How to Recover Deleted 3G2/3GP Files?

Learn to recover deleted 3G2/3GP files after learning what is a 3G2/3GP file on this page. Moreover, you can also fix corrupted 3G2/3GP files and get practical data loss prevention measures.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Is it possible to recover deleted 3G2/3GP files?

In today’s digital age, our smartphones and other devices have become repositories for an abundance of media files such as photos and videos.

To suit their usage scenarios, people usually choose various file formats for their videos based on specific requirements and preferences. For instance, in some cases, several users prefer 3G2 and 3GP video file formats.

However, plenty of users have reported that their 3G2/3GP videos get lost or corrupted, rendering them unplayable.


Help! I accidentally deleted some precious 3G2 and 3GP videos from my Windows 10 and emptied Recycle Bin. But several days later, I find I need some deleted 3GP videos.  So is it possible to recover 3GP files? Thanks.



Please don’t worry because regular file backups or professional data recovery software makes it possible to recover deleted 3G2/3GP files.

Moreover, several scenarios such as malware attacks and system errors also can lead to video loss or file corruption. If you’re bothered by the above problems, please continue reading to find the corresponding ways.

What is 3G2/3GP?

Since many users are not aware of 3G2 and 3GP, let’s get an overview of these two file formats before beginning the video recovery process.

What is a 3G2 file?

The 3G2 file extension operates as a multimedia container format, it is associated with the Third Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2).

Designed to reduce storage and bandwidth requirements for video transmission and recording through mobile phones and 3G networks, 3G2 serves as the standard format for CDMA-based (Code Division Multiple Access) phones, while 3GP caters to GSM-based (Global System for Mobile Communications) devices.


A significant advantage of 3G2 lies in its requirement for less storage space, bandwidth, and data.

Considered an upgraded version of 3GP, the 3G2 format contains the same video and audio streams while accommodating various EVRC audio streams like 13K (QCELP), SMV, and VMR. However, 3G2 does not support ACC+ and AMR-WB+ audio streams available in 3GP files.

What is a 3GP file?

The 3GP file type, developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, serves as a multimedia container format, acting as a wrapper for formatted videos.

Within 3GP files, both audio and video streams find storage.

Video streams are typically compressed using MPEG-4 part 2 (H.263) or MPEG-4 part 10 (H.264), while audio streams adopt formats such as AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, AAC-LC, and HE-AAC V1.  


3GP caters primarily to 3D-enabled mobile devices and smartphones. But certain 2G or 4G phones and computer systems can also handle 3GP files.

The major advantage of 3GP files lies in their compressed nature, swift downloads, and transfers with minimal bandwidth requirements.

Commonly, the 3GP format finds application in IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service), and PPS (Packet-switched Streaming Service).

How to recover permanently deleted 3G2/2GP files without backups?

How to recover deleted 3G2/3GP files from Recycle Bin after emptying them?

As stated in the opening paragraph, the most efficient and time-saving method is to seek help from powerful video recovery software, especially for those users without file backups.

Because your permanent deletion execution only can remove the corresponding file path of your selected 3G2/3GP videos instead of wiping them from computer hard drives.


So your permanently deleted 3G2/3GP videos might be still on your internal hard drives as long as they haven’t been overwritten by newly added files.

For a higher video recovery rate, please stop loading new files to your device to prevent overwriting deleted and lost 3G2/3GP files and begin video recovery as soon as possible.

Supported by AOMEI Tech, professional MyRecover is good at recovering deleted and missing videos (3G2, 3GP, MP4, MOV, AVI, MWV, MKV, RMVB, ASF, OGM, WebM, etc.) from computer hard drives and other local devices.

Video Recovery Software for Windows:
  • High-efficiency: Recover 200+ types of files such as videos, audio, photos, MS Office files, WPS files, folders, compressed files, songs, and websites from HDD, SSD, USB, SD cards, etc.
  • Advanced scanning method: MyRecover runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. Specify the filename, saved path, date, or size to filter your needed files.
  • Convenience: Retain the original filename, path, and format for the deleted files.
  • Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems and be compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Sever PC.
Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download   
After video recovery, please save your retrieved 3G2/3GP files in a new location.
To recover large or more deleted/missing videos from local hard drives, upgrading MyRecover is a better and more cost-effective choice.

Step 1. After launching MyRecover on your Windows> hover the mouse over the C drive > click Scan.


Step 2. MyRecover will automatically run Quick and Deep Scan to scan your selected C drive and display all the recoverable files.

You can preview or filter your wanted 3G2/3GP videos according to Document Type, Name, Path, Size, Date, etc.

  • Name: Type the filenames of your desired files to narrow the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, etc.)


Step 3. In this case, let’s show how to recover 3GP files via MyRecover as an example. Under the Recycle Bin folder, locate your wanted 3GP videos > click Recover x files.


Other feasible ways to recover deleted 3G2/3GP files

Where do deleted files go? After the first deletion, your computer OS will automatically send your first deleted 3G2/3GP files to its temporary storage places. So you can restore them from the corresponding temporary storage folder.

For permanently deleted 3G2/3GP files, besides third-party tools, it’s possible to restore your wanted 3G2/3GP videos from prepared backups.

