Video File Not Playing on Android? Here’s How to Fix It

Many of you might be facing issues where you’re trying to play a video on your device, but it’s not playing, or you’re encountering an error. In this post, we will cover exactly how to fix this issue on any Android device and explain why videos might not play on your Android phone. These are the two main topics we will address in this ultimate blog post. We guarantee you will find a solution to fix it. Additionally, as a bonus, we will share the reasons why this issue might be happening.

The errors we are going to fix are:

Troubleshooting Steps to Fix Video Playback Issues on Android

Fix 1: Change your Video Player immediately

Now, the first thing that you should do whenever you see that a video is not playing or there is a playback issue on your device is to try switching your default video player app with something new, such as MX Player or any other video player available in the market. You can use Google Photos as a video player too. This should be one of the first things you try. Alternatively, you can go to any video player app, and in the premium section, you can buy codecs for your device. This will help your device run videos that were previously incompatible.

screenshot of opening the vido file with open with options with many video player shown

For instance, my close friend Suraj Bhaiya often sends me a lot of footage that he shoots on his iPhone through WhatsApp. When I try to play these videos with the gallery app on my Samsung M33 5G, they don’t play. They don’t even show the thumbnail.

cant play this video file, background play only

The sound will play, but there’s nothing on the display. So, I opened those video files using the MX Player app.

Fix 2: Check Your Video File

Suppose you download a media file, including video files, but the download is broken or incomplete. You might still see the file in your gallery or file manager app, but these files are likely not going to work because they are incomplete downloads. Similarly, if your friend shares a file with you via WhatsApp, Wi-Fi Direct, or any file transfer app, and the transfer is interrupted, the file will be half-completed and unusable.

screenshot of mov file details from the gallery app

To ensure that your videos play correctly, you need to confirm that you have received the complete file with nothing left pending. Here’s how you can do it:

screenshot of gallery with thumbnails not showing for the videos
  1. Check the File Size: Compare the file size on your device with the original file size. If they match, the download or transfer is complete.
  2. Re-download or Re-transfer: If the file size doesn’t match, try downloading or transferring the file again.
  3. Use a Reliable Internet Connection: Ensure you have a stable internet connection for downloads or a strong Wi-Fi connection for transfers.
  4. File Integrity Check: Some apps provide a checksum or hash to verify file integrity. Use this feature if available to ensure the file is not corrupted.

By ensuring the file is fully downloaded or transferred, the video should play automatically without issues.

Fix 3: Install Additional Codecs

I remember one time when I was trying to play this video file that my friend sent me, but my media player app just wouldn’t cooperate. No matter what I tried, the video wouldn’t play. That’s when I learned about codecs.

screenshot of codex video player from google play store

You see, some video files require specific codecs to decode the data, and if your media player doesn’t have those codecs installed, it won’t be able to play the file. In my case, I downloaded MX Player, which allowed me to install additional codec packs.

After installing the right codecs, I was finally able to play that stubborn video file without any issues.

Fix 4: Clear App Cache and Data

Have you ever experienced your video player app acting up, freezing, or just not playing videos like it used to? That’s what happened to me a few months ago. Everything was working fine, and then suddenly, my app started acting all wonky.

screenshot of storage settings for video player app

I tried restarting it, clearing the recent apps, but nothing worked. That’s when I learned about clearing the app’s cache and data. You see, over time, these apps accumulate temporary files and cached data, which can get corrupted or cause conflicts. In my case, I went to the app’s settings, found the “Storage” option, and cleared the cache and data. It was like giving my app a fresh start, and voila! The playback issues were gone.

Fix 5: Check for System Updates

One time, I was trying to play this brand-new video file that a friend had sent me, but no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t play on my phone. I tried different media player apps, checked the file integrity, but nothing worked.

phone updates

That’s when I realized that my Android system might be outdated. You see, with each new update, Android developers add support for newer video formats and codecs, as well as performance optimizations. So, I went to my system settings, checked for updates, and lo and behold, there was a new version available. After updating my system, that stubborn video file played like a charm.

Fix 6: Re-download the Video

Uhhh, have you ever experienced this? You download a video file, but when you try to play it, it’s all glitchy or doesn’t play at all? That’s what happened to me once. I had downloaded this movie from a torrent site (don’t judge me, hmm), but when I tried to play it, it was just a mess.

redownloaded video playing using the mx player

That’s when I learned that sometimes, downloaded files can get corrupted during the transfer process. In my case, I simply re-downloaded the file, and it played perfectly.

Fix 7: Transfer the Video Again

This one time, I was trying to watch this video that a friend had shared with me via a file-sharing app. But when I tried to play it, it just wouldn’t work. The video would start playing, but then it would freeze or skip parts. That’s when I realized that the file might not have transferred completely. You see, when you share files over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Direct, or file-sharing apps, there’s a chance that the transfer could be interrupted or corrupted. In my case, I asked my friend to resend the file, and after the complete transfer, the video played without any issues.

