Home News


To find out which codec was used with a particular file, play the file in your player if possible. While playing a file, right-click on it in the library and select Properties. On the File tab, see the Audio Codec and Video Codec Sections. Use a third-party codec identification tool.



The codec compresses or decompresses multimedia files such as songs or videos. Windows Media Player and other applications use codecs to play and create media files.

A codec can consist of two parts: an encoder, which compresses the media file (encoding), and a decoder, which decompresses the file (decoding). Some codecs contain both parts, others only one.

  1. From the Windows Media Player Help menu, select About Windows Media Player. If you don’t see the Help menu, choose Arrange> Layout> Show Menu Bar.

  2. In the About Windows Media Player dialog box, select Technical Support Information. Your web browser opens a page with a lot of detailed information about binaries, codecs, filters, add-ons, and related services that your computer is installed on. This information is intended to help you troubleshoot.

Hundreds of audio andvideo codecs. Some of them were created by Microsoft, but the vast majority of codecs were created by other companies, organizations and individuals. By default, the Windows operating system and player come with a number of the most popular codecs such as B. Windows Media Audio, Windows Media Video, and MP3.

However, there may be situations where you want to play content that has been compressed using a codec that Windows or your player does not include by default. In many cases, you can download the required codec for free or for a fee from the Internet. In some cases, the player may automatically use codecs installed on your computer by other digital media playback and creation software.

In this situation, you are probably trying to play, record, or sync a file that has been compressed with a codec that Windows or your player does not include by default.

If you know the name or ID of the codec (known as the FourCC ID for video codecs or the WaveFormat for audio codecs), search the Internet. Often, you can go to the codec manufacturer’s website to download the latest codec. If you don’t know the name or ID of the missing codec, see How do I know which codec was used to compress the file and what format the file is in?


  • Be careful when installing codecs that can be found on the Internet, especially some free codec packs that contain codecs used by many companies and organizations. There are known compatibility issues with some components of this codec that can cause severe playback problems in Windows Media Player and other players, damage your system, and prevent Microsoft support from diagnosing and fixing playback problems.

  • Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not Install these codec packs, and we recommend that you uninstall them if you have installed them and are having problems with the player. Install codecs, filters and plugins only from trusted sources, for example B. from the official website of the provider. However, be careful: some codec vendors offer minimal customer support. Configure a system restore point before installing digital media components. This allows you to revert to the original system configuration if necessary.

  • There is no way with absolute certainty which codec will be used to compress the file. However, the following options are best:

    • To see which codec was used with a particular file, play the file in your player, if possible. While playing the file, right-click the file in the library and select Properties. On the File tab, see the Audio Codec and Video Codec Sections.

  • Use the codec identification tool to a third-party manufacturer. To find it, search the Internet for “Codec Identifier Tool”. There you will find various useful tools and information.

  • You can determine the file format by the file name extension (for example, .wma, .wmv, .mp3, or .avi). However, this approach has limits. Many programs create files with custom file extensions. And anyone can rename the file without changing the file format. For example, a .mpg or .dvr-ms file is usually just an AVI file compressed using some version of the MPEG video codec.

    DVD Decoder is another name for MPEG-2 decoder. DVD-Video content is MPEG-2 encoded, as are Microsoft Recorded TV Show (DVR-MS) files and some AVI files. To play these items on your player, you must have a compatible DVD decoder installed on your computer.

    If your computer has a DVD player, the DVD decoder may already be installed. However, if you get an error that says you are missing a compatible DVD decoder, click the web help button in the error message dialog for instructions on how to get it.

    This can happen if your computer at work does not have the same codecs as your home computer.

    you need the codec-c plugin to watch this video

    For example, if you try to play a DVD-Video disc or DVR-MS file on your computer at work and it does not have a DVD decoder installed, you will not be able to play that item as long as you install a compatible DVD decoder on your work computer.

    Keep in mind that at work, your sysadmin may use Group Policy to prevent the installation of new codecs.

    Codecs can be written for 32-bit or 64-bit operating systems. If you are using 64-bit Windows, you need to install 64-bit codecs. For example, if you install a 32-bit codec on a 64-bit operating system, the player may not play files that require this codec.

    Please note that many older codecs are only available in 32-bit versionsyah. If your codec vendor does not indicate whether their codec is 32-bit or 64-bit, the codec is probably 32-bit. Check with your codec vendor for more information.

    You can try the Microsoft Movies