Windows 11 is superior to every previous iteration of Windows in almost every way possible. However, recently, many users have been experiencing lag or stuttering issues (delay of a couple of seconds) when playing videos on the device.

There have been cases where the lag was faced only when playing the video using a particular video player. That being said, there’s also a set of users facing this issue across multiple video players without any apparent fix to the problem.

Though the nature of the problem is not critical, it can be annoying for some. Moreover, if your work routine involves you viewing 4K videos, it might be imperative for you to fix it. Hence, let’s first understand the potential root cause of the issue before diving deep into fixing it.

Some of the possible reasons causing this issue include:

  • Outdated Graphics Drivers
  • Windows need to be Updated with Latest Updates
  • Playing video files with an obsolete media player
  • Improper System Configuration
  • Corruption of video files
  • Media player settings are not correct
  • Malware Infection

Before trying any of the fixes, make sure that there is something to fix. Sometimes, the video lags not because of any issue, but simply due to a lack of resources. If there are too many programs running on your PC, and you’re not on a very high-end system, close any programs that are not crucial. Also, if the video is lagging in the Picture-in-Picture mode in the browser, it’s because Windows 11 prioritize foreground processes. In this scenario, cap your FPS setting to 60 and see if there’s a difference.

But if you’re still experiencing issues, it’s time to try these fixes. Since there are several reasons why you could be facing the issue, you might need to perform more than one fix present in the list to ensure you have completely unrooted the issue from your Windows PC.

1. Make Sure you are Running the Latest Iteration of Windows

Typically, Windows itself manages the updates. However, many times, there could be a scenario where an update requires your intervention to be run, or the automatic updates have been turned off. Either way, making sure your PC is on the latest version of Windows available is a very simple process.

To check if you have any pending updates, first, head to the Start Menu. Then, click on the ‘Settings’ tile present under the ‘Pinned apps’ section to proceed. Otherwise, type Settings in the search bar to search for it.

Then, in the Settings window, locate and click on the ‘Windows Update’ tab present on the left sidebar to proceed.

Now, on the right section of the screen, you will be able to see the available updates (if any). In case there are no updates available, click on the ‘Check for Updates’ button. Otherwise, click on the ‘Restart Now’ button to apply the downloaded updates to your PC.

Once updated, try playing the video again on your PC to check if the problem persists.

2. Update your Graphics Drivers

There could be a scenario where your graphics driver is outdated and hence, as a result not delivering that silky smooth playback of your 4K video. Thus, just updating it might do the trick for you.

To do so, head to the Search option and type Device manager in the search bar. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Device Manager’ tile to open it.

Alternatively, you can also open Device Manager using a ‘Run’ command. To open Device Manager this way, press the Windows+R keys together on your keyboard to bring the Run command utility to your screen. Then, type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter on your keyboard to open it.

Then, on the ‘Device Manager’ window, locate the ‘Display adapters’ option and click on the arrow preceding the option to expand the section. After that, right-click on your primary graphic card (in case you have more than one) and select the ‘Update driver’ option from the context menu. This will open a separate window on your screen.

Now, from the separately opened window, click on the ‘Search automatically for drivers’ option to let Windows search for a driver automatically and install it on your system.

Otherwise, if you have already downloaded the driver package, click on the ‘Browse my computer for drivers’ option to open a File Explorer window and browse the file manually.

Once updated, restart your system and try to play the file again, and check if this fix resolved the issue for you.

3. Change Power Plan Settings

If you use a portable computer, Windows allows you to change the power plan depending upon your current requirements to either get the most battery life out of your computer or the best performance. Since playing a 4K video is resource expensive, you need your PC to be using the high-performance mode.

To change the current power plan on your system, first, head to the Start Menu ad and click on the ‘Settings’ tile present under the ‘Pinned apps’ section.

After that, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab present on the left sidebar of the Settings window.

Then, from the right section of the window, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘Power & battery’ tile from the list.

On the next screen, click on the dropdown menu present on the far right edge of the ‘Power mode’ tile situated under the ‘Power’ section. Then, select the ‘Best performance’ option from the list.

Once you have updated the power mode for your computer, launch the video again using your favorite media player and you should notice the positive impact of the same.

4. Switch from Integrated Graphics Card to Dedicated Graphics Card

This method will be only applicable if you have more than one graphics card installed on your system. Mostly, all modern laptop computers tend to have an integrated graphics card that handles low-intensity tasks and one dedicated graphics card that can hold its own even in the most demanding conditions. Hence, if nothing has worked until now, you can make sure you are giving all the power needed to play the video smoothly with this fix.

To provide hardware acceleration to your video player, first, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile icon pinned on the menu to open the app. Alternatively, press the Windows+I keys together on your keyboard to open the app.

Then, on the Settings window, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab present on the left sidebar to proceed.

After that, from the right section of the screen, locate and click on the ‘Display’ tile from the list of options.

Next, on the ‘Display’ settings screen, scroll down to locate the ‘Graphics’ tile present under the ‘Related settings’ section and click it.

Now, on the ‘Graphics’ settings screen, locate the search bar present under the ‘Custom options for apps’ section and type the name of the video player you wish to use to play the file. Otherwise, you can also scroll down the list manually to locate the app.

Once located, click the concerned media player option to change the default graphics card for it. A few options will appear. Click on the ‘Options’ button present in the bottom right corner of the app tile. This will bring up a separate overlay window on your screen.

Now, from the overlay window, click on the radio button preceding the ‘High performance’ option to select the dedicated graphics driver instead of the integrated one. Click on the ‘Save’ button to apply the changes and close the window.

Once done, close the app if it was already running and play the file again. You should definitely see a smoother playback of the video relative to before.

That’s it, folks, this guide will help you eradicate the issue of a 4K video exhibiting lag and/or stuttering on your PC.