How to Repair Corrupt MP4 and MOV Files Using VLC Player?

Updated on November 9th, 2021

Rohit Arora

Summary: This blog shares various free methods to repair corrupt MP4 and MOV videos using VLC Media Player. In some situations, you can’t repair MP4 and MPV files using VLC. So, this post also shares a method to repair MP4 and MOV file corruption using Stellar Repair for Video — software to repair severely corrupt videos and make them playable. Download a Free Trial of Stellar Repair for Video before you go to the methods.

How to Repair Corrupt MP4 and MOV Files Using VLC Player? How to Repair Corrupt MP4 and MOV Files Using VLC Player?

Table of Content

Methods to repair corrupt MP4 & MOV videos by using VLC Media Player

MP4 and MOV are among the most commonly used video file formats that are compatible with almost every video player including VLC Media Player. Most of you are familiar with VLC as a free media player for viewing movies. But, you may not be familiar with the file repair capabilities of the player. VLC has features to fix corrupted, damaged, truncated, or broken video files. Its transcode abilities allow converting damaged MOV and MP4 videos into playable files again. Here we will share in detail how you can free repair corrupt MP4 and MOV videos using these VLC features.

Watch the video – How to repair corrupt video files with VLC Player

Method 1: Fix corrupted MP4 & MOV Issues with Transcoding Using VLC

This method uses VLC player to transcode MP4 and MOV files and make them playable on unsupported media players, i.e., the player cannot play these video file formats due to incompatible or missing codecs. For example, QuickTime player may fail to play MP4 videos if they are not encoded with MPEG-2, MPEG-4, or H.264 codecs. Attempting to play a MP4 or MOV on an incompatible player may throw error messages, giving you an impression that the video file is corrupted, whereas, in reality, you need to make them compatible.

When to use: This method is applicable if you want to play an MP4 or MOV file on an incompatible media player.

Steps to repair MOV/MP4 files with transcoding in VLC:

Step 1: Launch VLC Player.

Step 2: Go to Media and select Convert/ Save.

Step 3: Click on Add to insert MP4/ MOV videos that need to be transcoded.

Click on Add to insert MP4/ MOV videos

Step 4: Click Convert/ Save.

Step 5: In the Convert window, provide the file name and location against the Destination file option.

Step 6: Select the desired input codecfrom the Profile list.

Step 7: You can choose the Edit Selected Profile button to change a specified profile settings. You can also create a new profile or delete any existing profile.

Click on Edit Selected Profile Button

Step 8: Next, click Start in the Convert window.

 This method will fix corrupted MP4 and MOV file issues rising due to incompatibility with the media player. You will be able to play the videos in VLC or other players based on their new profile after transcoding.

Method 2:  MOV and MP4 Repair using VLC video fix feature

VLC Player has a built-in feature to fix AVI video files. If you have a corrupt video other than AVI, like MP4 or MOV, first change the file extension to .AVI and then use this VLC feature to fix the video problem.

When to use: You can try this free MOV/MP4 repair method to repair corrupt file index and file header, etc.

Caution: Do not work on the original MP4 or MOV file. Make a copy of the original file and repair it using VLC.

Steps to repair MP4/ MOV files using AVI fix in VLC:

Step 1: To rename MP4/ MOV video file, right click on it. Select Rename and change extension to .AVI. Hit Enter.

Step 2: Launch VLC Player.

Step 3: Click Tools > Preferences > >Input or Codecs

Click Tools > Preferences >Input or Codecs

Step 4: Select Always Fix next to Repair AVI Files.

Select Always Fix next to Repair AVI Files

Step 5: Click on Save at the bottom.

Now, try playing the AVI file converted from the MP4 or MOV file. This free method should resolve MP4 or MOV files issues.

Method 3: Increase the Cache values in VLC Player

Streaming or offline saved MP4 and MOV videos may not play properly due to buffer cache. By increasing the cache values in VLC, you can fix video playback issues.

When to use: Apply this free method to play MP4, MOV, and other video files with playability issues such as stuttering, out-of-sync, lagging, choppy, or jerky videos.

Steps to increase cache value in VLC:

Step 1: Open VLC Player.

Step 2: Go to Tools. Click Preferences.

Step 3: At the bottom left in Show settings select the All.

Show settings

Step 4: Click on Input/ Codecs option from the list.

Step 5: On the right pane, scroll down to Advanced.

Input Code > Scroll Down to Advance Option

Step 6: Under Advanced, across File caching (ms) change the values from 300 to 1000 or above.

 File caching (ms) > Change the Value 300 to 1000

Step 7: Click Save and restart VLC Player.

Now, your MP4 and MOV videos should play smoothly in VLC Media Player.

Method 4: Change Video Output Settings in VLC

You can change video rendering (output) settings in VLC Player to fix unplayable or distorted MP4 or MOV video files.

When to use: If your MP4 or MOV video files show black screen, white screen, or other distortion use this method to fix the problem.

Steps to change video output settings in VLC:

Step 1: Open VLC Player and navigate to Tools > Preferences.

Step 2: Click Video.

Step 3: In Video Settings, under Output change settings from Automatic to DirectX (DirecDraw) video output. Note: Windows XP and below users can try DirectX 3D, DirectX, OpenGL and Windows GDI video output modules.

Automatic to DirectX

Step 4: Click Save and restart VLC.

Now try playing the MP4 or MOV video in VLC. Hopefully, this method will allow you to play the corrupt video files.

Cannot repair MP4/ MOV videos with VLC Player? Get a Video Repair Software

If VLC Media player didn’t fix video corruption and playability issues, try Stellar Repair for Video —software to repair corrupt MP4 and MOV files. The tool can deal with all kinds of MP4, MOVcorruption issues, including broken file header, compression issues, slider movement problem, frame corruption, etc. The software also fixes video errors that pop-up due to file corruption.

