To view some types of video files on a computer, for example, those recorded on Apple mobile devices, the operating system must have the HEVC codec for Windows 10 / 11. Unfortunately, native support for this codec has been removed from the OS starting with Windows 10 version 1709.
To solve this situation, you need to download and install the HEVC codec on a computer running the Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system. The HEVC codec can be obtained from the Microsoft Store (Microsoft Store), but, unfortunately, it is by no means free.
We will try to solve this problem to install HEVC for free on Windows 11 or Windows 10 operating system.
HEVC – what is this format
The HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) format has another name – H.265 / MPEG-H Part 2. This format replaces the previous one – H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC. The H.265 compression format supports frame resolutions up to 8K (UHDTV).
The format files have several file name extensions: “*.h265”, “*.265”.
Compared to the previous format, H.265 provides higher video compression at the same quality level. The video file will be smaller, which is very important when using resolutions like 4K and Ultra HD.
When saving videos with high quality resolutions, the files are large. Using the HEVC format will significantly reduce the size of the video file.
To view H.265 video on a computer, you must have HEVC codec support so that this format can be played using a multimedia player.
To play video in HEVC format, you must have the H.265 codec, with which this format is read on a PC.
The H.265 codec can be used on a computer in two ways:
- Installing the HEVC codec into the operating system using the appropriate application.
- Using the HEVC codec built into the media player.
In the first case, you need to install the H.265 video codec on your computer, after which multimedia players will be able to play video files in HEVC format.
In the second option, the HEVC video format will be played in the corresponding multimedia player using the embedded data.
In this article, we will look at several options that you can use to add video format support: download the HEVC codec for Windows 10 / 11, install a set of codecs on your PC, use a multimedia player with a built-in set of codecs.
How to download free HEVC codec for Windows 10 / 11 – 1 way
In Windows 10 or Windows 11, many users use built-in applications to play video and audio files. In order for you to be able to open H.265 files, you need to download and install the HEVC codec on your computer.
System Requirements for Device Manufacturer HEVC Video Extensions:
- Operating system Windows 10 version 16299.0 or later.
- Architecture support: ARM, x64, x86.
By default, Microsoft offers to buy an application for $0.99 that adds support for the desired codec to the operating system. The store has a developer version of the app: https://www.microsoft.com/ru-ru/p/hevc-video-extensions-from-device-manufacturer/9n4wgh0z6vhq , but it will become available to the user only after entering the activation code.
But, we need to download the HEVC codec for free. To get the free HEVC codec for Windows 10/11, follow these steps:
- Run command prompt as administrator.
- In the shell window, add the suggested code, and then press the “Enter” key:
- The “Microsoft Store” application window will open on the desktop, on the “device manufacturer’s HEVC video extensions” page.
- To download HEVC (H.265) codec on PC, click on the “Install” button.
- The application is downloaded in the background and installed on the computer.
- Click on the “Open” button and then close the Windows Store window.
How to download HEVC for Windows – 2 way
You can get the HEVC extension for free with an alternative download method. We will use the online link generator for the Microsoft Store at rg-adguard.net.
Go through the steps:
- Open the store.rg-adguard.net website page: https://store.rg-adguard.net/ .
- In the “URL (link)” field, paste this link:
- Then click on the checkbox button.
- The page displays generated links for downloading applications.
- Select a link like “Microsoft.HEVCVideoExtension” with version number, bit depth “x86” or “x64”, extension “appx” to download this file to your computer.
- If your browser prevents you from saving the file, allow it to be downloaded to your computer.
- Run the installation of the “Microsoft.HEVCVideoExtension0.42701.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.Appx” file (the latest application version number may differ from this) on your computer by clicking on the “Install” button.
Once the HEVC extension for Windows is installed, you can open the appropriate video file using Windows Media Player.
When you start the video file, a warning window will open, in which you need to click on the “Yes” button. To prevent the warning from appearing again, check the box next to “Don’t ask me about this extension again.”
Installing a codec pack that includes HEVC
To view H.265 video on a computer, it is not necessary to install a special extension for the operating system. You can install HEVC as part of a codec pack.
K-Lite Codec Pack is quite suitable, for example, you can download the most complete version – K-Lite Mega Codec Pack from the official website: https://codecguide.com/download_k-lite_codec_pack_mega.htm .
Together with the codec package, the Media Player Classic Home Cinema multimedia player will be installed on the computer, in which you can start playing video in H.265 format.
Multimedia player with built-in codecs
Another option is to install a media player with built-in codecs on your PC. In this case, you do not need to install HEVC on your computer, because the player supports this codec out of the box.
Install VLC media player from VideoLAN on your device. VLC media player will open the video in H.265 format.
You can use another similar program on your computer: The KMPlayer, PotPlayer, and so on, which comes with built-in codecs that include the HEVC codec.
Some users may have difficulty opening H.285 (HEVC) video files on their PC. Native support for HEVC has been disabled in the Windows operating system, so users need to install HEVC video extensions on their computer on their own. You can download and install the corresponding application for free from the Microsoft Store, or use alternative options to open this type of file on your device.