In various occurrences, you will get a “Your input can’t be opened” alert with a message saying, “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” when you try to play media with VLC Media Player. It happens because VLC is blocked unintentionally or intentionally for some reason. In most cases, this error results from the fact that the media source is preventing VLC from accessing it because of unqualified authority.

In this article, I will talk about the two largest probability situations that we encounter usually. The first one is when we are trying to play encrypted Blu-ray content or DVDs. And, the other is when we are trying to play some media file or stream a video that is not physically located on our local computer.

For playing Blu-ray/DVD, you get an error in a phrase like:
vlc is unable to open the mrl ‘bluray:///d:/’. check the log for details.” or “vlc is unable to open the MRL ‘dvd:///d:/’. check the log for details.

For playing an online file with a URL like a YouTube URL, you get an error in a phrase like:
vlc is unable to open the MRL ‘https://sampleurl’. check the log for details.

So in the following guide list, choose the situation that you are in, and we will help you to fix all your problems.

Part 1 What Is A “VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL” Error

To get rid of this error completely from this computer using VLC, we must get to know this error. To begin with, we will take a look at the source MRL file

What is an MRL file?

An MRL file (Media Resource Locator) serves as a guide to lead VLC to the file you want VLC to play. It’s a string of special characters that are mostly invisible on VLC and the computer. We can’t find or see it but it’s there.

VLC Can't Find MRL

Every time we copy and paste down a URL on VLC to let the media player stream an online video or insert a commercial DVD/Blu-ray, the MRL file will come into effect. It helps VLC to locate the file from the Internet or the external disc and then, stream the content.

Once you see the “VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL” notification on VLC, this means your computer or VLC fails to play the target video because of the incapability to open or find the MRL file. And what causes this? Let’s read on.

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Part 2 What Causes A “VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL” Error

Multiple reasons will make VLC fail to open the MRL file. In general, there are two major reasons:

  • The preferences of VLC to open the MRL are changed or blocked by the firewall settings and other system settings on your PC;
  • The MRL file is missing because the target URL, disc, or media file is damaged.

To warp up, either VLC loses the capability to open the MRL or the MRL is missing.

So, the fixings are clear: reset the VLC settings or find the MRL again.

A Quick Test to “VLC Is Unable to Open the MRL” Error

To stream the video on your computer, we need to fix this VLC failure. Before we move to any practical solutions, you need to make sure the source video works 100% fine.

  • If the input is from a DVD or Blu-ray disc, try to play the disc on the TV or another computer;
  • If the input is a URL from YouTube or other websites, launch the URL on the browser and stream the video directly.

Part 3 Fix “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” When Playing Blu-ray/DVD

All commercial Blu-ray or DVD contents are DRM-protected. They have BD+/3D BD+, AACS MKB v26, and AACS bus encryption, Region Code, BD-Live, and UOPs for Blu-ray. When you have problems playing AACS-protected Blu-ray contents, you may be prompted with a “No valid processing key found in AACS config file on VLC” message. While, if the protection type is others you may not get such specific instruction. You may only get a “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL…” alert.

So, what we can do when you encounter this issue? I have three solutions here for you:

/1 Use an alternative to VLC for playing Blu-ray/DVD

As we aforementioned, VLC doesn’t have valid access to commercial-encrypted Blu-ray discs or DVDs due to copyright restrictions, which makes VLC not a wise choice for playing Blu-ray or DVDs. My advice here is a powerful Blu-ray Player that can bypass all obstacles and bring the video before your sight. With the sophisticated and long-term developed technologies, This Blu-ray Player can play Blu-ray discs, Blu-ray folders, Blu-ray ISO image files, DVD discs, DVD folders, and DVD ISO image files with/without encryption-protection including AACS, BD+, MKB, Cinavia, Region Code Restriction, and CSS (for DVD). And you have to know that if you want to watch Blu-ray disc movies on your computer then a Blu-ray Player software is a must.

Follow my lead and go through the simple steps of using it to play Blu-ray/DVD without error “vlc is unable to open the MRL ‘bluray:///d:/[dvd:///d:/]” like on VLC. I will take playing Blu-ray disc for instance.

Step 1 Install this Blu-ray Player on your computer.

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Step 2 Slot a Blu-ray disc into the Blu-ray drive (it is a sine qua non of reading Blu-ray disc).

Step 3 After the installation, the Blu-ray Player must be launched already, if it is not, double-click on its icon to open it. In the middle of the window, click Open Disc, select the disc, and Click OK.

Play Blu-ray with Blu-ray Player instead of VLC

Step 4 The menu of the disc will be displayed, select a title that you want to watch.

Yes, it is easy-going for users, unlike VLC. Just make yourself comfortable and enjoy your HD videos.

/2 Rip the BD/DVD content to MP4 video

Already have your own favorite player and don’t want to switch to another since adopting a new habit for you is not good? It makes sense, ‘cause people like VLC, KMplayer, PotPlayer, Media Player Classic, or Quicktime on Mac. We are familiar with it and know how to change subtitles, full screen, change audio track without even thinking, so, I can totally understand that you don’t want to download another player on your computer. But, the player you are using could not play the Blu-ray disc, How to deal with it? Don’t panic, the answer is to rip the Blu-ray disc movie to protection-free digital video files like MP4 or MKV.

