How to Play Blu-rays on Windows 10

Who needs DVDs? Watch Blu-ray movies on your PC

What to Know

  • Install VLS on your computer. Open File Explorer and go to C:/ProgramData. Create a new folder and name it aacs.
  • Download KEYDB.cfg to the aacs folder. Download libaacs.dll to the VLC folder. Insert a Blu-ray disc and launch VLC.
  • Select Media > Open Disc. Choose Blu-ray and no disc menus. Confirm the video is in the Disc device field. Select Play.

This article explains how to play Blu-ray discs on Windows 10 computers using the VLC media player. It also includes information on how to rip and convert Blu-ray discs for Windows 10.

How to Watch Blu-rays in Windows 10 With VLC

VLC Media Player handles most formats of music and video files. It's similar in functionality to Windows Media Player, with many extra features. You can get it from the Microsoft Store but it doesn't support DVD or Blu-ray, so it's better to download the version that's available free from the developer's website.

When you first install VLC, it isn't capable of playing Blu-ray discs. After you install it, you must download two additional files and place them into specific folders. Even after you set it up, VLC can't display some Blu-ray menus.

Here's how to set up VLC Media Player to watch Blu-rays in Windows 10.

  1. Access the official Videolan download site for VLC, and select Download VLC.

    Download VLC button on VideoLAN web page
  2. Download and install VLC on your computer.

    Finish button on VLC installer dialog
  3. Open your File Explorer, and navigate to C:\ProgramData.

    ProgramData in File Explorer on Windows 10

    Replace C:\ with the drive where you have Windows installed if it isn't installed on the C drive.

  4. Press Shift + CTRL + N to create a new folder, and name it aacs.

    New folder named aacs
  5. Download KEYDB.cfg from the site directly to the C:\ProgramData\aacs folder you just created.

    KEYDB file downloaded to aacs folder
  6. Download libaacs.dll from the site directly to your VLC folder.

    libaacs file downloading to VLC folder

    If Windows won't allow you to download directly to the VLC directory, download the file elsewhere and then drag it into the VLC directory.

  7. Insert a Blu-ray disc into your Blu-ray drive and launch VLC.

  8. Select Media > Open Disc.

    Open Disc menu item in VLC media player
  9. Select the Blu-ray radial, check the box next to no disc menus, and verify that your Blu-ray is selected in the disc device field. Then select Play.

    Play button in VLC Open Media dialog
  10. Your video begins.

    A screenshot of a Blu-ray playing in VLC on Windows 10.
  11. To watch Blu-ray discs in the future, repeat steps 8-10.

How to Rip and Convert Blu-ray Discs to Watch on Windows 10

The other way to watch Blu-ray discs on a Windows 10 computer is to convert the files on the disc into files that any media player can play. The process is known as ripping and encoding.

When you rip and encode a Blu-ray disc, you copy the disc's information to your computer, and then you convert it into a convenient media file format. Despite the name, this process is not destructive. After you rip and encode a Blu-ray disc, you can still use the disc as you would normally.

Making personal copies of media like Blu-ray discs is legal in some jurisdictions and illegal in others. Copies such as these are only for personal use, not distribution or display of any sort, and you should obtain legal advice from a qualified source if you are unsure.

Some programs, like MakeMKV, perform both the ripping and encoding parts of this process. Since the process is automated, this is the easiest way to watch a Blu-ray movie on Windows 10.

The conversion process can take a long time if you have a slow computer, and converted Blu-ray discs also take up a lot of hard drive space.

This method's added benefit is that once you have converted a Blu-ray disc, you can use a program like Plex to watch it on your other computers or even your phone.

What We Like
  • One button operation makes this the easiest way to watch Blu-rays on Windows 10.

  • Once you've made copies of your movies, you can watch them anywhere with Plex.

  • It has the added benefit of making backups of your movies in case the physical discs are destroyed or stolen.

What We Don't Like
  • You can't just pop a movie in and start watching.

  • The conversion process can take a long time on slow computers.

  • Converted movies take up a lot of space.

Here's how to rip and convert a Blu-ray disc to watch on Windows 10:

  1. Open the official MakeMKV site and select MakeMKV 1.16.4 for Windows.

    A screenshot of the MakeMKV website.
  2. Download and install MakeMKV on your computer.

    A screenshot of the MakeMKV installer.
  3. Launch MakeMKV.

    A screenshot of MakeMKV.
  4. Select File > Open disc, and select your Blu-ray.

    Open disc in MakeMKV BETA window
  5. Select Yes.

    Yes button in MakeMKV BETA popup
  6. In the Make MKV section, select the icon that looks like a green arrow pointing at a disc drive.

    Make MKV button in MakeMKV BETA window
  7. Select Yes.

    Yes button in MakeMKV BETA popup
  8. Wait for the conversion process to complete.

    A screenshot of MakeMKV.
  9. Play the MKV file that you created in a compatible media player, like VLC or Plex.

Why Doesn't Blu-ray Work in Windows 10?

Windows 10 doesn't include the built-in ability to play Blu-ray discs because Microsoft would have to pay a licensing fee to include that functionality. That option would drive up the cost of every single copy of Windows 10. Since most computers don't even have Blu-ray players, Microsoft doesn't offer the feature.

With the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, Microsoft offers a free license to watch Blu-ray movies on your console. This option isn't available to users of Windows 10, so you have to look elsewhere if you want to watch Blu-ray discs on your computer.

The two best options are to use a third-party media player like VLC or convert your Blu-rays with a program like MakeMV.

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