Home > Video > Play Video > MOV File not Compatible with QuickTime

Posted by Donna Peng - | Contact Author

MOV File not Compatible with QuickTime? How to Play MOV Files?

"Hi all, I transferred my photos and movies from my iPhone 7 to my Mac (Sierra 10.12.6) and have tried to watch them using Quicktime Version 10.4 (894.12). Movies taken after 6th October get the following error 'The document IMG_7239.MOV could not be opened. The file isn’t compatible with QuickTime Player.' Movies taken on the 4th October work fine. I have not changed any settings and would like to know if there is something I can do. Thanks." – from Apple Communities

Trying to play a MOV file with QuickTime Player but receive an error message like "The file isn’t compatible with QuickTime Player"? Simply put, the outdated QuickTime, wrong media encoding, corrupted MOV file or missing required codec can be the reason. Among them, wrong codec or codec incompatibility is the main culprit causing QuickTime Player can’t open MOV and other files error. So, this article focuses on this topic and give possible solutions if needed.

[Solved] QuickTime Player Can't Open MOV File? Convert MOV to QuickTime-supported Format

MOV not Compatible with QuickTime

Now, only MOV encoded with MPEG-4 or H.264 video and AAC audio is fully supported by QuickTime Player in all versions on Mac and Windows. So, if your MOV video contains other codecs, you are recommended to convert your MOV videos to QuickTime supported to prevent MOV the file not compatible with QuickTime Player issue. And HD Video Converter Deluxe is the best tool you can trust.

Table of contents:

Part 1. Why Is The MOV File not Compatible with QuickTime Player?

MOV, developed by Apple, should works natively with QuickTime Player. However, it may still fail to open in QuickTime for the following reasons: the outdated QuickTime Player, wrong media encoding by other software in the first processing, corrupted MOV file, and missing required codec. Among which, the missing codec or incompatible codec is the main reason causing 90% errors of the file not compatible with QuickTime Player and QuickTime Player can’t open MOV on both Mac and Windows.

As a matter of fact, only MOV file encoded with MPEG-4 or H.264 video and AAC audio is now universally supported by all versions of QuickTime. On Mac computer, the support for legacy codecs has been discontinued with the release of the Mac OS X Mavericks, meaning that you have to install QuickTime Player 7 or earlier to play the legacy codecs.

If you don’t want to or can’t downgrade your QuickTime Player, you have other choices. As of now, download MOV codec for QuickTime, try third-party MOV video player, and convert MOV to QuickTime-supported format are the best three options to solve the error. If you insist in playing MOV file with QuickTime without worrying about downloading any malware that may come with extra MOV codec, the ideal way you can always use is to make use of a video converter that can help convert MOV to QuickTime compatible format to solve the issue forever, no matter what codecs the MOV file uses and what resolution it is. Plus, fix any video not playing error with QuickTime when you see error message "The file isn't compatible with QuickTime Player."

Part 2. Best Solution to Fix MOV The File Isn't Compatible with QuickTime Player Issue

As said, MOV to MOV (H.264/AAC) or MOV to MP4 conversion is the best and easiest way solve this QuickTime not playing MOV problem. You are highly suggested to try the following steps.

Step 1. Download HD Video Converter ( Download for Windows, Download for Mac), install and launch it on your computer.

Step 2. On the main UI, click "+ Video" button to add your MOV video file that is not compatible with QuickTime.

Step 3. When the Output Profile window pops up, navigate to "Mac General Video" and choose an output format.

Step 4. Choose a destination folder to save the converted MOV file by clicking on "Browse" button and then Hit "RUN" to begin converting MOV to QuickTime compatible format.

Powered by Intel/NVIDIA/AMD GPU acceleration, HD Video Converter Deluxe renders superfast speed when converting 4K MOV to various formats like MP4, AVI, WMV, and M4V. It is designed to help you play any format video on iPhone, iPad, Samsung phone & TV, Xbox One, PS4/5 and other devices, as well as convert other formats to MOV for playback on Mac. Besides a MOV video converter, this software can also be used as a video compressor to compress large 4K MOV videos to prevent choppy playback, a video editor to crop, cut and merge MOV videos, a downloader to download online videos and a photo slideshow maker.

Free download HD Video Converter to convert MOV file to QuickTime compatible format!

Free Download For Win 7 or later
Free Download for Mac OS X 10.6 or later

Part 3. How to Play MOV File with QuickTime Player after Converting?

