How to Fix MOV File Not Playing Video, Audio, or Both?

12 minutes read

When your MOV files don’t play audio or video, it can be frustrating. But don’t worry; Here is an easy solution for you! Use Remo Video Repair software to fix the corrupt or unplayable MOV file in just a few simple steps. This software has been tested and proven to work, so you can trust it to restore your MOV video and let you enjoy your saved memories once again.

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MOV file format was developed by Apple Inc. and is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. In some cases, you might encounter a situation wherein your MOV file not playing video or audio or even both.

If you are looking to fix MOV files not playing or opening, you have ended up in the right place.

MOV file not playing video error on MacBook

Why Are My MOV Files Not Playing?

One of the most common questions that most users usually ask is why won’t my MOV file play. The most common reasons for this issue are as follows;

1. Incorrect Download of the MOV Video filesPartially downloaded MOV videos might also be a reason for unplayable audio or video. Therefore, downloading video files without any interruptions is important to avoid this issue.
2. Downloading MOV Video Files From Unreliable SitesWhere you download your MOV files is as important as what you download. Downloading them from untrustworthy sites will do more harm than good. 
3. Incompatible CodecsCodecs are absolutely necessary to play the media files. Not using the right codecs or using incompatible codecs make your video files unplayable.
4. Incompatible Media PlayerPlaying a healthy video file(s) on any incompatible or unsupported media player might also make any healthy video files unplayable.
5. Bad Sectors on the Hard DriveIf your hard drive accumulates bad sectors, the partition or volume where you have saved your video files might also get corrupted. Making the files corrupt and eventually unplayable.
6. Corruption in the Video or Audio Data When your MOV video files get corrupted, the system is either restricted to read-only audio or forced to read-only video. Thereby, it is necessary to avoid such uncertainties by taking a backup of your important videos.

Now that you are aware of the causes, let's explore how you can fix the issue of your MOV file not playing. Before we proceed, let's read a similar case where a user experienced difficulty in opening MOV files.

Hello, I transferred some of my old videos from my Mac computer, and the video just plays for one second, and later, just the audio plays. These are some of my most important videos, and I have preserved them for a long time. My MOV file has no video. Please tell me how I can fix this. Any help would be really appreciated.

- A User Reported

In the above situation, if you notice the user has experienced MOV files not playing after transferring them from the old Mac system to the other one. It is clearly mentioned videos as “old.” If the MOV videos are very old, they were likely created using an earlier version of QuickTime or an older video codec. Consequently, the updated QuickTime player may struggle to properly decode and display the video content of these files.  

How To Fix MOV File Not Playing Audio or Video?

Following are the various methods to fix MOV files playing audio but not video or playing video but not audio. Once you are done following these sure-shot methods, you are guaranteed to play your MOV video files.

Method 1: Resolve Incompatible Codec Issue

Regardless of what media player you use to play your MOV video file, a codec pack is something that will remain the same. However, at times a media player might be incompatible with a few codecs, or the necessary codecs might not have been installed on the system. 

In such cases, we recommend you download the MPEG-4 codec pack on your Windows or Mac system, which is responsible for playing the MOV video file smoothly. Make sure to verify that your media player supports MPEG-4 codec videos. After verifying, just go to Google and search “MPEG-4 codec pack download”

Make sure to download only from reputed websites. Most suspicious or spammy websites have codec packs filled with bloatware, so verify before proceeding with the installation process.

Method 2: Use Alternative Media Player

Case 1: Windows Media Player only plays audio (no video) on .mov files

On some, but not all, of my .mov files, WMP only plays audio.  These are videos that I made on iPhone XS Max.  Some of the videos have been edited on the phone.  I then upload the files to dropbox, using the dropbox app.  It is from here that my computer struggles to play some of the video in Windows Media Player.  I downloaded Quicktime and get the same result (audio, but no video).

- Microsoft Forum

Case 2: MOV files not opening on Mac

Some of my home video .MOV files do not open with QT on my iMac. Other .MOV files do open and play with QT. The ones that do not open give me the message: The document [name of video file] .mov could not be opened. The file isn't compatible with QuickTime Player. Attempted to open with Handbrake and got the message: No Valid Source Found. These videos used to play on a 2012 iMac with various operating systems, using QuickTime Pro. They may have been originally digitized with QT Pro, or not, it was 15 years ago…


If your media player is missing codecs, it may not be able to play or open your MOV files. To fix this issue, you can try upgrading your media players to their latest versions. If the problem persists, attempt to open the unplayable MOV videos using an alternative media player to see if it resolves the problem.

If the issue is resolved, then the problem likely lies with the codec. However, if you are still unable to play the MOV video on any alternative media player on a Windows or Mac system, it could be due to video corruption.

Note: If the MOV file is incompatible with QuickTime (QT) or Windows Media Player (WMP), you can try opening the video file using the popular VLC media player.

