Here’s how: Play an unsupported video format in Windows 10

Windows applications such as Movies and TV and Windows Media Player only play certain types of video. If you have trouble playing unsupported video formats, you will need to use a third-party video player or codec, or convert the file instead.

If you’re not sure if Windows supports your video file format, try it first. Open the Movies and TV application or Windows Media Player and try opening the file. If you get a “Format not supported” error message, you need to try one of the following methods.

If you can’t find Movies and TV app, search for Movies and TV instead. This is an alternate name for the app in some markets, such as the UK and Australia. If it is not installed, download Movies and TV from the Microsoft Store.


What is the reason for not being able to play an unsupported video format on Windows 10?

What is the reason for not being able to play an unsupported video format on Windows 10?

First of all, you need to understand that a codec is an encoding software (or encoding standard) that compresses and decompresses video files. In other words, codecs are usually used to convert uncompressed video files to compressed formats and vice versa. The algorithms that define codecs provide a reduction in the size of video files. They also provide the ability to decompose when necessary.

Well, there are different types or forms of codecs. Basically, they are used to reduce and encode video files with different technologies for certain conditions and variables. So, if you see a message that a video codec is not supported by your PC, it means that your computer does not have the codec needed to decode and play a particular file. The same answer applies to the question “What does it mean when a video is not supported?” if you haven’t already figured it out.


How can I play an unsupported video format on my computer?

How can I play an unsupported video format on my computer?

Install the right codec for an unsupported video file

Generally, a codec is a hardware or software program that encodes and decodes a video file. You can install a codec for a video file that doesn’t work in your video player.

Installing a codec in Windows Media Player
Follow these steps:

  1. In Windows Media Player, go to Tools, click Options.
  2. Click the Player tab, select the Automatically load codecs checkbox, and click OK.
  3. Now when you play a video, a pop-up message appears to install the codec. Click Install.

Install the codec in VLC Player

VLC Player is a free video player used by many people. This codec is already included in the player’s configuration. So you don’t need to install a separate codec file, just update the player. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Follow Start -> All Programs -> VideoLAN -> VLC Media Player.
  2. Follow Help -> Check for Updates.
  3. Click Yes and install the latest updates. Select a location for the update file and it will be downloaded.
Using a different media player

It makes sense to use another media player to run the video file. Some players are designed to run certain formats, and you need to install codecs in those players to run the video. But there are video players, such as the VLC player, that can handle most video formats. It might be able to run your video file that displays an error message.

Convert video file format

One of the best ways to get rid of the error is to change the video. There are several tools available today that can quickly do this for you. But it should be noted that when you change the video format, the video may lose some of its audio or video quality, and it may also reduce the resolution.

Recover a corrupted video file

If the error message persists in the video player even after making all these fixes, it means that the video file is corrupted and you need to fix the corruption. Manual video repair methods are never reliable, and they usually even degrade the video quality. Therefore, you should use a third-party repair tool.

Reliable third-party recovery software that can handle any video damage and restore all videos to their original format. You can even preview the video to make sure that the tool works properly. Later, you will be able to record the video anywhere on your system.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. In Windows Media Player, go to Tools, click Options.
  2. Select the Player tab, select the Automatically load codecs checkbox, and then click OK.
  3. You will now see a pop-up message telling you to install the codec when you play the video. Click Install.

In most cases, the reason you get an error message when trying to play a video file on your Android device is that the codec for the media file is not supported by your media player. Another possible reason is that the audio codec is not supported.

  1. Reboot your Android phone.
  2. Convert the image file format in Android.
  3. Reduce the image size on Android.
  4. Use photo repair software.
  5. Check your network connection.

Windows 10 does not have built-in support for all MP4 files, so it relies on video codecs. If you don't want to install video codecs, you can always install a third-party media player. If you're looking for a good third-party media player, we recommend downloading CyberLink Power DVD.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.