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Windows applications such as Movies & TV and Windows Media Player allow you to play only certain types of videos. If you have difficulty playing unsupported video formats, you must use a third-party video player or codec, or convert the file instead.
If you are not sure if Windows supports your video file format, try it first. Open the Movies & TV application or Windows Media Player and try to open the file. If you receive a “format is not supported” error, you must try one of the following methods.
If you can’t find the Films & TV application, look for Films & TV instead. It is the alternative name for application in some markets such as the United Kingdom and Australia. If it is not installed, download Videos & TV from the Microsoft Store.
How to Play Unsupported Video format on Windows 10
Download the necessary codecs to play the video format.
For your PC to decode unsupported video, it must have the appropriate codecs. If you know the specific format used, you can find and download the appropriate codecs. Otherwise, you must first check which codec the video uses.
Instead of taking the trouble to do so, you can download a more complete codec package instead. The most popular for Windows is usually the K-Lite Codec Pack, which supports most formats – common and obscure.
Suppose you install a codec package, you may find that in the future, you will have no problem viewing unsupported video formats, except for new formats that may be released.
Using a third-party video player
The Movies & TV application only supports some popular formats such as MOV, AVI and MP4. Windows Media Player supports a number of other file types, but has not been updated for a decade. Therefore, it seems that using a third-party video player is the best way to play unsupported video files on Windows 10.
As far as alternatives to Movies & TV and Windows Media Player are concerned, I suggest you choose between VLC Media Player, MPV or PotPlayer.
- The VLC Media Player is capable of playing almost any video and audio file format and has hundreds of different customization options.
MPV is simple and direct, without menus and with only the basic playback options. It is cross-platform and can be used on Linux, MacOS and Android. In addition, it is portable and can be started from a USB stick.
- PotPlayer offers a variety of customization options, supports hardware acceleration for high definition video, and has an integrated video editor to edit video files during playback (there is a free video editing program: Windows Movie Maker).
If you want to use a third-party video player, find out how to change the default video player. If so, please proceed as follows:
- Click the Windows Start Menu button on the taskbar, then click Settings.
- Go to Apps > Default Applications.
- In the Standard Applications menu, scroll down in the right pane and click Movies & TV under Video Player.
- Select your third-party media player from the drop-down list.
Convert unsupported video file to the supported video format.
If you want to use standard Windows 10 video playback applications for your playback, you must convert unsupported video files into a format that standard applications can decode. There are several ways to do this.
There are several online sites and offline video format conversion software, but they represent a significant risk for malware and robots. One of the most reliable tools for converting video formats is the VLC Media Player. The VLC Media Player has an integrated conversion menu for audio and video files in formats that Windows 10 players support by default.
When you convert your video files to the standard formats supported by Windows 10, you can convert them to formats that use hardware decoding. This improves efficiency and reduces power consumption for video decoding.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.