Entertainment Windows

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won’t Play

Dan Price 08-09-2017

You’ve bagged yourself a copy of Game of Thrones from a friend, made a cup of tea, and are about to settle down for a night in front of the television.


But disaster strikes: the AVI file won’t play AVI, MKV, or MP4? Video Filetypes Explained and Compared Why do so many video formats exist? It's confusing! But don't worry, we are here to help. Here's everything you need to know about video formats, containers, and codecs. Read More . Your evening’s plans lie in tatters.

What are you supposed to do? It’s not on Netflix 16 Movies Not on Netflix You Should Buy Instead Netflix boasts a lot of great content. However, there are countless movies not on Netflix that you should consider buying or renting instead. Here are 16 to get you started. Read More , you don’t want to break the law by downloading a torrent Top 10 Free Torrent Alternatives to The Pirate Bay The Pirate Bay is a shadow of its former self. Head to these sites for some of the best Pirate Bay alternatives for free torrents. Read More , and you’ve long-since missed the live screening on HBO.

Don’t worry; your evening can still be saved! Here’s how to quickly repair AVI files that won’t play.

Why Does an AVI File Become Corrupted?

You’ll stumble across several reasons why AVI files don’t work. The most common are bad sectors on a hard drive What Are Bad Sectors And How Can You Fix Them? [Part 1] What are these bad sectors? Is this a sign your drive is going to bite the dust? Can these sectors be repaired? Read More , a virus, electromagnetic interference, software issues during creation, and torrent issues (yes, some AVI files on torrents are entirely legal 8 Legal Uses for BitTorrent: You'd Be Surprised Like HTTP, which your browser uses to communicate with websites, BitTorrent is just a protocol. You could use your browser to download pirated content, just as you could use a BitTorrent client to download pirated... Read More ).

The causes sound serious, but it’s not necessarily the case. Most of the time, you can trace the root of the problem back to a damaged index.


How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play woman desk
Image Credit: fizkes via Shutterstock.com

Because AVI is a sub-format of the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF), it breaks data down into two blocks. Typically, these two blocks are indexed by an optional third block; it supplies the location of the data to the program that’s reading the file. This third block is usually the problem area.

Simply put, if you can fix the index, you’ve probably fixed the AVI file.

Two Methods for Fixing Broken AVI Files

A Google search will reveal several apps that claim to fix AVI files. In many cases their claims are accurate, but they’ll try and charge you a hefty fee if you want to save the fixed file.


Often, you’ll find a workaround to avoid paying the full fee, but why not save yourself the hassle? There are only two programs you need: DivFix++ and/or VLC Media Player.

I’m going to show you how to use each of them to fix AVI files.

Download: DivFix++
Download: VLC Media Player


DivFix++ hasn’t been updated for a few years, but it remains the most-used app for fixing AVI files, and it still works perfectly.


This guide will cover the Windows version of the app, but it’s also available on macOS and Linux.

To begin, grab a copy of the app from the developer’s website. The app comes packaged in a ZIP file. When you unzip it, you can use the EXE file straight away. You do not need to install it on your machine.

Open the app for the first time, and you’ll see a blank screen with just a few options. Pay attention to the three checkboxes in the lower right-hand corner.

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play divfix strip copy


If your AVI won’t open, it’s worth making sure Cut Out Bad Parts is ticked. It’ll strip out parts of the video that cannot be salvaged, but at least you’ll be able to play and watch the remainder. It’s also smart to keep a copy of the original file.

Using DivFix++ to fix AVI files is a two-part process. Firstly, you need to strip out the old index. Click Add Files and point the app at your broken file. You can also click Check Errors before you start, but it’s an unnecessary step. If your file isn’t working, you just want to fix it as quickly as possible.

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play divfix source

When you’ve added the file, it’ll show up in the Source Files box. You can add multiple files to create a queue. Next, click Strip Index.

If the process was successful, you’ll see a confirmation in the Log Window.

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play divfix index

Now you need to rebuild the index and fix any other corrupted parts of the video. At the top of the app’s window, click the folder icon and select a destination for the new file. Next, click on Fix to get the process up and running. Depending on the size of the file and length of the video, it could take several minutes.

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play divfix fix

When the file is ready, you’ll once again see a confirmation in the Log Window.

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play divfix fixed final

That’s it; the newly-created file should play perfectly.

VLC Media Player

If you don’t want to use a DivFix++, you can often get results by using VLC Media Player instead. Any self-respecting tech geek should have a copy on their system because it’s packed with features 6 Awesome VLC Features You May Not Know About There's a reason VLC is called the Swiss Army Knife of media players. This article identifies six awesome VLC features and explains how to use them. Read More . Like DivFix++, the app is available on macOS and Linux, but I’m going to focus on the Windows version.

