How To Play Bluray Disks In VLC

VLC is hands down my go-to-player for all types of media as it is regularly updated and has a ton of various different things that you can do with the versatile player. The one thing though that has always been missing from it though, is the ability to play bluray disks. However, there is a way to get VLC to play blurays, but it will take a few tweaks and adding of files. The process is pretty simple and shouldn’t take too long. Below is the step-by-step process to get you watching blurays in VLC.

Firstly, please note that I am using the 64-bit version of VLC as my OS (Win 7 Ultimate) is 64-bit. This will also hopefully work with 32-bit versions of Windows, Mac OS and Linux (32 and 64-bit) For all other OS versions (that aren’t Win 7 64-bit) then please find the instruction here. The reason that I am doing this step-by-step tutorial is that the official instructions really weren’t that clear.

Firstly, download the experimental 64-bit version of VLC and install it. If you are not running a 64-bit version, then download the correct version for your OS.

Next, download the Keys Database (KEYDB.cfg) and place it in %APPDATA%/aacs You may find that you get an error when trying to access this path, so instead just remove the /aacs part and amend to %APPDATA% instead.  If you are unsure as to get to APPDATA, then hit Windows Key+R and enter %APPDATA% then hit OK.

Once you are at %APPDATA% , you will need to create a folder called aacs as it probably doesn’t exist. It didn’t for me so I created it. Just right-click somewhere in the window and go New>Folder and call it aacs. Now place the KEYDB.cfg file that you downloaded from and place it in the aacs folder.

In the example below you will note that there is also a file called vuk. This is something that VLC creates later, so you won’t see it initially.

Next you need to download another files called libaacs.dll from the same place as above. You need to place this file in your VLC programs folder that can be found here:

C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC

Note that if you are using a 32-bit version of VLC then your programs path will be C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC

Windows 7 will probably give you a message saying access is denied and you will require admin permission to move this file into the folder. Just click Continue.

That’s the main part done. Now you need to open up VLC. Go Media>Open Disk (or just hit CTRL+D)

In the next window, check the bluray radio button (the No disk menus box is checked automatically, so leave it checked). Now just hit Play.

Being that this is a bluray that you are playing, it may take a few seconds for your bluray drive to scan the disk as there is a lot of data to be read. Just leave it alone, and VLC will then play your bluray when it’s ready. Took approx 20 seconds for my blurays to load then play.

I have tried this method out myself and it does work on a lot of bluray disks out there. The latest film that I was able to play via VLC using this method was the new Star Trek bluray. Note that VLC can play most blurays, but it will have its limitations especially with certain types of CSS/AACS encryption methods, or newer varieties like the one on Prometheus.

I was unable to watch the Prometheus bluray though as this has a new form of protection on it which hasn’t been dealt with yet.

Hope that helps.

Hat tip to jjroller and BVKnight on the VLC forums

  • Anonymous

    Cool, and THANKS! You’re the only one that pulled it all together in a straightforward manner. jrd

    • thegift73

      Thank you. Glad it helped.

  • Sebastian

    Thanks for the tutorial. Worked like a charm on some blurays

  • Nathan

    Sadly I get an entire string of errors. The list is so long and compromising that it makes the program unresponsive for at least 30 seconds at times. I’m going to keep trying, Surfs Up is too old a BluRay to have such a high security measure.

    • Richard Gailey

      Hi Nathan,

      If you still find that you are having issues playing the bluray in VLC, then you can also rip the bluray to MKV using MakeMKV. There is a free trial that you can use, that will last for 30 days.

      It’s a great bit of software and the final file is perfect quality (large file)

      Here is an article I wrote on how to do this. It’s also worth doing just to have a digital backup of your film.

      Let me know how you get on.


  • Rob Gulas

    When I try to get to the keys data base file to download it, all I get is a screen with a bunch of numbers; letters; and code and no instructions on how to download it. what do I do?

    • thegift73

      What browser are you using to download with? I have just tested this again using Chrome, and the file downloads fine?

      If you are using Firefox then when you click on the download link it will ask you what you want to do with the file. Select ‘Save File’, and the OK.

      Now place that KEYDB.cfg file into the aacs folder that you have to create in ‘%APPDATA%’. Note that your Roaming folder will be hidden by default, so you will have to enable the viewing of hidden folders in Windows. To do this go: Start>Control Panel>Folder Options>View. Now select, ‘Show hidden file, folders and drives’, then hit OK.

  • Rob Gulas

    I was able to download the keys database file after a bit of difficulty and put it in the appsdata dir in the aacs file. Then I downloaded the libaacs.dll file and put it into the vlc folder.But vlc still won’t play blu-rays. I don’t know..

    • thegift73

      Hi Rob,

      The KEYDB.cfg file was last updated on 20-04-2012 meaning that it may not have the required keys for the latest versions of CSS/AACS encryption.

      What is the title of the film you are trying to watch and what year was it released? I know that the method above worked for me on many titles back when I wrote the article, but due to the fact that the KEYDB file hasn’t been updated for 2 years now, it will run into issues with the latest BR protections.

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