My Videos Aren't Playing on Android – What Can I Do?

Aug 30, 2023 • Filed to: Mobile Repair Solutions • Proven solutions


person holding their android with black screen

There’s a reason Android holds over two-thirds of the mobile operating system market share. It’s a powerful OS that gives you the utmost freedom and flexibility, allowing you to customize your phone to suit your needs.

However, regardless of the capabilities of Android phones and the features that come with their OS, just like any other smartphone, they’re prone to glitches and annoying issues – especially with their video files.

You may encounter videos not playing on your Android phone more frequently than you like. Whether it’s video files you’ve recorded using your phone or files you’ve downloaded, this glitch can get pretty annoying pretty fast. Fortunately, there are several solutions you could try to fix it.

See what you can do if videos won’t play on your Android.

Why Are My Videos Not Playing On Android?

person recording cityscape using their android

Considering how most smartphone manufacturers tend to emphasize the unbelievable quality of their cameras, perfect night modes, seamless slow-motion recordings, superb resolution, and more, you’d expect all images and videos to function flawlessly on your Android. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Occasionally, you could find that the videos you access from your gallery won’t play, sending you the message that “video cannot be played” or “can’t play video.” Other times, you might find that YouTube videos won’t load correctly or your downloaded videos won’t open in your media player.

There could be a wide variety of reasons that is happening, including:

  • Corrupted video
  • Corrupted SD card
  • Outdated media player
  • Outdated OS
  • Incomplete download from the source
  • Low storage
  • Video downloaded from a suspicious source

An array of hardware and software issues could lead to you being unable to play videos on your Android. However, that doesn’t mean you should immediately send your device for repairs or delete the videos that won’t play. There might be a few better solutions you could try.

What You Can Do if Your Videos Aren’t Playing On Android Phone

Since there are many reasons for having problems with videos not playing on your Android, you could also try many solutions.

1. Do a Factory Reset

person holding a black android

While a factory reset shouldn’t always be the first solution you go to, it can usually prove to be the most effective one.

A factory reset, aka a master reset or a hard reset, returns all your software configurations to the original state when the phone was first manufactured. In the process, all your data is lost – any photos and videos you have on your phone and the apps you’ve installed will be deleted. You’ll be logged out of all your accounts and won’t have access to your message history, contacts, and more.

While it seems like an extreme step, it can help fix any video issues you might encounter due to software bugs.

Though there could be slight variations between different phones, you can usually perform a factory reset by going to Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory data reset > Reset.

factory reset on android

2. Restart Your Android Phone

While a factory reset is all but guaranteed to fix the issues you’re encountering with your videos, sometimes a simple restart might do the trick just fine. A restart works by clearing your RAM (Random Access Memory).

In a nutshell, RAM stores short-term data that helps your processor complete tasks quickly. This data is always easily accessible, and it’s what helps your phone quickly open webpages and apps you’ve recently used.

Over time, however, your RAM can get filled with unnecessary data and data fragments, which, in turn, can confuse your processor.

Restarting your phone will clear your RAM and potentially eliminate any data fragments causing your videos to be unplayable.

3. Check the Video Format

As a general rule of thumb, the videos you capture should be in a format your device supports. However, the videos you’ve downloaded might not be. That’s why checking the files’ video format before trying other possible fixes is in your best interest.

If the format isn’t supported, installing the right video player with the necessary compatibility is the most straightforward fix. Some of the most popular video players for Android include VLC for Android, GOM Player, MX Player, Bsplayer, and RealPlayer. You can easily find all of them in the Google Play Store.

4. Check the Internet Connection

pull-down bar on android showing wifi is turned off

If you’re having problems playing downloaded or online videos, check your internet connection to see if there’s an issue there. If your internet’s down, any downloaded videos might not have downloaded correctly, and any online videos that haven’t been loaded will not play.

Make sure that you turn the Airplane mode off and your Wi-Fi on. Check the connection and test your internet speed to see if everything works properly.

You might need a network reset if your phone can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network. The path might differ between Android devices, but you should be able to find the option for a network reset at the exact location of your factory reset. Go to Settings > General Management > Reset > Reset Network settings > Reset settings.

android network reset

5. Clear the Cache

The cache stores a copy of your most commonly used data, helping decrease loading time and improve your phone’s performance. However, too much cache data can take up too much space and cause data corruption, preventing you from accessing some of your apps.

