Downloading and Playing Movies on My Computer

Many thanks to the replies I had regarding the codecs for my downloaded films. You are all so kind. I still can't open the downloaded movies with AVI on them. Here is what comes up: "Windows media player cannot play the file. The player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file". As the films are mostly AVI I don't know what else to do. Help!


Many thanks. Helen xxx

By Helen from U.K

October 23, 20100 found this helpful

I would suggest you find a different player than Windows Media. Go to the site you are getting the AVI files from and see if they have a linki to a video player or recommend one on their site.

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Anonymous Flag
October 27, 20100 found this helpful

Helen, download from the link below. Once you open the link click on the orange "Download Now" button. Just read all the info and follow the instructions and if you have any questions please email me at my home computer, okay?

Once the download box opens up, in case you ever need to reinstall sometime again in the future, I suggest clicking on 'Save' instead of 'Run' and save it to your document folder (that will be the installation setup pack you're saving). Then go back and open that installation box again at the website and click 'Run'.

Sometime during the download you might be asked if you want this to be your 'default program' and, personally, I would click 'no' and just leave Windows Media Player as your default program. As long as you have AVI downloaded your computer will find it to play your films. ;-)

And just so you know not to worry this link is a completely safe download and is CNET and VeriSign approved! ... &c=uplayer_alot_pg_jpr_wb&k={keywords}&pk=7003

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October 27, 20100 found this helpful

Try this Divx player. I rarely have problems playing movies on it. Windows Media Player is a joke!

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October 23, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I was wondering if anyone can help me with this problem. I have Windows 7 and can download some films for my grandchildren, not many though. My problem is not with downloading, but when they transfer over to my file and I try to open them they mostly appear with AVI on them. Upon opening them, my computer states that you need a codec to play this. I have clicked on 1 codec which appeared, but then someone said don't do this because it would infect my computer. Also do you have to pay for this codec and how do I go about this? Many thanks.


Hhelen xx

By Helen from U.K


Downloading and Playing Movies on My Computer

CODECs are generally not a virus risk, but proprietary CODECs that require payment are a scam. Don't buy them.
More important, the places where one finds movies with proprietary CODECs usually are high risk sites and you should avoid them. At least be careful of what you download and make sure you keep your Windows updates current and that you run antivirus and anti-malware software. If you don't already have anti-virus and anti-malware software, then download Microsoft Security Essentials from; it is free.

Generally speaking, Windows Media Player will automatically download codecs if it needs to, and if it can't find the codec, or the codec isn't free, you probably don't want it. Look for a version of the movie that doesn't use a proprietary codec.


By Clinton

Downloading and Playing Movies on My Computer

Helen, I re-read your post and I would suggest one other thing. There is an open source (free) video player that is better, in some ways, than the player that comes with Windows. It is called "VLC" and it is available for download from It does a little better with nonstandard CODECs than the Windows player. But again, don't bother with any movies that want you to pay for a CODEC. (10/18/2010)

By Clinton

Downloading and Playing Movies on My Computer

Your Windows 7 has its own CODEC unless something happened and it got uninstalled. A simple "free" one in a download is not going to allow you to watch the movies, but simply allow you to open up small things, such as an email with a cute animation, etc. Talk to a local computer tech to walk you through checking to see if you still have it on your computer. I bought an update of Roxio (on my computer as a basic) and this had the Codec that solved my problem.

According to research I had done this summer, sometimes "it just quits". I was not happy when that happened.

By T&T Grandma

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