Why MKV Get Corrupted and How to Repair MKV Files

December 22, 2023Jenny Ryan

MKV, or Matroska, is a popular multimedia container format that can hold multiple audio and video streams, subtitles, and other metadata. It is a popular choice for storing digital video due to its versatility and support for high-definition content. However, like any digital file, MKV files are susceptible to corruption, rendering them unplayable and potentially causing data loss. This post explains the main causes of MKV corruption and explores two effective methods to repair damaged MKV files.

Repair MKV File

Part 1. MKV File Corruption: What Makes the Video Unplayable

MKV file corruption occurs when the file's structure or data becomes damaged, preventing the media player from interpreting and displaying the video content. This corruption can stem from various factors.

Incomplete or interrupted file transfers: Abruptly terminating a file transfer or encountering network issues during download can lead to incomplete or corrupted MKV files.

Codec issues: Incompatibility or outdated codecs used to encode MKV files can cause playback issues and corruption.

Abrupt interruptions: Power outages, system crashes, or unexpected software closures during file transfer or editing can lead to incomplete and corrupted MKV files.

Storage device errors: Physical damage to or logical errors on storage devices can corrupt stored MKV files.

Software glitches: Bugs or errors in media players or video editing software can corrupt MKV files during playback or editing.

Hardware malfunctions: Faulty storage devices, such as hard drives or external drives, can cause errors while writing or reading MKV files, resulting in corruption.

Virus or malware infections: Malicious software can intentionally damage or alter MKV files, making them unplayable.

How to Prevent MKV File Corruption

To minimize the risk of MKV file corruption, you should avoid transferring MKV files over unreliable networks or using removable storage with a history of errors. Also, you should not rename, move, or delete MKV files while they are being opened or edited. Ensure your media player supports the codecs used in the MKV file. Regularly scan storage devices for errors and use reliable brands. Keep your device and system protected against malicious software.

Part 2. Best Way to Repair Damaged and Corrupted MKV Files

Aiseesoft Video Repair is a reliable tool for repairing corrupted MKV files. It offers a comprehensive solution for handling various types of corruption issues, including header corruption, index corruption, data corruption, and more. Besides MKV, it also supports all the other commonly used video formats. The software employs advanced algorithms and repair techniques to achieve a high success rate in repairing corrupted MKV files.

Free DownloadFor Windows

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

Free DownloadFor macOS

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

To repair a corrupted MKV file using Aiseesoft Video Repair, you should first download it on your computer. Open it and click + to select your corrupted MKV file.

Add Broken Sample Video

To initiate the repair process, click the Repair button. The tool will analyze the corruption and attempt to mend the MKV file. Upon completion of the repair process, you have the option to preview the repaired video before saving it.

Preview Repair Video

Aiseesoft Video Repair is a valuable tool for anyone who handles MKV files and wants to ensure they have a reliable solution for repairing corrupted videos. Its comprehensive features, high success rate, and easy-to-use interface make it a great choice among users.

Part 3. How to Repair MKV Files Using VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player offers built-in capabilities for repairing minor corruption issues in MKV files. While it may not be as effective as dedicated video repair tools for severe corruption cases, it is a convenient and readily available option worth trying. Here is a detailed guide on how to repair MKV files using VLC Media Player.

Step 1.
Before attempting to repair the MKV file using VLC Media Player, you need to rename the file extension to .avi. Because VLC Media Player's repair feature is primarily designed for AVI files, and renaming the extension allows it to apply the repair process to the MKV file.
Step 2.
Launch VLC Media Player and ensure it is up to date. Go to the Tools menu and select Preferences. Here, you can configure various settings for VLC Media Player.
VLC Tools Preferences
Step 3.
Click the Input/Codecs section and locate the Damaged or incomplete AVI files option. Select the Always fix option to let VLC Media Player attempt repairing damaged or incomplete AVI files. Since the MKV file with the renamed extension is essentially being treated as an AVI file, this setting will apply to it as well.
VLC Damaged or Incomplete AVI File Always Fix
Step 4.
To finalize the changes, click the Save button. Then, drag and drop the corrupted MKV file onto the VLC Media Player window to open it. VLC will attempt to repair the corrupted MKV file and play it back. And you can use VLC to merge videos.

If the repair is successful, you should be able to watch the video without any issues. However, if the file is severely corrupted, VLC Media Player may not be able to repair it. In such cases, you may need to use a dedicated video repair tool.

Part 4. FAQs of How to Repair MKV Files

Can MKV files be recovered?

Yes, MKV files can be recovered in most cases. The success rate of recovery depends on several factors, including the cause of the data loss, the type of storage device, and the amount of time that has passed since the data was lost. If you have lost important MKV files, it is important to act quickly and use a reputable data recovery program to increase your chances of success.

What to do if the MKV file is not working?

If you are downloading an MKV file, ensure it has finished downloading before you try to play it. If you are still having trouble playing the MKV file, try playing it on a different computer or media player. If you are using a media player with error reporting, check for any error messages that may be displayed when you try to play the file. These error messages can sometimes provide clues as to what's causing the problem.

Will converting MKV make it playable?

Yes, converting MKV to a more widely supported format like MP4 will make it playable on more devices. MKV can hold a variety of different audio and video codecs, and some media players may not have the right codecs installed to play MKV files. Converting the file to MP4 will ensure that it uses a codec that is compatible with most media players.


MKV file corruption can be frustrating, but with the right approach, you can often repair the damaged MKV file and restore your precious video content. By following preventive measures and utilizing available repair tools, you can minimize the risk of data loss and ensure the longevity of your MKV files.

What do you think of this post?


Rating: 4.9 / 5 (based on 359 votes)Follow Us on

Disqus IconLeave your comment and join our discussion
Video Repair box

Repair your broken or corruped video files in seconds with the best quality.

Free DownloadFor Windows

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

Free DownloadFor macOS

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

Back to top