As the next-generation video compression format, H.264 video has been used in high definition systems such as HDTV, Blu-ray and HD DVD as well as low resolution portable devices such as Sony's PSP and Apple's iPod. H.264 offers better quality at lower file sizes than both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 ASP (DivX or XviD). In this post, we would like to show you 3 ways to play H.264 video files on your computer: install H.264 player codec, use free H.264 file player, and decode H.264 video.

Solution 1: Install H.264 Player Codec

A video codec pack could be an all-inclusive solution for you to play all videos in different formats on your computer. The only problem is that you need to take use of the right codec pack. This happens to H.264 video playback as well. You could download and install H.264 player codec for your media player so as to turn your media player into a H.264 file format player and play H.264 files with ease.


There are a lot of H.264 player codec pack tools you could use for turning your player for H.264 format like MainConcept SDKs, Divx H.264 Decoder, DivX Codec, ffdshow, etc. All of these H.264 player codec packs could help you decode H.264 videos and make it possible to play H.264 format on your computer's default media player.

The only thing you need to attention is that you should choose an ads-free H.264 player codec pack, and pay attention to the computer security.

Solution 2: 5 Free H.264 Players

Besides installing H.264 player codec, adopting 3rd-party H.264 video player would also be a good choice to play H.264 video files. H.264 format video player refers to those media players that could recognize H.264 video codec and play H.264 video without quality loss. The below are 5 best H.264 player software, some of which are free H.264 video players.

1. Leawo Free Blu-ray Player

Leawo Free Blu-ray Player is an all-inclusive movie player freeware that could play back all kinds of movies, like Blu-ray, DVD, 4K movies, 1080P videos, ISO image file and even movie audios. As an all-inclusive media player combo, Leawo Free Blu-ray Player could act as H.264 player to read and play H.264 video files for totally free, without any loss of quality. What's more, it is a region free Blu-ray player software program, which means it could play Blu-ray and DVD discs of all regions and different disc protections for totally free. Besides these, this free H.264 video player could also play DVD disc, HD video (up to 4K), audio and ISO image files for free.

Free Movie Player

Leawo Free Blu-ray Player 

☉ 100% free movie player for Mac users to play Ultra HD 4K, 1080P and 720P video for free.

☉ Free Blu-ray disc player to play 4K Blu-ray disc and 1080P Blu-ray disc, regardless of disc protection and region code.

☉ Support multiple audio decoding systems like Dolby, DTS, AAC, TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc.

☉ Adjust subtitles, video and audio during media playback.

2. VLC Media Player

VLC is a renowned media player that works with most multimedia files and DVDs, audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. VLC is so well respected that it's the go to media player for downloads that won't play in its commercial counterparts. It is also a compelling server that streams live and on-demand video, through both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols, on a high-bandwidth network. Acting as free H.264 video player, VLC media player could also deliver extraordinary movie playback experience. What's more, it has multiple versions for diverse platforms like iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, etc.

VLC Media Player

3. Media Player Lite

MediaPlayerLite – the best Free H264 video player software. It supports MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 playback. Media Player Lite is capable of VCD, SVCD and DVD playback, without needing any codecs. Play and open WAV, WMA, MP3, OGG, SND, AU, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, MIDI, MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB, AC3, DTS, ASX, M3U, PLS, WAX, ASF, WM, WMA, WMV, AVI, CDA, JPEG, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, D2V, MP4, SWF, MOV, QT, FLV files. MPL also supports H.264 DivX, XviD and Flash Video without need of installing codec.

Media Player Lite

4. MW MPlayer

MW MPlayer is a all-in-one media player classic which tries to provide the best media experience. Mwplayer is an open source multimedia player and framework based on mpui code , which plays most multimedia files, DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. MW media player is simple, fast, and powerful. It plays everything, files, discs, webcams, devices, and streams. MW media player plays most codecs (MPEG-2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3, etc.) so no codec packs are needed. It runs on all at glance without the need to install anything.Its an easy to use player that allows you to create,download or save videos from or any tube site with the help of an integreated video downloader.

MW MPlayer

5. QuickTime Player

Apple has already officially adopted H.264 as the format for QuickTime.
This means that QuickTIme player could act as a totally free H.264 player for you to play H.264 video files. The most important thing is that QuickTime player is the default media player of Apple's Mac computer. Therefore you don't need to download and install other H.264 video players. But you still have to do the downloading and installation work if you're using a Windows computer.

QuickTime Player

Solution 3: Decode H.264 Video for Playback

Since H.264 video files are with H.264 codec, which offers higher quality compression of video content at less storage, therefore you could decode H.264 video or uncompress H.264 video for playback, though it might result in large capacity occupation.

Leawo Video Converter is a top-rated H.264 video decoder for you to decode H.264 video to videos with other codecs that are friendly with your default media player. With this H.264 video decoder, you could easily play H.264 video on your computer.


Video Converter 

☉ Convert video and audio between 180+ formats.

☉ Convert HD video up to 4K without quality loss.

☉ Trim, Crop, Effect, Watermark to edit video.

☉ Support 2D to 3D conversion in 6 3D effects.

☉ Add external subtitle and select audio channel.

Download and install Leawo Video Converter on your computer (Mac users please download the Mac version). Get source H.264 videos ready and follow the below steps to convert H.264 video for free playback.

Step 1: Add H.264 videos

After you launch Leawo Video Converter, click "Video Converter" module option. You'll be guided to the "Convert" tab, on which you click the "Add Video" button to browse and add H.264 video(s). You could also directly drag and drop source H.264 videos into the "Convert" module.

Add Blu-ray disc

Step 2: Set output format

Click the drop-down box next to the "Add Photo" button and then select "Change" option to set output format. Open the "Format" tab and then select a video format according to your media player.

Set output format


  1. To decode H.264 video, click the "Pen" editing icon on the profile you select on the "Profile" panel to enter the "Profile Settings" panel. Then, under the "Video Codec" box, select a video codec like MPEG-4.

Step 3: Set output directory

After setting output format, click the big green "Convert" button to set output directory in the "Save to" box.

Set output directory

Step 4: Convert H.264 video

Finally, click the bottom "Convert" button on the sidebar. Leawo Video Converter would start to decode and convert H.264 video to the format you've selected with the codec you've set.

Convert Blu-ray

Once the conversion is finished, you could then load the converted H.264 video file into the media player for playback. However, it should be noted that by decoding, the video quality might be lower and the output video file would be larger than the original H.264 video file.

Leawo Video Converter Demo Video: