What You Can Do if Your Videos Are Not Playing
Do you keep pressing play, but the video won’t load—and in the most critical moment, too? We’ve all been there. Video is the most popular type of content—82% of global internet traffic in 2022 came from video alone. Nevertheless, videos can be unpredictable.
There could be many reasons for videos not playing. Unplayable video files could be challenging to diagnose. File corruption, an incompatible video player, an outdated browser, or a faulty PC could cause the problem. Whatever you’re up against, we’ll help you identify and solve it.
There are as many video-related issues as videos in your YouTube favorites list—well, almost as many. An average video consumer will experience at least one of them sooner or later. Since you’re reading this, we can only assume you’re dealing with one now.
To help you, we must diagnose the issue. So, what kind of problem are you experiencing? When people say, “My videos are not playing,” they usually mean one of these:
- Your player refuses to play your video and displays different errors.
- After several attempts, your video file is unplayable on all players.
- The video takes forever to load and often ultimately fails to load.
- You can hear the sound but not the picture, or vice versa.
- The picture and the sound are both there, but they are out of sync.
- There are dropped black pixelated frames while playing the video.
- The video has a blurry or grainy picture that makes it unwatchable.
For each video-related issue, at least a few causes involve corruption in the file, player, or entire system. Don’t worry; it sounds a lot scarier than it is. Even when they are tricky, “videos not playing” problems are rarely unsolvable.
Let’s take a closer look at the common reasons behind unplayable videos:
- Video editing gone wrong – Video files can get corrupted during editing due to a power failure, software crash, and errors. You can also damage a video by playing, editing, and excessively transferring the file or using unreliable editing tools.
- Forceful video conversion – If you use online file converters to change your videos’ format, you should know it involves a certain amount of risk. Namely, these tools can damage files, lower their quality, or entirely break them.
- Corrupted environment – Like viruses and malware, system corruptions are infectious. If your video file resides in a corrupted environment, such as a faulty external storage device or a PC drive infected with a virus, it will most likely become corrupted.
- Video file fragmentation – One of the top reasons behind unplayable videos is a fragmented file with a missing codec or component. That happens when a power outage or system crash interrupts a download, editing, copying, or transfer.
- Incompatibility issues – Various types of video files exist, each built differently. Likewise, not all media players are the same. Some support only specific video files. That’s when incompatibility issues ensue.
- Video player corruption – While corrupted video files are more prevalent, video players also suffer that fate. Furthermore, a faulty video can wreak havoc on a healthy media player and the other way around. In either case, you have videos that aren’t playing.
- Unspecified interference – Sometimes, a system application or a third-party tool clashes with a media player or prevents playback. For example, Chrome has a Video Blocker that prevents autoplay while browsing. It might be enabled.
Now that we know the potential problems and causes, it’s time to fix your “videos not playing” problem. In a moment, we will walk you through several professional video file repair solutions. First, it’s better to try a few simple fixes that can save you a lot of time and trouble.
Fix 1: Have You Tried Turning Your PC Off and On Again?
Restarting your PC solves many temporary issues. Turning the computer off shuts down all running processes and programs, allowing them to reset. If a short-term circuit interference is blocking your videos from playing, rebooting the system will eliminate it.
Fix 2: Download the Video Again, Only Properly
When downloading a file, you must remove all potential interruptions. Ensure you have a stable connection and sufficient power supply. Also, research the website you’re downloading from and the tool you use to complete the process. Scan the file for viruses.
Fix 3: Could It Be the Streaming Service’s Fault?
If your “videos not playing” problem occurs while streaming from your favorite platform, it could be the streaming service’s fault. Troubleshoot the issue by researching the web. If more users like you have the same problem, it’s probably out of your control.
Fix 4: Practice Healthy Internet Browser Hygiene
Video streaming issues often occur due to improper browser hygiene. To play high-quality videos, you need the latest browser version. Ensure you’ve updated it recently and clean the cache, cookies, and temporary files to make space for the download.
Fix 5: Fix Videos Using Wondershare Repairit Online
You can use Wondershare Repairit Online for any unplayable video under 3 GB. It is a straightforward and convenient way to repair corrupted video files in various formats:
Step 1: Go to Wondershare Repairit Online.
Step 2: Click Add to upload your video.
Step 3: Pick a Repair Strategy and click Repair.
Step 4: Preview the repaired video for ten seconds.
Step 5: Download and save the video to your PC.
Are you ready to fix videos that are not playing like a pro? Let’s dive in.
