How to Open MP4 Files on Android Phone and Tablet

Do you have an MP4 video file on your Android that won't play? Android phones and tablets will open most MP4 files in their default player app. However, if you have an MP4 file or attachment that won't open, you'll need to use a third-party app. Luckily, you can easily install and use VLC in a few simple steps. This minHour will teach you how to use the VLC app to open an MP4 file on Android that won't open natively.


Open the Google Play Store app.

You can find this app on your home screen, in the app drawer, or by searching.

  • You will be presented with the Home screen of the Google Play Store and lists of apps based on your activity.
  • Make sure to update your Android device.

Type in “VLC” in the search field.

The search box is along the top of your screen.

  • The application’s creator is Videolabs.

Tap the green Install button.

Your download will begin.

  • VLC for Android will be added to your home screen and app drawer.

Open the VLC app.

The app icon looks like an orange and white safety cone. You can find this app on your home screen, in the app drawer, or by searching.

  • VLC is an app developed to handle most file types.

Tap Next to begin setup.

You’ll need to allow permissions for VLC to access media on your device.

Tap Next.

A new window will pop up.

Tap Allow.

You must allow access to your photos, media, and files. Otherwise, VLC cannot open your MP4 file.

  • To let VLC scan your device for media content, tap the switch on. Otherwise, you’ll be able to manually search.

Tap Next.

Select a theme and click Done.

You can choose , , or .

  • Automatic will switch to Black theme at night.
  • You can also choose to Skip customization.

Tap Browse.

This will be on the left sidebar, underneath a folder icon.

  • If you allowed VLC to scan your device for media content, you will see all videos in the Video tab located on the left side.

Locate your video.

You can browse and .

  • Tap Storages to navigate through your device’s internal memory.
  • Your video should have its file name visible followed by .mp4.
  • VLC can play many file types, but you can always convert your video to MP4 if needed.

Tap the video.

You will see Player controls on the bottom of the screen.

  • You can turn on captions, toggle screen rotation, play, activate full screen mode, or see more options.

Tap the Play button.

This will be the middle icon with the right-facing arrow.

  • Your MP4 video will begin playing.
  • If needed, you can delete the app later.
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