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Can't Play MOV File on Mac? Here're Reasons and Fixes

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MOV is natively supported by Apple's QuickTime Player which is bundled with Mac for ages. Therefore theoretically, you shouldn't have much difficulty in playing MOV on Mac Pro, MacBook, Mac Mini, and iMac. However, it is not that simple.

EVERY .MOV file I have - when I open it in QuickTime on my Mac - is forced into 'conversion' mode, which then seems to stall - every time. So basically, I can't open or play any .MOV file I have.

I have a black MacBook and a 27" iMac and a video camera that shoots to .MOV files. I had been able to view the movie files on both computers as well as edit them in iMovie. After a software update from Apple I was unable to view the files any more. I can hear the audio, but the screen is black.

Below we've summarized several typical problems:
Mac won't play .mov files that are taken with iPhone, drone, DSLR camera, etc.
Mac won't read .mov files that are edited in Adobe Premiere, After Effects, iMovie, etc.
Mac cannot open MOV files after getting a software update.
Mac only plays the first frame or the first second of MOV file.

Can't open MOV file on Mac

Why You Can't Play MOV File on Mac? How to Fix?

1. The MOV file could be not a valid media file.

When Mac cannot open your .mov file, firstly you need to check the video information with Finder or MediaInfo and see if the file size or the duration is normal or not. If the file size is in 0kb or only in a few kb or the duration of the video is 0:00, your .mov video possibly has been emptied / corrupted and certainly won't be played with QuickTime, VLC or any other media player on Mac. >> Check how to repair corrupted and unplayable MOV files

2. The MOV file is created using an incompatible format.

If the file size and duration are fine, you need to check the video and audio codecs that are used to encode your MOV file. MOV container format could be encoded with a legacy Apple proprietary compression format or a format that Mac doesn't support.

The support for a wide range of legacy codecs has been discontinued with the release of the Mac OS X Mavericks. If your MOV files are compressed with legacy codecs, you can try installing the old QuickTime Player 7 on Mac, or use QuickTime X's conversion feature to upgrade the legacy codecs to modern codecs (H.264/AAC). If these solutions don't work for you, you can try a more powerful third-party player like 5KPlayer or use WinX HD Video Converter for Mac to convert MOV, no matter what codecs it use and what resolution it is, to Mac supported formats.

How to convert MOV for playback on Mac?

Step 1. Download the .dmg file of WinX HD Video Converter for Mac and install it. This software is fully compatible with macOS Big Sur and lower. Then launch it and click the "+ Video" button to import the MOV file that can't be played on Mac.

Step 2. At the Output Profile panel, choose a video format that Mac can recognize, such as MP4 and MOV with H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec.

Convert MOV on Mac for Playback

Step 3. Hit "RUN" to begin converting MOV to Mac playable format. WinX features super fast conversion speed by taking advantage of Intel/NVIDIA/AMD GPU acceleration.

Apart from converting MOV to QuickTime/Mac supported file formats, WinX can also convert MOV to MP4, AVI, WMV, iPhone (11), iPad (Pro), Samsung Galaxy S10, Xbox, PS4 and other devices for profiles, as well as convert other video formats to MOV. In addition to converting file formats, this program can also compressing videos (e.g., shrinking 4K to 1080p for smooth playback), cropping, cutting and merging videos, downloading online videos and music, recording screen and webcam, and making photo slideshow videos.

Video Tutorial: How to Convert MOV to MP4 in Seconds

Free download WinX HD Video Converter to help play .mov on Mac in any free MOV video player and do other things!

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author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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