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The software that’s used to decode the media is not available on this system

“The software that’s used to decode the media is not installed on this system. Installing the correct decoders for the files you are working with may help to correct the problem.” Does this error message sound familiar? Has it been popping up on your screen when using Adobe products or playing videos? Here’s some steps you can take to clear up the issue.

Why this error message appears

Windows is telling me the software used to decode media is not available. Help!
An example of this error message. Learn how to clear it up below.

  1. Adobe files are too large

    This error message can often appear when using Adobe Encore or Adobe Premiere and importing a very large image or video. The reason is that the version of Adobe you’re using has a size limitation, and instead of telling you this, it instead fails to decode the file. Fix this issue by resizing your image or video to no larger than 4096 x 4096 pixels. Since 4K resolution is 4096 x 2160, this size should be enough for anyone, for now.

  2. You’re missing a codec

    This error appears most frequently on Windows Vista. You try to play a specific movie file and it throws up this error message rather than playing the file. This is because you don’t have the right codec installed. Missing codecs, or coder / decoders, can often prevent you from playing media on your PC. Here’s how to fix this.

    Download FFDSHOW

    FFDSHOW is a freeware codec that enables playback of movies in many different formats on a Windows PC. Once you install FFDSHOW, it’s a good bet your movie file will now play in Windows Media Player, VLC or other software. Grab this codec from the Sourceforge page and give it a try.

  3. You’re not running your application as an administrator

    This message can also appear by running Adobe or other software without the correct permissions. This is an easy fix: right-click on the app when you launch it, and click Run as Administrator. You’ll need the admin password. After that, this error should clear up.

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