Plan A. Restore accidentally/recently deleted 3G2/3GP from temporary storage places

For Windows:

» Open your desktop Recycle Bin > type “3G2/3GP” in the search bar to quickly locate your 3G2/3GP videos > right-click on one 3G2/3GP file > click Restore it to its original location.



For Mac:

» Open your Mac Trash > locate the deleted 3G2/3GP video you want> right-click on it > choose Put Back.


Plan B. Restore permanently deleted 3G2/3GP from backups

For Windows:

For Windows operating systems, let’s take Windows Backup and Restore as an example because this Windows backup feature is compatible with Windows 7 OS and above.

By following the on-screen instructions, you can successfully recover your permanently deleted videos.

Step 1. Type “System and Security” in the search bar to open it. Under the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) tab, select the “Restore files from backups” option.


Step 2. Click the “Restore my files” button.


Step 3. Select “Browse for files” to locate your wanted 3G2/3GP video > click Next.


Step 4. To retrieve your selected 3G2/3GP files to their original location or set a new saved path > click Restore.


For Mac:

Apple also releases backup features like Time Machine to prevent data loss at the source. An activated Time Machine can automatically create hourly, daily, and weekly backups based on your needs.

Step 1. Open the window where you lost 3G2/3GP files.

Step 2. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, find Time Machine, and click Enter Time Machine.


Step 3. Use the up and down arrows to locate the 3G2/3GP videos you want to restore.


Step 4. Restore” your desired 3G2/3GP files to their previous location.


How do I play a .3GP/3G2 file?

This user-friendly compatibility allows easy access to 3GP/3G2 files without the hassle of installing additional software.

Windows Media Player, Microsoft Movies & TV, Corel VideoStudio 2022, CyberLink PowerDirector 2022, and VideoLAN VLC media player can help you open 3G2 videos on Windows.

Please refer to the following clicks to open 3G2 videos on Windows via a default program if needed.

» Press Win + E to open File Explorer > click Downloads > right-click on your saved 3G2 video > select Open with > Windows Media Player.

For Mac OS, you can use Apple QuickTime Player, VideoLAN VLC media player, or Aiseesoft Mac Video Converter Ultimate.


Likewise, Windows users can also open 3GP videos via Windows Media Player.

» Press Win + E to open File Explorer > click Downloads > right-click on your saved 3GP video > select Open with > Windows Media Player.


Besides the above-mentioned programs, MPlayer (Windows & Mac), Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate (Windows), Eltima Elmedia Player (Mac), and Roxio Toast 20 (Mac) also can view 3GP videos.  

» For iOS:

  • Olimsoft Player

» For Android:

  • File Viewer for Android
  • PANDORA. TV KMPlayer
  • VIT LABS Simple MP4 Video Player
  • J2 Interactive MX Player

Bonus tips: How do I fix corrupted 3GP/3G2?

“Why is my 3GP video not playing?” If you’re facing similar issues with your 3G2/3GP videos, they might be corrupted. Please refer to the following fixes.

Fix 1. Convert 3G2/3GP videos to MP4

If your default media player does not support 3GP or 3G2 files, try to utilize VideoLAN VLC media player to convert unplayable 3GP or 3G2 files into more widely compatible formats like MP4 because this open-source software can play almost any video file and supports major platforms like Windows, iOS, Linux, and Android.   

VideoLAN VLC media player also can help you recover MPG files by converting file formats.

Step 1. Install and launch VLC on your Windows/Mac > click on the Media menu in the VLC player.

Step 2. Select “Convert/Save” and add your 3G2/3GP videos.


Step 3. Select Video –H.264 + MP3 (MP4) in the dropdown menu > set the destination file > click Start.


Fix 2. Download the right codec

If you’re having trouble playing your 3GP or 3G2 files on your smartphone or computer, the issue might be a missing codec. Codecs are essential for making videos compatible with your media player, but they’re often overlooked.

In such cases, you can download the necessary codec using your player’s update utility or find available codec packs that support 3G2/3GP files.

Fix 3. Use a Hex Editor

A Hex Editor is powerful software that analyzes and interprets hexadecimal coded files on a computer system. It can manipulate the fundamental binary data within a file. With a Hex Editor, you can attempt to fix corrupted 3GP or 3G2 files.

By comparing the damaged and non-corrupt parts of a file, you can make edits to header info, bitrate, file type, and more.

However, it requires a good understanding of file structures and should be approached with caution. If you’re not confident in using a Hex Editor, seeking help from an expert is advisable.

Related suggestions

What is a 3G2 file? What is a 3GP file? How to recover deleted 3G2/3GP videos? How do I fix corrupted 3GP/3G2? Please get the respective answers from the corresponding part.

Similarly, if you want to recover deleted 3G2/3GP videos from iPhone 13 or 14 without backups, why not give MyRecover for iOS a shot? Because this professional iOS data recovery software can exempt you from resetting your iPhone and erasing all the existing data.


Regularly save your 3G2/3GP videos and other important data for the sake of data loss. This guideline works for bother Windows and iPhone.

  • If you prefer easier operating steps and more flexible backup choices, this free Windows backup software-AOMEI Backupper Standard is more practical than Windows features.


  • For iOS devices, you can try to employ this free iOS backup and software-FoneTool to finish various backup and transfer tasks.
Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.