Simple Steps to Fix 3GP Files Problem

When media players encounter any difficulties while trying to open/play your media file (your 3GP video in this case), they'll display error messages.

In most cases, the error messages give out enough details to enable you to fix the error with ease. Hence, this article covers general ways of fixing any 3gp video errors.

Part 1. How to Repair and Play Corrupted 3GP Files?

3GP files can become corrupted without you understanding why. Thankfully, there are various ways of fixing this error and getting to watch your video file to work again. Here are some of the current methods of repairing or fixing your 3GP video file.

  • Use a dedicated video repair tool.

  • Use a different media player.

  • Convert your video to a different format.

1. Use a Dedicated Video Repair Tool

Wondershare Repairit - Video Repair software, being one of the best video repair tools, is amazingly efficient in automatically fixing your video issues. The video repair tool can fix errors on 3gp videos but is not limited to that format. The software also fixes MOV, MP4, M2TS, MKV, MTS, 3GP, AVI, and FLV video files. There is hardly a bad video file the Wondershare Repairit Video Repair tool wouldn't fix. The software has a simple, easy-to-use interface masking the powerful algorithms and functions it has in-built.

Please follow these steps to use Wondershare Repairit on your 3gp file:

Step 1: Add Corrupted Video

Open the location of your corrupt video file. Drag and drop the corrupt file on the "Add videos and start repairing" section. You can alternatively click the "Add" button located on the bottom-left corner of the software's interface to select your videos.

add corrupted video

Step 2: Repair Video

Click on the Repair button. When the repair process is complete, a window will pop up, asking you to preview and save the video you repaired. Click on the "OK" button to save your video to a folder.

repair the video

Step 3: Preview the Repaired Video

You'll find a little black "play" button at the edge of the software to the right. Click on it to preview your video. It isn't compulsory to perform this operation, but it is advised to do so as it enables you to confirm if the repair process was successful or not before saving it. Anyways, with Wondershare's tool, you need not worry. Your video file, after fixing it, will probably work as expected.

preview repaired video

Advanced Repair is the feature to use when your video is wasn't repaired. In the preview window, look to the bottom-right of the interface, and you'll see "Preview failed? Try Advanced Repair". Click this option.

advanced Repair feature

Step 4: Add Sample Video

A smaller window will appear. You'll be required to upload a sample video file. Click the folder icon as highlighted with the red box in the image below, "Adding Sample Video to Repair," then choose the sample video. If you don't know this, a sample video is a working video recorded with the same device and format as the damaged video.

The Advanced Repair mode takes the sample video's information and uses it to repair the corrupt video. Quite interesting, right?

add sample video

Click on the "Repair" button at the bottom of this window. It will close and redirect you to the previous window. Note that the video you repaired in Quick Repair mode won't be saved if you initiate Advanced Repair. So, save the video by clicking "Yes" on the window that shows up, or clicks "No" if you want to proceed without saving.

Step 5: Save Video

Click on the "Save" button on the interface's upper-right section, and another dialogue box will pop up. You'll see this prompt on it: "Select a location to save the recovered files. Please do not save files to the path where you lost." Doing this could be particularly useful if you previously faced persistent issues with videos at a particular directory.

save video path

Please choose any of your drives as long as you have enough space in them. Choose drive "E" or "D." It's not advised to choose "C" as it is your internal drive. Next, you will be presented with two options: If you click the "Recover" button, the repaired video will be saved in the chosen drive, but clicking the "New Folder" button before the "Recover" button saves the video in the "New Folder."

It's advised you rename the "new folder," so a subsequent search for it will be easier. This is especially important if you have numerous files stored in your drive. Thereafter, you wait a few seconds, and the repaired video will be saved.

repaired video saved

Wondershare's video repair software is quite simple and user-friendly. It's indeed the simplest way to fix your corrupt video file.

2. Use a Different Media Player

If you can recall, it was mentioned earlier that a media player not having the appropriate codec program could lead to it not playing your media file. Here's a diagram depicting how video files work:

how videos work

In summary, the same video codec that compressed or encoded the raw video data into a playable video has to decompress or decode the video before it can be viewed. If the codec isn't made available by the player, your file will not work. However, the unavailable 3gp codec isn't likely the case as the 3GP video format is trendy.

Among all media players, VLC Media Player has maintained its position as one of the bests. It supports a wide range of video files. Upgrading or changing your media player may solve your issue.

3. Convert Your Video to a Different Format

It would help if you also considered the option of converting your 3gp video file to a different video format. There are good, dedicated video conversion tools available offline (as software) and online. VLC Media Player also does a good job converting video formats –yes, VLC does that. So if you have VLC Media Player installed on your device, you can follow the simplified steps below to convert your 3GP video to another format.

Step 1. Open or launch VLC Media Player.

Step 2. Click "Media" from the atop the software and then find and click on "Convert."

Step 3. Next, add your 3GP video to the file source panel.

convert video

Step 4. Click the "Convert" button found at the bottom of the page or hit ALT+C on your keyboard.

Step 5. Pick a location to save your converted 3gp file and specify the file name and extension (e.g., your_choosen_name.mp4)

Step 6. From the dropdown, choose "Video – AAC (MP4)" or "Video – VP8 + Vorbis (Webm)" or any other options available to you.

Step 7. Click on the Start button.

Once VLC is done converting your video, retry playing your video file.

