How to Repair Corrupt MP4 and MOV Files using VLC Player

Summary: This blog shares various methods to use VLC Media Player to repair corrupt MP4 and MOV formats videos. In some cases, if you aren’t able to fix a video problem, the post recommends Stellar Repair for Video tool that can make severely corrupt videos playable again.

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Most of us are familiar with VLC, a free media player for viewing movies. But, we are not familiar with the capabilities of the application and the features that it offers to deal with corrupted or damaged media files. This may take you by surprise, but you can repair corrupt MP4 and MOV files using VLC Player. VLC transcode abilities allow converting damaged MOV and MP4 videos into playable files!

At times, you may get an error message while attempting to access media files in VLC that shows that the files are broken, and the player cannot read it. It may prompt to ask for user permission to repair the file. Unaware of the repairing capabilities of VLC, we usually select ‘No’. Therefore, the next time you encounter a similar issue, and the application asks to repair MP4, MOV, AVI or other media files, click ‘Yes’.

Method# 1: Repair Corrupt MOV & MP4 Files with VLC

VLC Media Player can convert unplayable video files to a playable format. This method works if videos are not playing due to incompatible codecs. Follow the below steps:

Step 1: Launch VLC Player.
Step 2: Go to Media and select Convert/ Save.
Step 3: Click on Add to insert videos that need to be transcoded.

VLC_Open Media

Step 4: Click Convert/ Save.
Step 5: In the Convert window that appears, provide the file name and location against the Destination file option.
Step 6: Select the desired input codec from 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.

Repair Corrupt MOV & MP4 Files with VLC

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

This may help repair video files, therefore, making it playable in VLC and other media players. If not, there are other procedures that can also repair corrupt video files.

Watch the video – How to repair corrupt MP4 & MOV files using VLC Player


Method# 2: Repair with VLC built-in 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.

Note: Don’t work on the original MP4 or MOV file. Create a copy and apply this VLC fix on it.

Follow the below steps to repair MP4 or MOV video 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: Now, launch VLC Player

Step 3: Select Tools on top. Click and follow Preferences >Input or Codecs.


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

VLC_Simple Preferences

Step 5: Click on Save at the bottom

Now, try to play your repaired videos in VLC or other player, the video problem should be fixed.

Method# 3 Increase cache values in VLC

If your videos or movies stutter, lag, or are playing jerky in VLC, increasing the media player’s cache values may help.

Follow the below steps to increase cache value:

Step 1: Open VLC Player.

Step 2: Go to Tools. Click Preferences.

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


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

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

VLC_Tools_Preferences_Input-Output Codecs

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


Step 7: Click Save and restart VLC.

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

Method# 4 Change video output module in VLC

If your MP4 or MOV video files show black, white or other distortions when trying to play in VLC Media Player, change the video output settings of the player.

This would fix poorly playing video problem in VLC.

Step 1: Open Tools > Preferences.

Step 2: Choose 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.

VLC_Tools Preferences_Video Settings

Step 4: Click Save and restart VLC.


Unable to repair videos with VLC Player? Get a Video Repair Software

If none of the above-mentioned VLC Media player video fixes help in resolving the issue, you can try using Video Repair Software to repair your corrupt MOV and MP4 files. The tool has the capability to deal with all kinds of MP4, MOV corruption issues including broken file header, compression issues, slider movement problem, frames corruption etc. The software also fixes video errors that pop-up due to file corruption.

You can try the software free version here to evaluate and asses if the software can repair your corrupt video.

Video Repair Video Repair Mac


Steps to Repair corrupt Video Files – MOV, MP4 with Video Repair software

Step 1: Launch Stellar Repair for Video

Step 2: Click Add file upload damaged or unplayable MP4 and MOV files to the software

Stellar Repair for Video- Add File

Step 3: Click the ‘Repair’ button. The software begins repair process.

Stellar Repair for Video - Repairing your video files

Step 4: Preview the repaired files before saving  them  to your desired location.

Preview All Repaired File - Stellar Repair for Video

Step 5:  Select files and click on Save Repaired Files. In dialog box choose location to save the your repaired videos and click Save.

Stellar Repair for Video - Save repaired file at source location


Advantages of using a professional video repair tool

Using a professional video repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Video can help you fix severely corrupt video files. Unlike VLC Media Player, you don’t require to follow intricate steps. The algorithms of the video repair software automatically fixes a corrupt video in 3 steps – Add file, Repair and Save. The software is compatible with latest Windows and macOS versions including Catalina.

Other benefits:

  • It repairs video files stored on hard drives (external or internal), memory cards, digital camera, smartphones, or other video storage devices
  • Not only MP4 and MOV, you can repair several other video file formats such as AVI, ASF, WMV, MKV, FLV, DIVX, WEBM, MJPEG, MPEG, AVCHD, MTS, 3G2, 3GP, M4V and F4V.
  • The software can help you fix any number of corrupt videos at one go.


VLC Media Player has repairing capabilities but the open source tool isn’t always successful in repairing corrupt videos. A dedicated video repair software can be considered 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.

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