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Windows Media Player Invalid File Format Error Message

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When you try to play a file with Windows Media Player, you may receive one or more of the following error messages:
Invalid File Format. (Error=8004022F)
Cannot play back the file. The format is not supported. (Error=80040265)
Cannot play back the video stream: no suitable decompressor could be found. (Error=80040255)
No combination of filters could be found to render the stream. (Error=80040218)
The source filter for this file could not be loaded. (Error=80040241)
Cannot open. Please verify that the path and filename are correct and try again (Error=8007000D).

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This issue may occur if any of the following conditions are true:
  • Windows Media Player does not support the file format or the codec of the media file you are trying to play.
  • Some of the Windows Media Player files are missing or damaged.
  • The media file is damaged.
  • The media file uses a codec that is not installed.
  • The operating system does not have audio capabilities. For example:
    • There is no audio device in the computer.
    • The correct audio device driver is not installed or is disabled.
    • You are using both Windows NT and Windows 2000 Terminal (this configuration has no audio capabilities).
    • Windows XP Terminal is configured to not play audio.

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To resolve this issue, follow these methods in the order they are presented. Test after each method to determine whether it has resolved the issue.

Important Windows Media Player does not support the playback of every type of media file available currently, but does provide support for the most common types of media files. Therefore, verify that your media file is a supported type. If it is not, do not use the methods after method 1. If Windows Media Player does not support the file format you are using, contact the distributor of the file for information about the availability of a viewer for the file.
For additional information about a specific error message, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
156286 Error Message: Cannot Play Back the Video Stream: No Suitable Decompressor Could Be Found.
195880 Err Msg: No Combination of Filters Could Be Found to Render...

Method 1: Verify That Windows Media Player Supports the File Format You Are Using

Windows Media Player supports the file formats in the following list:
  • Windows Media formats File name extensions: .asf, .asx, .avi, .wav, .wax, .wma, .wm, .wmv

    Note Windows Media Player versions 6.4 and later support .wmv files.
  • Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) File name extensions: m3u, mp2v, .mpg, .mpeg, .m1v, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .mpe, mpv2
  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) File name extensions: .mid, midi, .rmi
  • Apple QuickTime, Macintosh AIFF Resource File name extensions: .qt, .aif, .aifc, .aiff, .mov
  • Unix File name extensions: .au, .snd
Note Windows Media Player supports files created with Apple QuickTime version 1 and 2. Windows Media Player no longer supports the .ra, .rm, and .ram file formats.

Method 2: Determine Whether the File You Want to Play Is Damaged

In Windows Media Player, play a different file that uses the same file name extension as the file that you were using when you received the error message. If the other file plays correctly, then the original file you were trying to play may be damaged. If you receive an error message when you play each of the files, continue to the next method.

For additional information about file types that Windows Media Player 7 supports, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316992 Windows Media Player Multimedia File Formats

Method 3: Reinstall Windows Media Player

Remove Windows Media Player, restart the computer, and then reinstall Windows Media Player.

Note You must use the latest version of Windows Media Player. To download the latest version of Windows Media Player, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Method 4: Reinstall the Latest Version of Microsoft DirectX

For additional information about troubleshooting and installing DirectX , click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
179113 How to Download and Install DirectX
157730 Determining DirectX Version Using the DirectX Diagnostic Tool

Method 5: Verify That You Are Using the Correct Codec for the Media File

For additional information about verifying, installing and troubleshooting audio codecs, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
141801 Troubleshooting Audio Codecs in Windows 95
191533 Media Player Cannot Play .avi File Using Indeo 4.x Codec
221831 Err Msg: Unable to Download the Appropriate Decompressor

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More Information

For additional troubleshooting and information about Windows Media Player, visit the following Microsoft Web site: The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

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Article Info
Article ID : 234019
Revision : 3
Created on : 4/17/2018
Published on : 4/17/2018
Exists online : False
Views : 291