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Solved - Windows Cannot Play AVI Files

Audio Video Interleave (AVI files) is a well-known video file format and multimedia container introduced by Microsoft in 1992. The file format allows the audio and video playback synchronization. It is a convenient video file format preferred by many users across the world.

Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen circumstances you encounter “Windows cannot play an AVI file” error. One of the main reason errors as mentioned below is AVI file corruption, which can be addressed effortlessly as mentioned in the section below.

The below sections involve various approaches and methodologies to repair the AVI file not playable on windows. Before moving ahead with solutions let us first understand the common scenarios for an unplayable video files on windows

How to Repair an unplayable AVI file?

To repair unplayable AVI file follow the below listed methods:

      1. Fix Window Cannot Play AVI files by updating Windows Media Player
      2. Installation of the required Codecs
      3. Opening AVI file in a different and versatile media player
      4. Updating the Windows driver

Causes for unplayable AVI Video on Windows

Common reasons reported by the users for an unplayable AVI file on windows

  1. Windows media player does not have updated codec
  2. Drivers are not updated in Windows
  3. AVI file corruption
  4. Your media player doesn’t support AVI file format
  5. The AVI file is not downloaded or transferred

The above-mentioned scenarios usually cause the windows - cannot play AVI file error which can be solved by following the multiple methods given in the section below. Moreover, the above reasons can also cause a Windows media player to encounter a problem while playing other files like MOV, MP4, etc.


Method 1: Fix Windows cannot play AVI files by updating WMP (Windows media player)

The error occurs when AVI has not associated with Windows Media Player anymore.

To overcome this issue,

  • Open WMP.WMP
  • Press Alt to show the menu.
  • From Tools menu, choose Options. A window pops up.
  • Click File Types tab.
  • Make sure Windows Video File (.avi) is ticked. If it isn’t, check it and click OK.

Another way is to update to the latest version of WMP. In your WMP, press Alt to show the menu if you can’t see it and choose Help. Check for any updates and follow on-screen instructions.

Method 2: Install latest Codec to repair unplayable AVI file on Windows

K-Lite contains most of the codecs needed to view your video. To add K-Lite to Windows, follow these steps:

  • Download the latest version of K-Lite Codec Pack onto your hard drive.
  • Now open your K-Lite installer and click Next.
  • Choose the Normal mode and press Next
  • In the drop-down menu, select default profile 1 and click Next.
  • A new window pops up asking you to customize options. Press Next to visit next setup page.
  • Now select your Windows Media Player check box for file associations and press Next.
  • You can now select all the supported audio and video file formats. To select all formats, click Select All.
  • Click Next to finish setup.
  • Now press Finish to close your K-Lite setup window.

Method 3: Open AVI file using VLC Media Player

The VLC player can play most video formats out there. You can fix your broken AVI files with VLC player. Note that this is only a temporary solution and problems may still exist when you try playing your AVI file on WMP.

  • Download and install the latest version of VLC Media Player.
  • Now drag and drop your AVI file onto your VLC Media Player.
  • If it has a broken index, a broken or missing AVI dialog box pops up.
  • Now choose Build index and then play
  • Select Input/Codecs tab and go to Files section.use VLC to fix video freezing
  • Select Always Fix from Damaged or incomplete AVI drop-down menu.

Method 4: Updating the driver on Windows

  1. Press Windows+R, this will guide you to the Run option.
  2. In the search bar below, type devmgmt.msc and click on OK
  3. On the device manager page, click on Display adapters and choose the Graphics card on your PC.
  4. Right-click on Update Driver option

In most of the cases, you can fix the Windows – Cannot play the AVI file. If you still find your windows saying unplayable AVI file after following the above methods, it can be due to a corrupt video file. To solve this you will need a reliable AVI repair tool which can help you easily repair the corrupt or damaged video files.

In case if you still find your Windows media player stating an unplayable AVI file after following the above methodologies, you will need a reliable AVI repair tool to resolve the issue.

The Remo Repair AVI works on read-only mechanism wherein your damaged or corrupted AVI video file is repaired without modifying your source video. It offers a simple solution on how to fix avi files that won’t play.

Remo Repair AVI fixes broken, damaged, truncated, files with header corruption as well as AVI files that play with only audio or video.


How Do I repair Unplayable AVI file

Follow the steps mentioned in the section below to repair your unplayable AVI file on windows with Remo Repair AVI

  • Select the AVI video file which is not playing and click on Repair select your unplayable AVI video to repair it.Remo Repair AVI
  • Wait until the AVI video repair process is completed.
  • After AVI video is fixed, a window will be displayed with the Preview option.
  • You can verify the quality and preview the repaired AVI file for free before saving it


The above article emphasizes on the error Windows - Cannot Play the AVI file and the suitable approaches on how to fix the error. We always recommend downloading or transferring your AVI files from reliable sources, have updated codec and drivers. As the these solutions not only support the AVI file, but also other video file formats

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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