Solved: QuickTime Error 2041- An Invalid Sample Description Was Found in the Movie

Siddharth Rawat
Siddharth Rawat | Updated On - 28 May 2021 |

Read time 4 min

I am trying to import .mp4 files into iTunes version 11. The ones that I have downloaded works fine, but when I converted .avi files to .mp4 and tried to open them in QuickTime to check them, I get an error: QuickTime Error 2041- An Invalid Sample Description Was Found in the Movie. These files won’t show up in iTunes, the progress bar shows them loading but after that nothing appears anywhere. The .mp4 files work in the VLC player but not in QuickTime.

Many QuickTime (QT) users are facing a similar issue as mentioned above. QT is an extensible multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc. It can handle several formats of digital video, pictures, panoramic images, sound, etc. It was first made available in the year 1991. Apple stopped the support for the Windows version of QT in 2016. Though popular, sometimes MP4 files can become inaccessible in QuickTime due to various errors like Error 2041.

Movie could not be opened

Error 2041 in QuickTime

There are many reasons for the Error 2041 – an invalid sample description was found in the movie.

  • Corruption or damage of system files
  • Presence of bad sectors in storage media
  • Intrinsic corruption of MP4 video files
  • Malicious attacks on the data
  • Incompatible file format/extensions
  • Compatibility issues with the codecs (can be a wrong audio codec)
  • Not updating the QuickTime application
Quick fixes for QuickTime Error 2041

You can try different methods to deal with QuickTime Error 2041.

Method #1 Change the File Extension

On various threads, many people have reported that by renaming .mp4 to .3gp or.m4v, they were able to play the media file. To make things easy, the user must try this easy fix before attempting other fixes in this blog post.

Method #2 Change the Audio Codec

This error can be linked to the wrong Audio codec in the .mp4 container. Some encoders incorrectly put this as 103 rather than 64. One can use mp4ui or some third-party tools to change the codec.

Method #3 Use alternative players

One can use alternate media players such as VLC, GOM Player, DivX Player, Media Player Classic, etc. to play MP4 video files. It does work sometimes.

Method # 4 Kernel Video Repair

If you are still unable to play these .mp4 files, then it might be the time to look for other options. Using a professional tool might help in this case. One such tool is Kernel Video Repair. This tool can repair all kinds of inaccessible, corrupt video files. There is no limitation when it comes to the size of the video file for repair. The demo version of the tool saves upto 30 seconds of video for free. The UI is user-friendly and easy to get acquainted with. It supports formats such as MP4, MOV, MPEG, MJPEG, MTS, M4V, MKV, AVI, AVCHD, WEBM, ASF, WMV, FLV, DIVX, 3G2, TS, 3GP, F4V file formats.

Kernel Video Repair Tool


It has been found that QuickTime error code 2041 has affected a lot of users. In this blog post, we have briefly discussed the reasons behind this error code. A few manual methods have been discussed and might work for some users. In case of significant corruption issues, it is advised to use a reliable third-party tool such as Kernel Video Repair. The features it offers are endless. This video repair tool is a must for every Vlogger, YouTuber, and Videographer as they commonly face video corruption problems and this tool is the best for quick results.