How To Fix VLC Unable To Open MRL File Quick and Easy Way

VLC is one of the most popular free media players that is available on several platforms. It supports most of the video and audio compression methods available right now making it the preferred media player by most consumers. Although this is a solid performing software there are instances when certain issues can occur which we will be addressing today. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the VLC is unable to open MRL file issue.

How To Fix VLC is Unable To Open The MRL File

Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below it’s best to restart your computer first. This action refreshes the operating system and remove any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.

This problem usually occurs when you try to stream or play  a media content that is not located on the local computer.  There are several factors that can cause this particular problem ranging from a corrupted media source to an interference from the firewall. Listed below are the recommended troubleshooting steps that you need to do to fix this problem.

Make sure the source media file is working

The first thing you will need to do in this case is to make sure that the source media file is working. You can do this by playing it using other applications. Go to File > Open Network Stream and copy the URL that you’re trying to access from there. Paste the URL in your Chrome browser or another media player. If it doesn’t play then the problem is most likely caused by the source media file.

Turn off the firewall

To eliminate the possibility that the firewall is preventing the access of the media file you will have to turn it off.

  • Press Windows Key + I to open up Settings.
  • Search for “Windows Defender Firewall” and then select “Windows Defender Firewall”.
  • On the left-hand side, click on “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off”.
  • Check the “Turn off Windows Defender Firewall” boxes under both the settings.

Check if the VLC is unable to open MRL file issue still occurs. If it doesn’t then turn on the firewall and add VLC to its exception list.

  • Type Firewall in the search bar then click on the Firewall app that appears.
  • In the resulting Windows Firewall window, click Allow an App  through Windows Firewall.
  • In the Allowed Apps window that appears, click the Change Settings button, and then select the check box for apps on your computer that you want to allow to communicate over the Internet without being stopped by Firewall.
  • Click the Private and Public check box to narrow down whether you want just networks that are secure to allow this communication, or also public and non-secure networks to do so.
  • Click OK and then click the Close button to close the Windows Firewall window.

Turn off the antivirus software

There’s a possibility that the antivirus software of your computer is blocking the source media file from being accessed. To check if this is what’s causing the problem you should try to temporarily disable the antivirus software.

If you are using Windows Security

  • Select Start Settings > Update & Security  – Windows SecurityVirus & threat protection > Manage settings
  • Switch Real-time protection to OFF 

If you are using Avast

  • Search for the Avast icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Avast shields control.
  • Locate the options to disable the program – the options are to disable it for 10 minutes, an hour, until the computer is restarted or permanently (until you yourself turn it back on). Select whatever option suits you best and use it to disable the program.

If you are using AVG

  • Search for the AVG icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Temporarily disable AVG protection.
  • Choose how long you want AVG to be turned off and whether you want AVG to disable its Firewall too.
  • Click on OK to disable the antivirus program.

If you are using McAfee

  • Search for the McAfee Antivirus icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Exit.
  • You should see a dialog box warning you that McAfee‘s protection will be turned off. Click on Yes in this dialog box to disable the antivirus program

Check if the VLC is unable to open MRL file issue still occurs.

Reinstall VLC

There’s a possibility that the problem is caused by a corrupted VLC software. To eliminate this possibility you should uninstall the program from your computer then get the latest version from the official website.

  • Open a new Run box by pressing the Windows key + R. Next, type “appwiz.cpl” and hit Enter to open the Programs and Features window.
  • In Programs and Features, find the VLC media player then right-click on it and choose Uninstall/change.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to remove VLC media player from your system and restart your computer if prompted to do so.
  • Go to and download the latest version of VLC Media Player. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the newest version on your system and restart if needed.

Check if the VLC is unable to open MRL file issue still occurs.

Claim ownership of files

In case the above steps fails to fix the problem then you should try to claim the ownership of the files.

  • Right-click on the file that is opening with the error at hand and choose Properties.
  • In the Properties menu, go to the Security tab and click on the Advanced button associated with Permissions.
  • Click the Change button at the top.
  • In the next box, type “Administrator” in the box associated with Enter the object name to select and hit OK.
  • Next, check the box associated with Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object and click Apply.

Check if the VLC is unable to open MRL file issue still occurs.