How to Install Free HEVC Codecs on Windows 10 (for H.265 Video)

Windows 10 store codec logo.Microsoft

Windows 10 supports video files encoded with High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC), also known as H.265 video. However, Microsoft charges for its official codecs and does not include them in Windows 10. You can get them for free without breaking the credit card and spending $ 0.99.

How HEVC Video Works on Windows 10

HEVC video is becoming more and more popular. iPhones now save videos in HEVC format by defaultand 4K UHD Blu-rays also use HEVC.

These codecs will allow you to watch these videos on your PC, but they are only needed for applications like the Microsoft Movies & TV video player, included with Windows 10, and other Windows applications that take advantage of the codecs built into Windows. .

The famous third-party video player VLC, for example, includes its own built-in codecs. To play HEVC (H.265) videos in VLC, just install VLC and open them – it’s done.

For built-in support, you will need the codecs. These are not included with the latest versions of Windows 10, but must be installed from the Microsoft Store. These codecs are also needed to encode video in HEVC (H.265) format in applications that use Windows 10 system codecs.

RELATED: What is HEVC H.265 video and why is it so important for 4K movies?

How to install codecs for free

There are actually two different codec packages that you can get from the Store. Both are the same, but one costs $ 0.99 and the other is free.

If you search for HEVC in the store, you will see the $ 0.99 HEVC Video Extensions Package. These fees likely reflect the cost of licensing the codecs for Microsoft.

Search results for HEVC on Windows 10.

However, you can also get the free package “HEVC Video Extensions from the device manufacturer” of the shop. It’s the same as the $ 0.99 plan, but it’s completely free. Click on the link and click “Get” to install them. Finished!

It seems that computer manufacturers preinstall these codecs on their PCs. However, nothing prevents anyone from installing these codecs on their systems. You just need to follow the direct link to find them.

(Update: This link works in the US. We have received reports that it may not work in other countries. Like other app stores, the Microsoft Store has different lists of software in different regions. It may be different in other countries. Please try this link outside the United States.)

Free HEVC Video Extensions from the Microsoft Store.

By the way, you can also install the bracket for high efficiency image format (HEIF) of the shop. Simply download the HEIF Image Extensions package. This image format is also growing in popularity: iPhones now take photos in HEIF format by default. The HEIF package is free to everyone without any price shenanigans.

Security updates are also coming to the store

The Microsoft Store will automatically install security updates for these codecs, just like it installs updates for other included apps.

It surprised many people when Microsoft started distributing critical security updates for codecs through the Store. July 1, 2020. They didn’t go through Windows Update like regular security patches do.

We recommend ensure that automatic application updates are enabled For safety reasons. To do this, open the Microsoft Store on Windows 10, click menu> Settings and make sure “Update apps automatically” is set to “On”.

Automatic updates for apps enabled in the Windows 10 store.

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