So, you have been facing this issue of VLC Error “Unable to Open MRL File” and didn’t find any solution still? Guess what? You have definitely come to the right place and at the right time with the right man out there. Hello and a warm welcome to this mindful and educative post. Here, I will help you resolve this issue, once and for all. So, without further slithering away any more moment, let’s get started with the topic right away! Here we go, then!

Have you experienced a VLC media player error where you can not open an MRL file? Are you trying to access a remote file in your VLC player but can not? This article will address why your VLC player is displaying the error and what are the quick and easy ways to fix it.

VLC Error “Unable To Open MRL File”

VLC is a free open-source application from VideoLAN. It is one of the most popular media players today as it supports many audio and video compression methods. Although VLC player is a solid software, sometimes it may encounter certain issues that cause a lot of frustration to users. But, do not worry, we have some solutions for you. But, before that, let’s first discuss the reasons why such an error comes up.

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Some background on the VLC error “MRL cannot be opened”

VLC users report the error when they try to access a file that is located on one of the following drives such as a local device/drive, or say an external storage device or even another network/website. In such cases, the error displays the following message, followed by the path of the file that is causing the error. Like, this: “Your input cannot be opened” “VLC cannot open MRL”.

VLC Error Unable To Open MRL File

What are the reasons for the VLC Unable To Open MRL error message?

The VLC media player can show you the error for many reasons which can be:

  • An internal firewall blockage.
  • Problems with the content host located in a remote location.
  • Corrupted VLC installation.
  • VLC is missing updates
  • The MRL file does not have the correct permissions.

Fix —> VLC Error “Unable To Open MRL File”

In this section, we will take a look at the best solutions to resolve the issue. So, let’s start right away!

Check that the media source is working

Here is what you need to do:

  • Open the VLC player and click “Media” —> “Network Stream”
  • Thereafter, select the URL where the error occurs, right-click it and then click Copy.
  • Now, launch your web browser.
  • Next, go to the address bar, and paste the above URL ad press the Enter key.
  • If you can not access the URL, it indicates a problem with the streaming server itself or the URL is incorrect.
  • In such a case, try using another working URL.
  • That’s it! Enjoy:)

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Update the VLC media player

Sometimes, a VLC media player without the necessary updates can be the cause of the error. Therefore, you should always check if you are using the latest version of the software. Here’s what you got to do:

  • Launch the VLC media player application.
  • Next, click on “Help” —> “Check for Updates”.
  • Now, if updates are available, click Yes.
  • Thereafter, proceed with the instructions and complete the process.
  • Next, restart your system.
  • Finally, launch the VLC player again and verify if the issue has resolved.
  • Hurray! Enjoy 🙂

Allow VLC through Media Defender firewall

In most cases, the cause of VLC not being able to open MRL is due to your computer’s firewall settings. Third-party firewalls can block the important VLC ports needed for successful streaming of the remote source. To allow VLC through a Media Defender firewall:

  • Open the Start menu and type “Allow an application through Windows Firewall” in the search bar and press Enter.
  • Now, click on “Change Settings” —> “Allow another application” —-> “Browse”.
  • Thereafter, navigate to the destination folder of VLC Media Player.
  • Next, select the VLC.exe file –> “Open” —> “Add”
  • Now, select “Private” and “Public” next to VLC —> “OK”
  • Thereafter, try to open the remote file and check if it works now.
  • Alternatively, you can completely disable your firewall and antivirus and reload the file on your VLC player to solve the problem as well.
  • That’s it! Enjoy:)
VLC Error Unable To Open MRL File

​File ownership claim

Some users were able to fix the “VLC cannot open MRL” error by claiming ownership of the media files. So, here’s what you need to do:

  • Right-click the file causing the “VLC cannot open MRL” error and click Properties
  • Thereafter, navigate to the “Security” (in “Properties” menu) –> “Adanced”.
  • Now, click the “Change” next to the owner information
  • Thereafter, click “Advanced” —> “Search Now” —> “Administrator” —> “OK” —> “OK”
  • Now, in the Advanced Security Settings window, click Apply and then click “OK” to close Windows Security Settings
  • Thereafter, in the Properties window click “Edit” —> “Administrators”
  • Now, clear all check boxes for each permission entry in the Deny column
  • Click Apply and OK
  • That’s it!
  • Now, you can try opening your media file and enjoy streaming 🙂

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Reinstall VLC Media Player

If all the above solutions failed to solve the problem, you can uninstall VLC Media Player from your computer and install a new copy from the VLC website. This is how you perform a fresh installation:

  • Right-click the Start menu button and then click Apps and Features
  • Locate VLC Media Player, select the application, and click Uninstall
  • Select the Clear settings and cache checkbox and click Uninstall
  • Open your browser and download VLC media player from here.
  • Thereafter, follow the instructions and complete the installation process.
  • Re-open the file that is stored in a remote location and is causing the error. Check if reinstalling VLC has fixed the error.
  • That’s it! Enjoy 🙂
VLC Error "Unable To Open MRL File"


By now, you know that VLC Media Player is a great software for streaming videos. But, sometimes you may have to face issues. But, I hope you can tide over such a crisis as you now have some solutions up your sleeve. So, what are you waiting for? The next time, you face an issue such as the one we discussed here, implement the solutions that I have shared and surely we will be successful in resolving the issue. On that note, until the next, see ya!! Good bye!!

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