How can you do that? Please read the steps below, you will get the Blu-ray movie played on your favorite player.

Step 1 Install Prof. Media on your computer.

Step 2 Insert the Blu-ray disc into the Blu-ray drive connected to your computer.

Step 3 Load the disc into the program, you can move to the Convert tab and click Add Blu-ray/DVD.

Step 4 Select the longest title that is listed after the disc is fully loaded, and click MP4 Video to configure the output video settings. I will say MP4 and MKV will be the choice of the most.

Rip Blu-ray disc <Speed Racer> and Play it on VLC

Step 5 Click the Convert button to start ripping.

Step 6 Locate the ripped video and play it with any player that you like.

Note: this tool supports to rip DVD.

Part 4 Fix “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” When Opening Network Stream

You’ll see this “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” error if VLC Media Player fails to access the remote streaming video source that you put it. Two main causes should be blamed for this, one is the firewall on your computer blocks access from VLC to the stream file, and the other is the source stream provider does not allow you to access the video through 3rd party tool. Let’s see how we can fix it.

Before we do anything else, we have to verify the true reason for this error, firewall, or source restriction. It is easy to do that, below is a link (MRL) to a remote streaming video that has been checked by me and is fully accessible by VLC.

Just launch VLC, move to the Media menu, click Open Network Stream, and paste the MRL into the URL box. And click Play. If you can play it, that means the cause is the URL that you use, you can try to download it instead of playing directly with VLC. If you can’t play it, that means the cause is the firework, you have to change the overprotective settings.

/1 Fix “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” by Change Firewall Setting

Windows 10 and Windows Defender Firewall are exemplary. If you have installed other firewalls for your Windows, please follow the official guide to tweak the settings. For Windows 10 built-in firewall, please follow the steps below.

Tip:Turning off the firewall is never recommended. This will put your machine in danger of bugs and malware. So, let’s make VLC trusted by your computer firewall. This is much safer and works the same.

Step 1 Activate the Search feature on your Windows and enter “Control Panel”. Hit on the icon to open the panel.

Then, click on System and SecurityAllow an app through Windows Firewall.

Enter Firewall Settings on Windows

Step 2 In the Allowed apps window, click Change settings to start your settings. Then locate the VLC Media Player in the list. Put a tick in the box before VLC media player and check the boxes of Private and Public.

Add VLC to the Allow app list for communicating through Firewall

Note: If you can not see the VLC media player in the list, click Allow another app at the bottom of the box and click Browse to locate VLC.

add VLC to allow list

Step 3 Save the change and re-launch VLC again.

By the way, VLC will also be restricted by third-party firewalls. So, if you have installed third-party antivirus like Avast or McAfee on your computer like McAfee, AVG, or Avast, try to disable it for a while and run VLC for the streaming.

/2 Fix “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” By Download the Video to Local with Video Downloader

As we said before, if the stream sources disallow the VLC connection, then you would not be able to play it, like YouTube does. To deal with that kind of problem, you have to download the videos with an online video downloader. Then you can play it locally just like play any other local media file, it is not unique anymore.

Step 1 Click the button below on your PC and install iTubeGo video downloader.

Step 2 Go to the Download module, and paste the URL into the address bar. The program will analyze the page and list all video files that you can download from this page on the left pane, if you cannot see the pane, just click on the little green right-arrow button on the left margin.

Downlad YouTube Video instead of play on VLC as Network Stream

Step 3 Click the download icon on the items that you want. When downloading videos from YouTube, you have to wait a while and let the video play for seconds on the minute so that the program can detect it.

Ok, these are all the solutions that we want to share with you guys, hope this article will help and get rid of “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL”.

/3 Fix “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” By Adding LUA File

Officially, YouTube and Google don’t recommend streaming YouTube videos on VLC. They don’t make the videos compatible with VLC. But for personal users, VLC does give us more possibilities including downloading the videos.

To make the streaming work, some geeks work out this LUA file for VLC to give it the power to decrypt and play copy-protected YouTube videos.

What we need to do is to download this LUA file and add it to VLC. Check this out:

Step 1:

Go to GitHub and download the LUA file for YouTube via the Download Raw File button.

Step 2:

Locate the VLC app on your computer and right-click on it. Choose Open File Location to locate VLC on the Windows File Explorer.

Then, open the lua folder and then the playlist.

Step 3:

Now, copy and paste the youtube.lua file into the playlist folder. Then, delete the old youtube.luac file from the playlist folder.

Update VLC MRL

You can consider this as an update for the VLC database to play YouTube videos. You can now paste the URL on VLC and play the YouTube video.

Blu-ray Player

Ultimate Blu-ray Player

Best All-in-one Blu-ray, DVD, and Media Player Software

  • One-click Play Blu-ray disc, BD Folder, & BD ISO
  • Decrypt DRMs like BD+, AACS, Cinavia, etc
  • Supports 3D, 4K UHD, 8K, AVCHD, and more

*Works on Windows 11 & macOS Ventura