Method 3: Resolve Issues Related to QuickTime Player

An incompatible or outdated QuickTime player might be the reason why your MOV file cannot be played. If you are using the outdated version of QuickTime player, which is the parent media player for MOV, you might still encounter MOV not playing video issue. Updating it can fix such issues most of the time.  

Follow the steps below to update QuickTime Player:

Step 1: Open QuickTime Player and go to Edit > Preferences

Step 2: In the Preferences window, select the QuickTime tab.

Step 3: Click on the Update button and wait for QuickTime Player to check for updates and install them if available. 

Step 4: Once the update process is complete, restart QuickTime Player. 

Step 5: Now, open the MOV video file again and check if it is playing correctly.

Note: You can also download the latest version of the QuickTime Media Player from the internet to fix QuickTime not showing MOV file.

Method 4: Convert MOV to VLC-Supported File Format

If your MOV file is not supported by any media player due to codec or media player compatibility issues, you can convert the specialized MOV file to a VLC-supported file format for free. Furthermore, by selecting the Always Fix option, VLC Media Player will attempt to resolve any issues with the MOV video file during playback.

Follow the steps to convert corrupt MOV video to AVI file format:

Step 1: Launch the VLC Media Player. Click on Media from the top of the screen.

launch vlc media player

Step 2: From the drop-down menu, click on Convert / Save option.

click on Convert / Save option

Step 3: In the File tab, click the Add button to select the unplayable MOV file. Then click on Convert / save option.

Select MOV file not playing

Step 4: Click on the Browse option. And select the destination and rename the converted file.

browse destination to save the converted video

Step 5: Now, click Start. This will initiate converting the unplayable MOV to a playable file format. 

Step 6: Now, navigate through Tools > Preferences > Input/Codec.

choose preferences in VLC

Step 7: From Damaged or incomplete AVI files, select the Always fix option and click Save.

Choose always fix to repair minor MOV video corruption

Method 5: Fix Corrupt MOV File not Playing  

If your MOV video is corrupt, fixing it with the help of free methods or workarounds will not be effective. Making use of a professional MOV repair tool is the most advisable solution.

Remo Video Repair tool is a well-known and highly rated video repair software utility amongst novice users and professionals. It is a robust yet simple utility that separates the audio and video data of the corrupt MOV video file and fixes it without altering the original content. Once the MOV video is fixed, you can also preview the video for free to verify the repair process.

Download the Remo Video Repair tool and follow the below steps:

Step 1: From the main screen, click on Select File and browse for the corrupt MOV video that needs to be repaired.

Launch Remo Video Repair software to fix MOV files not playing

Step 2: Now click on Choose Reference File and select any healthy .mov video file of the same format, then click on Repair.

Choose Reference MOV video shot from the same camera or device

Step 3: Once the repair process is completed, you can click on Preview to verify the result for free. If satisfied, you can click on Save to restore the repaired MOV video.

preview and save the repaired MOV file not playing on Windows and Mac


By now, you must have understood the reasons which lead to MOV not showing video or audio. Using this guide, you can prevent such situations in the future by just keeping your media player and codecs up-to-date. However, if you encounter any MOV corruption, you can always use Remo Video Repair.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I convert .mov to .mp4?

The easiest way to convert MOV file format to MP4 format is by using any trustworthy video file converter.
You can also do it manually by following the steps mentioned below.
On Windows:
Step 1: Launch your VLC media player and select Media from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Next, from the listing, select Convert/Save.
Step 3: It will lead you to the Open Media window, where you must select a MOV file to convert.
Step 4: Click the Convert/Save button in the bottom right corner.
Step 5: In the Convert window, go to Settings and select the Convert radio option.
Step 6: Next, go to profile and select MP4 as your output format.
Step 7: Finally, choose a location to save your converted file.

On Mac: You can refer to this article to find out how to convert MOV to MP4 using iMovie on Mac.

2. Does MOV (.mov) play on Windows?

The answer is Yes. You can play MOV video files easily on Windows using any media player which has the necessary codecs that are required to play MOV video files. You can try Windows media player or QuickTime player.

3. How to open, play/or watch  MOV files on Mac or MacBook?

You can use applications like iTunes and media players like QuickTime, VLC, etc., to play MOV files on iMac or MacBook.

4. How to Download MOV files from google drive?

Log in to google drive with your Google account on the device where you want to download the MOV files. Go to My Drive, locate and select the files that you want to download. Right-click on it, and from the drop-down menu, click on the Download button.

About the Author: Molly Owen

Molly is the Lead Technical Specialist with distinguished knowledge and understanding of Mac computers and operating systems. Being a veteran photographer and video recovery specialist, Molly’s expertise in video formats and file repair has helped restore a lot of videos and cherished memories of users. As a technical specialist, she also believes in learning and…