Take 9 Solutions While QuickTime Player Can't Open Files

Take 9 Solutions While QuickTime Player Can't Open Files

Are you facing QuickTime player not working while opening your files on QuickTime? In this article, you will find detailed and effective solutions to fix each error.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 28, 2020 • Filed to: Photo/Video/Audio Solutions • Proven solutions


Apple offers you various media handling options, with QuickTime player being one of the main video display services. However, there might be times when no matter how much you try, the QuickTime player cannot open and play videos that you want to watch. This situation can be extremely frustrating and disappointing. But, you don't have to worry as there are several ways to get around this situation. Read this post to get solutions that you can use to get rid of the "QuickTime Player can't open files" error.

Part 1. Why Can't QuickTime Player Open My File?

Most Mac users prefer QuickTime player to open and play files with different formats. However, sometimes due to corruption in file, incompatible file format, or issue with the operating system, you might not be able to open some files. So, before discussing how you can solve "QuickTime player not working" problems, let us first see the different causes behind it.

If QuickTime fails to access your file, then either it is incompatible or outdated. You might be running the old version due to which it cannot read the file data you are trying to play. In this case, you need to update the QuickTime player and run the latest version. This will help you to play all types of files without any inconvenience.

The video files can be corrupted due to many reasons, which may prevent QuickTime player from opening your files. Some of the reasons include:

In such a situation, you need to ensure that you activate the right codec supported by QuickTime, confirm if your video file name is accurate, and check if your video has the correct format.

QuickTime player supports plenty of formats like MPEG-4 files (MP4, M4V, M4A, MP3), QuickTime movie files (MOV), DV Stream, MPEG-2, Mjpeg, and more.

A problem in your operating system may also cause QuickTime to stop working. For instance, if your computer is infected with malware, it may prevent QuickTime player from opening your files. So you need to resolve all the internal Mac errors and make sure to download reliable antivirus software that helps you scan all the issues and get rid of the virus that infected your computer.

Part 2. QuickTime Player Makes Video Files Not Open on Mac

It can be discouraging to find out that QuickTime Player cannot open video files on your Mac. There can be several reasons for it, like codec issues, software issues, filename inaccuracy, and more. Whatever the reason, you can overcome these problems by using the right method and enjoy the video viewing experience.

What Format of Video Files Can QuickTime Player Open?

QuickTime Player supports multiple file formats. Some of them include MPEG-4 files (MP4, MP3, M4V, M4A), QuickTime movie files (MOV), DV Stream, MPEG-2, Mjpeg, AVI, and even some audio files such as AIFF, WAV, and AAC. The QuickTime Movie format supports video or audio tracks encoded using different types of codecs.

Apart from these formats, you can expand QuickTime to utilize more media formats by installing additional QuickTime components on your Mac.

Now, let us look at different solutions on how to fix "QuickTime player not playing video" issues.

Solution 1. Update QuickTime Player on Mac

When you cannot open your file with QuickTime player, it either means your application is either incompatible or outdated. The QuickTime player might be too old, which is why it cannot read the file. So, try updating the application and see if that fixes the issue.

When it comes to updating QuickTime player applications, it is not necessary to first uninstall the app and then reinstall it again. All you have to do is go to the "Help" tab located on the QuickTime player window, select "Update Existing Software." Follow the instructions given on the screen and complete the update process.

update quicktime player

Solution 2. Use Other Installed Apps to Play Videos on Mac

If the above solution does not work, you can try playing your video on other installed media player applications on your Mac. You can use players like MplayerX or VLC whenever you experience QuickTime video playback issues.

It is recommended that you use VLC to open video files as it is configured to play videos with different types of formats. Here are the steps you need to follow to play videos with VLC by default on Mac.

