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What to Do When QuickTime Player Can’t Open File

If you are Mac and Windows users, you may encounter some issues while you are going to open files such us MP4 video or other kinds of videos with QuickTime player. Imagined that you have recorded a small video with MP4 format by using your digital camera on your birthday party. But when you moved the video to your Mac system running the latest version macOS Sierra, the MP4 video files failed to open or you may receive QuickTime error messages to hinder you from watching the contents. If you meet this situation, do you have any solution to fix this issue? In this article, we will show you some effective methods to solve this problem.

Part 1: Why QuickTime cannot open file

QuickTime Player can run on Mac and Windows operating systems, which is a patented player for Apple. Various kinds of video formats like MOV, MP4, M4V, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, 3GPP, 3GPP2, AVCHD, AVI and more are supported in QuickTime player. And the audio formats which includes iTunes Audio, MP3, AIFF, AU, Core Audio, AMR audio and others are available on it. But when you can’t open file in your QuickTime Player, that might be caused by some reasons like codec issue, filename inaccuracy, software issue or file corruption.


Part 2: Several steps to take when this issue occurs

If the above-mentioned issues occur, do you know how to fix it? Let’s go ahead and have a look at the solutions to the issues you may encounter when the files cannot be opened in QuickTime player.

  • 1. Codec Issue
  • The compression is the result of all digital videos. The codec will adjoin different kinds of media streams including audio and video to decipher the digital into a format that is available in player.

    Once the codecs get the media processed, the multimedia container will combine the media files into one single file. If your QuickTime Player still cannot open your file, that means there is no file codec to get it into readable format on your computer. You can choose Show Movie inspector from Window tab in QuickTime Player to complete the codec for the opened file. Then the codec of all media will be displayed below Format section. Therefore, if you want to play the files that cannot be opened in QuickTime Player, you just need to get the required codec activated to support in QuickTime player.

    Here are the supported codecs in QuickTime player:

    • Video Codec includes MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later), MPEG-4 (Part 2), H.264, H.263, H.261
    • Audio Codec includes AAC (MPEG-4 Audio), HE-AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3
  • 2. Software issue
  • If you cannot open file in QuickTime Player, that always means that the installation of your application is obsolete or incompatible. The version of QuickTime Player is too old to read the files. Therefore, you can get your player program updated. But, when you update the version of QuickTime Player, there is no need to get it uninstalled completely before re-installation. What you should do is to go to Help tab of QuickTime player and then select the option Update Existing Software. You can follow the instructions to finish the update process.

  • 3. Filename Inaccuracy
  • File extension indicates that what kind of data type is saved in a file. And it also shows what kind of player is available to get the file opened. However, file extensions can be changed easily. You can edit the file extensions easily. Therefore, you can analyze why the file cannot open in QuickTime player and then make sure that the file extension is correct to get the file opened. The free tool including MediaInfo, FileAlyzer, and others can be used for this purpose.

  • 4. File Corruption
  • Once your files cannot be loaded in other media players such as iTunes or VLC other than QuickTime, then your files is probably corrupted. Therefore, you need to get your file repaired by using an effective repair tool. You can try to use Yodot MOV repair in case that MOV file or MP4 file is corrupted. This is a useful repair tool for all the corrupted, damaged, non-playing and inaccessible files. By using Yodot, you even can get the non-played AVI and DIVX files repaired.


    Part 3: Can I play video without QuickTime?

    If you want to play video on Mac without QuickTime, what can you do? Is there any alternative media player to play the video files that cannot open in QuickTime player? Yes, of course. Here we will recommend you a great media player Leawo Blu-ray player to play different kinds of video files on Mac instead of QuickTime Player.

