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Solve iPad not Playing MOV Files & Play MOV on iPad

"I recorded a video on my computer with quicktime. How do I play the .mov on my iPad?" – Question from Apple Communities

"You need to convert this to .mov format to .mp4 format, copy it to iTunes, then connect your iPad to your computer and sync this video file to your iPad. The file will show up either under the iOS Photos app OR under the Home Movies heading in the iOS TV app." - Answer from Apple Communities

QuickTime MOV movie is natively supported by iPad, but iPad MOV playback errors happen now and then. Incompatible codecs, mismatched parameters and corrupted file are reasons to blame, and wrong video codec is the main culprit. As of now, only MOV encoded with H.264, MPEG-4 and HEVC can be opened by iPad. So, a MOV to iPad converter is the optimal solution to help solve iPad MOV playback issue and then play MOV on iPad at will without problems.

Hot search: How to play MOV files on Windows 10/11 >>

MOV File Won’t Play on iPad, Convert MOV to iPad-specific Format

When you can’t play MOV on iPad, chances are that your MOV video is not encoded with H.264, MPEG-4 or HEVC, the parameters are mismatched with iPad, or the MOV file is totally corrupted. Whatever, you can use Winxvideo AI to convert MOV to iPad, adjust the parameters or fix damaged MOV file so as to play on iPad without dilemma.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Why Is MOV File not Playing on iPad?

Developed by Apple, QuickTime movie format MOV is a supported input format for iPad by default. But the truth is iPad only accepts a MOV video encoded with certain codecs, while MOV as a media container format can contain different codecs. Also, the mismatched parameters including frame rate, resolution and bitrate are factors leading to QuickTime movie MOV won’t play on iPad error. Besides, if the MOV file is corrupted, it won’t be opened by your iPad.

Reason 1. iPad only plays MOV with required/compatible codecs

iPad only plays MOV files encoded with certain codecs, and different iPad models support different MOV videos. The below examples are MOV files supported by iPhone:

  • MOV file encoded with: H.265/H.264 video up to 4K/60 fps, High Profile level 4.2 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio.
  • MOV file encoded with: MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 480p/30 fps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio.
  • Since iOS 11, users can finally view HEVC/H.265 codec MOV videos. In other words, not all iPads can play HEVC encoded MOV videos.
  • Not all iPad models can play 4K MOV videos.

Reason 2. The parameters of your MOV video is mismatched with iPad

The fact is that not all iPad devices can play 4K MOV videos. For example, before iPad Air (4th generation), there is no iPad which can support 4K videos. And not all iPad models can play 1080p video up to 120fps or 4K up to 60fps. So, to play a MOV video on iPad without issue, the well-suited parameters between a MOV video and an iPad are also very important.

Reason 3. The MOV file is corrupted or damaged

When you transfer MOV videos from computer to iPad, the files may be corrupted. Also, the video can be damaged if you download it from untrustworthy sites.

Part 2. How to Solve MOV File Won’t Play on iPad Error?

Since iPad is so picky about the type of a MOV video, you need some help when an issue occurs. Usually, the H.264, MPEG-4 or HEVC encoded MOV videos could be played by iPad while it fails playing MPEG-2, H263 or H261 encoded MOV. And some 4K videos need to be turned into 1080p, or 60fps to 30fps for an iPad to play. Accordingly, you need a tool called Winxvideo AI to turn your MOV video into an iPad-compatible one.

Winxvideo AI is born to be a 4K video converter that can be used to convert between any formats for any device, such as MOV to iPad, MOV to MP4, MOV to MP3, MOV to iPhone, etc. and vice versa. With built-in advanced settings, you can adjust the bitrate, lower the fps and convert 4K to 1080p of your MOV video to well-match the parameters of your iPad. Also, some slightly damaged MOV videos can be fixed by this tool.

Case 1. Convert MOV to iPad-supported format for playback

Step 1. Free download Winxvideo AI, install and launch it.

