How to Determine Codec Needed to Play Video in Windows 10

When attempting to open a video file in Windows 10, you may encounter an error in your chosen video player because you don’t have the proper video codec installed on your computer. You will have to find out which codec needs to be installed in order to play these files.


What is a Codec?

When a video is created, it is encoded using a certain type of codec. A codec can be considered a type of language video players need to understand in order to play it. Codecs can be downloaded and installed on your computer to enable video players to play the video.


Which Codec Does my Video Need?

You can find out which codec is used by your video file using these steps:

  1. Download and install MediaInfo.
  2. Open the MediaInfo application. If prompted with a Preferences screen, simply select “OK“.
  3. Select “File” > “Open” > “File“, then browse to the video file you wish to find the codec for.
  4. Once the file is opened, select “View” > “Tree“. This will show you a bunch of information on the file, including “Codec ID” and “Codec ID/Info“.

In the example above, the “Advanced Video Coding” codec was used. With this knowledge, I can search the web for “Advanced Video Coding Codec” or “AVC codec” to find a codec pack to install.

I hope this guide has helped you find the proper video codec needed to play a movie in Windows 10. Please leave a comment below.

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