3GP File Extension

3GP file icon
3GPP Multimedia Format
  • Developer
    Third Generation Partnership Project
  • Category
  • Popularity
    2.8 (10 votes)

What is 3GP file?

3GP file is a multimedia file container developed by 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project). 3GP files can store audio and video data used by cell phones that support 3G technology.

3GP file format applications

3GP file format can be seen as a simplified, mobile version of MP4 format most popular on PCs and laptops. 3GP format was created as a format for streaming audio and video data on mobile devices; therefore, 3GP files are small in size to reduce bandwith requirements. 3GP is in fact the standard file format used for sending data using MMS or MBMS technology.

Technical specification

3GP file format is based on MPEG-14 format with reduced bandwith requirements. Video streams are stored as MPEG-4 part 2, H.263, or MPEG-4 part 10 (AVC / H.264) formats, and audio streams are stored as AMR-WB, AMR-WB +, AMR-NB, AAC-LC , HE-AAC v1 or Enhanced aacPlus (HE-AAC v2) formats.

Additional information

Mobile devices that don’t support 3G technology, that is those which support 2G or 4G, can also be used to open 3GP files, although not without some limitations.

It is not unusual for 3GP files to be stored using 3GPP extension, but beside a slightly different suffix, the files a virtually the same.

Programs which support 3GP file extension

Below you will find an index of software programs that can be used to open 3GP files divided into 5 categories according to system platform supported. Files with 3GP suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

How to open file with 3GP extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening 3GP files on given system. What is important, all common issues related to files with 3GP extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Get the Microsoft Windows Video

The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening 3GP files is that no program that can handle 3GP files is installed on user’s system. This one is an easy one. Select Microsoft Windows Video or one of the recommended programs (for example, Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate, QuickTime Player, Adobe Flash Professional) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit Microsoft Windows Video website and download the installer.

Step 2. Check the version of Microsoft Windows Video and update if needed

If the problems with opening 3GP files still occur even after installing Microsoft Windows Video, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Microsoft Windows Video is available. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. The reason that Microsoft Windows Video cannot handle files with 3GP may be that the software is outdated. The most recent version of Microsoft Windows Video is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate 3GPP Multimedia Format files with Microsoft Windows Video

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Windows Video installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage 3GP on your device. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Change the default application in Windows

  • Clicking the 3GP with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Microsoft Windows Video installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open 3GP files box and clicking OK button.

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with 3GP extension, select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select Microsoft Windows Video and click Change for all...
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with 3GP extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Check the 3GP for errors

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the 3GP file in question. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

1. The 3GP may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the 3GP file hinders attempts to open it. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. 3GP file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Verify that the 3GP file’s structure is intact

If the 3GP file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the 3GP file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Verify whether your account has administrative rights

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the 3GPP Multimedia Format file.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Microsoft Windows Video

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support 3GP files. Close all running programs and try opening the 3GP file.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with 3GPP Multimedia Format files. It may be the case that the 3GP files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the 3GP file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on 3GP file.

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