You are required to install the HEVC extension to play HEVC format video files. This article shows you a simple trick to download the free HEVC video extension from the Microsoft Store.
Most mobile phones and cameras nowadays utilize the HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) format as the default for recording videos. One of the biggest advantages of HEVC, compared to the popular MP4, is the reduced file size due to its better compression efficiency. Additionally, HEVC also provides better video quality, efficient bandwidth usage while uploading, streaming, or sharing, longer recording time, and more.
However, there’s one catch when it comes to playing HEVC video files on Windows 10 or 11 devices – you typically need to purchase the official HEVC video extension for $0.99. But fear not, there’s a clever workaround that allows you to download the same extension completely free of charge. This article shows you how to download the official HEVC video extension for free from the Microsoft Store.
Let’s get started.
Download the HEVC video extension for free
While regular users have to pay to install the extension, device manufacturers don’t need to because they already have a pre-paid license to install the extension on PCs or laptops they manufacture or build. As such, they use a special Microsoft Store link to install the extension. We can use the same link to download and install the HEVC video extension for free.
Follow the below steps to download the HEVC video extension for free:
Step 1: Copy the URL below, paste it into your browser’s address bar, and press the “Enter” button on your keyboard.
Step 2: This will take you to the “HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer” store page. Here, click the “Get in Store app” button.
Step 3: Click the “Open Microsoft Store app” button in the new prompt.
Step 4: Click/tap the “Install” button in the Store app. This action will download and install the free HEVC video extension.
Step 5: Reboot your computer to apply the changes.
That is it. With that, you’ve installed the HEVC video extension for free, i.e., without paying for it in the Microsoft Store.
Why does Microsoft charge for the HEVC video extension?
One of the main reasons why Microsoft charges for the HEVC video extension is that the makers of the HEVC charge a small royalty for installing the extension. As such, Microsoft passes that royalty charge to the users. That is the reason why you need to pay $0.99 for the extension.
On the other hand, device manufacturers pay for the bulk HEVC video extension license which allows them to install it on the Windows devices they manufacture or build. This licensing arrangement allows manufacturers to include the HEVC functionality without requiring users to make an individual purchase.
Differences between paid and free HEVC video extensions
For the most part, both paid and free HEVC video extensions are the same. However, one small difference is that the one you pay for in the Microsoft Store might support 8-channel Dolby Atmos whereas the free one doesn’t.
If you are someone who needs 8-channel Dolby Atmos support, it is better to purchase the HEVC video extension from Microsoft Store.
Related how-to articles you must check out:
- How to install HEIC extension and open HEIC images in Windows
- How to convert HEIC to JPG
- How to install AV1 codec on Windows 10/11
As you can see, it is pretty easy to install the HEVC video extension for free.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.