If you try and open a broken AVI file within VLC, you’ll see an on-screen error message:

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play vlc avi file error

Click Build index then play and let VLC do its thing. As the message suggests, it could take a long time.

If you have lots of broken AVI files and don’t want to regularly deal with the on-screen message, you can make VLC automatically fix files when you open them.

Open the VLC app and navigate to Tools > Preferences.

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play vlc tools

In the new window, click on the tab labeled Inputs/Codecs and scroll down the to the Files section. Within Files, locate Damaged or incomplete AVI file and select Always fix from the drop-down menu. Click Save when you’re ready.

How to Repair Broken AVI Files That Won't Play vlc fix avi tools

Note: Using VLC to fix AVI files does not alter the actual file. It merely temporarily fixes it by saving a new index in the app’s memory while the file is in use. If you try to watch the file in another media player, you’ll still encounter a playback error.

Which Tools Do You Use to Fix AVI Files?

This article has shown you how to use DivFix++ and VLC Media Player to fix broken AVI files. Follow the steps closely, and that evening with Game of Thrones will be back on track in no time.

Now it’s your turn to add to our suggestions: Have you found an app that can repair AVI files 5 Best Tools to Repair Corrupted or Damaged Files in Windows The file is corrupted and cannot be opened. Does this error message sound familiar? Try these tools to recover or repair your damaged file. Read More that we didn’t mention? What makes it so unique? Why does it deserve a mention?

As always, you can leave your suggestions and recommendations in the comments below. And remember to share the article on social media – you might save someone else’s evening!

Image Credit: oculo via Shutterstock.com

Related topics: Portable App, Troubleshooting, Video, Video Editor, VLC Media Player.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Eri
    January 30, 2020 at 11:52 am

    How to convert riff format to avi format, i lost avi file but i still recovered riff file, please advice..

    Thanks and regards

    • Eri
      February 3, 2020 at 4:01 am

      Please anyone help me.. thanks and regards...

  2. tim hughes
    December 30, 2018 at 8:09 am

    You can save the temporarily repaired avi that VLC player creates in memory, by simply pressing the record button at the start of playing the damaged avi file in vlc. This usually creates a new file that no longer throws an index error messsage in vlc and also plays in other players. The only issue I notice with the new file is the index seems rather coarse when using vlc's skip forward or back keys and so skips slower than a normal file. Obviously this only works if vlc can play the bad file by creating a temp index.

  3. Jp Jones
    May 29, 2018 at 4:07 am

    None of these worked unfortunately with files that are corrupted on a multi-sports cam shoot...

  4. Patrick
    November 22, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I saved few files thanks to this program but couldn't save most of them. When i launch the Fix command it says it isn't not an Avi file... while obviously they are Avi file of ca. 600mb each. I need to mention that when i go in Properties then in Details all the fields are empty (no video length, no frame, no width, no height, no bit rate NOTHING... except that it's an avi file of 600mb. Do you think i can still save those files ? Many thanks in advance.

  5. Peterwen
    October 6, 2016 at 6:12 am

    In order to repair AVI files, you need a great AVI repair software, UFUShare guides me successfully. You can read it by search on google UFUShare for AVI Repair.

  6. Isaac
    May 19, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I found a cheeky way to fix your AVI files... Upload to Youtube then re-down load with Real time cloud player... it comes back brand new and can be edited with windows movie maker.

    • Michat
      October 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      I find a great AVI repair tool from UFUShare, you can search UFUShare Repair AVI from google and find it.

  7. Me
    February 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Didn't work for me either

  8. KK
    December 10, 2015 at 8:47 am

    not working......

  9. Despair
    December 1, 2015 at 7:51 am

    This only works on Divx files that's it. Nothing can repair your AVI files, at least here. Either re download a different file to replace your bad one, or just buy whatever it is.

    • GeppetoCorleone
      May 10, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Honestly said Sir, nothing will help people to restore their badly injured AVI files (e.g. downloaded as torrents) to an original state (i have tried every single application, even premium ones and nothing helped at all), so don't waste your time and nerves. Buy a new one, cheers.

  10. Some Guy
    December 1, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I even tried an older one, they don't work. Hell the new one isn't shit compared to the old ones, but they still don't work It doesn't repair anything, it doesn't do anything. Hell mine is just an index problem and still didn't work. The older one I used even has a Rebuild Index option, and it still didn't work. You need to make a video in case people do it wrong, if not then you should just work at McDonalds or something

  11. zohaib
    November 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    didnt work for me alsooo

  12. Anders
    April 25, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Didn't worked for me.

  13. Chris
    April 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Did not help at all. :( First I tried "fix" then I tried "strip", no change. Anything else a technological illiterate can do?

  14. rita
    January 4, 2015 at 11:40 am

    i have fixed my file but it is not of 5 minutes smthng :/

  15. WhyWai
    February 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    It do the work.
    at least it makes video playable, cant expect corrupted file run like never corrupt right?

