February 20

Video Won’t Play Correctly on Your Mac?
Here are some trouble shooting tips.

This troubleshooting guide was written specifically for Mac computer users.

If you’re having problems playing a video on a Mac computer, whether your video is online or off, here are some instructions on how to fix it.

There are multiple reasons why your video might not be playing correctly, which means there are also multiple ways to fix it.  This article attempts to cover them all.

First, we have to ask, is the video you’re wanting to play an online video or an offline video?  It makes a big difference.

AI generated image

Fix an Offline Video not playing on a Mac

If your offline videos on your Mac are not playing, the problem is one of two things:

  •  The video itself is corrupted, or
  • Your system has one of several shortcomings for playing that specific video.

Whichever the case may be, try to resolve the problem by following the methods below.

Convert Video to a compatible format

There are many video formats like the WMV, AVCHD, DNG, etc, which are not compatible with the current macOS and may require additional software to run. File format incompatibility is a common issue with digital video.  If you plan to work with video a lot, you will no doubt run into file format issues.  You can learn more about digital file formats here, and here.

If you have an incompatibility, you can either download a specific software that WILL play that video format, or change the format of the video to a mac compatible format. That is easier.  Here’s how you can achieve that.

Convert Video using VLC Media Player

  • Open VLC Media Player and go to the File tab.
  • Click on the Convert/Stream and then click on Open Media to select the video file to be converted.
  • In the Profile section, select the format to which you want to convert the file.
  • Click on Browse next to Destination and select the location where you wish to save the file.
  • Click on the Start button to start the conversion process.

Convert Video using Quicktime Player

  • Open the QuickTime Player and open the file you want to convert.
  • Go to the Files menu. Select the option “Export As.” From the drop list, select the desired format or resolution.
  • Choose the destination location and give a name to the new file. Press Save.


Use Disk Utility to check for disk errors
If either the drive storing the video file, or the drive storing the media player system files encounters errors, it may lead to video playback issues.

In such case, you need to diagnose the health of your drive and fix any issues encountered. This is how you can do it.

  • Click on macOS Launchpad. Search Disk Utility and click on the icon to open it.
    Choose the View menu and select Show all Devices.
    Select the drive you want to repair. Click on the First Aid button and press Run.
    The selected disk will be scanned, and the errors will be resolved. Once done, click on Finish
    Reset PRAM or NVRAM on your Mac.


Increase – or Reset – Your RAM
If you are trying to play high-definition videos, it may very well be possible that the video is not playing as the system is not able to meet the RAM requirements for playing the video.

In case your system does not have sufficient RAM, you can reset your RAM and try running the video again, or perhaps even increase the RAM of your system.

Here is how you can reset your RAM on a Mac.

Reset PRAM (or NVRAM)

  • Turn off your Mac.
    Turn on the Mac and immediately press and hold Option + Command + P + R.
    Hold it until the Mac restarts for the second time.

Now, if none of the above-mentioned methods are working, it is highly likely that the video file itself has become corrupt.

In this case, the videos will not play till the file is repaired, and you would need a video repair tool for the same.

There are lots of choices, but I always rely on

Use the SFWare Video Repair Tool to Fix the Corrupt Video

In case your Video file itself has got corrupted, you will need a video repair tool.  SFWare Video Repair tool is an excellent choice for the same. It works for both Windows and Mac, can work on different video formats, and can repair severely corrupted video files.

Here is how to use this sfware video repair tool.

  • Download and install the SFWare Video Repair software from the link above.
  • Open the software and click on the Add File button.

step 1 fix video

Select the file you want to repair.

In case the video is severely damaged, a reference video will be required. Select the Choose Reference File option in this case and select a healthy video from the same device.

video repair tool example
Click the Repair button to start the repair process.

After completion, you can Preview the repaired video.

If it’s satisfactory, press Save to save the video at any desired location.

video repair tool


Now, we’ll discuss problems you might be having playing an online video.

With online video playback troubles, your problem is probably with your browser, and can be resolved with ease.

Here are a few suggestions.

