How to Fix QuickTime MOV Not Playing

How to Fix Quicktime Can't Play MOV Files?

This article will explain the root causes of this problem and present three effective solutions in detail.

Apple released the file format of QuickTime to synchronize the video files, audio, and graphics in high quality. Thus, saving and transferring digital information premium became easy through QuickTime file format. It also supports full HD videos as it does not reduce their quality while compressing the data.

Sometimes, users experience problems in playing MOV files due to various reasons. If you are facing a similar issue with your MOV file player, this piece of writing will illuminate some facts on why QuickTime MOV stops working and what one should do to eradicate this error at home.

Part 1: What Type of Files Can QuickTime Play?

As we mentioned earlier, the QuickTime file format is excellent for saving and sharing high-quality images, videos, graphics, and animation content. This file format was initially developed for Mac users, but now it is also available in Windows operating system. This part will give you brief details about what kind of files QuickTime Player can support to provide you with a better idea.

quicktime player interface

QuickTime Player supports various file formats, which is one reason it also got popular among other media players. For audio file formats, it supports MP3 core, iTunes, AIFF, AU, WAV, SND, AMR, and audios in M4A, M4B, and M4P. It also recognizes video file formats like DV, AVI, 3GPP, MPEG-4, and the most common MOV files, which we will discuss in this article later. QuickTime Player's most supported file formats are MOV, M4V, and MP4.

Part 2: Why Your QuickTime Can’t Play MOV Files?

Now coming towards the potential problems and causes that can disrupt the performance of your QuickTime player. As MOV files are the optimal file format for QuickTime, there are always exceptions. People often experience an error in the MOV file player due to some root causes. So, it is always important to get to know about the origin of the problem to prevent it in the future. The possible reasons for error in MOV file player can be:

mov not playing on quicktime

1. Virus Attack

As we all know, a virus or any malware attack can harm the overall performance of your PC, and you would be unable to play MOV files on a media player. The presence of an unidentified virus may occur while downloading a file from an unauthorized source. So always make sure that your computer is secured through reliable anti-virus software.

2. Outdated Software

A pending software update of your media player like QuickTime can also be a potential reason you cannot play MOV files. An outdated version of QuickTime Player can be incompatible with your file format, and eventually, it would be unable to function. So always make sure that QuickTime Player is updated to its latest version.

3. Inappropriate Codec

Codecs are used to save audio or video tracks while compressing the data. If you are uploading a MOV on QuickTime, your system may be unable to read its codecs due to an internal issue.

4. Frozen Frame

While downloading the file from the internet, there is a possibility that the downloading process gets interrupted due to a slow internet connection. This interruption may cause a frozen frame in your MOV file, which is why it cannot be played on QuickTime.

Part 3: How to Troubleshoot QuickTime MOV Not Playing?

If your QuickTime MOV is not playing, this part of the article can save your day. We will offer you three different methods to fix this problem easily at home.

Method 1: Change the File Extension

File extensions are used to identify the type of data saved in the file. But sometimes, due to the inaccurate file extension, the QuickTime Player cannot play the file. To change the file extensions, we are presenting you three ways:

Way 1: Convert File Using UniConverter

Wondershare UniConverter is a handy tool for changing the file format instantly in high quality. It claims to give 90 times faster conversion and supports all the commonly used file formats. Furthermore, you can convert the file formats, and it's a complete toolbox for audio and video editing. To convert MOV file to MP4 using UniConverter (Check here the difference between MOV and MP4), the simple steps are:

Step 1: To begin, launch Wondershare UniConverter in your Mac by visiting their website. After installing it, open its interface and select “Converter” from the left panel.

open converter tool

Step 2: Now click on “Add Files” from the upper left corner to import the file you want to convert. Now go to the bottom corner and tap on "Output Format." A window will pop up from which click on "Video” and select MP4 and desired resolution.

choose mp4 format

Step 3: Now tap on “File Location” to place the file after conversion. Afterward, click on “Convert” to initiate the process of conversion.

amr audio format

Image alt: initiate conversion process

Step 4: Wait for some seconds to end the conversion. Once the process is done, you will see a pop message of successful conversion. You can also preview the finished result by clicking on the "Finished" tab.

access converted video

Way 2: Use iMovie to Change File Format

iMovie is a specially designed application for Mac users to enhance and highlight their video files using different key features. You can add transitions, change the color grading and remove background noises from your video files. In short, it’s a perfect video and audio editing tool when it comes to producing flawless results.

