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How to Fix the Videos Not Playing Issue in 10 Easy Ways

[Fixed] Why Are My Videos Not Playing on Computer

Everyone who watches a lot of videos online or on their computer occasionally asks themselves the same thing: “Why are my videos not playing on my computer?” The truth is, there is no easy answer to this question. It depends on what you can see – or not see – on the screen.

However, whether you’re dealing with a jerky picture, missing audio, or a black screen, there’s good news. Out of many different types of video issues, not one is unfixable. You only need to find the right method. So, let’s talk about why your videos aren’t playing and what you need to do.

Types of Video Issues

When video content consumers complain about unplayable videos, that means a lot of different things. Most people in your situation are dealing with one of these issues:

  • The player cannot load the file;
  • The browser won’t play the video;
  • The picture is blurry or jittered;
  • Frames are getting dropped;
  • A part of your video is missing;
  • The audio is missing/out of sync;
  • There’s an incompatible codec;
  • Corrupt video header/metadata;
  • Errors related to gameplay videos;
  • Errors related to graphic drivers;
  • PC shuts down while playing video.

types of video issues example

Are you experiencing video-related symptoms that are not on the list? Don’t panic. These are only the most frequently reported video issues, but they are not the only ones. Whatever you’re experiencing comes from the same place as the symptoms listed above.

Causes of Videos Not Playing on a Computer

different causes of videos not playing

The question is – where do these symptoms come from? Why do you keep seeing a distorted image on your screen? Even worse, why does your player fail to load the video you want to watch? The following are the most common causes of videos not playing on a computer.

Cause 1: Disabled Javascript

Your internet browser has a complicated relationship with Javascript. It needs it to show dynamic web content, but it often registers it as a threat. In certain situations, for example, in the event of a security threat like a malware attack, Chrome automatically disables Javascript.

The trouble is – you need Javascript to load and stream videos via the browser.

Cause 2: Video file corruption

Video files can get corrupted for many different reasons. More often than not, data corruption results from bad editing practices, forceful formatting, or interrupted transfer.

Cause 3: Unsupported format

Popular video players like Windows Media Player and VLC Player support many video formats, but not all players are this versatile. If you’re trying to watch a video with a rare, retro, or discontinued format, you’ll have difficulty finding a suitable media player.

Cause 4: Missing video plugins

Speaking of rare video formats, files with .SMF or similar extensions are not only virtually impossible to play on a regular video player, but they are mostly unplayable by browsers, too. That’s where video plugins come in. These add-ons help browsers read less-used types of files.

Cause 5: Unresponsive player

Unresponsive players refuse to load video files, no matter their format or size.

Why does this happen to some players? There’s a variety of potential causes for this problem. A video player could be unresponsive due to a buggy update, a virus attack, or software corruption. In any of these cases, the player may freeze or refuse to open files.

Cause 6: Outdated video drivers

outdated graphic drivers

Video drivers turn code into pixels, rendering pictures from minuscule pieces. They can cause issues like screen stuttering, flickering, lags, and file crashes when outdated.

Cause 7: Missing video codecs

Video codecs compress and decompress video files. Without compression, video files would take up too much disk space, and you won’t be able to copy or share them online. Arguably, decompression is even more important because it makes compressed videos playable again.

If your player doesn’t have suitable codecs, it won’t be able to play a file.

Cause 8: Outaded Windows OS

Outdated operating systems are not only flawed. They also pose a certain security risk to the network and all stored data. In this case, running an outdated version of Windows OS affects the proper functioning of your graphic card, video drivers, and media player.

Cause 9: Cache and cookies

Many people don’t know this, but cache and cookies help create a smoother online experience. If there weren’t cookies, you’d have to enter your username and password every time you return to the site requiring a login. There would not be personalized recommendations.

However, cache and cookies tend to pile up and cause hiccups in your browser.

Cause 10: Hardware acceleration

Certain browsers, like Chrome, use the computer’s graphic processing unit (GPU) when they need to load websites very quickly. This option is called hardware acceleration. When hardware acceleration is on, but the GPU is busy rendering other media, that can cause video issues.