Now that your MOV file has been converted to QuickTime supported file format, you can play it with your default QuickTime Player without any issue. To that end, you have several ways.s

Play MOV File with QuickTime
Play MOV File with QuickTime
  1. Locate the file and double click it. The file should automatically open in your default media player, and QuickTime should be the first choice.
  2. Simply drag the file to your QuickTime Player app. If your video player is already open, you can drag the MOV file directly to the player for playback.
  3. Right-click the converted MOV file and choose an application to play by clicking the "Open With" option to display a list of related applications, and choose QuickTime Player to open.

Part 4. FAQs

1. What file format is compatible with QuickTime Player?

QuickTime Player supports a number of file formats, such as QuickTime file format (MOV), most MPEG-4 files (MP4, M4V, M4A, MP3), MPEG-2, DV Stream, Mjpeg, AVI, DV, Pixlet, ProRes, FLAC, Cinepak, 3GP, H.261 through H.265, MJPEG, MPEG-1 and MPEG-4 Part 2, Sorenson and some audio files like WAV, AIFF, AAC, AAC, AIFF, MP3, PCM. Among them, MOV, MP4, and M4V are three types of optimal formats. Besides video and audio formats, it also supports image formats including JPEG and PNG images.

  • Supported video formats: MOV, 3GP, AVI, DivX, FLV, H264, M4V, MP4, MPEG, WMV, etc.
  • Supported audio formats: AC3, AIFF, ALAC, AMR, OGG, WAV, WMA, etc.
  • Supported image formats: JPG, PNG, JPF, QTIF, etc.

2. What files are compatible with QuickTime Player on Mac?

On Mac, QuickTime Player supports file formats including:

  • Video formats: QuickTime Movie (.mov), PEG-4 (.mp4, .m4v), MPEG-1, 3GPP, 3GPP2, AVI, DV.
  • Audio formats: iTunes Audio (.m4a, .m4b, .m4p), MP3, Core Audio (.caf), AIFF, AU, SD2, WAV, SND, AMR.
  • Video codecs: MPEG-4 (Part 2), H.264, H.263, H.261, Apple ProRes, Apple Pixlet, Animation, Cinepak, Component Video, DV, DVC Pro, Graphics, Motion JPEG, Photo JPEG, Sorenson Video 2, Sorenson Video 3.
  • Audio codecs: AAC (MPEG-4 Audio), HE-AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3, AMR Narrowband, MS ADPCM, QDesign Music 2, Qualcomm PureVoice (QCELP), IMA 4:1, MACE 3:1, MACE 6:1, ALaw 2:1, ULaw 2:1, 24-Bit Integer, 32-Bit Integer, 32-Bit Floating Point, 64-Bit Floating Point.

3. Is MOV compatible with QuickTime Player?

MOV container format is by default supported by QuickTime. However, as only MOV encoded with MPEG-4 or H.264 video and AAC audio is fully supported by QuickTime Player in all versions on Mac and Windows, you may encounter "The file isn't compatible with QuickTime Player" error message when playing MOV files. To solve that, you need to convert the MOV file to a more compatible format for QuickTime.

4. Why can't I open MOV file on my Mac?

As MOV is a container format that can contain different video and audio codecs while QuickTime Player can only support specific codecs, you surely won't open MOV file on Mac under some circumstances. To play MOV on Mac successfully, you can turn to a Mac MOV player or convert the MOV file to QuickTime supported formats.

5. How do I convert MOV to QuickTime?

With a MOV video converter, it is super easy to convert MOV file to QuickTime. HD Video Converter Deluxe is an ideal tool you can utilize.

  • Step 1. Download HD Video Converter Deluxe on its official site, install and launch it.
  • Step 2. Drag and drop a MOV file to it, and choose MP4 or other QuickTime-supported format as the output format.
  • Step 3. Choose a destination folder to save the converted file.
  • Step 4. Hit RUN to start converting MOV to QuickTime.


Donna Peng

Jack Watt is a sought-after editor at Digiarty. He is responsible for digital and multimedia world, delivering definitive video and audio related software reviews, enlightening guides, and incisive analysis. As a fan of Apple, Jack Watt also brings his experience to more readers and focuses on writing of the Apple ecosystem at large.

Home > Video > Play Video > MOV File not Compatible with QuickTime


Stay up-to-date with our news, updates, guides.