Step 1: Find a video file that you want to open with VLC, like an MP4 file, and then right-click on it. After that, select "Get info" from the list of options you see on your screen.

select get info option

Step 2: Now, a dialog box will open; choose the "VLC.app" option. If you cannot find the "VLC.app" option, make sure VLC is installed on your Mac. A window will open, click on the "Change All" button — this will open the file that you want to play using VLC.

choose vlc.app option to open videos

Step 3: Now, a confirmation dialog box will appear on your screen, click on continue to proceed further.

click continue to apply changes

Step 4: The final step is to close the window. You are now ready to open your media file with VLC.

close the window

Solution 3. Use Suggested Mac Apps to Open Videos

Other than QuickTime Player, you can also use other applications to play your videos, depending on the formats of your video files. You can use popular apps like MPlayerX, 5K Player, Elmedia Player, VLC, Plex, and more. Follow the steps below to search for an application that works with your video file:

Step 1: Right-click the file in Finder. A drop-down menu will open, select "Open With."

Step 2: You will see a list of installed applications that you can use to open your file type. Choose the desired application through which you want to open your video file.

Note: If none of the installed applications can open your video, go to the App Store or the internet to look for the applications that can play your file.

Solution 4. Fix QuickTime Player on Mac

Corruption in your video files or your operating system can prevent you from opening videos with QuickTime player. However, you can fix this issue and enable QuickTime player to work again. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open the "Applications" folder, locate "Utilities," click on it, and then, double-click the "Activity Monitor" program to launch it.

Step 2: Now, under the "Process Name" column, choose "QuickTime Player." After that, click the "Quit Process" button, which is located at the top left of the window.

choose quicktime player

Step 3: A confirmation window will appear, click "Quit" again. Once you have quit the Activity Monitor program, you can restart Mac and check if QuickTime player opens your video file.

Part 3. Videos Are Corrupted and Cannot Be Opened on Mac

QuickTime player is a great app for Mac users to play their video files. However, sometimes, you might not be able to open your file with QuickTime player because it is corrupted, or some codecs are missing.

Unlike other media players like Windows Media Player and VLC, QuickTime player cannot help you to repair corrupted video files. It can just help you to edit, play, save, and export files.

Whenever you try to open a video file on QuickTime player Mac, and the screen turns black, do not panic! You can easily fix this problem by considering the solutions mentioned below.

Solution 1. Check Video File Extension

Another potential way to fix a corrupted video file that cannot be opened on Mac is to change the file extension. It will help you to repair damaged files like m4v, mp4, or mov file not compatible with QuickTime. Let us see how you can change the file extension.

Step 1: Download and install VLC media player on Mac. After that, make a copy of your damaged and corrupted media file on your computer.

Step 2: The next step is to change the file extension name (for instance from .mov to .avi). Ignore any error message that displays on your screen.

Step 3: Open the VLC player, and from the "Menu" tab, select "Tools." A list of options will open, click "Preferences."

go to preferences to change file extension

Step 4: Now, in Preferences, choose "Input and Codecs," make the required changes, and save it. In the end, choose the option "pf Always fix" to continue the video repair process on Mac. Within a few seconds, you would be ready to play the video again.

Solution 2. Repair Not Opening Videos

If the previous solution does not work, you can Wondershare Video Repair Software for Mac, which is a reliable and professional tool that can help you scan and fix corrupted MP4, MOV, M4A, M4V, and F4V video files on Mac. Let us find out how you can fix your corrupted video using Wondershare.

Step 1: Upload Video Files you Want to Repair

Download and install Wondershare on your Macbook and launch it. Now, add your damaged MOV, M4V, or MP4 video files from the computer folder to repair corrupted videos. You can also drag the file to Wondershare's window.

add corrupted video you want to fix

Step 2: Begin the Repairing Process for Damaged Video

Select multiple damaged or corrupted videos, and click the Repair button on the bottom right to begin the repair process.

begin the repair corrupted video process

Step 3: View the Repaired Video

Within minutes, when the repairing process is complete, you can preview different formats of videos to check the repair results.

preview repaired video

Step 4: Start Advanced Video Repair

If you did not get the desired result, you can conduct "Advance Video Repair," through which you can add a sample video and review its data for video file repair. The sample video should have the same device source and format as your corrupted videos.

add sample video to get the desired result

Step 5: Preview and Save Repaired Video

Finally, you are ready to preview the repaired videos and save them to the desired location on your Mac.

preview and save repaired sample video

Part 4. Fix Mac Errors and Open Files on QuickTime

Apart from the solutions listed above, you can use other methods to fix Mac errors and open Files on QuickTime. Let us have a look at how you can solve "QuickTime player not working" errors.

