How to Identify and Install Missing Codecs in Windows?


A codec, short for codedecode is used in most audio and video files. The encoder part of the codec is a program that shrinks a video or audio for storage or transmission purposes. The decoder in it decodes the video when you have to view the file or edit it.

You cannot imagine downloading video and audio files if not for codecs because in that case, the files would have taken about 5-10 times longer than they do now.

How many types of codecs are available?

Codecs, in general, are extremely complicated. One single file type (also referred to as a container) can use many different types of codecs within it. So, just because your media player supports a particular file type, it does not mean all the codecs that the file type can contain is supported.

For example, AVI is a type of file extension that you see often. But you should know it is only a container that can contain a variety of different codecs. So, when you see a media player supporting AVI files, but doesn’t play the AVI file you are trying to play, it indicates that the codec used in the AVI file is not supported.

In fact, there are several hundred types of codecs available for audio and video files. You may not need all of them, but you sure need the most common ones such as MP3, WMA, DivX, XviD etc.

Which codec do I need?

If you don’t have necessary codecs installed, you may receive the following errors upon playing the video file on Windows PC.

  • The media file you are trying to play is not supported
  • Invalid file format
  • The player cannot play your file because the required codec is not installed on your computer

In order to solve this error, you will need to find out which codec you need. For that, you will have to find the codec that the video file you are trying to play is using. Below are instructions to find the codec on Windows PC’s.

  1. Right click on the file you are trying to play and select Properties
  2. Select the Summary tab

The file description section should tell you the audio and video codecs your file is using. Once you have found that, go ahead and search for those codecs online. Download them and in no time, you should be able to play your file.

Common types of codec packs

K-Lite codec pack: It is a powerful codec pack that allows playback of many types of video files such as AVI, MKV, FLV, MPEG, DVD, Blu-ray, and many more formats. K-Lite comes in 4 different versions such as Basic, Standard, Full, and Mega. Although, Standard is the most commonly used pack, Basic works just fine if all you need is to play certain formats.

Full and Mega are designed for power users with a lot of great features including the Media Player Classic.

CCCP codec pack: CCCP stands for Combined Community Codec Pack and is capable of playing a wide variety of media formats and files. It was mainly designed to resolve problems caused by conflicting codec packs. This is an option to consider if you want a comprehensive codec pack to play various kinds of video files.

VLC player: Of course, this is not a codec pack but a versatile media player that you should consider having on your system. It is like a Swiss-army knife that is capable of playing a wide variety of video files.


Of course, one of the most common causes of any video file not playing is the codec factor. But what is also important to note is that there may be other factors such as corruption in the file. If the video file is corrupted, you may experience playback issues, audio video sync issues and so on. In such cases, you can repair the file using Remo Repair and play them easily.

So, if your MOV or MP4 file is not playing on WMP or other media players, just download Remo Repair MOV and repair your file. Once the file is repaired, you will be able to play your video file without any issues.

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