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So your friendly neighborhood admin has been asked this question way too many times and I have decided to share this information with you here in the hopes that users will Google this issue before asking!

Camcorders such as the JVC Everio (pictured below) use a .MOD extension to save their video files. This is very frustrating for a number or reasons. The first reason being you cannot easily read .MOD files in Windows Media Player or many other top tier video applications – many people try hunting for a MOD file converter without success. The second reason that this format infuriates me is that users also have a horrible time trying to get their videos converted into DVD format. Most DVD burning applications do not know what to do with a .MOD file. And my final reason for hating this .MOD format is that this proprietary format is not proprietary AT ALL!

how to play mod files

Huh? What?

That’s right. JVC and some other well know brands like Canon and Panasonic have decided to just rename the extension of their files. Can you believe that the files are actually standard MPEG2 sound files and thus should be very easy to manipulate, convert and <gasp> actually watch?

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The devices we have seen that use this horrible file format are:

  • JVC GZ-MG30
  • JVC GZ-MG70
  • JVC GZ-MG37
  • JVC GZ-MG77
  • JVC GZ-MG50
  • JVC GZ-MG130
  • JVC GZ-MG155
  • JVC GZ-MG255
  • JVC GZ-MG555
  • Panasonic SDR-S100
  • Panasonic  SDR-S150
  • Panasonic  SDR-S10
  • Panasonic  SDR-H18
  • Panasonic SDR-H200
  • Panasonic SDR-H40
  • Panasonic  SDR-H60
  • Panasonic  SDR-SW20
  • Canon FS100
  • Canon FS10
  • Canon FS11

So now that you have acknowledged your issue, let’s show you the ridiculously simple way (not using a mod file converter) to solve your problem.  When you open Windows Explorer and look at your files, they are either unrecognized or you have a program like VLC installed so you can view them. We covered VLC’s awesomeness many times on MakeUseOf here.

This is what I see when looking at my file on my system after copying it from my camcorder.

view mod files on windows

Now if I try to open it with Windows Media Player this is what I get:

Then you think that you would be able to click on Yes and view your file in Windows Media player seeming that it is indeed a MPEG2 that Windows Media Player would have no issue playing. But alas, this is what we get after clicking Yes:

And if we examine the bottom of the Windows Media Player windows we see this:

And then after some unsuccessful requests, we finally see this error message:

But by deploying a little MakeUseOf magic, we do the following. First, make sure you have your Windows Operating System set to show file extensions. You can find this option under Folder Options in Windows Explorer. Then you can rename the file’s extension to be .MPG and make it work. You heard me correctly — by simply renaming the file, you will make it work in Windows Media Player or any DVD authoring or burning software just like that! Let’s see it in action:

Right click on the file and choose Rename like so:

Rename the extension from .MOD to .MPG and then you will see this warning:

Click Yes and that is it! You have successfully converted your camcorder’s video file without any sort of MOD file converter, but instead with a simple rename! Who knew it could be so easy!

Did this solve your problem? Have you ever encountered any other weird file formats when using camcorders? Would you like to share your solution with us? Hit us up in the comments!

  1. Johnny White
    October 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Works a treat on my MacBook, thanks for saving me from wasting time and money on software from possibly dodgy sources! The camera is one of the Panasonic ones mentioned in the article and as soon as I change the file extension it becomes visible as a standard clip which can be viewed in Quick Time.

  2. Darkstarius
    October 3, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Nope doesn't work with Premiere. Trying to get these files to be edible in Premere and that will NOT work period, so stop taking the lazy/cheap way out, that never works. I tried converting via media encoder and for some reason the speed is way too fast and makes the videos unwatchable. I want a REAL solution, not this lame useless drivel above.

  3. Cara Gately
    July 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

    I'm using windows 10.
    My .MODs were created with a Panasonic Cam, and can be played in VLC when I change the file type to .dv (digital video) format.

    • zac
      July 17, 2016 at 12:42 am

      Worked for me. Thanks

  4. Julius Cathcart
    June 22, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I Just tried this and it did not work. I not only used mpg but also md4,mp4,mov,asf,avi,wmv and so on not one of them worked. Yes I did go and change the files so they read all extensions. I am just as frustrated as Rev JE Allen. I am wondering if a windows 8 upgraded to a 10 is the problem. I played videos off this camera in the past. It is older like 7 years old but it still works I get sound just fine. I did not want to add more downloads to my computer so am counting on someone to have an answer before I do. Please and thank you!