Solution 1. Install Latest Version of QuickTime

If you are using an old version of QuickTime, try installing the latest version, which is QuickTime 7 pro. The latest version handles all file formats better and will enable you to successfully open and play different types of files without any trouble.

install latest quicktime version

Solution 2. Use a Different Codec

If the QuickTime player is not playing video, then it is possible that your Mac computer cannot read the codec of your file. To find the codec of your file, go to the "Window" tab of QuickTime player, then select the option "Show Movie Inspector." You will now find a list of different codecs under the "Format" section.

select show movie inspector

The next step is to activate the codec supported by QuickTime to play the media file, which you cannot open. To do so, you can use a few programs like Autodesk, MPEG-2 Playback Component, Xvid, and DivX. Here are some of the video codecs supported by QuickTime player:

Solution 3. Play Files Using a Different Media Player

When the QuickTime player on your Mac stops working, you can try other media players like MPlayerX or VLC. These players support most formats and will enable you to play any file with ease.

Solution 4. Convert File Format to QuickTime Supported Format

If none of the above methods work, then try converting your file format to QuickTime supported format. Sometimes, your video file can be corrupted, and by converting the file format, you can fix it and open it on QuickTime player.

You can convert the file format or codec of the corrupted video with VLC. Here is a step-by-step procedure to complete the action:

Step 1: First, download and install VLC media player on your Mac. Once installed, open VLC, select the "Media" tab, and then, from the drop-down menu, choose the option Convert / Save.

select convert / save to convert file format

Step 2: Now, a dialog box will appear, click the "Add" button to add the desired file you want to convert. After that, press the Convert / Save button at the bottom.

add the file you want to convert

Step 3: Another window will open up, where you need to provide a new name for the file and choose the preferred Input codec for the converted video.

choose the preferred input codec

Note: Select the format that is supported by the QuickTime player

Step 4: The final step is to save all the changes. This will provide you with a repaired file.

Final Part Helps You Know More About QuickTime

Do you want to learn more about QuickTime on Mac? Here are answers to some of the most asked questions by Mac and QuickTime users. These answers will help you to get detailed information about the QuickTime player on Mac.

To add an audio or video file in the QuickTime player, you can choose any one of the following options:

1. Click on the File tab, choose a file that you want open, and then click "Open."

2. Open Finder, look for the file and then double-click it to open.

QuickTime player is compatible with Mac and is on your computer by default. So to open QuickTime player, all you need to do is go to the "Applications" folder, double click the icon of QuickTime player and launch it.

Just like mentioned before, you can open a QuickTime file by simply going to the Finder and double-clicking it. However, if your audio or video file is in iCloud Drive, you need to select "iCloud Drive" in the Finder sidebar, and then double-click the file to open it.

The easiest way to stop the QuickTime player from crashing is to restart your computer. If that does not work, try updating the QuickTime player. You can also fix the crashing issue by going to the "Utilities" folder on your Mac, selecting the "Applications" folder, and double-clicking on the "Disk Utility" program. Once the program is opened, select the hard drive from the left column of the program. Then, click the "Repair Disk Permissions" button and "Quit" the program. You can now restart your Mac

There are several ways to avoid video damage on Mac. Here are some of the tips you can follow to prevent your video from getting damaged:

Closing Words

The above solutions should fix all your issues related to "QuickTime Player Can't Open Files" on Mac. By simply reading and following these methods, there is a high chance that you will resolve all your problems. However, if you are not able to solve the problem, you can rely on a professional and effective video repair tool like Wondershare. It allows you to repair all inaccessible, corrupted, damaged, and non-playing video files within a few minutes.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

(Click to rate this post)

Generally rated4.5(105participated)

Home > Resources > Photo/Video/Audio Solutions > What If QuickTime Player Can't Open Videos? 9 Solutions