When you use Windows Media Player to play back multimedia files, whether it is audio or video, it is possible that Windows Media Player cannot open or play the file. The error message you will get is typically one of the following:

8007000D - Cannot open. Please verify that the path and filename are correct and try again.
8004022F - Invalid File Format.
80040265 - Cannot play back the file. The format is not supported.

But a few others are also possible, if the problem is more related to the codecs rather than the file itself.

Troubleshooting Media File Errors in Windows Media Player

As with many problems, there are a number of possible causes for the invalid file type format errors in Windows Media Player. Finding the right one is required to solve the error successfully.

The obvious first possibility is that the multimedia file itself is corrupt. The easiest way to verify that is to try and play the file with a different media player. I suggest trying the VLC media player, which is a free multimedia player that supports a very large number of formats and codecs by default. If you can open the file in VLC, you know the file is not corrupt. If it turns out that the file is corrupt, and it originates from an online resource, you should try to download it again, as files can get corrupted when you download them.

If the file is (or appears to be) fine, the next thing to check is the file format. Although you can check if the extension matches the extensions supported by Windows Media Player, it is still possible that a supported extension uses a codec that is not supported. So try and download a codec pack to make sure the required codecs are installed and supported. Normally Windows Media Player will download missing codecs automatically, but that does not always guarantee the file can be played. The K-Lite codec pack is a very complete codec pack that ensures support with most common audio and video formats.

Of course it is also possible that the Windows Media Player itself is corrupt. You can use the “SFC /SCANNOW” command in a command prompt to check the Windows system files, or you can use a registry cleaner to fix configuration errors in the Windows registry, but sometimes it is necessary to completely uninstall and reinstall Windows Media Player. Downloading the latest version is the best option in that case.

Microsoft also recommends reinstalling DirectX in case of invalid file format errors. So if nothing helped so far, try downloading and reinstalling DirectX from the Microsoft website.

If the problem still persists, there might be a problem with your video or audio device. In this case however, the problem would normally pertain to all multimedia files and not just a single file. Reinstall the audio and video device drivers to try and fix this issue. In the Sound setup of the Control Panel you can verify and test the audio settings, while the dxdiag command will give you more feedback over the status of the video device.

One Response to “Fix Invalid File Format Errors in Windows Media Player”

  1. badmash says:

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