Windows users should not have a hard time opening an AVI file. Double-click the video file, and you'll be good to go. Alternatively, you could right-click the file and select Windows Media Player from the 'Open With' drop-down menu.
Windows Media Player is the default media player for most Windows computers. Unfortunately, it might not open all of your AVI files. The free K-Lite Codec pack should bail you out in this case. Download and install the pack, then try playing your files again.
Say you have a couple of AVI files; a few open just fine while the rest give you a hard time. Let's find out why this may be the case.
Opening and playing an AVI file is not as simple as opening a MPEG file. The different video and audio codecs used to encode AVI files cause much of the trouble you might experience with such files. You'll need to install the right codecs to play the files seamlessly – AVI files often use XviD and DivX codecs to store media files.
CODECs (Compressor – Decompressor) ensure that your media players can pack and unpack media files. Given that a codec encodes your file with a specific algorithm, your computer needs to decode the file with the same algorithm.
If you are working with a different OS, say macOS or Linux, you'll need a third-party application to playback AVI files. The highly versatile VLC Player is an excellent alternative.
macOS users may also have to do more than merely downloading the VLC player. You could choose to convert the AVI file to the Mac QuickTime file format. This conversion lets you play your file on all Mac video programs.
QuickTime friendly formats include MOV, MP4, and M4V formats. With the converted file, you can view your file on iTunes and sync with any other macOS device. Just like for Windows, you may need to download and install the specific codec for your video if it doesn't play on QuickTime.