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Identify and Install Missing Audio & Video Codecs in Windows

You get all excited to play a movie which you have downloaded after waiting for hours but as soon as you the hit the play button the movie doesn’t play and only a black screen is showing or there is no audio? Or in the worst case, you will face an error message “A codec is required to play this file“. Well, the main cause behind this issue is that the audio or video codec is missing on your system. But what are these codecs? And how can you Install one on your system? Don’t worry in this guide we will answer everything, just follow along.

What are Codecs?

A codec which means coder-decoder is a piece of code or a hardware device that is used for compressing the data so that it can be transmitted and it also decompresses the received data. When an audio or video file is not opening on your system and all you can see is a black screen or out of sync audio or blurred pictures, the major reason behind this can be the missing codec.

Identify and Install Missing Audio & Video Codecs in Windows

Identify and Install Missing Audio & Video Codecs in Windows

There are a number of software that will show the installed codec on your system. Also one can view the installed codecs without the help of any external software. So let us see the different ways to check and install missing codecs in Windows 10.

Identify and Install Missing Audio & Video Codecs in Windows 10

Make sure to create a restore point just in case something goes wrong.

Method 1: Find Codec information using Windows Media Player

You can check the installed codecs using the Windows media player without the use of any third-party application. To check the codecs installed in your system using Windows media player follow these steps.

1.Click on the Start Menu or press the Windows key.

2.Type Windows Media player and hit enter to open it.

Type Windows Media player and hit enter to open it

3.Press Alt+H which will open Windows Media Player Help section and then click on “About Windows Media Player“.

Press Alt+H which will open windows media player help and then click on About Windows media player

4.Click on Technical Support Information present in the bottom of the window.

Click on Technical Support Information present in the bottom of the window

5.A pop up will open up asking about where to open the file, select your Web Browser.

Now, you will be able to see all the codecs which are present on your system including the audio & video.

see all the codecs which are present in your system, audio and video both

Method 2: Identify Codecs using Installed Codec

Installed Codec is a very useful small packet software that displays all the codecs that are presently installed in your system. The Installed Codec is a third party application from Nirsoft.

1.Once you download the file, extract it and double-click on the InstalledCodec.exe file which you can see in the extracted files.

click on the exe file after the extraction with the name of InstalledCodec.exe

2.After the application opens, you can see the details like Display Name of Codecs, the current status whether it is disabled or not, file version etc.

Now it will show the details like Display Name, file version etc.

3.If you want to see the property of any particular Codec then just right-click on it and select Properties.

Right click on any particular codec and click on properties.

4.Now if you want to disable or enable any Codec then right-click on the item and select disable or enable from the right-click context menu.

Right click on the item and select the option of disable or enable as you want

Find & Install Missing Codecs on Windows 10

Till now we have only discussed how to find the codecs installed on your system. Now we will see how to find out which codec is missing from your system and which codec is required for playing a particular file type. And lastly, how to install the missing codec on your system. To find out which codec is missing and which codec is required to play the file you will need to install a third-party application called VideoInspector. This software will show you all the information about the codecs, so without wasting any time download it from here.

To proceed further follow these steps.

1.Open the videoinspector_lite.exe file which you just downloaded and continue with the installation by following the on-screen instructions.

Open the videoinspector_lite.exe file want to downloaded and perform the installation process

2.Click Next to Install the software.

Install the software

3.Open VideoInspector by clicking on the icon which now must be present on the desktop or search it using the Start menu.

Open VideoInspector by clicking on the icon or search it through the Start menu

4.To view the codecs installed on the system just click on Codecs from the left-hand side of the window.

Click on the codecs on the left side of the window

5.Here you will be able to see the audio and video codecs separately.

Will be able to see the audio and video codecs separately

6.To view the codec which is required for playing a particular file type, you need to browse through the file info and select the file for which you want to find the missing codecs for.

7.Once you have selected the particular file and click Open, a pop-up window will open. Click Yes to proceed further.

A question will pop up, select ok for it and proceed forward

8.Once the file is uploaded you can see the respective audio & video codecs which are required for playing the particular file. You can easily download these codecs using the Download button present next to the respective codecs.

See Video and audio codecs rows will be having an active download button

9.Click on the Download button and you will be redirected to the link where you can download the missing codec which is required to play the particular file.

10.Your default search engine will show you the links to download the missing codec. You need to just select the appropriate link.

Need to just select the appropriate link

11.Once you download the codec you also need to install it. And once everything is done, you can easily play the file which earlier was facing the black screen or audio issues.

Codec Packs for the common Video and Audio Codec Programs

Most of the users will find it tiresome to keep installing codecs again & again for different file types. So in order to avoid this situation, you can download & install certain Codecs packs which have a wide range of audio & video codecs required by different file types. If we install such packs then most of the files will play without any issues, although in some cases you may need to install the codec for a particular file. Below are some of the Codec packs using which your system will have codecs that are commonly required by audio & videos files:

That’s all about the missing codecs and how to find which codec for that particular file is missing, how to install that codec and what all codecs are already present on the system.

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So by following the above methods, you can easily Identify and Install Missing Audio & Video Codecs in Windows 10. If the problem still persists let me know in the comment box and I will try to come out with a solution to your problem.

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Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a self-motivated information technology professional and has been a technology writer for the last 7 years. He covers Internet services, mobile, Windows, software, and How-to guides.

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