You receive a codec error message, or audio plays but video doesn't play when you play media files in Windows Media Player 11
This article provides a solution to an issue where the video doesn't play when you play it in Windows Media Player 11.
Applies to: Windows Media Player 11
Original KB number: 926373
When you try to play a video file in Windows Media Player 11, the video doesn't play. However, the audio plays.
Additionally, when you try to play an audio file or a video file in Windows Media Player 11, you may receive an error message that resembles one of the following error messages:
Windows Media Player cannot play the file because the required video codec is not installed on your computer.
Windows Media Player cannot play, burn, rip, or sync the file because a required audio codec is not installed on your computer.
A codec is required to play this file. To determine if this codec is available to download from the Web, click Web Help.
Invalid File Format.
This problem occurs if a codec that's required to play the file isn't installed on the computer.
To resolve this problem, configure Windows Media Player to download codecs automatically. To do so, follow these steps in Windows Media Player 11:
- On the Tools menu, select Options.
- Select the Player tab, select the Download codecs automatically check box, and then select OK.
- Try to play the file.
If you're prompted to install the codec, select Install. If you still can't play the file correctly, try the steps in the Advanced troubleshooting section. If you aren't comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, ask someone for help, or contact Microsoft Support.
The following steps are intended for advanced computer users.
Obtain and install the codec by following these steps in Windows Media Player 11:
Determine whether the codec is installed on the computer that you are using to play the file. To do so, follow these steps:
- In the Now Playing area, right-click the file that you try to play, and then select Properties.
- Select the File tab, note the codecs that are specified in the Audio codec and the Video codec areas, and then select OK. If the following conditions are true, go to step 2.
- No audio codec is specified.
- No video codec is specified.
- On the Help menu, select About Windows Media Player.
- Select the Technical Support Information hyperlink.
- If you're trying to play an audio file, determine whether the audio codec that you noted in step 1b is listed in the Audio Codecs area. If you are trying to play a video file, determine whether the video codec or the audio codec that you noted in step 1b is listed in the Video Codecs area. If the codec isn't listed, go to step 2.
- Try to reinstall the codec. If you can't reinstall the codec, go to step 2.
- Try to play the file. If you can play the file, skip steps 2 and 3.
Install the codec by following these steps:
If you receive an error message when you try to play the file, select Web Help. If you don't receive an error message when you try to play the file, go to step 3.
On the Microsoft Web site, select the link to the Wmplugins Web site.
Follow the instructions on the Web site to download and install the codec for the file. If the Web site doesn't automatically find a codec for the file, and if either of the following conditions is true, go to step 3:
- You didn't note a codec in step 1b.
- You can't find the codec that you noted in step 1b on the Web site.
Try to play the file. If you can play the file, skip step 3.
Obtain the codec from a third-party vendor.
If you are using Windows Media Player in an environment that is managed by a network administrator, you may have to contact the network administrator to download and install the codec.
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