    • steve
      July 30, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Try renaming to .mpg and use VLC to play. I too had audio only in media player.

    • Jacqueline
      September 20, 2016 at 3:17 am

      Okay, I did everything it says to do above. I have approximately 141 little video clips. One worked and now none of the others will convert with the method above. Any help is much appreciated!!

  5. Mandy
    June 16, 2016 at 1:21 am

    I think some people aren't changing their file options first. Once I did that, it worked perfectly in Win 7. Look for the option that says hide known file extensions and *unclick* that. Then renaming will work. Thanks loads!!!

  6. Sally
    May 21, 2016 at 4:46 am

    no it doesnt work at all by renaming the extension to mpg - not even sound converts on windows 8

  7. Chris
    May 9, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    How are all of you re-naming your files at all?! All I get to rename is the name of the file.

  8. Stephen
    March 28, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    There is a freeMedia player app (can't remember the name but has at raffia cone as an icon) in the Windows App Store likewise a free file converter in the Apple Store for Macs. March 2016.

    • Chris
      May 9, 2016 at 8:39 pm


  9. Rev JE Allen
    March 22, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I have tried everything I can find. I downloaded sdcopy and simply renamed the extensions and all I can get is audio on windows 10. This is so frustrating. Why jvc formats in mod I don't get and why Microsoft is not more compatible I don't get. I bought this camera to work on a project and this is really holding me back. Any ideas would be appreciated. I see comments where simply changing the mod to something else seems to work but I must just be doing something wrong

  10. komis
    February 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    mod is a video format....rename it o mpg will take only sound and not video.......this is not solve my problem....

    • Susan
      April 26, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      I had the same issue when I converted the files. Only sound with no picture.

  11. NIMA
    January 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you so much!!!!

  12. Kaleby
    January 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I have an old JVC GZ-MG20 and it had the .mod file but.... when I renamed a recording.... it only played the sound of the video.... not the footage :/

    • Terrence
      January 27, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Same here. I renamed the file with the .mpg extension and it only plays the sound not the video

      • Willian
        February 1, 2016 at 11:29 am

        Did you manage to solve your problem?

        • Terrence
          February 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

          No but if you have a Windoes 7 machine the .mod file plays correctly. Windows 10 seems to have removed the capability to play .mod files

        • Julius Cathcart
          June 22, 2016 at 7:59 pm

          I just saw this thank you. I was thinking to myself why it worked before and not now. I have an upgraded windows 8 to 10. Still nothing working except sound but at least I know why it worked before on my windows 7

    • VasB
      February 3, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Rename instead to .MPEG2 and it will play properly in Windows media player et al.

      • Kangaroo Bushman
        October 2, 2016 at 5:41 am

        Man you are a genius !!!! all previous teachers come from.Mod school hahah
        if i ever met you dude i will buy you 6 beers cheers and happy filming !!!

  13. sean glover
    December 28, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    My God !!
    I have been having trouble with this for months !!
    Was going to get a different camcorder because I was downloading so many files to no avail and done what you said by renaming them and job done !!
    thought I had lost the files but got them back in 10 mins.
    Thanks a bunch guys !!!!

  14. livin
    December 28, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you so much...

  15. Rebecca
    December 18, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Thank you so much!!!! My research depends on .mpg video files and I realised several recordings were unreadable with the .MOD format, Such an easy fix and data saved! Thanks again!

  16. camera
    November 29, 2015 at 9:41 am

    hey I have FS200

  17. David
    November 20, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I have videos that played as a .mod on Windows 7. Moved them to new computer with Windows10 and they wouldn't play. Changed the name like you said and they play. Thanks!

  18. Bill
    May 5, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I used to convert the MOD file from my Panasonic to AVI using AVS video converter and also VIN AVI video converter, but after changing to Windows 8, it no longer worked.
    This renaming of the file sounded good and simple, except after doing just that, all I have is sound. No picture. What did I do wrong?

