How to recover corrupted video file?

Have you ever downloaded a video that can’t be played because the file is corrupted? Well, it happens – and unfortunately so, more frequently than you’d think. Sometimes you have a backed up version of the corrupted video file, or you can simply download the file once again and it works. But there are cases when your entire project files or even some valuable memories are simply gone. What should you do in situations like these? How to recover corrupted video file? Well, I will tell you two things right from the start. Number one: don’t panic! And number two: don’t delete the corrupted files. In this article, I’ll talk about how to recover corrupted mp4 video files and damaged AVI files. But first, let’s do a little background on these two popular video file formats and find out what can cause the files to get corrupted.


MP4 is a digital multimedia format that’s used for storing mainly audio and video. It is based on Apple’s MOV video file format. MP4 was initially released in 2001, and it allows streaming over the Internet – just like many other modern container formats. This file format can get corrupted due to number of different causes. Let’s find out what those are.

Common causes for MP4 video file corrupting

Corrupted video files (From how to recover corrupted video file)

Image by Joe the Goat Farmer (via Flickr)

  • Internal device errors while recording videos
  • Recording on a full-stored memory card
  • Attempt to change MP4 in another video format
  • Storage issues
  • Corrupted header file on the MP4 video
  • Interruptions while downloading a video from the Internet
  • MP4 video virus infection


Audio Video Interleaved – or AVI is a multimedia container format that was developed by Microsoft. It can store audio and video data in a file container and just like MP4, it supports audio and video streaming.

Common causes for AVI video file corrupting

  • AVI files often get corrupted due to virus infection
  • Conversion of AVI files to another video formats like MKV and MOV
  • Interruptions and errors while downloading from the Internet
  • Different codec issues
  • Software and hardware malfunction

How to recover corrupted video file?

Tools for video file recovery (from How to recover corrupted video file)

Image by Joe the Goat Farmer (via Flickr)

Chances are that your broken video files can be fully repaired or at least repaired to some extent. With MP4 and AVI files, the problem often lays in the index. Lucky for you, there are number of useful video file repair software available on the Internet – both free and paid.  Let’s take a closer look to the most popular video recovery tools.

Stellar Phoenix MP4 Video Repair

This is a great program for Mac that repairs different video file formats such as MP4, MOV, 4FV and M4V. It is a paid software that costs $69, but it will allow you to preview the repaired video files before you make the purchase. It works with corrupted videos stored on hard drives, USB, memory cards and other storage media.

VLC Media Player AVI Video Repair

VLC is one of the best media players in the world. It is a free, cross-platform program that comes with in-build feature that repairs index of AVI files. Not that this solution doesn’t apply the fix to the original video file permanently – it just resolves the issue temporarily to make the video playable in VLC. Once you close it, you’d have to tell VLC to fix the file once again for the new video session.

Here are 3 simple steps that illustrate how temporarily recover a corrupted AVI video file in VLC Media Player:

  1. Open the broken file with VLC Media Player
  2. VLC will display an error message
  3. Click on the Build index then play button


DivFix++ is another great free-of-charge piece of software that has the ability to repair and preview AVI and DivX video files. Judging by the user reviews, it really does a great job. Here are few simple steps for video file repair on DivFix++:

  1. Download the program from here
  2. Extract the files and run the .exe file
  3. In the bottom corner, click on Add Files
  4. Click Check Errors to scan the corrupted video files
  5. Click Fix to fix the files


FileRepair is a powerful, completely free software that scans and repairs many different types of video, audio and text file formats – including MP4 video. It supports MP4, AVI, MOV, FLV, WMV, MPG and ASF video format. How to get started:

  1. Download the program from here
  2. Click Browse to select the corrupted file you want to repair
  3. Click Change to set the location of the output (Optional)
  4. Click on Start Repair to repair the file

Featured Image by Joe the Goat Farmer (via Flickr)