How to Fix the Unsupported Video Format Error on Windows 10?

Summary: The unsupported video format error may occur due to various reasons. In this post, we’ve discussed the causes that may lead to this error and the methods to fix it. Also, we’ve mentioned a reliable video repair tool that can help fix the error if it occurs due to corruption in the video file.

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Case Scenario: My video player is not letting me play my videos. When I try playing the videos, a message pops up – “Cannot playback the file. The format is not supported (Error=80040265).” How can I play my videos now?

It is quite frustrating to encounter the “unsupported video format” or “format is not supported” error while playing your videos.

Here, we’ll be discussing the reasons that may result in the unsupported video format error and the methods to resolve this error.

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Reasons for Unsupported Video Format Error

The primary reason for the error is the missing codecs in your video player. The codecs are necessary to play a particular video file format. Technically, a codec is an encoding standard that compresses and decompresses videos. Simply put, the codec reduces and encodes the videos with respect to a different technology for specific conditions and variables.

If you encounter the message ‘the codec or format is not supported, it means that your device doesn’t have the codec required to decode and play the video file.

Besides that, there may be some other reasons, such as the video file format doesn’t support the particular video player or the video file being corrupt.

Also Read: How to Repair Corrupted MP4 Video Files Free?

How to Fix Unsupported Video Format Error on Windows 10?

Below, we have mentioned some effective workarounds to troubleshoot the unsupported video format error. Unfortunately, if the error is not resolved using these methods, it means the video file is corrupt. In such a case, you need to use a third-party video repair tool to repair the corrupt video file.

Let’s discuss the methods to fix the “format is not supported” error.

Methods Steps
Try Another Video Player Try other media players other than Windows Media Player, like VLC. Read More…
Convert the Video File Format Launch your VLC Media Player > Navigate to Media/Open Media. Read More…
Install the Missing Codec Launch the Windows or VLC Media Player. Read More…
Use Third-Party Video Repair Tool Download, install, and launch Stellar Repair for Video software. Read More…
  1. Try Another Video Player

Some specific video files are not compatible with every media player. For example, FLV and FLAC files are not compatible with Windows Media Player. On the other hand, the VLC media player supports almost all video file formats, like MP4, MOV, MKV, AVCHD, etc. Similarly, QuickTime Player supports MPEG, MOV, some AVI, and WAV files.

You can go online and search the video player with respect to a particular file format. Also, you can try different players, like Winamp, PotPlayer, KM Player, 5K Player, etc. to play your video files.

  1. Convert the Video File Format

If you have made up your mind to use your default media player, you can convert the video file to a format supported by your media player. For this, browse the internet and you will discover a melange of online video format converters. Run the search query (e.g., MKV to MOV) and you will get the desired results. However, this way, you may put your confidential video at risk.

Instead, you can successfully convert the video file format by using VLC Media Player.

Follow the below steps to convert the video file format by using VLC Media Player:

  • Launch your VLC Media Player.
  • Navigate to “Media/Open Media”.
  • Select “Convert/Save”.
  • On the “File” tab, click on “Add” and select the video file you wish to convert.

open media

  • Click on the “Convert/Save” button.
  • In the “Convert” wizard, choose the new video file format from the “Profile” option. You can also click on “Edit Selected Profile” (wrench icon) to edit a particular profile.


  • Next, click on “Start” to initiate the process of video file format conversion.
  1. Install the Missing Codec

Downloading and installing the missing codec of a particular video file format will help fix the unsupported video file format error.

Browse the web for the supported codec, download it, and install it on your system. Ensure that you download the codec from the manufacturer’s website since downloading from other sources might invite viruses and harm your system.

Instead, you can choose an offline method. Windows Media Player and VLC Media Player have the in-built provisions of downloading the codecs automatically. Here are the steps to download the codecs.

Installing Missing Codecs in Windows Media Player

  • Launch the Windows Media Player.
  • Go to the “Tools” tab and select “Options”.
  • Click on the “Players” tab.
  • Check the “Download codecs automatically” checkbox.
  • Next, click on “OK”.
  • Now, try playing the video file. A message prompt will pop up to install the codec.
  • Click on “Install”.

Installing Missing Codecs in VLC Media Player

  • Launch the VLC Media Player.
  • Click on the “Help” tab and select “Check for Updates”.

VLC Media Player1

  • A message prompt will appear asking to download the new version. Click on “Yes”.
  • It will automatically download the new codecs with the new version.


  1. Use Third-Party Video Repair Tool

When none of the above methods works, it indicates that the video file is corrupt. In that case, try a professional video repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Video to repair the corrupt video file.

Stellar Repair for Video is a 100% safe and secure video repair tool. It can repair severely corrupt video files and help you get rid of the unsupported video format error. It is an advanced tool that can repair any video file, including MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, F4V, AVCHD, M4V, 3G2, WEBM, MKV, etc.

Steps to Repair Corrupt Video File by Using Stellar Repair for Video

  • Step 1: Download, install and launch the Stellar Repair for Video software on Windows 10 PC.


  • Step 2: On the main interface, click on “Add File” to upload the corrupt video file/files.

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  • Step 3: Click on “Repair” to initiate the video file repair process.
  • Step 4: You can preview the repaired video files.


  • Step 5: Finally, click on “Save Repaired Files” to save the repaired videos at your desired location on your Windows 10 PC or some external storage media.

Additional Reading: How to Get Activation Key of Stellar Repair for Video?

Bottom Line

While playing your videos, you may encounter an error, like an unsupported video format, due to missing codecs or any other reason. You can follow the methods mentioned in this post to troubleshoot this error. If your video file is corrupt, you have to go with a video repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Video, to repair the corrupt video file. The software supports all the popular video file formats.

Also Read: Free Video Repair Tool to Repair Damaged Videos


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