How to Install HEVC Codecs on Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to install HEVC (H.265) codec on Windows 11 to play media files encoded with High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265 video. Out of the box, the official HEVC codes are not included on Windows 11. If you attempt to watch or play video formatted with HEVC in Windows 11, you’ll probably not be a able to.

H.265 (HEVC) codec, is a format that is used for video recording on iPhones and some 4K Blu-ray discs. In fact, iPhones now record video in HEVC format, so it’s becoming really popular.

You can download HEVC codes from Microsoft store, however, it cost $0.99 depending on your region. In other locations, I’m not sure if the price will stay at that.

Alternatively, you can download a popular third-party video player VLC, which includes its own built-in codecs to play HEVC (H.265) videos. If you can’t afford to pay the $0.99 in Microsoft store, simply install VLC.

The new Windows 11 comes with many new features with new user desktop, including centered Start menu and taskbar, rounded corners windows, themes and colors that will make any Windows look and feel modern.

If you’re exited about Windows 11, keep reading our posts on it.

To get started with installing and enable HEVC codes in Windows 11, follow the steps below:

How to download and install HEVC codes on Windows 11

As mentioned above, you may not be able to play videos recorded on iPhones and some 4K UHD Blu-rays devices on Windows 11. That’s because Windows 11 is missing essential codes that are responsible for playing these media formatted in HEVC or H.265.

In order to watch these videos, you must download and install the required codecs which are available from Microsoft store for $0.99 depending on your location.

To install the official HEVC video extensions, simply open the Microsoft Store by clicking on the button on the Taskbar.

Then use the search box to search for HEVC Video Extensions as highlighted below. Then select the app as shown for $0.99.

You’ll need a Microsoft account with credit card attached. Sign into your Microsoft account.

Then with your credit card, click Buy.

After that, you’ll be able to play videos with HEVC codes in Windows any any video apps.

How to install HEVC codecs free on Windows 11

If you can’t afford to get the official codes from Microsoft store, simply install a popular third-party video player VLC, which includes its own built-in codecs to play HEVC (H.265) videos. Install VLC if you don’t want to be bother with signing up for Microsoft account or attaching your credit card to anything in Microsoft store.

To go VLC download page for Windows platform below.

Download official VLC media player for Windows – VideoLAN

Download and install and you’ll be able to play HEVC videos on your Windows 11 systems.

Once you have installed VLC, set it as your default media player.

By the way, you can also install support for the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) from the Microsoft Store. This image format is also becoming popular, too. iPhones now take photos in HEIF by default, and you’ll need HEIF extensions installed on Windows to view photos taken on an iPhone device.


This post showed you how to install HEVC codes on Windows 11. If you find any error above, or have anything to add, please use the comment form below.