How to Recover Corrupted MP4 Files for FREE

Recovered File
If you’ve got a corrupted and unplayable MP4 video file – don’t panic! Here I discover how to repair MP4 files in minutes for free.

Here Is How to Recover Corrupted MP4 Files with a FREE, Tiny Tool in Just a Few Minutes

Have you ever recorded hours of footage, only to get home and find you can't playback the video? Not a nice feeling, is it? Fortunately, you needn't kiss goodbye to your captured video. I'm going to explain how you can recover corrupted MP4 video files without spending a penny. But first, let me tell you how I ran into this problem myself.

As someone who likes to shoot sports videos, I've enjoyed a particularly fruitful time of late. Camera quality is increasing. Sports cameras, in particular, are more rugged than ever. And GoPro cameras, probably, give the most fun experience when it comes to shooting action videos.

Unfortunately, despite how good these cameras are, mistakes happen. Batteries run flat. Recordings are accidentally interrupted. Sometimes video files just don't save correctly. You might have guessed where I'm going with this.

The thing about recording action shots is they're not that easy to get. It's hard enough for a bystander to get a good action shot, but if you're both the person creating and recording the action, as I was, it's even harder.

So, I had a GoPro mounted to my bike helmet-as you do-and it got clipped. I was fine, but the camera took an almighty tumble, and I guess the battery must have lost contact because, by the time I picked it up, the camera wasn't recording anymore. The GoPro was fine, so I didn't think anything of it. But when I got back to my computer... you guessed it: corrupted MP4 files!

I wasn't prepared to give up on this footage, so I hit the Internet and went looking for something that might save the day. Preferably something inexpensive, because who doesn't like to save money? After considering a few paid options, and trying a few free ones with no luck, I stumbled across a tiny free tool called Recover_MP4.

Now, this tool isn't quite as user friendly as some other tools you could use to recover MP4 files, but there's always a trade-off, right? Still, it's not that hard, and I can walk you through the process. So, let's do just that.

1. Download Your Tools

The first tool you're going to need is Recover_MP4 itself. You can find it by heading to this link and scrolling down a little way. On the same page, you will find a link to FFmpeg (or you can easily find it with a quick search), which you will also need. FFmpeg is a popular tool for doing just about anything you might want to do with a video file. It supports a ridiculous number of formats and is also free to use.

2. Setting Up

Once you've downloaded these two tools, you will need to extract them. It is entirely up to you where you put them, but you're going to be using command prompt so make sure you remember where you saved it.

Once FFmpeg is extracted, head to the folder you extracted it to and you should find a folder inside named "bin". Inside here is where you need to extract Recover_MP4.

3. Preparing Your File

In order for Recover_MP4 to repair your damaged video footage, it is going to need a good sample file to compare. This can be any video; the important thing is that it was shot on the same camera using the same settings as the corrupted video file.

Once you have your sample, rename it "good.mp4", and rename your corrupted MP4 file to "bad.mp4. Then, copy them into the very same "bin" folder where you extracted Recover_MP4.

4. Analyzing

This is the bit that might be a little scary to some, but there's nothing to worry about. Head into your start menu and find Command Prompt, or type "CMD" into your search box and hit enter.

You will be presented with a black window with white text and a command prompt.

Navigate to your folder by typing "cd" followed by the address where you extracted the files. For example, if you extracted them to "C:\ffmpeg\bin", you would type "cd c:\ffmpeg\bin". Next, enter the command;

recover_mp4.exe good.mp4 --analyze

This will set Recover_MP4 analyzing the good sample so that it knows how to rebuild the corrupted file.

5. Recovering

Once the program is finished analyzing, it will present you with two commands. You can copy the second command into Notepad or write it down; you'll need that soon.

Once you've done that, copy the first command and paste it into the command prompt. It should look something like;

recover_mp4.exe bad.mp4 recovered.h264 recovered.aac

With this command, we are telling Recover_MP4 where to find the corrupted video file, and where to output the recovered file. It is going to output two files. One for video (recovered.h264), and one for audio (recovered.aac).

6. Merging

With this done, the final step is to merge your two recovered files into one MP4 video file, which requires that command we copied earlier. It should look like this:

ffmpeg.exe -r 30 -i recovered.h264 -i recovered.aac - bsf:a aac_adtstoasc - c:v copy recovered.mp4

Hit enter and FFmpeg will merge your video and audio files back into one recovered MP4 file! That wasn't so hard, was it?

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