Part 2. How 3GP Files Become Unplayable

The major cause of a 3gp video file not playing is file corruption–especially if you recently played such a file on your device without issues. Corruption, in this case, may originate from a computer virus or man-handling of files.

1. What's 3GP Video Not Playing Error?

This is a way of your media player saying, "I can't play your file." Whenever you attempt to play a media file, your media player processes many things. If everything goes smoothly, then it plays your file. However, if it faces difficulties understanding a part of your video file, it throws errors.

The errors that cause your 3gp file to stop playing usually lie in the media file itself, usually corrupt binaries. The binaries are the raw content of the video file created by a codec.

2. Causes of 3GP Files Not Playing

There are well-known causes of 3GP files not playing. The under-listed items are some of these.

  • Corrupt video file.

  • Incomplete download.

  • Unavailable codec.

  • Invalid file extension.

a) Corrupt Video File

Corrupted video files are usually caused by virus infection. A simple virus program that scans your file system to discover video files and write random data into them could do the job. The data contained in video files are organized. Once any program tampers with such a file in a malicious way, it gets corrupt.

b) Incomplete Download

Unlike some other file types/containers (e.g., MP4 files), most 3gp files will not play if downloaded incompletely.

c)Unavailable Codec

When video files are made, data is compressed into a container (3gp container in this case) by a codec program. The same codec must be made available by your media player to decompress your video.

d)Invalid File Extension

While some media players are intelligent enough to detect video files automatically, they are masked by random file extensions. Some will not –they only depend on the "3gp" part of your file name to detect a 3GP video. In this case, an invalid file extension/another extension that's not 3gp, e.g., renaming 3gp to MP4 without conversion, will end up with an unplayable file.


Part 3. FAQs on Why 3GP Video Isn't Playing

3GP media files may not play on your device if corrupt. 3gp files not playing may be caused by various problems, but here are a few things to know about the 3GP file format.

1. What can play a 3gp video?

All that a media player needs to play a 3gp file is the appropriate codec for decompressing the video data. 3gp videos can be encoded and decoded by open source software FFmpeg.

2. Can VLC play 3gp?

VLC Media Player is known to support a variety of video formats. The 3gp video format is not an exception to this. VLC Media Player is also capable of converting 3gp videos to other formats and vice versa.

3. What is a 3gp video format?

The 3gp video format is a popular media container. The 3gp file format has been around for a while now. 3gp file-formats store its video streams as MPEG-4, MPEG-4 Part 10 (AVC), or H.263. It streams its audio as AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, AAC-LC, and Enhanced aacPlus. To learn more about this multimedia container, check out this Wikipedia page.

The 3gp file format is specifically designed to decrease storage consumption and bandwidth requirements to accommodate mobile devices. They are a good option for lower-end smartphones for faster download (watching offline) or streaming (watching online).

4. Can iPhones play 3gp files?

Like other video formats or containers, the 3gp technology can create or view media files. iPhones are also capable of playing 3gp video file formats.

5. What other Operating Systems support 3gp formats?

Playing 3gp media files isn't an operating system thing. It is more of a media player thing. Once a media player has the proper codec program for decompressing the encoded video file, it should play that particular video without issues. Most media players are cross-platform and would normally play any 3gp video file on any operating system installed.

6. Is the 3gp video format any good?

While 3gp videos might not be the right option for you if you're shooting for high video quality, it is one of the best for less bandwidth and minimal storage consumption. Designed to accommodate mobile devices, they are a good option for lower-end smartphones, as mentioned earlier, considering their output size.

Part 4. How to Prevent 3GP Videos from Not Playing

Take note of the underlined tips to prevent the unpleasant situation of 3gp files suddenly becoming unplayable or invalid. 3GP files are often vulnerable to damage due to certain issues caused by:

  • Human error

  • Operating system error

Human Error

Human errors are errors caused by users like you and me. To avoid such errors, you are advised to follow certain rules when working with files. Some of these rules are:

1. Renaming files

It would help if you renamed file extensions only with dedicated editors that handle the format in question. For example, be careful when renaming a 3gp file to maybe .avi unless you know exactly what you're doing. If video files are not properly converted before they're renamed, many media players may reject such a file.

2. Ejecting drives

It's hard to resist the urge to yank your flash drive out of your device after using it. But don't. Try to avoid abruptly ejecting a flash drive out of your device, especially while in use. While a drive is in use, the software reading might constantly modify files on the drive. If you're playing a video, your operating system and your video player are constantly communicating. Abruptly pulling your storage device out may affect your video header.

Every good file manager has an "Eject" option. Right-click on the drive you want to eject from your file manager and click the "eject" option or something synonymous. After an "ejected successfully" notification by your operating system, you can proceed with pulling the drive out.

3. File sharing

Do not collect or download files indiscriminately. You could receive or download poorly encoded or corrupt files in the process.

Operating Systems Error

Your device's operating system is one of the most important parts of your device. You should, by all means, avoid activities that could bring harm to your Operating System. Patches, fixes, and updates are frequently released for the major operating systems.

Here are some tips:

  • Frequently update your OS.

  • Download only verified apps from their official websites to avoid malware.

  • Uninstall and delete any suspicious app.

Closing Words

3GP file sizes are relatively small. Their size makes them very convenient for downloading and watching video clips. Like every other video format, the 3gp video format can get corrupted when man-handled or downloaded from the wrong source.

Clear steps for fixing bad 3gp files were provided in this article, including the steps for using Wondershare Repairit - Video Repair tool.

* Some of the above codec formats may need to be supported by system.