  19. Kristine
    March 24, 2015 at 2:02 am

    This did not work for me. I have a Panasonic SDR-T70. I have had this for about 2 years. It has always created mpg videos. All of a sudden after all of the football games and after wrestling matches, baseball started. Pulled out the camera, and now it records in .mod. I made no changes at all. In the menu options where you can change your output, i have no options to change it back to mpg. It is either XP, SP or LP. None of those record in mpg format.
    Simply changing the file extension does not work in Windows 8. I am now stuck with my amazing videos of my son and my kids with sound only. No more home runs. No more touchdowns or pins, the baby crawling...nope...just sound only :( I am furious.

  20. Denise
    March 10, 2015 at 1:16 am

    THANKYOU! I had this exact problem (probably why I was able to buy the camcorder for $45 from the previous owner!) I really like the quality of the videotaping, but wasn't happy with how difficult it was to watch! THANKYOU AGAIN FOR THIS SIMPLE SOLUTION! :)

  21. Robbie
    February 28, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I have an old Canon Legria. I was surprised to find that even the Canon software, ImageMixer, would not recognize the MOD file.
    Like the author of this post, I found that I could rename the extensions, but this took some time as I have a lot of files.
    I then realised that the problem only occurred if you take the files straight off the camera using Windows Explorer or other importing software. If you use the Canon software, ImageMixer, to import the files they automatically get imported as mpeg-2 and not mod. This is now what I do and then use other software to edit the files.

  22. John
    February 19, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Process doesn't appear work with PC running Windows 8.1.
    File extension changed from .MOD to .MPG as directed above. File opens with WMP, (not with native VIDEO app) but sound only and no vision.

    • Bernie
      February 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Same problem here on 8.1

    • allen
      March 10, 2015 at 2:58 am

      same bummer here with Windows 'hate'.....

  23. steven605
    April 19, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Free Download Mod Converter to Convert MOD to Needed Formats

  24. Peter
    January 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    That will happen if your firewall or AV software are allowed to poke their nose(s) in, because any file associated with MS ware is a vulnerability. I found that Outpost did it and, out of the freeware firewalls, Comodo may do it. It's OK if your email software can accept this sort of tinkering, but mine cannot as it saves email in an encrypted file, using STAC technology. Just in case you or anyone else should have cause to think about this when setting up a firewall, AV or email software. :-)

  25. עומר
    January 31, 2010 at 11:01 am

    i have to the same thing every now end again when someone sends me a .doc in the email and the file name chenges

  26. Ryan Cowles
    January 31, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Wow.. you have no idea how many times I have had to deal with this, haha. Thanks for the post! I'm sure it will save me some time in the future.

  27. Peter
    January 31, 2010 at 7:17 am

    I have coped with this sort of nonsense for years, in one form or another. My solution, using the MS 'command prompt here' power toy; right click on device, in this case the camera when it is switched on, select open command prompt here from the menu; type rename *.mod *.whateveritisyouwanttonameit.

  28. libeco
    January 31, 2010 at 2:56 am

    I had this problem when I bought my JVC more than a year ago. I decided to look for a solution and found one with a tool called SDcopy

    It does not do much, but it works perfectly. It copies the MOD files to your specified location, can add dates to the file name and also set the widescreen flag so you won't get any problems when editing the files in Premiere.

    • libeco
      January 31, 2010 at 8:07 am

      Oops, forgot to mention it renames the file extension automatically too... :-P

  29. Eduardo
    January 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I was given a JVC camcorder back in 06 and found that if I renamed them to .avi I could then edit them. Glad to see this was written about, will help many people.

  30. ValeR
    January 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    This seems to stuff up widescreen footage for me. SDcopy is software that has options to keep the video in widescreen format.

  31. Srivatsan Venkatesh
    January 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I was very frustrated with my camcorder when I plugged it in after installing the drivers on multiple computers and it still didn't work. I finally figured out the cable is really flimsy, its a retractable one, wasn't fit for it.

  32. mattR
    January 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    There are few more issues concerning Widescreen on my model.

    For the correct aspect ratio to be detected by some editing software I was forced to patch each file using MPEG StreamClip…

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