Step 2. On the main UI, click on the Video Converter button to navigate to the video conversion window.

Step 3. Click on + Video button to add the MOV file you need to convert.

Step 4. Pop up the Output Profile window by clicking on the Target Format option at the bottom, navigate to Apple Device > to iPad Video > choose an option that fits your iPad model and then click OK.

Convert MOV to iPad
Convert MOV to iPad

Step 5. Click the Browse button to choose a destination folder to save the converted video, and then hit RUN to start converting MOV to iPad.

Case 2. Reset the video resolution, frame rate & bitrate to match with your iPad's parameters

Step 1. Just follow case 1 and process your video with Winxvideo AI. When you finish step 3, do not convert the MOV video immediately.

Step 2. Simply click on the Settings icon next to the image of your iPad, and here you can adjust the video frame rate, bit rate and resolution. Then, click OK.

Step 3. Follow step 4 of case 1 and convert your MOV video to a more compatible video to your iPad.

Adjust MOV Parameters
Adjust MOV Parameters

Case 3. Repair the damaged or corrupted MOV file

If the MOV video is slightly corrupted, the Winxvideo AI can also repair MOV video during video converting.

Now, you can play MOV files on iPad with the native Video/TV app or third-party video player VLC. The followed guide will tell you how-to.

Part 3. How to Play MOV Files on iPad?

Step 1. Launch iTunes on your computer. Click the File tab on the top menu and select Add File to Library to choose your MOV file. Select the MOV file and click Open to import the file to iTunes.

Add MOV to iTunes
Add MOV to iTunes

Step 2. Choose Movies under the Library menu and find the MOV file you just imported.

Step 3. Select the MOV file, and click File > Convert > Create iPod or iPhone Version. Then, wait for the program to optimize the MOV file for playback on iPad, and the new iPad-compatible video will be listed next to the original MOV video.

Convert MOV to iPad-supported
Convert MOV to iPad-supported

Step 4. Now, connect your iPad to your computer, sync the new MOV file to your iPad. Plese note, the synchronization is a complicated and time-consuming process, the original content will be covered, and only one file can be synced at a time.

Step 5. After synchronization, simply go to Video/TV app or VLC on your iPhone and then find the MOV video to play directly.

Play MOV on iPad
Play MOV on iPad

Alternatively, you can also use VLC media player to help play MOV videos on iPad.

Step 1. Free download and install VLC for iOS on your iPad from the App Store.

Step 2. Add the MOV file on iPad to the VLC library. When you first launch VLC, it will show you how to add videos and you can simply follow the guide.

Step 3. After adding a MOV video, open VLC media player on your iPad. Then, click All Files and tap the MOV video to start playing.

Play MOV with VLC
Play MOV with VLC

In conclusion, by following the above sentences, you can solve kinds of MOV file not playing on iPad errors and then play a MOV video on iPad smoothly and in high quality.


1. How do I play a .MOV file on iPad?

Actually, you have several ways to play MOV files on iPad. Please note, make sure the MOV video in encoded with H.264, MPEG-4 or HEVC codec, otherwise you have to convert MOV to iPad-supported format first with tool like Winxvideo AI so as to play MOV on iPad sucessfully.

  • Method 1. Play MOV with native Video or TV app on iPad after syncing with iTunes.
  • Method 2. Upload MOV videos to iCloud Drive from computer and then play in iCloud Drive on iPad.
  • Method 3. Play MOV with VLC app for iPad after syncing with iTunes.

2. Can I convert MOV to MP4 on iPad?

Yes. As long as you install a video converter app on iPad, you can feel free to convert MOV to MP4 on iPad.

2. How do I play a .MOV file on my iPhone?

The way to play MOV video on iPhone is similar to the way to play MOV file on iPad. Also, you need to make MOV be encoded in H.264, MPEG-4 or HEVC and adjust the video parameters for iPhone to play with errors.


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.

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