  16. Swarup Banai
    January 28, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Didn't work for me, 1 hr 24 min. films drastically came to 24 min only after repair. What a waste.

    • Death Knight
      January 28, 2010 at 8:38 pm

      What if your file is really have 24 min? and there 1 hour is free/corrupted/deleted? At least you can see that 24 minute now.

      Judging program by trying on 1-2 file is something sick. People needed to learn respect. If you don't like, don't use it. This not require to call that program as a waste. Now, all positive feed-backing people are wrong but you?

      • Despair
        December 1, 2015 at 7:47 am

        Since this was five years ago I still thing you're ignorant Death Knight. Hopefully you've become smarter

      • Despair
        December 1, 2015 at 7:53 am

        Something sick? Obviously you've never seen someone die before. It's only for Divx files boy. Stop defending something you didn't create. This application is free. Free things don't always work. Hopefully you've learned that over these five years.

  17. Rob
    January 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Nope. Stripped index and applied fix but the file I have won''t be fixed. I'll stick with my usual applet; Avi Fixed (although that program did not work with the problem AVI either)

  18. ronlabel
    January 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    just fixed some of my corrupted divx videos.

    thanks for the guide!

  19. samuelleung83
    January 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks! It repaired a broken AVI taken from my Oregon Action Cam.

  20. Shashank Diwan
    January 4, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Thanks a lot...it really helped.

  21. chris
    December 12, 2009 at 12:08 am

    On mine, it has a bad index. I strip the index, and the index is still bad (cant skip to any part of the video, cant play in most players).

    • Death Knight
      December 12, 2009 at 6:54 am

      It's perfectly normal. It's "strip" button, not the "fix" button.
      If you have problems with the program (might be it could failed to fix one file) than fill the bug report.
      Some of people said that (at top) "bullshit, useless"... etc. If a program is not working, there is no way to downloaded 600.000 times. Or cannot became #1 search result at google if you search by "avi fix". Those people don't fill the bug report also... I think there a problem on that users, not program itself.

      • Despair
        December 1, 2015 at 7:48 am

        Nope wrong again kid. Sometimes free shit doesn't work, yet again I hope you've realized it after this time.

  22. Fred
    November 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    DivFix made all of my 13GB files into 800 MB files that only play for 3 minutes instead of 48 minutes. great. INTO the garbage. thanks.

    • Karl Gechlik
      November 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm

      What was wrong with them before you tried to use div fix? Did you follow the directions?

  23. Ash
    November 16, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Worked great! Thanks for the help! :D

  24. tygg
    November 15, 2009 at 1:24 pm


  25. erik
    November 3, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    many thanks, work perfectly....
    recover my cctv files....
    thanks again

  26. Logik
    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 am

    USELESS......this thing not working.....

    • DivFix++ Author
      October 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm

      It's simply working. Might be your file is not avi, or your system has some problems...
      You can fill tracker report for your problems.
      Also you can send your "not working" avi file too for inspection. If program really doesn't work, than It will fixed. :)

  27. Johann
    September 3, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Didn't work for me. The file just freezes after 11 min :(
    so I clicked fix but it never fixed the error.

    Processing file : Eurotrip.isl.txt..avi
    Four CC is : DX50
    Error detected at byte: 125108346
    Skipped 712605787 bytes.
    Broken index chunk found at byte: 837714133
    Skipped 711983968 bytes.
    Broken index chunk found at byte: 838281909
    File end reached.
    DMLH found: 17376

    New Stream Size : 837694988
    Total Error Count : 1
    Total Frame Count : 34753
    Video Data Frames : 17376
    Audio Data Frames : 17377

  28. Aaron
    June 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    i tried 2 fix two seperate broken files, and they now play but look like crap and are still unwatchable. Does this mean the original file is broken, or it just didn't download correctly? The site i downloaded these movies from had 100's of good feedback from others so i'm going to delete the originals and try again.

    • DivFix++ Author
      July 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm

      This means your AVI file broken or has unsupported codec. DivFix++ currently supports MPEG4 ASP and AVC streams plus VPx ans Sorenson codecs. I offer you FREE support for your 2 broken files if you upload them to internet and fill support request from

      • Karl L. Gechlik | AskTheAdmin.com
        July 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm

        Thanks for following up! I would love to know how you can repair them as well.

  29. Deivid
    May 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks for the Help ^^

  30. charlie
    April 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    hey thanks for the help i repaired the avi file i downloaded a goosebumps episode when i played it thru mpc it said only 4mins but it was really 22mins vlc repaired it and it would not say how long it went for so i downloaded this and it fixed it now it works thanks soo much

  31. Amanda
    February 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Totally didn't work for me.