How To Get the Free HEVC Codec for Windows 10 / H.265 / HEVC Video Extensions

In this tutorial, learn how to download the free HEVC / H.265 Video Extensions on Windows 10.

Let me explain first what Is HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding)?

HEVC, or H.265, is a popular codec used by companies around the world. Earlier HEVC and MKV codec required a 3rd party media player such as PotPlayer, VLC Media Player to work but Microsoft added the support for both when they released the Windows 10 operating system. Without getting too technical, the H.265 standard offers approximately 25 to 50 percent better data compression at the same level of video quality and supports resolutions up to 8192×4320, including 8K UHD.

While playing any video, if you encounter a message that the video needs HEVC / H.265 codec to play it, here’s how you can download the said codec for free from the Microsoft Store.

If you received “This item is was encoded in a format that’s not supported. 0Xc00d5212” when trying to play AVI video files in Windows Media Player on Windows 10 computer, visit this tutorial.

How to purchase the HEVC / H.265 video extension?

Earlier the required codec was shipped along with Windows 10, but for some reason Microsoft stopped giving it freely to the end-users. At this time, they charge a nominal fee of $0.99 to get the HEVC /H.265 video extensions from the Microsoft Store. You can either search for the extension in the Microsoft Store or click this link. And once installed, reboot your system for the changes to take effect.

How to download the HEVC / H.265 video extension for free?

Though Microsoft now charges for the HEVC / H.265 video codec to the users, there’s a way to download it for FREE as the company ships it to OEM without any charges. Visit this link to get the HEVC / H.265 video extensions for free from the store. Once installed, restart your system for the changes to take effect.

Use an Alternative Video Player

There are many third-party video players that support H.265 playback. The best part is that many of them are free to download and install on your Windows 10 PC.

VLC Media Player – supports a wide variety of media files and codecs. Completely free and easy to use.

PotPlayer – is a multimedia software player developed for the Microsoft Windows operating system by South Korean Internet company Kakao.

MPV – is a feature-rich media player that supports numerous file codecs and formats. Gowever, it is designed to be run from the command line.