FOURCC Registration


To register a new FOURCC, complete the attached document and mail it to Microsoft at This system is fine in principle but there is currently no way of getting that information back out of the folks at Microsoft once the format is registered. It also appears that no-one actually checks to see if the pixel format being registered is already there under another name (they do, however, check to see that the FOURCC itself has not been registered before but this still leads to problems because there are now multiple FOURCCs for the same formats).

To attempt to remedy this situation, I suggest that you send registration requests to Microsoft as before but also copy me. I promise to update the web site with your new format as soon as possible and also check to ensure that I don't have any other FOURCCs here that already describe the format (though I would rather that you checked first before submitting the new format). This way, Microsoft gets the registration request as usual and you also get the format published for the benefit of others. If the format is for a codec, please let me know and I'll add it to the codecs list.

If, after Microsoft reply to your registration request, there is some problem and the FOURCC is already registered, please let me know and I'll change the web site, marking your original submission as taken and adding the FOURCC that you are issued with in place of the original.

This may seem a cumbersome process but it appears to me to be the best compromise - we end up with as complete a FOURCC definition web site as possible and Microsoft still gets to handle the registrations.

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this situation or how we can gain access to Microsoft's FOURCC database, please let me know. If you have any questions about the Microsoft registration process, you can email them to

Microsoft's Registration Document

Download the Microsoft registration document (Word for Windows 95 v7.0 format, 60K)

Use this document to register FOURCCs for raw pixel formats and codecs. It also contains sections for registering Manufacturer IDs, Product IDs, RIFF chunks and MCI command sets and extensions. Please address any queries regarding this document to