Why Won’t Videos Play on My Android Phone or iPhone?

Smartphones have been a significantly important partner in our daily lives. With the advanced development of various social media platforms like Youtube and TikTok, currently more and more people enjoy watching videos on their smartphones as a way of leisure and entertainment, and some even shoot, edit, and release videos in person. But sometimes you may encounter some troubles, one of which is the inability of video to play on your Android phone. In this article, we will look into why videos are not playing on your Android mobile phone and how to fix the problems in different scenarios effectively. If you are interested in it, please read on!

Why aren’t videos playing on your Android phone?

There can be many different reasons for videos not playing on an Android phone, for example:

  • The video file gets corrupted.
  • Your Android Operated System needs to be updated.
  • The media player you are using is outdated.
  • The video has not been completely downloaded from the source.
  • You might have downloaded an untrusted software or app on your device.
  • Your mobile SD is corrupt.
  • Your current network connection is down or too slow.
  • Your device cache is too full.

How to fix YouTube online videos not playing on Android?

With more than one billion users in the world, YouTube is one of the most common ways for us to watch and create videos. If unfortunately the YouTube videos are not playing online on your Android phone, you can try the following methods to fix it.

Method 1: Restart the YouTube App

In the beginning, you can try the easiest way to fix your stuck video – quitting the program and stopping it from running in the background. Although it seems simple, it is effective most time with just the three steps: 

  • Tap on the app switcher icon on your phone.
  • Swipe the YouTube app card to shut it down.
  • Click the YouTube app icon on the desktop to reenter the program. Now check if the video can play smoothly.

Method 2: Check Your Internet Connection

As you are watching the video online, please verify whether your Android is connected to a stable network or not. You will be unable to watch an online video if you are using an unreliable Internet. You can go to the network settings to make sure there is a good network connection and the mobile data is enabled. If you find your internet is quite poor, you can forget it and then reconnect so that you will have a better connection with the network.

Method 3: Update the YouTube App

Sometimes an outdated version of the YouTube app will lead to the inability of a video, but it is not a big issue so do not worry. If you are running an outdated version, you will receive a prompt to update YouTube once you open the app. 

If the app does not prompt you, you can still complete an update from the Play Store as shown below.

  • Launch the Google Play Store on your device.
  • Click on your profile photo and select “My apps and games” from the menu.
  • Locate the YouTube icon and press the “Update” button if it’s available to start updating.

Method 4: Clear YouTube’s Cache

Accumulating too much cache on YouTube is likely to result in a malfunction when you are playing a video. Thus it is possible to resolve the problem by clearing the redundant cache on the app. You only need three steps to finish the erasure:

  • Go to the Settings menu and click on “Apps” on the interface.
  • Select “YouTube” and “Storage” from the menus successively.
  • Tap on the “Clear Cache” option and then confirm your choice on the prompt. The system will begin erasing after your confirmation.

Method 5: Check Your Phone Date and Time

An incorrect date and time setting can be a reason as well because it will lead to failure of proper communication with the software or application where you are trying to watch a video. The good news is that it can be easily fixed by the following steps:

  • Open the Settings menu and then choose the “Date & Time” option under the “System” section.
  • Now you can adjust the date and time manually as what you need. In addition, to make things easier, you can turn on the automatic date and time feature as the picture below.

Method 6: Adjust Your Network Settings

Changes in your smartphone’s network settings may create a conflict between your device and the internet, which finally leads to your video not playing well. But not to worry. Follow these steps and you can address it easily:

  • Navigate to the setting menu and click on “System”.
  • Select “Reset” and then tap on the “Reset Network Settings” option.
  • Make confirmation on the pop-up to commence reset.

Method 7: Reinstall the YouTube App

If all of the above methods do not work, you can uninstall the YouTube app and then install it again to enable your video to play, which is slightly similar to Method 1. 

  • To start with, tap and hold the YouTube icon. Now you will see a menu popping up.
  • Select the “Uninstall” option from the menu, and wait for the uninstalling process to complete.
  • After that, restart your Android phone and reinstall the YouTube app in the Play Store.

How to fix YouTube offline videos not playing on Android?

Some people like saving or downloading videos from YouTube to watch on their phones. If you are incapable of playing these offline videos, the methods as follows can offer help to you.

Method 1: Redownload the Video

If the process of downloading the video you attempt to watch is halted, you may find it unable to play later. It can happen when your device stops connecting to the network suddenly or when some other programs interrupt in the background. To fix this issue, you simply need to go back to the YouTube app and then redownload the video you are trying to play.

Method 2: Restart Your Android Phone

Similar to restarting the YouTube app mentioned before, when you fail to play a video on your Android, you can try to reboot your device. All you need to do is just to long-press on the Power button and then choose the “Restart” option to make a reboot. After the device accomplishes the process, you can play the video.