If you are facing an issue with the MOV file player, you can use iMovie to convert the files conveniently. Below are the simple steps:

Step 1: Launch iMovie on your Mac and open this tool to start the procedure. Then tap on the “Plus” button from the toolbar and create a “Movie” project.

create movie project

Step 2: Make sure to add only one MOV file at a time as it can combine all the files when you upload multiple files. From the upper toolbar, select the "File" tab and tap on the "Share" option. You have to select the "File" option from the "Share" sub-menu.

access share option

Step 3: Now, you can customize the Description, Tags, Format, Resolution, Quality, and Compress speed of your video. After this, click on the "Next" button and select the save location of your MOV file.

tap on next button

Step 4: Now, tap on the "Save" option and wait for some time. Your file will be converted to MP4 and saved to your selected folder on Mac.

save the new converted file

Way 3: Use VLC Media Player for Conversion

You must have heard the name of the VLC media player because of its high computability with all file formats. The VLC media player is a free and portable media player that can play a wide range of multimedia files in premium quality. You can also convert MOV files to other formats by following the below steps:

Step 1: On your Mac, open VLC and tap on “File” from its menu bar displayed in the upper right corner. Now select the "Convert/Stream" option by scrolling down the menu bar. From its dialog box, you can either drag the file you want to convert or upload the file manually.

click convert stream option

Step 2: After opening the file, click on the “Choose Profile” option to select the file format and choose MP4 from this option.

choose mp4 profile

Step 3: Now it's time to save your file. Choose the destination folder where you want to save the converted file and tap on the "Save" button. Afterward, the file will be converted and saved to your Mac.

export converted mp4 video

Method 2: Recoverit Video Player

In this part, we will recommend a powerful tool that can help you achieve your desired results in videos, images, and audio files. Wondershare Recoverit is gaining popularity daily due to its flawless results through its distinctive features. It is grabbing attention due to its exclusive feature of deleted MOV video recovery and corrupt/damaged video repairing.

The exclusive features of this tool are Advanced and Quick Repair. Advanced Repair enables users to repair the corrupt MOV files by scanning and utilizing a sample file to identify similar elements for the damaged video files easily. On the other hand, Quick Repair enables you to repair your data instantly by bringing its original quality. You can also preview the video files before saving them to your computer.

You can download the Mac and Windows version from the buttons below.

The steps to quick repair videos using Recoverit are:

Step 1: Add Corrupted MOV File

Launch Recoverit on your computer and select the feature "Corrupted Video Repair" from the left pane to get started. Now tap on “Add Button” to add the files you want to repair. Search for the file you want to upload and click “Open” to upload it.

add corrupted video file

Step 2: Click to Repair Video

Once you are done uploading the file, click on "Repair" to start the process. Wait for some time, and you can also check the ongoing progress from the indicator displayed on the screen.

repair corrupted video

Step 3: Preview Your Repaired File

After the repair process is completed, you can preview the MOV file by simply tapping on “Preview” to check the file. Afterward, save the file on your computer by clicking on the “Recover” button.

preview repaired video

If your MOV file is heavily damaged, then Advanced Repair can help you. We have enlisted the easy steps for doing Advanced Repair using Recoverit. Pay attention to the following steps:

Step 1: Provide MOV Sample Video

To start, tap on "Advanced Repair," and a window will appear on which you will add a sample video. To use Advanced Repair, you have to add a sample video similar to your damaged file. It should be of the same format, shot on a similar device.

add a sample video

Step 2: Start Advanced Repair Process

After uploading the sample video, tap on “Repair” to begin the process of repairing. After you are done with the repairing process, you can preview and save the file in your desired place.

use advanced video repair

Method 3: Use Alternative Players

If you face difficulty playing MOV files in QuickTime, use alternative media players. If none of the above methods has solved your problem, it's better to use another player like VLC. We recommend the VLC media player not because of its popularity but because of its high-end performance and reliability. It’s not only free to use but makes things easier for users by offering various options to sort things out.

use vlc media player

For instance, if any file format is not working directly, you can instantly convert the file format to this media player. You cannot only enjoy the streaming of video and audio files, but also it supports the streaming of internet radio and podcasts. You can even record the audio and video files without losing their quality.

Moreover, it has another exclusive feature of normalizing audio to protect against hearing loss. To sum up, VLC is an excellent media player and can save you when you are troubled with other players.


As everything comes with its shortcomings, QuickTime MOV files can also stop playing due to the reasons like corrupted files or inaccurate file extensions. We have provided you with every possible method to fix this error by using appropriate tools to ease your problem.