How to Fix Videos Not Playing on a Computer

Do you now have a better idea of why videos are not playing on your computer? If so, choose the appropriate method below. If you’re still unsure about what is going on, go step by step until you fix the problem. Here are the ten ways to solve videos not playing on your PC.

Fix 1: Enable Javascript

First, you need to check whether or not Javascript has been disabled on Chome, which is easy to do. If it turns out it’s been off, follow the steps below to enable Javascript for Chrome:

Step 1: Run Chrome on your PC and click on the three-dots menu.

locating the three dots menu in chrome

Step 2: Select Settings from the drop-down menu when it appears.

selecting chrome settings

Step 3: In the sidebar menu on the left, click on Privacy and Security.

selecting chrome privacy and security settings

Step 4: Select the Site settings option under Privacy and Security.

managing site settings in chrome

Step 5: Scroll down until you find JavaScript, then click on it.

locating javascript settings in chrome

Step 6: If the switch is greyed out, toggle it to enable JavaScript.

enabling javascript in chrome

Fix 2: Repair Corrupt Videos Using Repairit

The only way to successfully deal with file corruption is with the help of a professional data repair tool such as Wondershare Repairit. It can make any video file playable again, regardless of how it became broken in the first place, its format, or the device it was recorded with.

And there’s more. Unlike similar solutions, Repairit uses sophisticated technology but provides an easy–to–use interface that requires no technical know-how. Here’s how easy it is:

Step 1: Download, install, and launch Wondershare Repairit on your PC.

Step 2: Click the Add button to upload the video or drag and drop.

adding unplayable videos to wondershare repairit

Step 3: Select the video you want to repair and click the Repair button.

selecting videos for repair in wondershare repairit

Step 4: Wait for Repairit to finish the process and preview the video.

previewing repaired videos in wondershare repairit

Step 5: If the video is fixed, click Save to download it to your computer.

saving repaired videos in wondershare repairit

Fix 3: Convert Videos to a Different Format

Many people think that changing the extension of a file changes its format. They’re wrong. Manually changing the extension can also lead to file corruption, rendering your video completely unpayable. To change the video format right, you need a converter.

There are many online tools you can use for this, but your VLC can do just right:

Step 1: Run your VLC Player or download it from the official website first.

Step 2: Navigate to the Media tab in the top menu bar of your VLC Player.

Step 3: Choose Convert/Save… from the drop-down menu (or press Ctrl+R).

locating convert save option in vlc

Step 4: Click on Add and import the file you want to convert the format of.

adding unplayable videos to vlc converter

Step 5: Click the Convert/Save button at the bottom of the window.

Step 6: Choose the new format from the Profile drop-down list and click Start.

changing video format with vlc converter

Fix 4: Install Video Plugins

One of the necessary plugins for playing videos on Google Chrome is Flash Player. Without it, you won’t be able to load Flash videos, gifs, and other types of content. The Flash player is no longer automatically enabled on Chrome, so you must install it manually. Here’s how:

Step 1: Run your Chrome and click on the three-dots menu at the top right corner.

Step 2: Select Extensions > Visit Chrome Web Store from the drop-down menu.

downloading chrome extensions

Step 3: Once you’re in the Chrome Web Store, search for the Flash player plugin.

Step 4: Choose the Flash player plugin based on your needs and user ratings.

Step 5: Read the plugin description. If you’re OK with it, click Add to Chrome.

adding flash player for chrome

Step 6: Flash needs access to your online data. If you agree, click Add extension.

adding a new extension to chrome

Step 7: Click the Install app button to install the Flash player plugin for Chrome.

installing flash player plugin on chrome

Fix 5: Install a Media Player That Supports Your Format

There are many video media players for Windows that you can install and use for free. Apart from WMP and VLC, some of the best choices include KMPlayer, GOM Player, DivX Player, Zoom Player, Vidmore, SMPlayer, and Kodi. Each is best for a particular aspect of the video experience.

