How to Repair Unreadable MP4 and MOV Video Files

“I am trying to record videos with my smartphone camera, but the recording is freezing occasionally, resulting in corrupted videos. I’ve tried recording in both MP4 and MOV formats, but I can’t seem to get a good quality working video. There’s no scope to re-record the videos. Can I repair the corrupt video files to make them work?”

This is a common problem many users come across when recording videos with their smartphones or handycams. Regardless of the format they wish to record in (MP4 or MOV which are both lightweight and compatible with the majority of video players), sometimes, due to underlying device issues or other unknown problems, the recorded videos end up coming out corrupted.

If you’re facing similar problems, this article mentions the easiest techniques to repair corrupted videos and avoid similar issues in the future.

Why do MP4 and MOV files get damaged?

After you’ve spent hours recording videos, it can be quite frustrating to encounter unreadable MP4 and MOV files errors when trying to play them. However, you shouldn’t give up on your effort and abandon those videos. Understanding the root cause of the issue can help you fix things.

Here’s why MP4 and MOV files may get damaged:

Error while writing or reading data

When you alter a file, its internal architecture is redefined to accommodate the changes you’ve made. Any unexpected interruption during this procedure can cause issues with your video file.

Unreadable files due to damaged or lost data

When sharing information with other users, there could be a vast range of possibilities that could lead to both tangible and non-tangible media data loss.

  • Information on non-tangible media (such as a cloud drive) may be lost owing to an Internet connection failure that prevents appropriate data transfer to servers. Furthermore, if your device is infected with a virus or malware application, this could interfere with the transmitting or receiving of data, affecting the resultant file.
  • Video files can also be damaged or broken, if there is some damage to the storage device.

How to Fix Corrupted MOV Files and MP4 Files using VLC?

VLC is a video player that in addition to offering video playback capability, also offers the functionality to fix damaged MOV or MP4 video files.

Try this fix the next time your VLC player is unable to play an MOV or MP4 video file.

If your VLC player can’t play a video file, it will automatically display a prompt asking for permission to restore the corrupted or unplayable video. At this point, select ‘yes’ and follow the steps given below:

  1. Click on Media from the main menu and then click on Convert/Save.

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Image 1 – Go to VLC player’s menu and click on Media -> Convert/Save

  1. Next, click on Add to select the video that has to be repaired.

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Image 2 – Click on Add to select the video that has to be repaired

  1. Check the box that says Show more options and then click on the Convert/Save icon.
  2. The Convert window will appear. In it, navigate to the Settings panel and then choose your preferred codec from the dropdown menu.

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Image 3 – Choose preferred codec and start the repair process

  1. Give the file a name and select a location to save it.
  2. Press the Start button.
  3. Once the process completes, go to Tools in the main menu and select Preferences from the dropdown menu.

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Image 4 – Go to Tools -> Preferences

  1. Then go to the Input & Codecs Settings and navigate to the Damaged or incomplete AVI file option. Here select Always fix.

Image 5 – Under Input and Codecs Settings, select Always fix for damaged AVI files

  1. Select the Save option. This will start the repairing process. After it finishes, hopefully your video will be fixed.

However, if it doesn’t work, the best strategy would be to rely on an automated and efficient video repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Video.

Fix Corrupted MOV and MP4 Files with Stellar Repair for Video

Stellar Repair for Video is an easy-to-use video repair software that comes with a robust feature set to assist you combat video data loss in a number of situations. It can repair video files that have been corrupted during the recording, transport, editing, or conversion.

The tool can restore all types of video file formats, such as MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, AVCHD, MJPEG, WEBM, ASF, WMV, FLV, DIVX, MPEG, MTS, M4V, 3G2, 3GP, and F4V, irrespective of the storage medium. It also offers a comprehensive video file recovery solution for both Windows and Mac users. It can also fix several videos at the same time and save the repaired files to the appropriate location. Stellar Repair for Video is available in three editions: Standard, Professional, and Premium.

This is how you can begin the video restoration process with this software:

  1. Stellar Repair for Video software can be downloaded and installed from the official site.
  2. Once the program has been installed, launch it.
  3. Select the video file you want to repair by clicking the Add button.

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Figure 6 – From software home screen, add the video files to be repaired

  1. Once the file has been added, the restoration procedure will begin. It may take several minutes depending on your system’s performance as well as the size of the video file.

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Figure 7 – Video file restoration in progress

  1. When the repair finishes, the resultant files will be displayed in a tree-view structure in the left hand sidebar of the software interface. From this, you can preview any file and then select the ones you wish to save.
  2. Finally, click on Save Repaired Files to save the files to the desired location.

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Image 8 – Preview repaired files and save to desired location

After the completion of this process, try playing the video files. We’re pretty sure you won’t face the same error this time around.

To Sum It Up

MOV and MP4 files can become corrupted or damaged due to several reasons. When you try to play the corrupt video files on your device, they can throw unexpected errors. But the good news is that by utilizing the solutions mentioned in this article, you can easily fix the corrupt MOV and MP4 files.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
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