- If you search for the best Windows video player on the Internet, you’ll end up with a long list of options.
- Some of these players lack codecs, while others are plagued by bugs, performance lags, and poor UI.
- So, we decided to put to test all the best video players available in the market! Guess what we found?
10 Best Free Video Player Software
How We Tested? We evaluated each free video player software for video quality, codec support, features, performance and ease of use on our test system running Windows 10. We then obtained data from trusted sources to come up with the top free video player applications for Windows to download.
A great-looking, powerful video player that can play any file format you throw at it. Once you install PotPlayer, there is a high probability that you’ll get hooked to it.
- Largest built-in codecs enable you to play almost any media format. Can even play damaged or incomplete video files.
- It uses hardware acceleration through a variety of methods including DXVA, CUDA, and QuickSync to get you the best possible performance.
- The video and audio playback quality of PotPlayer is nothing short of stunning.
- Plays 3D videos giving you an immersive viewing experience as found in the movie theater.
- You also get a variety of video controls. Meddle with picture properties, sharpen the quality of the video, apply filters and more.
- You can customize the look of the app to your liking. Bookmark your favorite scene or chapter.
- Works with various subtitle formats. Supports subtitles delay adjustment and other tweaks. It can also download subtitles from the Internet.
- Preview scene on playback, live streaming, screen recording tool, built-in keyboard shortcuts, hotkeys and more.
- The overwhelming settings menu can be challenging!
- At times, the installer bundles unwanted software.
Something of a rising star, 5KPlayer has earned itself a dedicated following, with users clearly appreciating its excellent features.
- Can seamlessly play 4K, 8K UHD, 3D, VR 360 degree videos and more.
- Uses CPU and GPU based hardware acceleration to offer visually appealing video playback.
- The unique built-in DLNA and AirPlay support can wirelessly stream music and videos to compatible devices effortlessly.
- There are plenty of playback controls to tweak the look and sound of your media.
- It supports 8 Channels Audio System, multi-channel DTS Surround Sound, Dolby and more. This makes your movie watching just like seated in Theatre.
- 5KPlayer lets you watch online videos from YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Facebook, Instagram and over 300 other video sharing sites.
- You can even download the videos from the above sites for offline playback later on. There is also a screen recording utility and an audio converter.
- It has a built-in radio player that can receive satellite radio like BBC, Heart, Capital, Gold, etc.
- Shows advertisements that can be annoying.
- The user interface can be better organized.
- Not very configurable.
3. VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is a name that pops up time and again when you talk about the best free video players for Windows PC, and for good reason. It is free, open-source and plays pretty much every single media format out there.
- This impressively powerful program has a user-friendly interface and easy controls.
- Rich built-in codecs can play everything from 8K formats to 360-degree videos. Also, it can play broken or half-downloaded files without troubles.
- The sheer diversity of tools and customization elements it brings to the table are seemingly unrivaled.
- Video and audio filters, graphic equalizer with multiple presets, special effects, subtitle synchronization and support, audio sync, and a bunch of other features.
- Plugins/extensions can be used to expand the capabilities of VLC even further.
- Capable of playing Internet radio, and a large number of both video and audio streaming protocols.
- Has Google Chromecast support, media converter, keyboard shortcuts and screen recording tools.
- Interestingly, with VLC, you can set a video as your desktop wallpaper.
- User interface feels very basic.
- Performance issues when playing large-sized files.
4. Media Player Classic – Black Edition
It is a lightweight video player that supports most modern video file formats. Media Player Classic – Black Edition is based on the original ‘Media Player Classic’ project but contains additional features and bug fixes.
- Well capable of playing most of the video formats including Blu-ray, DVD, HEVC and others.
- MPC-BE has a modern design sense with an easy-to-use interface.
- Offers lots of customization and personalization options. You can choose the preferred rendered settings, presentation, color management, GPU control and more.
- Comes with support for almost all types of subtitles. Also, it’s capable of moving subtitles during the playback.
- The seek bar supports thumbnail preview and chapters marker.
- MPC-BE can play YouTube videos by default, with no user required settings whatsoever.
- Nearly all the functions in this video player have hotkey assignment support.
- The player is light on your system resources and has a fast startup.
- A few minor quibbles while playing large files.
This makes it a great choice for anyone who loves high definition videos and wants to be able to play them back using software that looks great, has a full set of easy-to-use controls, and provides a smooth playback.
- Splash lives up to the expectations of users and provides an exceptional viewing experience.
- Watch standard and high definition videos like never before. Enjoy smooth motion, crisp details and vivid colors.
- It takes advantage of the latest hardware acceleration technologies to provide superior performance.
- The sleek, stylish and innovative interface provides for the best user experience. You can change the interface color to match your preferences.
- The video player has basic adjustable settings. Has a decent media converter.
- Supports all popular subtitle formats. You can quickly adjust the subtitle font type, font size, color and position.
- Smart seek is designed to find specific movie scenes without interrupting video playback.
- The EcoMode feature allows you to use Splash on a laptop by saving battery as much as possible.
- Doesn’t support some video formats.
- Has trouble handling large files.
- Not very customizable.
6. Kodi – An award-winning media player and entertainment hub. It allows you to easily browse and play videos, podcasts, and music from a hard drive, optical disc, local network, and the Internet.
7. MPV – If almost endless customization excites you, the MPV is one piece of software to take a look at. It is a free, open-source, and cross-platform media player that can play any video file format available today.
8. KMPlayer – It has been around since the late 90s, which makes it one of the oldest and most mature video players around. It provides high-quality video playback with minimal desktop footprint.
9. SMPlayer – Is a free media player for Windows with built-in codecs that can play virtually all video and audio formats. With SMPlayer, you will not need any additional external codecs. Also, it remembers the settings of all files you play.
10. CnX Media Player – A Microsoft Certified video player aided by Intel based Hardware Acceleration technology. It supports all popular codecs like HEVC, VP9, H.264 and more. It has an impressive user interface along with easy controls and gestures.
Now that you have the best video player for Windows, what will you binge-watch?
Also, if you think that we may have missed some other great video players, feel free to drop us a comment and we will check it out.