My MPG File Won't Play

by Alexis Lawrence

Files with an ".mpg" file extension can contain video that uses one of two types of MPEG compression: MPEG-1 video, often used on VCD discs, and MPEG-2 video, often found on DVDs. If you have MPG file that won't play, it more than likely contains MPEG-2 compression, which is not as widely accepted in media players as files compressed using MPEG-1 compression. No matter what type of compression is used in your MPG file though, you can find a way to play it.

Open the file in a media player with MPG capabilities. When you double-click the MPG file from a folder on your computer's hard drive, the computer usually attempts to launch it in the media player that is set up as the default player on your system, which may or may not support MPG playback. Choose a program that supports MPG files, such as Windows Media Player or Apple QuickTime Player, by right-clicking the file, choosing "Open With" and selecting the player from the list.

Upgrade the media player that you have installed on your computer. Even if an older version of a program doesn't support MPG files, a newer version of the program might. Go to the website of the manufacturer who produces the media player, such as Microsoft for Windows Media Player, to find the most recent version.

Download a codec package for your player that contains MPG codecs. Neither Windows Media Player nor the Apple QuickTime Player support MPEG-2 playback without installation of a codec plugin. The MPEG-2 plugin for Windows Media Player comes in the form of a DVD Decoder, which can be downloaded at the Microsoft website, while Apple provides the MPEG-2 Playback Component for their QuickTime Player. (See Resources.) Once you download the codec package, right-click the icon, choose "Extract," and move the contents of the codec package to the same folder on your hard drive where the program files for Media Player or QuickTime Player are stored.


  • check If you attempt to open an MPG file in a player that supports MPG playback and has the proper codecs installed, and the file still fails to open, the file is more than likely corrupt. You can attempt to use a file recovery program to recover the contents of the file, but the file may not be able to be read by a player.

About the Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.

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