Download the Free Trial of Stellar Repair for Video from the below link and assess its video repair capability. You can watch the preview of your repaired MP4 and MOV video in the free trial. For the step-by-step help on software, click here

VLC vs. Video Repair Software – Quick Comparison

Comparison ParameterVLC Media PlayerStellar Repair for Video
Type of video corruptionVLC can fix mild corruption like file index issue in AVI files.The software repairs simple as well as severely damaged videos that have corrupt header, data, frame, sound section, video movement issue etc.
Application scopeVLC is a multifunctional media player that can convert video file formats and repair video files.Stellar Video Repair is a professional video repair tool for  MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, AVCHD, MJPEG, and other file formats.
Ease-of-useVLC video repair methods involve tedious manual steps.Offers easy and quick video repairs in 3 steps (no technical expertise required)
BenefitA free tool with limited video repair capability.Professional tool with best-in-class video repair features and high success rate.
CompatibilityWindows 10, macOS Big SurWindows 10, macOS Big Sur

Finally

VLC Media Player has repairing capabilities but the open source tool isn’t always successful in repairing corrupt videos. A dedicated video repair software is an effective alternative to bring corrupt video files to a playable format.  The professional video repair software saves your good amount of time and you can also approach technical expert for free video repair advice.

FAQ

1. How to repair MP4 file not playing in VLC?

Try to repair MP4 file in VLC Player by using the solutions in this blog. If the media player fails to fix the issue, use Stellar Repair for Video.

2. How to fix corrupted MP4 files on Android?

You can repair corrupt MP4 videos on Android by using MP4Fix, an Android app available on Google Play Store. If the Android app doesn’t work, transfer the video files to computer and repair by using VLC Media Player or Stellar Repair for Video software.

3. What are the other free methods to repair MP4 files?

Other than VLC Media Player, you can use a free online video repair program or download MP4 codecs to fix not playing MP4 files. Learn more free methods to repair MP4 files here.

4. Can I repair MOV file in VLC Player saved in camera SD card?

Yes, you can repair corrupt videos stored on SD card, USB, flash drive etc., in VLC Player Transfer them first to computer and then use a video repair tool to repair it.

5. Can QuickTime Player repair corrupt MOV and MP4 videos?

Unlike VLC Media Player, QuickTime Player lacks video repair features. However, if the MOV or MP4 fil is corrupted, the media player displays the black screen error sighting the issue in your video file. For details click here.

6. Can I repair corrupt DJI drone videos in VLC Player?

Yes, you can repair videos shot with drone cameras in VLC Player.


About The Author

Sumona Chatterjee

Sumona is a tech blogger, avid photographer, & technogeek with vast experience in writing about media file recovery tips and tutorials. She has over 10 years of experience in media file recovery/media file repair technology. She is passionate about Photography, Creative Designing, Music, and Exploring lesser-known destinations. 

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150 comments
  1. Hi,
    I want to recover some old video files that I have deliberately deleted in the past.

    Using the licences that I bought for EaseUS Data Recovery I was able to identify some of them, but when I tried to play the videos that was impossible to start in VLC player and Media Player. even tried to repair videos with incorporated VLC tools, but nothing.

    Tried then using Stellar Free version and faced with the same issue as Adam here in comments. Advanced repair loop started and finally the result is that I cannot view those MP4 and AVI.

    1. Hi Tudorel, Our Software Free version provides preview of repaired files up to 20% of total video size. If our software preview the repaired file it’s definitly repaired the corrupt file. You need to purchase license version If the issue occur goto Advanced repair option and add a sample video file of same format (here MP4 file) shot with the same device as your corrupt video. Thanks!

  2. I tried using Stellar Repair for video to fix a corrupted MP4 movie file. The software told me it was very corrupted and recommended Advanced Repair. Which I did use. I tried twice and it still said it was too corrupted is there anything I can do. BTW it asked in the Advanced Repair section for a sample video. Maybe I’m still doing something wrong?

    1. Hi Adam,
      In the case of a severely corrupted video file, the software gives you an option of Advance Repair using sample file.
      You have to add a sample video file of same format (here MP4 file) shot with the same device as your corrupt video.

  3. I was recording a Bandicam MP4 when suddenly the game I was recording crashed. I’ve tried everything and wasn’t able to repair the file.

    1. Hi Alec,
      Try Stellar Repair for Video to fix corrupt MP4 video. Also you can do few things to fix Bandicam crash issue like reinstall your computer’s graphic drivers and next time record at lower frame rate. Bandicam provides a software called Bandifix that would fix broken AVI videos but not MP4, so to be on the safer side you may decide to set output video at AVI.

  4. Dear Madam,
    Can MP4 files damaged by jope ransomware be repaired. I have removed the virus through Malawarebytes and Antivirus and decryptor and bulk renaming, but unable to recover damaged files, they do not run. I even used Stellar video repair, but it is unable to recover. any suggestions.
    Regards,
    Mukhtar

    1. If you have already purchased the software, you may then contact our support team via online chat or toll free number. Thanks!

  5. VLC did not work for me. Stellar did work but did not recover the video 100% Plus when I hit save, it asks me to pay for a license key.

  6. I cannot thank you enough. I have scoured to the ends of the internet to fix capture galleries from my PS4. So you have an Idea, ps4 does not copy videos to usb well and typically corrupts the videos, which is bad for my uploading to my twitch channel.

    Not only did this work, it is the only thing that works to recover this data. You guys are literally the best. THANK YOU SO MUCH I could hug every last one of you!

    1. Hi Dan,
      Thanks for reading our blog – ‘How to Recover Deleted or Lost PS4 Game Videos from HDD?’

  7. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
    I’m quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

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