For example, KMPlayer has the best advanced video control options, such as noise reduction. GOM is the best player for adjusting video subtitles. DivX can help you convert videos to different formats, Vidmore is best for large video files, while SMPlayer is excellent for YouTube videos.

All these players support a wide range of video formats, but it’s always better to check whether or not a player can open your video before you install it. If you’re unsure what format you need, you can check by right-clicking your video file and selecting Properties > General.

identifying video file format

For video file format information, look at the Type of file under the General tab.

Fix 6: Update Graphics Drivers

Updating the graphic drivers on your PC is a straightforward process:

Step 1: Go to Start and search for Device Manager. Click Open.

opening device manager

Step 2: Locate and right-click Display adapters on the device list.

Step 3: Select the Update driver option from the drop-down menu.

locating video drivers for update

Step 4: Choose the first option – Search automatically for drivers.

updating video drivers

If you want to update your graphic drivers manually, download the update from the web. Following the above steps, select Browse my computer for drives to locate the update.

Fix 7: Update Codecs

If your videos won’t play due to the missing codecs, here’s how to update them:

Step 1: Open Windows Media Player and select Help from the menu bar at the top.

Step 2: In the drop-down menu below, click on the Check for updates… option.

checking for updates in wmp

Step 3: Click Check for updates, and Windows will install new codecs if there are any.

updating video codecs

Fix 8: Update Your Operating System

While updating Windows Media Player codecs, your PC will also check for the latest available version of the operating system. If there’s any, it will download and install it.

If you’ve skipped Fix 7, here’s how you can update your Windows OS:

Step 1: Go to Start > Settings.

Step 2: Choose Update & Security.

locating update and security settings

Step 3: Click Check for updates.

updating widows os

Fix 9: Delete Cache and Cookies

You can delete cache and cookies directly from your Chrome browser:

Step 1: Open your Chrome and click on the three-dots menu in the top right corner.

Step 2: Select More tools > Clear browsing data… from the drop-down menu.

clearing browsing data in chrome

Step 3: Select what browsing data you want erased, and from what time range.

Step 4: If you want more control over what you’re deleting, go to Advanced.

Step 5: Tick the boxes for Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files.

clearing cookies and cache with advanced settings

Step 6: Select All Time from the Time range drop-down list and click Clear data.

clearing cookies and cache in chrome

Fix 10: Disable Hardware Acceleration

Somebody you share a computer with might have enabled hardware acceleration on your Chrome. If videos are loading slowly or crashing on Chrome, you need to disable this option:

Step 1: Go to Chrome and click on the three-dots menu at the top right corner.

Step 2: Choose Settings from the drop-down menu and navigate to System.

Step 3: If the Use hardware acceleration when available option is on, disable it.

disabling hardware acceleration in chrome


When you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you need to ask, “Why are my videos not playing?” find some consolation in the fact that there’s always a good solution – even if you fail to diagnose the problem. This issue can arise from several different problems.

In most cases, your video file will be playable again after you update and adjust a few settings on your browser and PC. If that doesn’t help, trying a different player or changing the format usually does. And if you’re dealing with file corruption, you can rely on Repairit to fix it.

If you can’t play any videos or are experiencing difficulties loading the video while browsing the web with Google Chrome, that could be for one of these reasons:
● You are using the outdated version of Chrome;
● You need to clear Chrome cache and cookies;
● The video requires you to install a new plugin;
● Javascript or Adobe Flash have been disabled;
● Your Chrome is using hardware acceleration.

While players like VLC and Windows Media Player are versatile enough to satisfy the needs of an average video content consumer, there are certain video files that even they cannot play.

Obscure, discontinued, or rare formats such as Betacam, VHS-C, or MII require a special video player. Also, compatibility issues between the player and the file may arise from a missing video or audio codec.

There are many ways to improve the quality of videos you want to play on the computer. Video editing software is the most obvious solution. However, not every user has the skill or need to use a professional-grade tool. In this case, adjusting the contrast, color balance, and saturation of the video picture can increase the overall quality. It can be done online using a basic video editing tool.