How to fix VLC’s “Font Cache is Being Rebult” Message

Tools - Preferences

The VLC Media Player is a great alternative to Windows Media Player (read how to switch audio tracks).  One of its best features it that all codecs are built into the software, so you don’t have to download bloated codecs to play MKV, Divx, X-vid, or any other video files.  Unfortunately the player occasionally suffers from a nagging problem…

Sometimes if you run VLC player you will see a “Please wait while your font cache is rebuilt” message.  If this takes longer than a few seconds then you’ll probably get this message every time you open a media file.

Some people might wonder why a video player should even concern themselves with fonts.  VLC rebuilds its font cache to show subtitles for files or video streams, which are shown at the bottom of the screen while playing.

To disable the font cache:

  1. Navigate to Tools > Preferences.
  2. Click the “All” radio button in the bottom corner.
  3. Navigate to Video > Subtitles /OSD in the left-hand pane.
  4. Select “Dummy Font Renderer Function” i the Text Rendering Module dropdown.
  5. Click “Save”.

If you actually want to view subtitles then you need to fix the font cache:

If this font cache dialog box hangs and never seems to end, then you need to do these steps to fix it.

  1. Open a Run dialog (Press Win + R)
  2. Type %appdata% and press enter.  This will open an Explorer window.
  3. Delete the VLC folder


Deleting the VLC folder forces the application to rebuild the font cache from scratch.  After this you will be able to play any media files without a problem.

Regardless of which method you choose, you should consider getting the latest version.  Since the codecs are built into the player, an  updated version will play newer formats.  You can even update VLC Player by clicking “Help” and then clicking “Check for Updates”.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.