Why Aren't Videos Playing on My Mac?

Do your videos fail to play on Mac and you are thinking why aren’t videos playing on my Mac? The reason can be any. Read on to know about different aspects of the issue and its best solutions.

Apr 12,2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

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You are watching your favorite video on your Mac, and suddenly it stopped playing. It's the most frustrating moment.

Whether you are watching YouTube videos on a Safari browser or a movie on your Mac default media player, it’s a common issue with various possible reasons. This article will answer your question - why aren't videos playing on my Mac?

Read on to learn the possible causes of the problem, symptoms, solutions and essential tips that prevent such cases.

Part 1: What Happens When Videos Aren’t Playing on Mac

If you are playing all the high-quality videos in various file formats, there's always a chance that the video file may get corrupted. While the possible reasons could vary for the issue, the outcome would be the same.

Here are some of the possible signs that show that videos won’t be able to play on your Mac computer.

There are many reasons responsible 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.


Part 2: Why Videos Not Playing on Mac Safari/Chrome

As mentioned earlier, there are two various aspects of why videos are not playing on your computer. The causes of video not able to play on your Mac computer are different from not being able to play them on your browser. In this section, we will explain why you are unable to play videos on your Mac Safari/Chrome.

Websites are getting even more complex with the passing of each year and are also giving rise to the situation. Earlier, many websites used to have HTML and CSS along with a touch of JavaScript interactive feature. Today’s websites are automatically generated that also includes scripts that records everything you do.

Moreover, a website is also unable to work at its full capacity as a result of using ad blockers. So, if you are thinking ‘why aren’t videos playing on my Mac,’ here are some of the possible solutions that you may entertain.

Solution 1: Enable JavaScript in the Browser

One of the first things that you must look for whenever you are facing issues in playing videos on your Mac browser is to check if you've accidentally disabled JavaScript in your browser. JavaScript is the common language of interaction that happens between your browsers. It also means that it can influence your video playback, whether you are playing it on YouTube or any website. Now, follow the steps below to you enable JavaScript on the Safari browser.

Step 1: Open the 'Safari' browser on your Mac.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Preferences’ option.

Step 3: Click on the ‘Security’ tab and check the box next to Enable ‘JavaScript’ option.

You can follow the same process even if you are using Firefox or Chrome.

enable javascript

Solution 2: Check your Browser Extension

Now, it might sound like a highly unlikely scenario, but your browser extensions could be a possible cause of the issue. Sometimes a browser either misbehaves or unintentionally blocks videos from playing. And the fact we hardly ever pay attention to this small detail, often it leads to such problems. In case you haven't checked your extension in a while, this might be the best time to do so. Disable some of the extensions and check if the issue persists.

Follow the steps below to disable the extensions,

Step 1: Open the Safari browser on the Mac.

Step 2: Go to ‘Preferences’ in the menu bar.

Step 3: Open the ‘Extension’ tab and disable all the extension.

Step 4: Now, restart Safari and check if the video plays on the browser.

If the issue is fixed, it signifies that some extension was causing the problem. Now, repeat the entire procedure while enabling the extensions one at a time. You will eventually know the extension responsible for the glitch. Moreover, you can choose to keep the extension turned-off or request for an update from the manufacturers. Though it would be best if you keep the extension turned-off, as in most cases, an ad blocker is often to blame.

disable extensions

Solution 3: Re-install Adobe Flash Player

As of today, most of the websites on the Internet, including YouTube, have switched to HTML5. As a result, the use of Flash players has declined over the years. So, there’s a possibility that you might be trying to view a Flash-based video on an outdated version. Now, follow the steps below to re-install the Adobe Flash player.

Step 1: Open ‘Applications’ by clicking on ‘⌘’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘A’

Step 2: Select the Adobe Flash folder and run the uninstaller on your Mac.

Step 3: Now, go to ‘get.adobe.com/flashplayer’ and download Adobe Flash Player for Mac.

Step 4: Install the latest version of the software.

If there was a problem with Adobe Flash, this might solve the issue, and you'll be able to play videos again.

Solution 4: Clear Browser Cache

All the changes that you make to your browser don’t necessarily get saved right away. Moreover, the websites that you have visited have already been saved locally in the form of cached memory. To manually refresh these websites, you need to clear your browser’s cached files. Follow the steps below to clear your cached memory from your Safari browser.

