Can You Get a Virus From an MP4? Proper Explanation

If you prefer to watch videos by storing them in your memory drive, it’s quite understandable why you’re querying about the virus infection of an MP4. MP4 is basically a digital container format mostly designed for storing videos. In this advanced technological world, viruses are even stronger than before and pretty capable of spreading into any operating system. 

So as a conscious user, you might be wondering whether you might be infected with a virus from MP4 files. The simplest answer is yes, you actually can. The exploit mainly remains in the media player and various players have various exploits. Don’t worry! This post contains a proper explanation of how you can possibly get a virus from an MP4 file.

Therefore, stick to the post till the end without skipping any part. So, let’s start!

Can You Get a Virus From an MP4

Is It Possible That You Can Get a Virus From an MP4?

Yes, it’s highly possible. It’s true that this incident is relatively rare compared to file types like .zip or .exe, which are the most common and readily available carriers of the virus. The simplest reason is their executable files, unlike MP4. The executable files are pretty notorious for spreading viruses. Being a non-executable file, an MP4 file won’t run any malicious code straightforwardly, but all it can do is let malicious code aka a virus be embedded in it. That’s why when a user play that MP4 file, the virus exploits the vulnerability in the media player and breaks free in the system.

There’s another way your system can get infected from an MP4, which is a little bit absurd yet so effective. In this case, the virus remains undercover as an MP4 file. This can be done by renaming the virus or malicious file’s file extension in the MP4 format. Therefore, when a user mistakes that MP4 file for a real one and unintentionally opens it,  the virus gets activated and breaks out into the operating system.   

What to Do to Prevent Getting a Virus From an MP4?

If you’re concerned about getting a virus from an MP4 file, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. First,  it’s always important to be cautious when downloading or opening any file, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the source. Therefore, you should only download MP4 files from verified sources. Second, you should use a highly renowned antivirus program to scan any MP4 files before you open them to ensure safety. Third, you should keep your media player software up to date with the latest security patches.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers 

Is MP4 a safe format?

If your question means if an MP4 file is safe from malware, then the answer is no. No file is entirely malware-proof. Any file can be infected and MP4 isn’t an exception. On the contrary, if your question means whether an MP4 file is safe to play or not, the simple answer is not always. Sometimes it plays the role of a carrier of a virus. 

Can I get a virus from video files?

You can get any kind of malware including viruses from video files if you try downloading them from malicious sources and playing them in your operating system. But to spread properly, they require your permission (want you to open the file) and a vulnerability in the software. 

Can M4A have viruses?

Typically, no. Being an audio-supported (digital audio stream) data file format, an M4A is nearly secure for your computer system. They usually don’t contain malicious code and even if they do, they would still stay harmless, until it gets altered by a potential virus. 


Lastly, it can be said that you can possibly get a virus from an MP4 if it’s a disguised virus or it consists of malicious coed and there’s a vulnerable spot to exploit in the media player program. So, to keep your system safe from such malicious MP4 files, it’s better to take the precautions mentioned above. Let us know if the post is informative and if you have any more queries.

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