Why Videos Won’t Play on Mac


There are plenty of potential reasons for videos not playing on Mac, and most of them can be solved fairly easily. One of the most obvious reasons is that your player can’t support the file type. This is most likely if you’re using a more basic player, or you’re using a file type that’s less common. Another obvious cause of problems is if the file has been somehow corrupted. If you’re trying to play the video from an online source or in a browser, there are a few easy ways you can refresh your software to see if it solves the problem.

What Happens When Videos Aren’t Playing on Mac

There are a few obvious signs of videos not playing well on Mac. The following are some of the most obvious problems:

  • Late response – if you find yourself having to wait any time you want to play a file on your Mac,or videos loading but not playing on Mac,  it’s possible the file has been corrupted and needs fixing. 
  • No output while clicking on the video file – files that have been completely corrupted will give no response when you click on them, no matter what media player you use.
  • Error messages – error messages will let you know the reason a file cannot be played properly when videos will not load.
  • Audio distortion – corrupted or damaged files generally have audio that doesn’t function properly, either playing in extremely poor quality or playing out of sync (or potentially with no audio at all) 
  • Missing video file segments – if your video skips ahead at points, it’s likely that certain sections of it are either missing or corrupted.

Corruption of a video file can happen for a number of reasons, and once corrupted it’s usually difficult to get a video to play properly.

There are many reasons for a video file to get corrupted. Usually, it happens when it accidentally loses some of the segments necessary to read and make sense of the video file.

Here are some of the causes of the corruption of a video file:

  • Transfer, conversion, and compression of software may lead to low-quality or corrupted video files
  • Damaged video header
  • Video is not fully downloaded because of loss of internet connection
  • Irregular edits lead to error

Why Won’t Mac Play Videos?

The first step towards solving your issues with video not playing right on Mac is working out why they aren’t playing. We’ve outlined a few potential problems above, but there are more. Malware and viruses can corrupt either your player or the file itself, resulting in videos and audio not playing on laptop. The following are some of the easiest solutions for getting files to play properly.

First of all, if you downloaded the file from an online source, try redownloading it. Try to make sure you download from the most reliable sources you can find. If you’re playing the file from an external device, try re-transferring the file from its original source to the device you’re playing it on.

If the issue is with either your player or the file format, such as MP4 videos not playing on Mac, the best thing you can do is upgrade to a third party app that can play the file. We recommend Elmedia Player as the ideal tool for just about any file. Elmedia can handle a huge range of different file types. Not just widely used ones like MP4 and MOV, but a range of less popular files that are still used.

Elmedia has also been designed specifically for Apple. That means that it receives regular updates, while also remaining compatible with older versions of the Apple operating system.

If your videos do not play - try Elmedia

Troubleshooting Guide When Videos Are Not Playing on Mac

The following are a few of the ways you can troubleshoot when dealing with video issues on Mac, including Mac not playing sound on videos. As we’ve mentioned, Elmedia is the ideal tool for dealing with a huge range of different videos. If the issue you’ve encountered has come up because of compatibility issues, Elmedia is pretty much guaranteed to solve it, while also providing you with a suite of features to use during playback. However, here are a few other potential things you can do to solve your problem.

Problem with online videos on Mac

Whether your problems are with Google Chrome, Safari not playing videos, or videos not playing on Firefox, there are a few easy steps you can take to solve the problem.

Open video in a private window

Web browsers generally have a private window option. In this mode, you’ll be able to look at videos without any browser history being saved, and without any cookies. It’s an easy first step in terms of troubleshooting the problem

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to open an private window

Enable JavaScript in the Browser

One possible reason why your files aren’t working is that JavaScript has not been enabled. JavaScript is a programming language that you may need to play videos in a browser. All you need to do is go to the settings and security tab, and check that JavaScript is enabled.

Refresh Your Browser

The most straightforward option. All you need to do is either hit the refresh button or click on the address and hit enter. The page will refresh. You can also copy and paste the address, restarting the browser and trying the address again.

Refresh Your Page

Clear Browser Cache

Browsers have the option of clearing the cache. This basically removes any saved data in your browser, including anything that may create problems playing certain videos. You can generally access the settings needed to clear the cache via your history.

Click Clear Now

Scan your Mac OS for Malware

Malware can cause problems, either creating issues for your player, or corrupting files that you’ve downloaded. For the very best scanning services you’ll generally need to pay for a full subscription. However, you can also simply download basic antivirus software. Once downloaded, use the scan mode to check that there’s nothing harmful on your device.

Re-install Adobe Flash Player

If you’re using Adobe, it’s worth reinstalling it. You can download the latest installer from the Adobe homepage. Once you’ve got the files downloaded, simply run the install, then retry using the file.

YouTube not Playing Videos on Mac

If you’re encountering issues while trying to play YouTube videos, you can try any of the above options. In addition, you may want to try using a VPN. YouTube has a number of georestrictions, meaning that certain videos can only be played in certain countries. A VPN lets you access YouTube via servers in a different country, letting you access videos that would otherwise be restricted.

Closing words

There are plenty of easy steps you can take to sort out the problem, and we’ve outlined most of them above. It’s possible that a file becomes so corrupted that you won’t be able to play it in any circumstances, but our troubleshooting guide and steps for solutions can deal with the majority of issues.

As we’ve already said, a reliable player like Elmedia is the ideal tool for playing files of just about any type. Elmedia can handle a huge range of different file types, so if the issue is compatibility, it can easily resolve it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few different reasons why your Mac screen is going black. Power issues are the obvious answer, if you’ve been having general power issues the problem is probably the battery or charger. Other reasons include problems with malware and viruses. There may also be bugs on whatever program you’re using to play videos.

As already mentioned, your player may have bugs or may not be able play the file type. Use a top level third party media player such as Elmedia and you’ll have no issues playing videos on Mac.

With QuickTime videos not playing, QuickTime may not be able to handle the format you’re trying to play, or there may be problems with the file itself. By using Elmedia Player you can play files of pretty much any type, and it offers a variety of different settings that should let you troubleshoot any particular problems.