- Xvid is a codec that compresses video files using the MPEG-4 Part 2 ASP format.
- Xvid files will play on many DVD or Blu-ray players and Windows 10 or later by default; Mac users will need to install a compatible player.
- You can convert files from Xvid to other popular formats with an online converter or a program like Handbrake.
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One of the hassles of working with audio and video files is that there are many different file formats, and not all are easily read or universally compatible with software you commonly use.
Xvid is a codec that is designed to highly compress video files using the MPEG-4 Part 2 ASP format. Xvid is a free file format distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), so it’s not uncommon to encounter this kind of file when downloading video online.
How to play Xvid files
The good news is that playing Xvid files isn’t particularly complicated; there are a plethora of devices and apps that can decode and play Xvid.
- DVD and Blu-ray players: If you copy the Xvid file to CD or DVD, many popular DVD and Blu-ray players can play Xvid files. In particular, most Xvid files will play properly on devices with the DivX logo because they are based on the same underlying technology.
- Windows: Windows 10 and later can natively play Xvid files using the default video player — just double-click an Xvid file and it should play. In addition, any video player capable of playing a standard MPEG-4 file will be able to play a file encoded with Xvid. This includes VLC, Windows Media Player, and the appropriately named Free Xvid Player, just to name a few.
- Mac: While Apple computers lack a default app with the ability to play Xvid files, there are a number of third-party apps that support Xvid for Mac. You can install VLC or get the commercial Elmedia Player, which has a free and paid Pro version to choose from.
How to convert Xvid files
If you want to convert an Xvid file to another format, there are a number of options to choose from. If you are looking for a fast and free option, try one of the numerous online converters. These converters are hosted in a website; just upload the Xvid file, click the button to start the conversion process, and download the converted file. It generally takes a few minutes to convert, depending on the size of the original Xvid file. Two common converters include Convertio and Office-Converter.
The disadvantage of these online converters is they typically limit the maximum file size you can upload and convert. To convert large files, you may need to purchase a commercial video utility like Handbrake or Miro.
Troubleshooting tips for Xvid files
If you’re unable to play a video file, it’s possible the file isn’t actually an Xvid file — you might be misreading the file extension or the file might be mismarked. Keep in mind, for example, that while Xvid and Divx files share a common history and have a lot of technology in common, they are different file formats and not all Xvid files will play on Divx devices.
If you can’t get a file to play, try converting it using one of the tools described in the previous section. It’s possible a filer converter can transform it into a more common file format that plays properly.