How to Fix Video Playback Error and Recover Corrupted Video

Video playback is meant to be smooth and seamless, like a silk cloth, but that isn't always the case. Not only do we find that some videos develop playback errors, but they also exhibit other forms of damage from file corruption. Even worse, these issues often crop up when we're getting to the good parts.

It's time to kick these issues to the curb because we're here to show you a couple of ways to fix video playback errors and recover corrupt videos.

Part 1. Different Video Playback Errors

Before we get into the solutions, it's best to highlight the problems that we'll be fixing. This will help give you a better understanding of what's gone wrong with your videos and help you figure out the best solution to fix it.

Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to determine the cause of video playback errors because the fault could equally be from the device, not the video itself. In some cases, the error dialog box may indicate if it is the device or video that's the cause of your problem, but not always. So you make more informed decisions, we've compiled the types of errors you will encounter, their symptoms and causes.

1. Incompatible codecs

Depending on the quality of a video, its size could be very large, which would take up lots of space on our devices. Codecs were created to help compress these videos into smaller, manageable sizes. In many cases, the video player you use will notify you that your computer or device lacks the proper codecs to play the video. This type of error could have just the audio play alongside a black screen or play neither image nor sound.

2. Cannot access the file

Playing videos from your flash drive, camera, or any other external device is ill-advised at this often causes delays in playback, and sometimes the video won't play at all. Error messages don't always pop up after this issue occurs either, which could have users waiting long periods for videos that won't play. A major symptom is a choppy video, delayed audio, and long loading times.

3. PC lacks resources to play videos

Computer resources are all physical and virtual components os the system, which is in limited availability. Every connected device and internal systems are computer resources, without which, program operations would not work. If your PC lacks adequate resources for video playback, the media player may not open, or it will crash in the process of trying to play the selected video. Having too many processes running at the same time is the cause of this problem.

4. PC doesn't meet the minimum requirements for playback

High-quality videos such as 4k and 1080p videos require the right PC requirements for playback. Using a computer that lacks the right specifications means that you will not be able to play these high-quality videos on your system. This could be as a result of things like your graphics card, CPU, RAM, and any OS from Windows 7 to older versions.

5. Device drivers not up to date

We all forget to update our software from time to time or delay it for reasons like insufficient data. Not updating our computers could be the culprit behind playback errors, meaning we should pay more attention to it. These updates are for system devices which are directly linked to video playback.

6. The video is corrupt

Corrupt videos lead to all sorts of playback errors and could be the result of the files not copying or downloading properly, damage from power surges, or targets of viruses. Whatever the case, this type of error is from the video file itself, and attempting playback will often bring up an error message. Other than fixing the video, you'll either have to copy or download another copy from the source you received it from the first time. Symptoms include truncated, flickering, and out-of-sync videos.

Part 2. How to Repair Damaged Videos and Recover Corrupted Files

Discovering you're videos are damaged, or corrupt can be a horrible experience, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about it. There several ways to repair damaged videos and recover corrupted files, so don't give up on them just yet. From special software to features built into programs you already use, there are a couple of ways to undo the damage done to your videos.

Solution 1: Use Wondershare Video Repair

Wondershare Video Repair is an ingenious little program developed by Wondershare that's designed to recover corrupt files and repair damaged videos. Wondershare supports a variety of popular formats, such as 3GP, MOV, etc. The following are its main features:

Wondershare Repairit

5,481,435 people have downloaded it.

  • Repair damaged videos with all levels of corruption, such as video not playing, video no sound, out-of-sync video or audio, header corruption, flickering video, missing video codec, etc.

  • Repair videos of diverse formats, including MOV, MP4, M2TS, MKV, MTS, 3GP, AVI, FLV, MXF, KLV, INSV, M4V, WMV, MPEG, ASF, etc.

  • Repair damaged or corrupted videos caused by video compression, system crash, video format change, etc.

  • Repair critically damaged or corrupted videos available on SD cards, phones, cameras, USB flash drives, etc.

  • Repairit has a quick and advanced scanning mode. You can use either depending upon the level of corruption the video file has undergone.

  • Compatible with Windows PC, Mac OS, and supports PC to mobile transferring/sharing.