Try using a VPN
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, might be the answer.  You should try using a VPN and try to play the video again. In some cases, the content can be region-locked, so it is not playing. In this case, use a VPN to change your location and try playing the video again. There are many free, trustworthy VPN options you can select and use

Here is a detailed article on VPN usage.

Turn off Browser Extensions
Many third-party browser extensions have features like Ad Block. These extensions can interfere with the online videos. Hence, if videos are not playing on your Mac, try turning off these extensions. Here are steps to take.

Switch off Safari browser extensions

  • Open your Safari Browser
    Choose the Safari menu. Select Preferences (or Settings, depending upon the version)
    Click on the Extensions option.
    Uncheck the boxes of the extensions you want to turn off.
    Restart the browser.

Switch off Chrome browser extensions

  • Check on the More options (i.e., the 3 vertical dots in the top right corner)
    Go to the option Extensions. Select Manage Extensions.
    A new extensions tab will open. Unselect the box to turn off the extension.
    Restart the browser.
    Update Browser and Clear Cache

It is always advisable to use the latest version of whatever browser you use. If your browser is outdated, some of the features online may not work and can cause the video not playing problem.  So double check to see if your browser is up-to-date.

Similarly, if your cache is not cleared regularly, it can slow down the browser and prevent videos from playing. To update your browser and clear your cache, follow the steps.


  • Update Safari and clear cache
    Go to the Apple menu and select System Settings.
    Click on General and go to Software Updates.
    If any updates are available, they will show up, and you can press Update Now.
    Clear Cache
    Select the Safari menu. Go to Settings.
    Go to the Advanced tab and check the box Show Develop in the menu bar.
    Go to the Develop menu in the menu bar. Select the option Empty Cache.


  • Update Chrome browser and clear the cache
    The steps for updating Chrome are the same as that for Safari. To clear the Cache, follow the steps.
    Check on the More option. (i.e., 3 vertical dots in the top right corner.)
    Click on the option Settings. Navigate to Privacy and Security.
    Select the option Clear Browsing Data. Under time range, select how far back data you want to remove and uncheck the box Browsing history if you want to keep your browsing history and only want to clear the cache. Click on the Clear Data button.

Enable JavaScript in your Browser
Websites rely on JavaScript for various interactive features. So, if JavaScript is not enabled in your browser, it will cause issues, which may include videos not playing on your browser.

Here is how you can enable JavaScript on your browser on Mac.

  • On the Safari menu bar, select Safari. Select Preferences.
    In the preferences window, select the Security tab.
    Check the box next to Enable JavaScript.
    Restart the browser.
    Enabling JavaScript in Chrome
    Check on the More option, i.e., 3 vertical dots in the top right corner of the browser.
    Select the option Settings. Click on Privacy and Security.
    Click on Site Settings. Click on JavaScript.
    Check the box. Sites can use JavaScript.

Videos not playing on the Mac | Causes and Precautions

Here is a list of problems and their solution.

  • Outdated System:  Always keep your macOS up to date to ensure proper functioning.
    Insufficient System Requirements:  In case the system requirements for running the video are not fulfilled, the video will not play. In this case, you have to upgrade your system hardware or software, whichever is required.
  • Network Issues:  Make sure you have good internet speed and connectivity to browser videos from buffering or not playing.
  • Virus or Malware Infection:    Take necessary steps like downloading files from secure sites only and employing strong firewalls and antivirus software to protect your system from malware and other threats.
  • Corrupted Files or Codec Issues:  Only use trustworthy programs to convert file formats to prevent corruption. Make sure your media player is up-to-date
  • Graphic Driver Problems:  Incompatible or outdated graphic drivers can lead to videos not playing on Mac issues. To prevent this, always keep your graphic driver up to date.


I hope this article helped you play the videos on your Mac without any hiccups. The solutions in this article apply to all video file formats.

In case of corruption, use an efficient video repair tool to repair the video and bring it back to its normal state, and it should play just fine.

In case you are facing difficulty in any of these methods or need some expert tips for your videos, feel free to reach out.


how to repair corrupted video, repair video, trouble shooting online video, video playback trouble shooting guide, video repair tool, why won't my video play?

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}