8 Simple Ways to Fix Videos Not Playing on Mac

Are you experiencing frustrating video playback problems on your Mac? Don't worry! We understand how inconvenient it can be. But fear not, as we have just the solution you need - 4ddig File Repair!

5 mins read

Updated on 2023-12-01 11:47:31 to Video Error

“I've recently had an issue where no videos on my macbook will play at all. This includes YouTube on chrome or safari, external video websites AND videos downloaded on my laptop. I have restarted my laptop, which fixes the problem for about an hour, then the problem arises again. Please help!”

Severing as a medium for entertainment, education, and communication, videos have become an integral part of our lives. However, it can be incredibly frustrating when you encounter issues with video not playing on Mac. Whether you're trying to watch downloaded videos or stream content online, facing any video playback issues can put a damper on your experience. But fear not, for in this article, we will explore eight straightforward methods to resolve these issues and get your videos playing smoothly on your Mac.

Part 1. Why Won't Videos Play on My Mac?

Before heading straight to the solutions, it's essential to first understand the causes behind videos on Mac not playing. Here are some common reasons that prevent videos on your MacBook from playing.

  • Outdated Software: If your operating system, web browser, or video player is not up to date, it may not support the latest video codecs or formats. This can result in playback issues.
  • Insufficient Resources: If your Mac is running low on available memory or processing power, it may struggle to handle the playback of high-quality videos.
  • Corrupted Video Files: Sometimes, the video files themselves may be corrupted or damaged during the downloading or transfer process, resulting in playback issues.
  • Unsupported video format: The video file you're trying to play might be in a format that is not supported by the media player on your Mac.
  • Poor Network Connection: A poor or unstable internet connectivity can result in buffering or inability to stream online videos smoothly.
  • Browser Plugins or Plug-Ins Issues: If you're experiencing problems specifically with online video playback, incompatible browser extensions or plug-ins could be the culprits.

Part 2. How to Fix Downloaded Videos Not Playing on Mac?

As you can see above, there can be various reasons why videos won’t play on Ma. Likewise, there are several solutions you can try. Let's begin by addressing the specific issue of downloaded videos not playing on Mac.

Method 1. Use Video Repair Software to Fix Corrupt Video

When you’re faced with the issue of videos not playing in (PowerPoint) Mac, the most recommended method is to repair the unplayable video files. As mentioned earlier, it is highly likely that your videos are not playing due to corruption. In such cases, it is essential to utilize a reliable video file repair tool like 4DDiG File Repair.

This software is specifically designed to address video file corruption issues and restore the files to a playable state. Below are some notable features it includes:

  • Supports a wide range of video formats, including MP4, MOV, MKV, M4V, and more, ensuring compatibility with your specific video files.
  • Employs advanced algorithms to analyze and repair the issues within your corrupted video files.
  • Offers preview of the repaired videos before saving them.
  • Comes with batch repair functionality, making the repair process more efficient.
  • Boasts a high success rate in repairing corrupt video files and enhancing low-res videos.

Now let's quickly learn how you can use this tool to repair damaged video files Mac.

  • First of all, download and install 4DDiG File Repair. Once it's installed successfully, launch the tool, hit the Fix Video Errors option and click Start to upload the videos that aren't playing on your Mac.


    Secure Download


    Secure Download

  • fix videos not playing on mac using 4ddig file repair-1
  • After all the videos are uploaded, hit the Repair button as shown in the picture below. This will start the repair of your corrupted videos. So, wait patiently for the process to be completed.

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  • Once the process is completed, click on the View Results button to preview the repaired videos and check if they are playing or not.

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  • If the videos are repaired successfully, you can select the ones you want and click on the Export Selected button to save them on your MacBook.

    fix videos not playing on mac using 4ddig file repair-4

Method 2. Convert Video to a Supported Format

In case you have troubles with playing videos on Mac with QuickTime Player or get the error message “videos not compatible with QuickTime player”, the problem might be related to the video format not being supported by the media player. In such cases, converting the video format could be a solution. Here's how you can convert video format using QuickTime Player or VLC media player:

To fix that, you’ll need to convert the video to a supported format. Here are the steps you can follow.

Option 1. Convert Video Format Using QuickTime Player:

  • Locate the video which isn't compatible with the QuickTime player and press & hold the Command button and click on the video. This will open a list of options.
  • Go to Open with and then hit the QuickTime Player option.

    convert video format using quicktime player 1
  • Click on the File > Export As and choose an option from the Export menu.

    convert video format using quicktime player 2
  • Choose the location where you want to save this video file and hit the Save button.
  • Once your video file is saved, it will be converted into MOV video format which is compatible with the QuickTime video player.