The program is available for both Windows and Mac, with the capability of fixing common issues like blurry videos, frozen videos, interrupted video playback, etc. What's even better, the process only requires a few simple steps. It even has an advanced repair mode that can fix some of the more complex errors and forms of video corruption out there.

Wondershare Video Repair is our number one solution for repairing damaged videos and recovering corrupted files. But don't take our word for it, check out the easy steps below and try it for yourself. You won't regret it.

Step 1. Add your corrupted videos

You'll need to add the corrupted video in one of two ways. The first method will require you to click the box in the center of Recoverit's interface, which reads, "Add video and start repairing." The second method is to just click on the "Add" button.

Add corrupted video

Step 2. Repair your selected corrupted videos

After adding your corrupted video, Wondershare will display file information like Date Created, File Name, File Path, File Size, and Operation. Click the "Repair" button and wait for the operation to finish.

Scan video

Step 3. Preview and save repaired videos

Once complete, a dialog box will appear, asking you to preview the repaired video. Click on "OK."

You can click on the little play button (triangle) under the Operation tab to preview your video. Make sure there are no more errors in the video. If you're satisfied with the results, click "OK" to save the repaired video, and that's it. However, if your video is still corrupted, move on to the next step.

Preview video

Step 4. Add sample video

If the video preview shows that it is badly corrupted, select Advanced Repair.

To fix bigger issues with your videos, Wondershare will need to use a corruption-free video (sample) that was created with the same device in the same format as the one you want to repair.

Add sample video

Simply click the folder icon, and then add your sample video.

Step 5. Begin Advanced Repair

Click the "Repair" button to begin the operation.

Note that the repaired video will not be automatically saved when you start Advanced Repair, so make sure to do so manually. Select "Yes" or "No" in the dialog box before Advance Repair can begin.

Once Advance Repair mode has completed its operation, click the "Save" button, and you will be presented with a new prompt.

Save video path

Make sure to name the folder whatever you like to keep things organized; otherwise, you could easily find yourself combing through several files before long.

Video: Repair Damaged Video Files

Whenever you find any of your videos corrupt and unable to play smoothly, give Wondershare Video Repair a try. It's the ultimate solution. For example, repair corrupted videos from the SD card.

Part 3. Different Solutions to Video Playback Error

So now that you're familiar with video playback error symptoms, effects and causes, we get to the good bit. Here are a couple of solutions to fix video playback errors, which will ensure you go back to enjoying your videos the way they meant to be enjoyed.

  • Run Windows 10 Troubleshooting
  • Update display drivers
  • Download video codecs
  • Playback using VLC Media Player
  • Restore Windows to a previous Restore Point
  • Use Handbrake to convert your video
  • Copy your videos from the SD card and onto your computer

Solution 1: Run Windows 10 Troubleshooting

If you're computer runs on Windows 10, then you're in luck. Microsoft's latest Operating System comes with a troubleshooting feature out-of-the-box. This useful feature will automatically detect any issues it can find and fix them. Here's how;

Step 1: Type troubleshooting in the Search Bar and open.

Troubleshoot settings

Step 2: Select "View All" in the panel on the left.

Step 3: Click "Video Playback" from the list.

Step 4: Click "Next" and follow the prompts.

Step 5: Once the process is complete, play the video to ensure the problem has been fixed.

Windows 10 computer sometimes goes black when you play a video. In this case, you need the solutions - Fix Windows 10 PC Black Screen When Playing Videos.

Solution 2: Update Display Drivers

Always keep your display drivers up-to-date so that you avoid many cases of videos not playing as they should. Here's what you need to do to update them;

Step 1: Type "Device Manager" in the Search Bar and open.

Step 2: Look for a yellow exclamation mark under the Display Adapter and right-click.

Step 3: Select "Update driver."

Update driver

Step 4: Select "Search automatically for updated driver software."

Step 5: Install the driver and reboot your computer.

Step 6: Try playing your video once more.

Alternatively at Step 5, do the following;

Step 5: Select "Browse for drivers on your computer."

Browse for drivers on your computer

Step 6: Select the driver location using the browse "button."

Step 7: Install the driver software and reboot your computer.

Step 8: Now retry video playback.