Step 1: Open the ‘Safari’ browser on your Mac computer.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Preferences’ option from the menu bar.

Step 3: Click on the 'Advanced' option and check 'Show Develop menu in the menu bar.'

Step 4: Select on the ‘Develop’ menu. Select shortcut Option + ⌘ + E, and pick empty caches.

Step 5: Restart Safari to check if the issue persists.

check the 'develop' menu

Tip: Skip the above steps if you are using the latest version of the Mac OS. Adobe Flash Player is a 32-bit software application and isn't compatible with Mac OS Catalina.

Solution 5: Scan your Mac OS for Malware

The '90s was the time when people used to be worried about their computer getting affected by a virus or Malware. Most of the unsecured and suspicious websites that you visit today houses various harmful malware. These are potent enough to disrupt the normal workings of your Mac system. It may also affect your browser's functioning or your system’s operation. The bottom line is it can even corrupt video files on your system and online videos that you watch on the browser.

Now, if you’re still thinking ‘why aren’t videos playing on my Mac,’ you must scan your computer for the intrusion. If you find any, delete and restart your computer. Now, check if you could play videos on your browser or Mac system.


Part 3: Why Videos Not Playing on Mac Computer

If you are unable to play videos on Mac video player and you’re asking ‘why aren’t videos playing on my Mac,’ then you have probably got corrupt video files to deal with. As mentioned earlier, numerous reasons are responsible that you are unable to play videos on your Mac.

If the video is not playing correctly or you're unable to hear the audio or other various reasons, it shows that your video files are corrupted. It' an annoying issue to occur, especially when it happens at crucial times.

Let’s assume a scenario where you're supposed to impress your clients with your video presentation to get a big project. Now, when you open your Mac system, it doesn't play the video, and you feel so embarrassed. At this moment, you’re possibly thinking ‘why aren’t videos playing on my Mac’ because it was playing smoothly 10 minutes ago. Well, your video files got corrupted.

You can use numerous options to repair the corrupted video files. But one of the best software to repair videos is Wondershare Video Repair. It can help you repair corrupted video files on Mac computers.

Here're some of the incredible features of using a Wondershare Video Repair,

To repair the video files, you need to download the Wondershare Video Repair application on your Mac system. Irrespective of the operating system you use, the process to repair the video files are the same. Follow the steps below to repair the video files.

Step 1: Select a corrupted video from Mac computer

Once you have launched the application on the system, you need to select a corrupted video file. You can either add a file from the library or simply drag and drop the file.

select corrupted videos

Step 2: Repair the selected file

After you select a corrupted video file, click on ‘Repair Video.’ As when the repair process completes, a message will pop-up saying video repair is completed and ready to be reviewed.

Tap on the triangle-shaped 'Play' button to preview the repaired video. The software application offers a detailed preview before you need to save it at any particular drive. Preview the content of the video to ensure that you're getting what you wanted before using the process.

repair and preview videos

Step 3: Save Video

After you are done previewing the repaired video files, you need to add tags and name your repaired video files. It would be best if you make a new folder to save the repaired files.

save video files

Tip: Make sure that you save the video files in a separate location and not in the same path directory as the corrupted video file location.

repaired files saved


Part 4: Right Methods to Play Videos on Mac

Today, we use a lot of ad-blockers, and other extensions to make the browsing experience more productive and less annoying. Even though it works wonders in doing what it’s meant to, often it creates some issues in the basic functionalities of a browser. The same goes for playing videos on the Mac default video player. Hence, you must entertain some precautionary hacks that keep these problems at bay.

1. Ways and Tips for Playing Videos on Mac Browser

Here're some useful tips to ensure that a video is played every time you click on the 'Play' button on your browser.

2. Ways and Tips for Playing Videos on Mac Computer

Similarly, you can take certain precautionary steps to ensure that the video plays smoothly on the default Mac video player.


Closing words

Whether you are facing problems in playing the videos on your browser or Mac system, the solution are different in both the cases. You have learned various reasons responsible for the problem, along with solutions here in this article. Moreover, if the issue is occurring as a result of corrupt video files, you can use Wondershare Video Repair solutions.

Sue Wayne

staff Editor

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