Solved: How do I fix corrupted MP4 video file that doesn’t open problem?

Problem: MP4 is a digital media container with file extensions included .mp4, .m4a, .m4p, .m4b, .m4r, .m4v saved in a hard drive, SD card, memory card, pen drive, etc., used to store audio, videos, graphics, and subtitles, and still images. Sometimes while trying to play the MP4 video file, we get the error “the file cannot be opened” probably due to the MP4 video file has been damaged.

The detailed error message as below:

Can’t play this video

Can't play this video
Can’t play this video

Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.

Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.
Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file.

Can’t play. This file isn’t playable. That might be because the file type is unsupported, the file extension is incorrect, or the file is corrupt.

Can't play. This file isn't playable. That might be because the file type is unsupported, the file extension is incorrect, or the file is corrupt.
Can’t play. This file isn’t playable. That might be because the file type is unsupported, the file extension is incorrect, or the file is corrupt.

Can’t play. This file isn’t playable. That might be because the file type is unsupported, the file extension is incorrect, or the file is corrupt.

Can't play. This file isn't playable. That might be because the file type is unsupported, the file extension is incorrect, or the file is corrupt.
Can’t play. This file isn’t playable. That might be because the file type is unsupported, the file extension is incorrect, or the file is corrupt.

The corrupted MP4 video files usually contain video and audio data, but just cannot be opened due to damaged or missing metadata/indices. In order to fix a corrupted MP4 video file, all you need to do is restore its structure and metadata. Follow the below solution steps to fix the corrupted MP4 video file problem.

Content Summary

Potential Causes
Check
Solution 1: Repair MP4 using VLC Media Player
Solution 2: Convert MP4 to AVI using VLC Media Player
Solution 3: Repair MP4 using Wondershare Video Repair
Solution 4: Repair MP4 using Recoverit Video Repair
Prevention Guidelines

Potential Causes

MP4 Video file corruption is a commonly happen problem mainly due to:

  • Interrupted recording or interrupted file transferring caused by a sudden power loss or shutdown camera before stop the recording.
  • Loss or improper structuring of metadata or indices in a file.
  • Affected by virus/malware.
  • Compression problem.
  • Broken file header.

Check

Before proceed to troubleshoot, make sure to try some workarounds recommended as below:

  • If the corrupted MP4 video file is downloaded from the internet then simply recover it by redownloading it from the internet again.
  • Play MP4 video file in other media player which supported MP4 video file format.
  • Check if your video drivers are updated.
  • Download the missing codecs from the Windows Media Player’s Toolbar by selecting the option called Download Codec Automatically.

Solution 1: Repair MP4 using VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is able to convert a video to optimize playback compatibility. During this conversion process, VLC Media Player reorganizes the information in the file and encodes it again, so this process is often used to repair a damaged video. Follow the below steps to repair the corrupted MP4 video files by converting them.

Step 1: Open VLC Media Player and click Media in the menu.

Step 2: Select the Convert/Save option from the drop-down menu and enter the file path of the corrupted MP4 video file.

Open VLC Media Player and click Media in the menu. Select the Convert/Save option from the drop-down menu.
Open VLC Media Player and click Media in the menu. Select the Convert/Save option from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Change your settings under the Convert section, select the input video codec from the list, select the Edit Selected Profile option then specify your profile settings and the destination where your converted files will save.

Step 4: Click Start, the VLC Media Player will start to repair the corrupted MP4 video file.

Solution 2: Convert MP4 to AVI using VLC Media Player

Step 1: Create a copy of the corrupted MP4 video file.

Step 2: Rename the file format of the copy from MP4 to AVI.

Step 3: Open VLC Media Player and select Tools from the menu and choose the Preferences option from the list. Or you can press Ctrl + P key to open the Preferences option.

Step 4: Click on the Input/Codecs option, select Always fix, which is next to the Damaged or incomplete AVI file.

Click on the Input/Codecs option, select Always fix, which is next to the Damaged or incomplete AVI file.
Click on the Input/Codecs option, select Always fix, which is next to the Damaged or incomplete AVI file.

Step 5: Click on Save, and you will be able to use the video file again.

Solution 3: Repair MP4 using Wondershare Video Repair

Wondershare Video Repair tool could repair damaged MP4 files in any common causes such as changes in format, file header corruption, improper system shutdown, file read and write errors, virus attacks, improper download, and compression issues.

Step 1: Add the damaged MP4 video files from your hard drive folder.

Step 2: Select the damaged MP4 video files from the list and click on the Repair button. Wondershare Video Repair will start a quick repairing process.

Select the damaged MP4 video files from the list and click on the Repair button. Wondershare Video Repair will start a quick repairing process.
Select the damaged MP4 video files from the list and click on the Repair button. Wondershare Video Repair will start a quick repairing process.

Step 3: Preview the repaired MP4 videos to check whether they are well-repaired or not.

Step 4: If the MP4 video file is still corrupted, go to the Advance Video Repair mode, where you should add a sample MP4 video that comes from the same device and in the MP4 video format.

Step 5: Save the repaired damaged MP4 Files to PC or to a preferred destination.

Solution 4: Repair MP4 using Recoverit Video Repair

Step 1: Open Recoverit Video Repair and Import your corrupted video file to repair.

Step 2: Press on the Repair button in the down-right corner and wait for a minute to complete the process.

Press on the Repair button in the down-right corner and wait for a minute to complete the process.
Press on the Repair button in the down-right corner and wait for a minute to complete the process.

Step 3: Save the video to a different drive.

Prevention Guidelines

Follow the below guidelines to make sure MP4 video files won’t get corrupted:

  • Always press the Stop Recording button BEFORE turning off the camera to make sure the camera saves the file properly.
  • Try not to record videos when the battery is low. The battery may run out before the indicator shows, and the camera will not be able to save the file. Bring extra batteries with you in case you cannot charge the battery for a long time.
  • Make sure the SD card supports camera output, especially when recording high-definition video clips.
  • Always update the camera firmware to avoid possible firmware failures.
  • If you accidentally deleted your video file, make sure to create a backup of your entire storage/memory card before you save anything new to it. This will prevent your video file from being overwritten with other data.

Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.