Solution 3: Download video codec

In most cases of video playback errors, the root of the problem is the absence of the right codecs to play the files. There's a variety of codec packs that you can download like K-Lite and X-Codec pack. Here's how to install them onto your computer;

Step 1: Download the codec pack you are interested in and begin the installation.

Install K-Lite Codec Pack

Step 2: Reboot the System after installation ends.

Step 3: Make sure the existing codec is fine by launching the Windows Media Player troubleshooting packs

Step 4: Restart the computer.

Restart the computer

Step 5: Play a video to verify whether your playback error is fixed.

Solution 4: Playback using VLC Media Player

VLC is a great media player that has a lot of functionality and is trusted by many. One of its best features is the ability to playback several video formats without any need for additional downloads. VLC supports most video codecs, so if you've narrowed down your playback issues to missing codecs, give this media player a try.

Step 1: Download VLC from the official website and install it.

Install VLC media player

Step 2: Launch VLC and click on the down-pointing arrow in the top left corner. It will open a dropdown menu.

Step 3: From the menu, select "Open File."

Step 4: Locate the video you wish to play and click "Open."

Solution 5: Restore Windows to a previous Restore Point

Sometimes, system updates and upgrades don't function as intended. If you suspect your video playback errors are caused by a recent update you made to your system, try using a Restore Point to take it back to a state before the offending update was installed. Follow these instructions to do so;

Step 1: Type "System Restore" in the Search Box and select "Create a restore point."

Step 2: In the System Properties box, select System Restore.

System restore settings

Step 3: Follow the prompts and wait until the process is complete.

Select restore point

Step 4: Restart your computer.

Step 5: Try playing the video to make sure it was a recent update that created your playback error.

You can also recover deleted photos and videos on Windows by yourself and like a Pro.

Solution 6: Copy your videos from the SD card and onto your computer

Always make sure you are playing your videos from the computer and not devices you've connected to it. Playback from your computer's hard drive will ensure that videos play smoothly so long as there aren't any other additional issues with the PC. If you're not familiar with how to copy your video files to a computer, follow these steps;

Step 1: Connect your device to the computer and open the device folder containing the videos you wish to copy and select them.

Video file location

Step 2: Right-click the selected videos and choose"Copy" from the menu.

Step 3: Navigate to the location you want to save the videos in, right-click any empty spot, and select paste.

Paste videos in folder

Step 4: Wait for the copy process to end and then retry video playback.

Part 4. How to Prevent Video Playback Errors

Video playback is the act of viewing a video, whether it be in its whole entirety or only snippets. As much as solutions are good for fixing problems, it's always best to take preventive measures, so problems don't occur in the first place. In the case of video playback errors, these are a couple of things you can do to prevent them from manifesting.

  • When recording videos, turn off the camera if it is overheating and allow it to cool down before continuing.
  • Check your camera's memory card for errors often so that file corruption doesn't take you by surprise.
  • If your camera is waterproof, make sure to rinse it after every use in saltwater. Use freshwater and soft dry cloth.
  • Always make backups of your videos.
  • When backing up your videos, make sure the flash drive, hard drive, memory card, etc. that you use is not faulty beforehand.
  • Make sure your backups are not all on the same device.
  • Make sure to use USB cables that aren't faulty to transfer videos to your computer.
  • Don't disconnect the device from your computer in the middle of a transfer.
  • Protect your computer from power surges as these could affect files you are watching.
  • Scan your computer for viruses often to prevent damage to your files.
  • After copying files to your computer, test playback to make sure they copied properly.
  • When previewing videos, make sure to check the beginning, middle, and end to ensure the video is fine.
  • When previewing videos, make sure the audio is in sync with the video.
  • When previewing videos, make sure the video can freely skip to any point you choose responsively.
  • Always archive and store your videos in a separate location like cloud storage or an external hard drive. The odds of both copies becoming corrupt are slim.
  • Always keep your computer, drivers, and codecs up-to-date.
  • Only use trustworthy media players to watch videos on your computer.

Closing Words

There are quite several scenarios that lead to video file corruption, and they could happen to anyone, at any time, in any place. That's why it's always best to be aware of not only preventive measures but also curative ones. This way, you're better prepared if your videos ever become corrupted and start displaying errors during playback.

So if you ever find yourself working with corrupt videos, think of us as you make use of the knowledge we've shared. Thanks for reading.

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