How to Repair a Damaged or Corrupted MP4 Video

Did you just record a video with your mobile and it is damaged? Have you been sent a video in MP4 format that is corrupted or cannot be opened? Most likely, in these cases, the problem is not that the video is corrupted but that you need to install a codec so that your PC or smartphone can read and play the video correctly.

Now, what if the video is really corrupted? Can it be recovered?

How to fix a corrupted or damaged video cannot be played

If you have already confirmed that the video is really corrupt, there are 3 tools that you can use to repair it:

  • VLC Player: One of the best media players, free, and also has a native tool to repair damaged MP4 videos.
  • Video Repair Tool: Video repair program developed by the company Grau GmbH.
  • Fix Video: An online tool to repair damaged videos. This is a paid application.

Note: The use of a PC is recommended for repair tasks.

Method 1: Use the native VLC fixer

This is the best method to fix a damaged video file for most situations. The trick is to change the format from VLC to a format your computer can read. Hopefully, the reformat will fix any inconsistencies in the file, and you’ll be able to play it again.

  • First of all, if you don’t have it installed yet, download the VLC media player from its official website.
  • In the top menu of VLC, click on “ Media -> Convert.”
  • Go to “ File -> Add ” and select the damaged video.
  • Then open the “ Convert/Save ” dropdown and click on “ Convert.”
  • Next, select a “Profile” to choose the output format. You can also click on the wrench icon to change the format.
  • To finish, in the “Destination” section, click on “ Browse ” to select the folder where you will save the new video after repairing.
  • When you have everything ready, click on “ Start ” so that the VLC media player will try to repair the video by changing its format.

After the conversion process is complete, locate the new file you just generated and play it from VLC. If the repair has been successful, you will see it without problems.

Method 2: Use the Video Repair Tool program

If VLC has not managed to recover the video, the truth is that you have it a bit complicated. The next step would be to download the “Video Repair Tool” program, but it has a drawback: it only allows you to recover half of the video for free.

If you want the full video, you will have to pay about $10. Luckily you can apply a little trick, which consists of adding more footage to the video to double its duration. So you can repair the entire video for free.

To do this, make an exact copy of the damaged video and rename it. For example, if the video is called “videoA,” create a copy called “videoB.” Next, make sure that both videos are in the same folder.

Next, open an MS-DOS window or command prompt in Windows (press Win+R and run the command “cmd.exe”). Inside the terminal window, run the following command:

copy/b videoA.mp4+videoB.mp4

Note:

Replace the names “videoA” and “videoB” with the file names of your two videos.

Note 2: For the command to work, you should execute it in MS-DOS from the same folder where the videos are located.

If we look closely, you will see that the damaged file “videoA” now weighs twice as many megabytes. That is a sign that the two videos have been successfully merged.

Now that you have everything ready, you can start using the Video Repair Tool:

  • Download Video Repair Tool from its official website. Available for Windows and macOS.
  • Once the application is installed, open it and select the video you want to repair by clicking on the “ Choose movie ” button.
  • Next, click on “ Choose reference movie.” Here, you will have to select another video that serves as a reference for the program when carrying out the repair. Choose a video that you shot with the same camera or has the same characteristics as the damaged video.
  • At last, click on the “ Scan ” button to start repairing the damaged MP4 video.fix corrupted vide

If the video has been repaired, it will appear in the “Repaired movie clips” section. If you can’t fix this field, it will simply appear blank.

Method 3: Use a web app like Fix Video

If you do not get results with the two previous methods, you can always opt for this last method. It consists of using an online repair tool, such as “Fix Video.”

This method has several disadvantages. On the one hand, the video processing is much slower, which means that the repair can take a long time. It is also necessary to provide a reference video with the same characteristics as the damaged video, as was the case with method 2.

In addition, for free, you can only see a small preview of the already repaired video. To download the complete video, you will have to go to the checkout and pay 9 dollars (which can be quite a lot of money if you have to repair more than one video).

In any case, if you have no other options and you want to try this tool, you can do it from the official Fix Video website.

Conclusion

After carrying out several tests corrupting and repairing damaged videos, the conclusion we have reached is that the most effective solution is the VLC player. Not only because it’s free, but because it seems to work much better for these types of damaged MP4 files.

The rest of the tools are not bad, but overall, they don’t seem to deliver such good results when the video is really pounded. In addition, these types of utilities usually have a fairly high price, so you can only see them as viable for use at a professional level or when the video is really important and in very specific cases.

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