Fix 1: Use a Professional Video Repair Tool (Wondershare Repairit)
Wondershare Repairit is professional software for any data corruption, including videos that are not playing. It repairs various video file formats, from MOV and MP4 to AVI and ASF. The file could be from a professional camera or an old smartphone—it doesn’t matter.
Here’s how to solve your “video not playing” issue with Wondershare Repairit:
Step 1: Download Wondershare Reparit for desktop from the official website.
Step 2: Once you install and launch it, prepare the video file you wish to repair.
Step 3: Upload the video using the Add button or the drag-and-drop functionality.
Step 4: Select the video you want to fix and click Repair.
Step 5: Preview the result once Wondershare Repairit fixes the file.
Step 6: If you like what you see, click Save to download the video to the PC.
Step 7: Alternatively, fix your file by clicking Advanced Repair.
Step 8: Add a sample video from the same camera or in the same format as your file.
Step 9: Click Repair and preview or save the video once the tool fixes it.
Fix 2: Update Video Drivers
Video drivers control the machinery behind your PC screen. Video-related issues like a black screen or low picture quality are common when you have an outdated or buggy graphics driver. Even though updates for drivers are usually automatic, they sometimes require your attention.
Luckily, you can update them without any software know-how whatsoever. Here’s how:
Step 1: Go to Start on your Windows PC and search for Device Manager.
Step 2: Click Display Adapters and select your graphics card below.
Step 3: Right-click your graphics card to reveal more options.
Step 4: Click Update driver in the drop-down list.
Step 5: Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.
Step 6: If you want to update drivers manually, choose Browse My Computer for driver software. In this case, you must find updates online and download them.
Fix 3: Update Video Codecs
If you download many videos, you must have heard about codecs. In a nutshell, video codecs are super important because they compress and decompress video files. First, they make them smaller for transfer and storage. Then, codecs unpack files to make them playable.
Video players often won’t play videos because of the missing video or audio codec. Most of them, like Windows Media Player, allow you to update codecs to fix an unplayable video:
Step 1: Launch Windows Media Player and click Help in the menu bar at the top.
Step 2: If the Help tab isn’t there, right-click the top bar and select Show menu bar.
Step 3: Click Check for updates. You will land on the Settings page for your PC.
Step 4: Click Check for updates to ensure you use the latest WMP version.
Fix 4: Use a Different Media Player
It might surprise some, but Windows Media Player isn’t the best choice for playing videos—at least regarding lesser-known codecs. If updating your WMP doesn’t work, we suggest downloading a different media player, such as VLC, KMPlayer, or GOM Player.
When downloading an open-source tool, always get it from the official source. Otherwise, you’ll likely install an infected .exe file.
In general, VLC supports the highest number of codecs for audio-visual files of all media players. However, if you need to open a specific video file, check its codec requirements first and choose the player accordingly. You can do that by playing the video in VLC Player:
Step 1: Try to play the video file. It doesn’t have to play perfectly or even load.
Step 2: Go to Tools > Codec Information in the menu bar at the top.
Step 3: You’ll find the required video codecs for your file under the Codec section.
Fix 5: Update Your OS
Updating your Windows OS will resolve any conflicts affecting your video drivers and the software you need to play videos. It can fix potential vulnerabilities and errors in your computer system and upgrade it with new features for a better user experience.
Step 1: Go to Start on your Windows PC and choose Settings.
Step 2: Select Update & Security from the available options.
Step 3: Click Check for updates to get the new version.
Fix 6: Convert the Video Into Another Format
Earlier, we discussed incompatibility issues resulting from unsupported video and audio codecs. The same goes for video file formats. Believe it or not, famous media players like WMP and VLC can’t play all file formats, so you might need to change the default video format.
You can convert unplayable videos into another format using one of the many online converter tools. So many options are available that you might need help choosing the right one. Some of the best online tools for changing the format of your unplayable video files are:
- MiniTool Video Converter
- Hamster Free Video Converter
- DivX Converter
- Online Video Converter
- Quick Media Converter
If you have the VLC player, you can use it to convert video file formats like this:
Step 1: Open VLC and navigate to Media in the menu bar at the top.
Step 2: Select Convert/Save from the drop-down list under Media.
Step 3: Click Add to import the video and then click Convert/Save.
Step 4: Choose the new format from the Profile drop-down list and click Start.
As you can see, the “videos not playing” issue is not easy to identify, but it’s usually easy to solve. You can resolve the problem by updating your browser, video drivers, and PC. When you have a missing codec, you can quickly download it or use another player.
The only video-related problem that could be challenging is file corruption. In this situation, the only way to make your video playable again is to fix it with professional data repair software like Wondershare Repairit or, if it’s more convenient, Repairit for Videos Online.