3 Fixes for the “This Blu-Ray Disc Needs a Library for AACS Decoding” Error

Seeing the “Blu-ray disc needs a library" error in the VLC media player? Don't worry, here’s how you can permanently fix the issue.

Blu-ray discs are a popular storage medium for high definition video and Blu-ray players have been in the market for years. Blu-rays offer several advantages over DVDs, which include sharper images and better sound quality. However, Blu-ray discs may cause an error in the popular VLC media player due to certain technicalities.

blue-ray disc needs a libary for aacs coding

In this article, we will explore 3 fixes for the “This Blu-ray disc needs a library for AACS decoding, and your system does not have it.” error message in VLC media player and provide you with workarounds to make it possible to play Blu-ray discs without any hiccups!

These fixes are for Windows 10, Windows 8, and 8.1, and Windows 10

Table of Contents 

What causes the “Blu-ray disc needs a library" error?

We looked into the error at hand, as well as some of the techniques that users in a similar scenario have used to successfully fix the error message. According to our findings, there are a few frequent circumstances that can result in this error notice.

  • Protected Blu-ray discs — Majority of commercial Blu-ray disks are secured with AACS and BD+ for protection purposes. Installing the libaacs (instead of the standard libbluray library) is necessary in order for VLC to play encrypted media.
  • Missing KeyDB.cfg file — Another typical reason for Blu-ray playback failure is a missing KeyDB.cfg file on your PC. The libaacs library requires this file in order to play media.
  • Outdated VLC player — The VLC media player is an open source media player with several forks that are not signed by the creators. Many updates come out for the player, and it’s possible that you’re using a version with a known bug that causes the error with Blu-ray playback.
  • Corrupt media — If the media on your Blu-ray disc is corrupted, no media player will be able to play it including VLC.

If you're having trouble resolving the “This Blu-ray disc needs a library for AACS decoding, and your system does not have it.” error message, this article will walk you through numerous procedures that other people in a similar position have taken to solve the problem.

How to fix the “Blu-ray disc needs a library” error in VLC media player

A handful of users who were having trouble with Blu-rays and the VLC media player were able to play their disks by adding certain AAC library files manually. There are other solutions as well, but this will work in most scenarios!

However, it’s also possible that your file is corrupt or cannot be played on any player, not just VLC's own built-in one. Learn how to check for corruption and what you can do to restore your media.

Method 1. Manually add libraries files to AACS

This method is the one that works for most people. We recommend not skipping it and completing all the steps accurately to have the best chance at troubleshooting the “This Blu-ray disc needs a library for AACS decoding” problem in VLC player.

Warning: The steps below will need you to download files from a website that does not have an SSL certificate. Download the files at your own risk.

  1. Visit this website in any browser of your choice. You might be getting a warning such as “Your connection isn't private”. In most browsers, you can click on advanced options to continue connection to the website anyway.
    visit vlc website
  2. First, click on the “get the file” link underneath the Keys database section. This is going to download the necessary KeyDB.cfg file to your computer.
    get the file
  3. Once again, you may receive a warning about a potentially unsafe file. If this happens, click on the More options icon and choose to keep the file. We ran several tests to ensure this file is safe for download as of October, 2021.
    get the file
  4. Next, click on the download link associated with your system version under the AACS Dynamic Library section. For example, if you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows, you need to click on the “that file” link in the second line.
    that file
  5. Navigate to your AppData folder:
    • Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard to bring up the Run utility. Type in “C:\Users\Your username\AppData” without the quotation marks, and hit Enter. Make sure to replace “Your username” with your local account name.
    • Alternatively, open the File Explorer with the Windows + E keyboard shortcut, and then navigate to This PC > C: > Users > Your username > AppData.
  6. Open the Roaming folder.
    open the roaming folder
  7. Right-click on any empty space and click on the New folder option from the context menu. Name the folder “aacs” and open it after creation.
    new folder
  8. Open the newly created “aacs” folder, and then drag the KeyDB.cfg file you downloaded into the folder. By default, you should be able to locate this file in your Downloads folder.
  9. Next, navigate to the installation folder for VLC media player. By default, you can find it in one of these two locations:
    1. C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC
    2. C:\Program Files(x86)\VideoLAN\VLC
  10. Drag the libaacs.dll file you downloaded into the folder. By default, you should be able to locate this file in your Downloads folder.

After that, open the VLC media player and try to play the Blu-ray disc that caused your previous error message to show up. If you've completed the steps successfully, you should be able to open the disc and access its contents.

Method 2. Update VLC media player to the latest version

Some users recommend you to update the VLC media player to the latest version. By applying an update, you may get access to the latest bug fixes, new features, and improvements to the application.

This could easily solve the “This Blu-ray disc needs a library for AACS decoding” error, especially if you haven’t updated the software in a long time.

  1. Open the VLC media player application. Using the header menu, click on Help > Check for updates in the context menu.
    update vlc
  2. If there is a new version of the application available, you should receive a message similar to this:
    A new version of VLC (X.X.X) is available.
    VideoLAN and the VLC development team present VLC X.0 “Vetinari”.
    VLC X.0 is a major update to VLC, introducing hardware decoding by default, allowing 4K with low-cpu usage (and 8K on recent machines), supporting HDR and 360 video. It also improves audio passthrough, allows streaming to ChromeCast, Blu-rays and local network drive browsing.
    Do you want to download it?
  3. Click Yes to start downloading the update. A stable connection to the internet is necessary in order to download the update without any missing files or errors.
    update vlc
  4. VLC media player will start to download the necessary files to install the update. Once the download process is complete, you’ll see the “The new version was successfully downloaded. Do you want to close VLC and install it now?” dialogue box. Click Install.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to upgrade VLC using previous settings. Wait for the wizard to install the newest version of VLC media player, and then try to open the problematic Blu-ray file.

Method 3. Check if your files are corrupt

It’s scary to think about, but there’s a possibility that the media content on your Blu-ray disc is corrupted. If this were to happen, you wouldn’t be able to access the media stored on the disc anymore, with possibly no way of recovery.

To test if your file is in-tact, we recommend first using a different media player application for your version of Windows. You can try something like Potplayer or MPC-BE which are both great alternatives to the VLC media player.

Are you still experiencing a similar Blu-ray problem with other media players? Try inserting your disc to a different machine (another PC, laptop or Mac) and see if it’s able to play the media. If you still get the same or similar errors, there’s a high possibility your file is corrupt.

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