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Windows Media Player is the default video player that comes with Windows OS. Sometimes, Windows Media Player throws an error 80040265 when you try to play a video. This error states that the player cannot play back the file and that the format is not supported. In this blog, we will discuss what can be the cause of this issue and how it can be troubleshooted and fixed.

You may face an error notification like:

Cannot play back the file. The file format is not supported. Error: 80040265

What Can Cause the Issue 80040265?

The message that the format is not supported means that, Windows Media Player is not able to read that video file and hence it is not able to play the video. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the Windows Media Player is not capable of playing that video or format. It can be fixed but first we will need to identify the reason.

The factors leading to Windows Media Player returning error 80040265 are as below:

  • File format is not supported
  • The media file that you are trying to play has a file format that is not supported by the Windows Media Player. Although Windows Media Player supports a large number of video formats, there are some that are not supported by it. If this is the case, then the error would be displayed even though both the Windows Media Player and the video media file are healthy. It is an issue with compatibility.

  • Codec is not supported
  • Windows Media Player can return this error due to codec issues as well. Either the Windows Media Player doesn’t support that particular codec or the video is using a codec that is not installed on your Windows Media Player.

  • Windows Media Player files are missing
  • It may be possible that the Windows Media Player software related files such as binaries or library files are either missing or damaged. This means that the problem is not with the file being played or the format of the file, rather it is the player itself that is not working properly and so it needs to be fixed.

  • Media file is damaged or corrupt
  • Sometimes, the issue may not be due to any of the reasons depicted above. In such cases, there is a high probability that the media file is corrupt or damaged and hence the Windows Media Player is not able to read it. A file can get corrupt due to errors during file transfer, improper shutdown of your system when the file was in use or even due to virus infections or malware. In such cases, error 80040265 can be returned.

How to Resolve the Issue?

Based on the factors that can lead to error 80040265, we can troubleshoot our issue.
Follow the steps listed below in the given order and after each step try to play the video file to check if the issue is resolved.

  • Check if Windows Media Player supports your file format
  • To start with the troubleshooting, first we need to identify if the Windows Media Player supports the format of the media file that you are trying to play.

    Below is the list of video formats that Windows Media Player supports:

    • Commonly used Windows Media formats:
      .wmv, .wm, .wma, .wax, .wav, .avi, .asx, .asf
    • Musical Instrument Digital Interface formats or MIDI formats:
      .rmi, .midi, .mid
    • Moving Pictures Experts Group formats or MPEG formats:
      .mpv2, .mpe, .mpa, .mp3, .mp2, .m1v, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp2v, .m3u
    • Additionally it supports Unix Formats such as:
      .snd, .au
    How to Know Your Video File Format?

    You can find the format of your file by making a right-click on the file and then selecting the Properties option from the menu. File format will be listed next to the ‘Type of File’ field.

    Now, check the list of the supported formats we have mentioned above. If the format is not supported by the Windows Media Player, use a different player or contact the distributor of the file to get one of the supported formats.
    If the format is supported by the Windows Media Player, then you need to troubleshoot further.

    Find the right codec

    It might also be possible that the Windows Media Player supports the file format, but not the codec. There are chances that you are not using the correct codec for the particular video that you are trying to play.

    A video codec is basically a software or hardware that is used to compress and decompress a video file. There are hundreds of codecs that are being used nowadays. Some of those codecs may be created by Microsoft but there is a large number of codecs created by other companies or organizations.

    • You need to check if that codec is included in the Windows Media Player. Click on the ‘About Windows Media Player’ in the Menu bar and click on ‘Technical Support Information’. It will redirect you to a web page that includes various details including the codecs installed on your PC.
    • You can configure the media player to download codecs automatically. For this, you need to click on ‘Tools’ on the menu bar and then click on Options. Next, click on the Player tab and check the box for ‘Download Codecs Automatically’.
    • If the codec of the Media File is not installed on your PC and it is not downloaded automatically from Windows Media Player. Then, you need to search and download the codec pack from the web.Try to find the right codec for your media file and play the video. If this doesn’t fix your problem, proceed to the next step.
    • Reinstall Windows Media Player

    If the file format is supported and the required codec is also available and still the video doesn’t play and returns the same error, then there are chances that one or more of the Windows Media Player related files are missing or damaged. So, you need to uninstall and then reinstall Windows Media Player. Follow the below steps for the same:

    Part- 1

    • Click on the Windows icon on the taskbar. Search ‘Control Panel’ and open it.
    • Click on Programs and then click on ‘Add or Remove Programs’.
    • From the list of installed programs, right click on Windows Media Player and then click on Uninstall.
    • Once you uninstall the program successfully,it is recommended that you Restart your computer.

    Part- 2

    • Once the system is started again, go to Microsoft’s website.
    • From there, download and install the latest Windows Media Player available.
    • Once the player is successfully downloaded in your system, install it safely. After the completion of the installation process, run the program and try to play the video file. If the video file plays well, the issue is resolved.

    Fix the damaged or corrupt media file

    If the issue is still unresolved and the error message is still the same, there are very high chances that the video file itself is corrupt or damaged. In such a scenario, the issue can only be fixed with the help of a professional tool that specializes in fixing such corrupt media files.

    In such a situation, we would recommend you using Kernel Video Repair tool to repair the damaged, corrupt or broken media file. Using this tool will let you fix your media file with total ease. Let’s see how it works:

    • Download the tool from the website and install it properly.
    • Run the tool and click on the Add (+) icon you see on the homepage of the tool. Doing this you will be able to add the desired file(s) to the tool for the repairing process.
    • Run the software

    • Once the file(s) added, click on the Repair Files option
    • After adding the file, click on the Repair Files

    • It is the time to provide a desired destination to the file that will be repaired. Once added, click on the OK button.
    • Provide a desired destination to the file

    • As you proceed further, the repairing process will start and you will get to see the live status of the repairing process going on.
    • repairing process will start

      Note: You can anytime click on the Stop button to stop the process from happening.

    • Once the process is finished, click on the Close button to finish the process.
    • click on the Close button to finish the process.

      Note: You can also get the CSV report of the process that happened, by clicking on the Save report to CSV option.

      Once you follow all of the above-mentioned steps successfully, you can check the repaired file at the location where you have saved it. You can also learn methods to repair MP4 video files with or without this tool.


    In this blog, we have discussed the error “Cannot playback the file. The file format is not supported. Error: 80040265.” We discussed the most possible reasons that may cause this error and the solutions for them. A user can try reinstalling Windows Media Player, right codecs etc. to fix this issue. On the other hand, if the issue is due to the corruption in the video file, then the user can try to fix the file with an automated tool. We have recommended using this tool for the same. We have also mentioned the steps involved in the process with the help of the screenshots of the tool. If you still want to test the tool, you can go for the trial version of the tool and get the better insights. With this demo version, you can save the first 30 seconds of the video free. Hope this blog helped you fix the error.

Kernel Video Repair