Fix 8: Check Storage Space

Let me tell you a story about when I learned the importance of having enough storage space on my device. I had downloaded this high-definition movie file, and when I tried to play it, the video kept buffering and stuttering. I tried everything, from clearing the cache to updating my media player app, but nothing worked.

storage booster screenshot highlighted

That’s when I checked my storage, and to my surprise, my device was almost out of space. You see, when your storage is running low, it can cause all sorts of performance issues, including problems with video playback. In my case, I had to delete some unnecessary files and apps to free up space, and after that, the video played smoothly.

Fix 9: Convert the Video Format

Hmm, have you ever encountered a video file that just wouldn’t play on your device, no matter what you tried? That’s what happened to me once. I had this video file in some obscure format that my media player apps just couldn’t handle. That’s when I discovered video converter apps.

screenshot of complete information about the video i tired to play

These apps allow you to change the file format to one that is more commonly supported, like MP4. In my case, I used a video converter app to convert that stubborn file to MP4, and voila! It played like a charm on my device.

For this, you can use the or simply if you have space and want an convertor app, you can go to play store and download the Video Format Factory.

Fix 10: Check Video File Integrity

One time, I was trying to play this video file that a friend had sent me, but no matter what I did, it wouldn’t play correctly. The video would start, but then it would freeze or show weird artifacts. That’s when I learned about checking the integrity of the video file. You see, sometimes video files can get corrupted during transfer or download, which can cause playback issues. In my case, I tried playing the same file on my computer, and it played perfectly fine. That’s when I knew that the issue was with the file itself, and not my device or media player app.

Fix 11: Disable Hardware Acceleration

This one might seem a bit technical, but let me explain it in simple terms. Some video player apps have a feature called hardware acceleration, which uses your device’s graphics processor to enhance video playback performance. However, in some cases, this feature can actually cause issues and lead to playback problems.

screenshot of using the HW and SW Decoder

I experienced this once when I was trying to play a high-resolution video file on my old device. The video kept stuttering and freezing, no matter what I tried. That’s when I learned about disabling hardware acceleration in the app settings. After doing that, the video played smoothly, without any issues.

Why Won’t Videos Play On My Android Phone

There are several reasons why a video file might not play on your Android device. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • Corrupted video files
  • Incompatible video formats
  • Outdated media player apps
  • Software conflicts with other apps
  • System issues – outdated OS, corrupted SD card
  • Try different media player or get file from reliable source
  • Update media player and OS
  • Troubleshoot conflicting apps
  • Install additional codecs
  • Clear app cache and data
  • Re-download/transfer video file
  • Ensure sufficient storage space
  • Convert video format
  • Verify file integrity
  • Disable hardware acceleration
  • Seek help from forums/support if issues persist

In some cases, you might have a friend who sends you a video recorded from an iPhone or another high-end device, like a professional camera. Due to the iPhone codec used to record these videos, they may not be supported on some Android devices. If you’re using a budget-range smartphone or not a flagship phone, you might see a blank thumbnail image of that video and be unable to play it with the default video player.

screenshot of mov file details from the gallery app
screenshot of gallery with thumbnails not showing for the videos
screenshot of complete information about the video i tired to play

In such cases, you need a professional video player app like MX Player. There are multiple video players available in the market. Just go to the Google Play Store and search for video players. Here are my top three recommendations, which are not sponsored, completely free to use, and definitely have ads to make money:

  1. MX Player
  2. VLC Media Player
  3. KMPlayer


Here’s a summary of the fixes in 11 points:

  1. Change the video player app or install codecs in the existing app.
  2. Ensure the video file is completely downloaded or transferred correctly.
  3. Install additional codecs for unsupported video formats in the player.
  4. Clear app cache and data to resolve temporary file issues.
  5. Check for Android system updates for codec and format support.
  6. Re-download the video file if it’s corrupted or incomplete.
  7. Transfer the video file again if the transfer was interrupted.
  8. Free up storage space on the device for smooth playback.
  9. Convert the video to a more commonly supported format.
  10. Verify the video file integrity by playing on another device.
  11. Disable hardware acceleration if it’s causing playback issues.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you should be able to fix most video playback issues on your Android phone. Remember, restarting your phone, updating apps and system, clearing cache, and trying a different media player are often the quickest solutions. If the problem persists after trying these steps, you might need to seek help from a professional, contact us or simply get our premium plan.

That’s it for the blog post today. Today I tried showing you all the ways to fix the video not playing from the gallery or file manager on any Android phone. I hope you find the information helpful and relevant. Before you go, tell me exactly what has worked best for you. Have a nice day.

Kunal Kashyap, the tech guru behind, simplifies complex tech issues with clear and user-friendly guides. With expertise in Android, iOS, and more, his tutorials empower users to tackle tech problems confidently. Kunal's engaging style makes technology accessible to both beginners and experts. Beyond tech, he explores psychology and keeps up with tech and business trends awarded by the Government and Namita Thapar.

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