Fixes

Windows Media Player won’t play AVI files


4. Convert the AVI File to another media format

Alternatively, you could also convert the AVI file to another supported WMP format such as WMV.

This isn’t exactly a fix, but it’s a workaround that will probably help you if AVI files are not playing.

You can convert AVIs to WMV by opening this page, clicking the Choose file button to select AVI and then pressing Convert file.


5. Open the AVI with VLC

  1. First, press the Download VLC button on this page; and then open the software‘s installer to add it Windows.
  2. Open the VLC media software.
  3. Open an AVI video in VLC. If it’s an AVI with a broken index, a Broken or missing AVI dialog box window opens.
  4. Now select the Build index and then play option on the Broken or missing AVI dialog box window.
  5. You can also configure VLC to automatically fix the AVI files without any dialog box opening. To do so, click Tools > Preferences in VLC.
  6. Select the Input/Codecs tab and scroll to the Files section.
  7. Select Always Fix from the Damaged or incomplete AVI drop-down menu.

You can also fix broken AVI files with the VLC media software. If it’s more of a compatibility issue, VLC will certainly play the AVI as it’s almost a universal media player.

However, note that VLC only temporarily fixes the video, but it’s a decent workaround if you can’t play AVI files on Windows 10.


6. Restore Windows to a restore point

  1. Press the Win key + X hotkey to open the Win + X menu.
  2. Click Run to open its window as shown directly below.
  3. Enter rstrui in Run’s text box and click OK to open the window directly below.
  4. Press the Next button, and then select a restore point from those listed.
  5. Click Next and Finish to confirm your chosen restore point and restore Windows.

If Windows Media Player was playing AVI videos without any issues a few months back, restoring Windows to an earlier restore can be helpful if you cannot play AVI files in Windows 10.

As long as you’ve had System Restore enabled, you can utilize that tool to revert Windows to a time when AVI files were playing in WMP.

Those are a few resolutions that will fix AVI videos that aren’t playing in Windows 10’s Windows Media Player and other media software.

If you’re utilizing older versions of WMP in Vista or XP, update the software and check that the AVI format is selected on WMP‘s File Types tab. For further details on how to add an AVI codec to Windows Media Player, check out this post.


FAQ: Learn more about AVI files

  • Can you play AVI files on Windows Media Player?

Yes, WMP can play multiple video formats, including AVI. If a particular file is not playing, this guide will help you fix the problem.

  • How do I play AVI files on Windows 10?

You will have to have a video player in order to play AVI files on your Windows PC. Keep in mind that you might need the correct codecs as shown above in order to play certain formats.

  • Why is my AVI file only playing audio?

If you encounter a situation where only audio is being played on AVI files, then you are missing the necessary video codec. The steps listed in this guide will show you how to fix the problem.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2018 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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