Option 2. Convert Video Format Using VLC Media Player:

  • Download and open VLC Media Player on your Mac. Go to the File menu and go down to Convert/Stream.

    covert video format on mac using vlc-1
  • Click the "Open Media" button to browse and select the video file that's not playing.
  • Pick Video - H.264 + MP3 (MP4) as the profile and click “Customize” to choose the compatible codec for both video and audio.

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  • Click "Save as File" and select the destination folder for your output. Then hit the Save button to transcode your video.

When the conversion finishes, try opening the converted video with QuickTime Player to see if it is working correctly.

Method 3. Update macOS

If you have successfully converted your video to a compatible QuickTime format but still QuickTime won’t play MP4/MOV, the problem might be with the player. In this case, consider installing updates and upgrades for macOS and its built-in apps, including QuickTime player.

Here is how you can do that.

  • Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  • Select "System Preferences"> “Software Update.”
  • If Software Update finds new software, click the Upgrade Now button to install it.

    update macos to fix vlc not playing on mac

Once the update process is complete, you’ll have the latest version of QuickTime Player. Try playing the video with it to check if the issue has been resolved.

Part 3. How to Fix Online Videos Not Playing on Mac?

In addition to handling offline videos, you might come across playback problems with online videos on your Mac. This includes issues like Safari or Chrome not playing videos, or YouTube videos not working properly. To address these problems effectively, let's delve into some further troubleshooting steps:

Method 1. Enable JavaScript in Your Browser

JavaScript plays a crucial role in enabling interactive features and video playback on many websites. If JavaScript is disabled in your browser settings, it can lead to Chrome/Safari not playing videos on Mac. Here's how to enable JavaScript in your browsers:

To enable JavaScript in Safari:

  • Open Safari on your Mac, go to the "Safari" menu and select "Preferences."
  • In the Preferences window, click on the "Security" tab.
  • Ensure that the "Enable JavaScript" checkbox is selected.

    enable javascript to fix safari not playing videos on mac

To enable JavaScript in Chrome:

  • Launch Google Chrome , click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner and select "Settings."
  • Click on the "Privacy and Security" tab and hit "Site Settings."

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  • Find and click on "JavaScript."

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  • Toggle the switch to enable JavaScript.

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Method 2. Check Browser Extensions

Browser extensions, though useful for adding functionality, can sometimes interfere with online video playback on Mac. Conflicting or outdated extensions may prevent videos from playing correctly. To address this issue, follow these steps to check and manage your browser extensions:

In Safari:

  • Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
  • Review the list of extensions and remove any unknown or unnecessary ones by clicking on the "Uninstall" or "Remove" button.

    remove safari extensions to fix video not playing on mac
  • Restart Safari and navigate to the webpage with the video and see if it plays without issues.

In Chrome:

  • Open Chrome and go to chrome://extensions/ in the URL bar.
  • Disable any extensions that you suspect might be causing the video playback problem by clicking the Remove button under their names.

    remove chrome extensions to fix video not playing on mac
  • Restart the Chrome browser and play your desired video again.

Method 3. Clear Safari Cache

Accumulated cache and cookies can also interfere with online video playback. Clear them from your Safari can help resolve data-related problems. Follow these steps to clear the cache in Safari:

  • Open Safari and go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy.
  • Click on "Manage Website Data."

    clear cache in safari fix video not playing on mac
  • Select one or more websites, then click Remove or Remove All to clear the cache.

Method 4. Turn off Safari’s Content Blocker for YouTube

Safari's content blockers, designed to enhance user privacy and reduce unwanted ads, might sometimes interfere with video playback on certain websites, including YouTube. To check if Safari's content blocker is causing the issue of YouTube videos not playing on Mac, follow these steps to disable it specifically for YouTube:

  • Open Safari and go to Safari > Preferences.
  • Click on the "Websites" tab.
  • On the left sidebar, select "Content Blockers."
  • Select the ‘Off’ option on the right side of the YouTube option.

    turn off content blocker for youtube to fix video not playing on mac

Now, the content blocker will no longer block YouTube videos, and you should be able to watch videos on YouTube without any issues in Safari.

Final Words

In conclusion, overcoming the issue of videos not playing on Mac is now within your grasp. With the methods explored in this article, you can confidently address any hurdles that hinder smooth video streaming. However, for those persistent cases of corrupted or damaged video files, we highly recommend leveraging the power of 4DDiG File Repair. This exceptional software offers a reliable solution to repair a wide array of video formats, ensuring that your treasured videos can be restored to their pristine state. With 4DDiG File Repair as your ally, you can reclaim the joy of watching your favorite videos without any interruptions.

William Bollson (senior editor)

William Bollson, the editor-in-chief of 4DDiG, devotes to providing the best solutions for Windows and Mac related issues, including data recovery, repair, error fixes.

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