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Here’s How to Recover Corrupted MP4 Video Files

If you’ve got corrupted MP4 file – don’t panic.

In this article we provide a detailed guide on how to repair damaged MP4 files and how to avoid your videos being damaged in future.

Got a Corrupted MP4 Video File? Don’t Panic – Here Is How to Recover Your Footage

Q: The other day I shot a video of my niece singing using my smartphone.

When recording, I accidentally pressed the switch off button and now the video doesn’t play.

I transferred it to my laptop, but the file appears to be corrupt.

Is there any way I can recover my damaged MP4 file?

A: MP4 is the most common video file format nowadays.

Almost every smartphone, digital camera, drone, or DSLR records videos in the MP4 format by default.

But despite its many advantages, MP4 has one minor flaw.

The file may get corrupted in some circumstances (which we’ll discover later in this article).

As a result, you won’t be able to play or edit your recorded video.

If this is your case and you’ve got an unplayable MP4 video, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover details on how to recover corrupted MP4 files.

Reasons Why MP4 Video Files Get Corrupted

The MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 (as it’s commonly known) is a multimedia format widely used to store audio and video.

The MP4 file format is basically a container, which may include video and audio streams encoded with different codecs.

Some codecs are rare, while others, such as AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265, are very common, which allows the video files to be played virtually in any media player and device.

Currently, MP4 is the most popular video file format among users because it can be played across different platforms without the need to install any additional software.

Namely, you can play MP4 files on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and other devices.

Almost all video recording, editing, and playback applications support the MP4 format.

But you’re here because you can’t open one or more of your MP4 videos.

This may be a result of an interrupted recording process. Below are the most common scenarios which may result in a corrupted MP4 file:

  • Sudden power outage due to a low battery charge;
  • Accidentally switching off the device while recording the video;
  • An incoming call could interrupt the recording process on your smartphone;
  • Some firmware glitch could lock your camera while recording the video;
  • Physical damage to the device (e.g. drone crash, or if you dropped your camera by an accident when recording the video);
  • A low-quality memory card could fail to handle the data output produced by your camera.

There is one more issue that could lead to a corrupted MP4 file.

This is when you have accidentally deleted your video and then tried to recover it with a data recovery tool.

The thing is, most of the generic data recovery tools are not smart enough to locate all the deleted video file fragments and then merge them into a valid file.

MP4 files have quite a complex structure.

This is why generic data recovery tools often fail when it comes to video files.

You may get a recovered file, which looks just like the original one, but sadly you won’t be able to play it.

However, if you’ve got a corrupted MP4 video, don’t panic.

There is a viable solution to repair it, so you can play the file again.

How Can You Recover MP4 Files?

Everyone has rare or memorable videos that they don’t want to lose at any circumstances.

We’re talking about moments that can never be replicated.

Videos that capture magical moments with loved ones, the first steps of your child, time with your friends, costly business footage – the list is endless.

The good news is that with a simple MP4 video recovery tool, like Restore.Media, it’s quite possible to salvage your damaged files.

Here is how:

1. First, sign up with Restore.Media to create an account. The tool works online, so you don’t have to download or install anything. You can also use it straight from your mobile device like iPhone or Android.

2. Once you’re in, create a new task to repair corrupted MP4 files and share details about your camera or any other device used to record the files. Information about your recording device helps the tool to employ the most suitable recovery algorithm.

If you don’t know anything about the device used to record the files, don’t worry – you can select the option “Generic .MP4 file“. In this case, the tool will choose a recovery algorithm automatically after running a quick scan of the file.   

3. You may also need to upload a sample video file. This is a valid (playable) MP4 video file recorded with the same settings and the same camera as your damaged files.

The recovery algorithm needs a sample file to extract the metadata from it. Information taken from the sample file will be used to fix your corrupted MP4 video.  

If you don’t have a sample file, you can contact Restore.Media’s engineers and they will look for it in their database.

4. Once all is set up, the tool will start repairing your file. This may take some time, depending on the file size.

5. When the file is fixed, you will see a preview of the video along with a few screenshots. Please note that the preview is in low resolution and quality, while screenshots are in the original resolution taken from the beginning, middle and the end of the recovered video file. Use these to check if your MP4 file has been actually repaired.

If all look good to you, you can proceed and download your fixed MP4 file in the original resolution/quality after paying a small fee.

A Few Final Words

Regardless of what camera or device you use to record your videos, make sure to follow these two simple rules:

  • Always charge device batteries prior to shooting important video.
  • Do not power off your device prior to terminating the recording session.

We’re all human beings. Bad things sometimes happen no matter how careful you are. If you’ve got a corrupted MP4 file, there are still good chances to recover the video with the help of appropriate tools.

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