    Leawo Blu-ray Player is a free and comprehensive program to play multiple kinds of media files. Not only Blu-ray disc can be played with this free media player, but also DVD disc is compatible with it. Besides that, even though Blu-ray disc or DVD disc is protected by all regions and movie studios, Leawo Blu-ray Player can play it without any limit. Based on the advanced technology of decryption, whatever the encrypted or the commercial Blu-ray/DVD disc, they both can be played with a free Leawo Blu-ray player in original quality. In addition, whether video files or audio files, this excellent media player can play them for totally free.

    If you get premium version of Leawo Blu-ray player, you can convert the Blu-ray/DVD disc to MKV in 1:1 quality with encryption or decryption, and all the elements can be maintained in original quality, despite the disc comes with regional protection and restriction.

    • Leawo Blu-ray Player
    • Leawo Blu-ray Player

      Region-free Blu-ray player software to play Blu-ray disc and DVD disc for free, regardless of disc protection and region restriction.
      Play 4K FLV videos, 4K MKV videos, 4K MP4 videos, etc. without quality loss.
      Play 1080P videos, 720P videos with lossless quality.

    Now let’s go to have a look at how to play video with Leawo free Blu-ray player, you can refer to the specific steps as below to get your video played in a simple way, and we will take Leawo Blu-ray Player for Mac as an example.

    Step 1. Install and Run Leawo Blu-ray player

    Here you need to load video files to the program by clicking on the big button “Open File”, or you can have right click on the program main interface and choose “Open” to load the video files.


    Step 2. [Optional] Choose subtitle from your source video files

    You even can get external subtitles added for watching movies in your favourite language. What you need to do is to choose the option “Subtitles” by right click to the interface, or you can move the mouse to the left top corner of the program interface and press on the subtitle icon button to bring out the panel “Subtitles-Settings”. After that, click to the option like Enable subtitles, Subtitle offset, Subtitles or Browse for subtitles as you need.


    Step 3. [Optional] Adjust audio settings

    You can click on the audio icon button from the top left corner of the interface, or right click to the interface during playback and select the option “Audio” to make the panel “Audio Settings” pop up. Here you can adjust the audio settings like audio Volume, Volume amplification, Audio offset, Audio stream and so on.


    Now that you have learned some solutions to fix the issue when files cannot be opened in QuickTime Player. And Leawo Free Blu-ray Player is a good substitute for QuickTime Player to view kinds of video files smoothly without much effort.

    Extra: FAQ about QuickTime Player

    Final words: we will share some very feasible FAQs concerning QuickTime player for your reference.

    FAQ about QuickTime Player

    • 1. Is QuickTime exclusive to Mac and not available on Windows 10?

    • Apple ceased support for the Windows version of QuickTime in 2016 so for Windows 10 users, they can only choose to install the old version of QuickTime.

    • 2. What formats are supported on QuickTime?

    • Basically QuickTime supports a variety of formats, such as MOV. It also provides support for MP4, M4V, MPEG-2, AVI, JPEG, and more. Audio formats supported include, but are not limited to, M4A, M4B, M4P, MP3, AIFF and WAV.

    • 3. How to convert QuickTime to mp4?

    • It is easy to convert QuickTime video or audio files to a common format like MP4 with Leawo Video Converter Ultimate. This program suites will not only let users convert files from one format to another but also supports to download videos/audios; burn videos to DVD/Blu-ray, rip and convert 4K Blu-ray/DVD to videos; create 3D movies; edit and play media files, etc.

    • 4. Can we record on QuickTime player?

    • The new QuickTime Player can record your screen (to do so, click File > New Screen Recording) or record a movie from an attached iPhone, iPad or the built-in camera on your Mac. You may choose the recording quality. Both options record H.264 video. High audio quality records 44.1kHz AAC audio, while Maximum quality records 48kHz uncompressed audio; called “Linear PCM.”



    With long-term dedication into the latest market demands and technologies, the author has become an expert in posting practical, in-depth and user-oriented how-tos, tutorials, recommendations, reviews, and more digital multimedia solutions in Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio, picture, Apple utilities, etc.

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