How To Play H.264 Files on Windows 10

how to play h264 files on windows 10

Each different video format has different uses, including the H264 file format, which some people find uncommon and difficult to open. Here’s how to play H.264 files on Windows 10 (and what it is).

What are H.264 files?

H.264 is actually a video codec with the purpose to reduce video size while providing the same quality as the original, just like any codec out there. It’s also called “Advanced Video Coding” or MPEG-4 Part 10 with a container file format usually .MP4, although it can be .MKV or .AVI as well.

Windows 10 and other operating systems normally are able to play H.264 video codec with supported common video formats like MP4 because the codec is just common. But what they normally can’t is to play .H264 file formats.

.H264 file formats are simply video encoded with H.264 codec but are rarely used like BUP files are. But if you find this file type and want to play or open it, you can do that easily on Windows 10.

How to play H.264 files on Windows 10

You can certainly play videos encoded with H.264 codec with MP4 or MKV formats using most video players, including Windows 10’s Movies & TV and VLC.

But to play H.264 codec on .H264 file format, VLC is commonly used for that purpose. VLC is the media player that can play .H264 effortlessly. It’s free to download and install.

Download VLC Media Player

Install the app. Open the app. Select Tools. Select Preferences.

vlc player tools preferences h264 video codec

At the bottom, there is the Show settings label. Select All below that label.

show settings all

Here, select Input / Codecs, and you should see Demuxers inside it. Select Demuxers, and on the right side, you are going to see the Demux module. Select H264 video demuxer. Select Save.

demuxer h264

Now, it’s simple, open the .H264 video format you want to play. VLC is going to instantly play it without a problem.


While .H264 is a rare file format/extension, opening or playing it is actually effortless, especially with the VLC media player, which is free to download and use on Windows 10.

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