On average, you should clear your phone’s cache every few months to ensure that everything runs smoothly. If you encounter issues with your videos not playing on Android, clearing the cache could be just the fix you need.

To clear the cache from your apps, you’ll want to go to Settings > Apps. From there, select the app you want to remove the cache from, scroll down to Storage, then choose Clear Cache.

clear cache on android apps

6. Update Android OS

An outdated Android OS is usually the culprit behind many bugs and glitches you may encounter on your phone. It can prevent you from playing video files, accessing apps, taking photos, and more. It can lead to data corruption and loss, expose you to malware and cyberattacks, and compromise phone performance.

Regularly updating your OS to its latest version is always in your best interest. It can solve the problem of your videos not playing and protect you and your sensitive data.

7. Repair Your Android OS

person holding a phone with black screen

You might already have the latest version of Android OS, but that still doesn’t mean your OS is functioning as it should. Maybe your phone was interrupted while downloading or installing the new OS version. Maybe your phone had underlying OS issues, or you accidentally downloaded files you shouldn’t have. Whatever the case is, if your videos don’t play due to an OS problem, you’ll need to repair your OS.

The best way to do it is with a reliable Android OS repair solution like Wondershare Dr.Fone.

Fast, efficient, and powerful, Wondershare Dr.Fone can repair your Android device in several simple steps:

  • Step 1: Download and launch Wondershare Dr.Fone on your PC.
  • Step 2: Go to Toolbox, then use a cable to connect your Android device to your PC.

wondershare dr.fone toolbox

  • Step 3: Select System Repair > Android.
  • Step 4: In the new window, select Start.

wondershare dr.fone android repair

  • Step 5: Fill in information about your phone’s Brand, Name, Model, Country, and Carrier.
  • Step 6: Agree with the warning and select Next.

wondershare dr.fone device information

  • Step 7: Follow the on-screen instructions to put your device in Download Mode.
  • Step 8: Wondershare Dr.Fone will automatically start downloading the necessary firmware, so wait for the process to finish.

dr.fone downloading firmware

  • Step 9: When the download is complete, select Fix Now to install it.
  • Step 10: Type 000000, then select Confirmto continue fixing your device.

wondershare dr.fone system repair confirmation

  • Step 11: Wait for the Repairing Nowprocess to finish.
  • Step 12: Once the process is complete, click Done.

If the reason your videos wouldn’t play on your Android device was a fault in the OS, everything should be functioning well after repairing your phone with Wondershare Dr.Fone.

Remember that repairing your device with Wondershare Dr.Fone might result in data loss. Back up all your essential data before fixing your OS using this software to stay safe.

8. Update the Video App

Sometimes, it’s not the outdated OS version causing issues but rather the out-of-date video app. Like OS updates, app and other software updates often contain fixes for common problems and security patches. Not every update is there simply to introduce new features.

To check whether you’re using the latest version of your video player, go to Settings > Apps. Find your video player app, tap it, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the version installed on your phone.

android app version

9. Clear Cookies and Browsing Data

If online videos are causing problems, not your recorded or downloaded ones, you might be due for a quick cookie and browsing data clearing.

Cookies are usually there to improve the user experience, allowing you to load websites faster and enjoy improved performance. However, if your cookies and browsing data occupy too much space, they could pose problems.

You’ll first need to launch your mobile browser to clear cookies and browsing data. If you’re using Google Chrome, the process is simple and streamlined. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner and go to Settings. From there, go to Privacy and security > Clear browsing data > Clear data.

10. Reinstall Video Apps

If you still have issues with videos not playing on your Android device, you could try deleting and reinstalling your video apps. Sometimes, simply updating the video app might still retain the glitch causing problems. However, if you delete it in its entirety and then install it again, the issue should be gone.

To uninstall the video app on your Android, go to Settings > Apps. Locate the app you want to delete, then tap Uninstall at the bottom of your screen.

To reinstall it again, go to the Google Play Store, search for the video app you want to have, then click Install.

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Like other smartphones, Android devices occasionally encounter glitches when playing video files. In most instances, the solution can be as simple as restarting your device. In others, you might have to perform a full factory reset or use software like Wondershare Dr.Fone to repair your Android OS.

Whatever the case is, don’t despair. There’s usually a solution that can fix the problem and ensure your device works as expected.

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Alice MJ

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