How to check the audio and video codecs installed in Windows

audio and video codecs in Windows

In a previous article we had mentioned five alternatives we could be using to repair AVI files that are theoretically corrupt or damaged, a conclusion that many users reach because their media player does not display them.

As we suggested in that article, it could be that the files are not actually damaged but rather, that the media player does not have a compatibility with them due to the lack of some kind of audio or video codec. That is the reason why we will mention below, three alternatives that you have to investigate the type of codecs that you have installed in Windows, which will help you immensely to corroborate the condition of said video (or audio) file.

1. Sherlock

As always, we will try to give a brief description of some alternatives that we could be using for a specific purpose. Sherlock is a portable application with a relatively light weight that we can run on any version of Windows. It will help us acknow the type of audio or video codecs that are currently installed in Windows.


The image that we have placed in the upper part shows us the interface of this portable application, where we can clearly differentiate the different work areas. On the upper left side there is a small drop-down menu, which will help us to choose between audio or video, that is, to your codecs to investigate. In this same column and towards the bottom, all the codecs will be shown through a small list. We only have to choose any of them so that the respective information of said codec is displayed to the right side. If you want to keep a record of this information you can do it calmly, because towards the bottom there are a few buttons and of which, the one that says "Save" will help you export the description of all these codecs to a text file.

2. Nirsoft Installed Codec

A more specialized tool (and for many, professional) is precisely this; it offers us the possibility of analyzing each and every one of the audio and video codecs that are installed in Windows. Best of all, it is also offered to us a list of those that support a 64-bit architecture in Windows. On the other hand, within this list the different DirectShow filters that are possibly installed within this operating system will also be shown. A very interesting aspect that we could rescue from this tool is the nomenclature it uses when a codec is in bad condition, which will be shown with a "pink" color.


Within the interface of Nirsoft InstalledCodec you will be able to notice a few columns, which will inform us the name of a particular codec, its description, location, size among a few other characteristics.

  • 3. Using the «Windows Media Player«

This is a trick that you will surely appreciate; the fact is that Windows Media Player has a secret function that very few people know about and where, you will have the possibility to review a large amount of information that involves these audio and video codecs. We suggest you follow the following steps so that you can discover this trick:

  • Find and open (run) Windows Media Player
  • Click with the right button of the mouse on an empty space in the "Toolbar" of this player.
  • From the options shown choose the one that says «Help -> About Windows Media Player«

support in Windows Media Player

With these simple steps that we have suggested you follow a pop-up window will appear about the information of this player Windows; At the bottom of this window there is a small link that refers to "technical support", which you must choose at this moment. The default Internet browser window will immediately open, showing there all the information that a specialized technician might want to know what resources this Windows tool uses when playing audio or video files.

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