Wondershare Repairit
Video Repair

Perfectly repair videos with various corruption issues in minutes.

  • Fix video issues like video no sound, video not playing, video blurry, etc.
  • Repair videos of 15+ different video formats, such as MP4, MOV, MKV, etc.
  • Advanced Repair mode for severely corrupted videos.
  • Support a wide range of storage media including cameras, SD cards, mobile phones, hard drives, etc.
video repair

What Can We Do If MP4 Cannot Play on Mac

How to Fix the MP4 Can’t Play on Mac Issue

It can be pretty stressful not being able to open and use common file types on Mac, especially when you want to watch a video. If MP4 can’t play on your Mac, you are experiencing a widespread issue, and your treasured moments stored in MP4 are far from gone.

Below, you can learn everything about MP4 file types, including how to repair an MP4 video and how to ensure they always work when you need them.

mp4 can’t play on mac

Definition of MP4 File

MP4 is a standard file type or file format used for Video files. You’ve probably wondered what MP4 stands for. It’s an abbreviation for an MPEG-4 Video file. It’s a special file format used for video. MP4 is compressed to take less storage space, and besides video, it can also store audio recordings and subtitles.

A lot of devices nowadays use MP4 to store videos. You can get them when you download your favorite videos from your smartphone, save a DVD from your collection to your Mac, or download a video online. Now, why would such a standard video file format stop working? Let’s see the possible reasons why MP4 can’t play on Mac.

Reasons Why Your MP4 Can’t Play on Mac

If you are having an MP4 can’t play on Mac issue, you are probably looking for a reasonable explanation for why that is so. There are several reasons why you can’t play MP4 files on your Mac. Let’s name the most common ones:

  • Corrupted media player – Your video player can become corrupt. It simply means that your media player is no longer properly working. Trying to open an MP4 file with it will always result in an error message;
  • Corrupted MP4 file – The most common reason you can’t play an MP4 file on your Mac is because it’s corrupted. Whether it’s a virus, conversion, or recovery gone wrong, you can no longer play it;
  • Poor internet connection – if you are trying to stream an online MP4 file, it may tell you that you can’t do it because your bandwidth is too slow;
  • No audio codec – finally, you may be unable to play MP4 on Mac because you are missing the right codec.

Ok, now you understand why your MP4 can’t play on Mac. It’s time to learn how to fix it.

How to Fix the MP4 Can’t Play Issue

There are some proven methods to help you fix the MP4 can’t play issue even if you don’t have a technical background. You can try and repair MP4 video, update macOS, restart Mac, download codecs, convert videos, or update Quicktime Player.

The first step is to try and repair the MP4 video. To do it, you will need one of the best video repair tools, such as Wondershare Repairit.

Fix 1: Repair MP4 Video With Wondershare Repairit

Using Wondershare Repairit to repair your MP4 videos is simple and easy. Just follow the next steps.

Step 1: Download and install Wondershare Repairit.

installing wondershare repairit

Head to the official Wondershare Repairit website to download the installer. Start the installer and wait for it to complete.

installing wondershare repairit

Step 2: Import corrupted videos.

Next, click the Add button and select the MP4 files you want to repair.

selecting mp4 cant play on mac files

Step 3: Repair your files

Now, click the Repair button, and Wondershare Repairit will repair your corrupted MP4 files.

repair mp4 video

Additional Tip: With Wondershare Repair Online, you use an even more convenient method to repair your MP4 files online. Here is how.

Step 1: Open Wondershare Repairit Online and add files.

Head to Wondershare Repair Online, click the Add button and add the MP4 files you want to repair.

repair mp4 video online

Step 2: Repair the MP4 video.

Now, click the Repair button, and the Wondershare Repair Online tool will restore your files to their original state.

repair mp4 video online with wondershare repairit

Fix 2: Update Your macOS

The next thing you can try to do to fix the MP4 can’t play on Mac issue is to try and update your macOS. Simply click Apple menu > System Settings. Select General in the sidebar and click Software Update > Update Now.

updating macOS

Fix 3: Restart Your Mac

You can also try restarting your Mac. To do it, simply choose the Apple menu > Restart. If nothing of the above helps, you can download codecs.

restarting mac

Fix 4: Download Codecs

You must also check whether you have the required codecs to play MP4 files on your Mac. Try playing your video. If it doesn’t start, navigate to the Window tab in the top menu of QuickTime and click Show Movie Inspector.

 accessing movie inspector for mp4 file

Take a closer look at the dialogue window, as it will display the Format of the MP4 video you are trying to play.

By default, QuickTime supports the following formats:

  • Video Codec: MPEG-4 (Part 2), H.264, MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later), H.263, H.261
  • Audio Codec: HE-AAC, AAC (MPEG-4 Audio), Apple Lossless, MP3

If the format of your MP4 file is not on the list, you need to turn on Codec support or use a third-party app.

checking the format of mp4 file

Fix 5: Convert the Video

You can also try converting the MP4 video to the video format QuickTime support by default. To do it, you will need to use a third-party video conversion tool.

Fix 6: Update QuickTime Player

Updating QuickTime Player can also help you resolve the MP4 can’t play issue. Start the QuickTime player. In the QuickTime menu, choose the Update tab.

updating quicktime player

The other option would be to uninstall the QuickTime Player and head to the official QuickTime webpage to download and install the latest version.

Fix 7: How to Ensure Your MP4 Videos Work

MP4 files are like any other file type. In other words, they can become damaged or corrupted. As you can see, repairing them with specialized software such as Wondershare Repairit is easy. However, you can still do a few things to ensure your MP4 videos work and protect them from corruption:

  • Always keep your macOS, antivirus, and QuickTime Player updated;
  • If you edit your videos, make sure to use reliable, genuine video editing software;
  • When recording videos across your devices, make sure that the battery is charged and the camera is in working condition;
  • Ensure a stable internet connection when downloading and uploading MP4 files;
  • Back up your videos.

Following these instructions will help you protect your MP4 videos. The backup part is vital, as you can always restore the original file if the copy gets corrupted.


Trying to playback a precious memory stored in MP4 file format and experiencing an MP4 can’t play issue on Mac can make you feel uneasy. However, with the right tools, such as Wondershare Recoverit, you can repair MP4 video in no time.

You can also avoid all that stress by backing up your MP4 videos, keeping your macOS and QuickTime Player updated, and ensuring you download and upload MP4 files only when you have a stable internet connection.