and the stream isn’t working with the source itself, VLC won’t be able to play it either.
To isolate this cause, click on Media > Open Network Stream.
Now copy the URL under Please Enter a URL and paste it on your browser’s address bar.
Hit Enter to run the URL and check it the media works online. If not, the issue is with the URL and not the VLC player.
2] Whitelist the source in the Firewall settings or disable the Firewall temporarily
The Windows Defender Firewall is known to be overprotective with a lot of websites and applications. If your source is blocked by the Firewall, it may not play with VLC and in such a case, you would encounter the error in the discussion.
3] Take ownership of the file
In case you are trying to play a file stored in a removable disk or external hard drive, you may need to take ownership of the file to counter the error in the discussion. The procedure to do so is as follows:
Right-click on the file and select Properties.
Go to the Security tab and click on Advanced.
Click on Change.
In the Enter the object name to select field, type Administrator and hit Enter. Hit OK.
Now check the box associated with Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object.
Hit Apply and then OK.
4] Re-install the VLC client
The VLC client may be corrupt, especially if you downloaded it from a third-party source. In such a case, please uninstall the VLC client and download it again from the official website.
Hopefully, your issue should be resolved by the time you exhaust these solutions.
TIP: See this post if VLC Media Player is skipping and lagging.