Method 3: Update Your Android OS

The Android operating system requires periodical updates to keep it smooth in running. If you are using an old version of Android, there may be issues that have a negative impact on the video play. Here are the steps to resolve the problem:

  • Open the Settings menu.
  • Scroll down and tap on “About Phone”. Then select “System Update” in the list.
  • Check if your Android OS has accessed the latest version.
  • If not, press the “Update” button and install the latest version on your device.

Method 4: Transfer the Video to Your Device’s Internal Storage

If you find that the SD card on your Android phone gets damaged, you might have to consider transferring the video to your phone’s internal storage to allow it to play. It is not difficult to make this:

  • Start by going to the File Manager, and then navigate to the SD card.
  • Select and copy the videos you would like to watch and paste them into the internal memory of your device. Now you can check whether or not you can open and play them.

How to fix videos not playing on Facebook?

Facebook is another widely-used social media platform, featuring video-based content. You might unluckily also encounter the same issue on Facebook. What should you do to fix it? Below are some helpful solutions that  you can try:

Solution 1: Reconnect to the Network

A poor or unstable internet connection can make a video incapable of playing on Facebook. Restarting your network device is a solution. Please remember to wait for a while before reconnecting the network. Alternatively, you can choose to switch to a stronger network if you are using WiFi. After that, replay your Facebook videos.

Solution 2: Change the Video Quality

HD Videos on Facebook might not be playing well because your internet cannot support them. In this case, you can try lowering the definition of the videos as the following steps:

  • Open the video you want to play.
  • Tap on the Setting icon and select the “Quality” option from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose a lower quality like 360p for the video.

Solution 3: Clear the Facebook Cache

Cache on Facebook also will create problems in terms of playing videos if it gets too full. Therefore, regularly clearing the cache can let the video play well again. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Settings and tap on “Apps”.
  • Scroll down to select the Facebook app.
  • Tap on the “Storage & cache” option and then the “Clear cache” button to erase the app’s unnecessary data.

Solution 4: Log in the Facebook App Again

There may be some unsupported files or errors in your Facebook session currently and thus the videos cannot play smoothly. To fix this issue, try logging into your Facebook again can be a good solution.

  • Open the Menu of the app.
  • Scroll down and choose the “Log Out” option.
  • After you log out of your account successfully, log back in to the app with your email address and password.

Solution 5: Update the Version of Facebook

Similarly, your device probably requires a newer version of Facebook to play the videos you want. Generally speaking, newer app versions include bug fixes and offer better services to users, and you only need two steps to update your Facebook:

  • Go to the Play Store and find the Facebook option.
  • Press the “Update” button if it is shown next to Facebook.

How to fix videos not playing on iPhone?

If you are an iPhone user and the aforementioned methods do not apply to you, then you could try the tips as follows, which can help you address the issue of videos not playing:

Check your available storage. When your iPhone is running on low storage, there may be difficulties in playing videos. You can check your current storage by opening the General menu and selecting “iPhone storage”. If you find there is not enough room, please remove unnecessary apps or files.

Convert the video into a suitable format. iPhone’s built-in video-playing app does not support all the formats, and videos will not be able to play when they are downloaded from Telegram or other sources because of incompatibility. You can use a video converter to help convert a video to an iPhone-compatible format and then save it to your device.

Use the Files app to play videos. This app is another good option as it does not have a required file format. To watch videos on the File app, you should:

  • First launch the Photos app on your iPhone. 
  • Find the video you’d like to play, long-press it, select “Share” from the menu, and tap on “Save to Files”.
  • Now choose the location on the Files app to save your video.
  • Go to the saved location, and open the video to check whether it will play or not.

Bonus Tips: how to fix videos not playing on smartphone by using ONERECOVERY

One possible reason why your videos cannot play on your phone is that their video files were deleted or lost accidentally. In this case, a professional video recovery application or software such as ONERECOVERY will come in handy. Follow the steps below one by one to recover your videos:

1.  Download ONERECOVERY from its official website.

2.  Connect your mobile phone to your computer and ensure it is detected successfully.

3.  Launch the video recovery software.

4.  Select the position where you stored your video before and choose the video format that you would like to recover.

5.  Press the “Scan” button and choose the type of scan you want to start scanning the files in the selected position.

6.  Wait for the scan process to complete, and you can preview the recoverable results shown on the right side.

7.  Select your desired video, press the “Recover” button, and select a path to save it. Notice that you cannot choose the original position to keep the recovered video.

8.  Now you can open the video again in the new position and check if it can play.


○ Why are videos from iPhone not playing on Android?

This is mainly because of the video format. iPhone videos typically use the H.265 video codec, which is not supported by most Android devices. If you would like to play iPhone videos on your Android phone, you should first adopt any professional video converters to convert them into a more acceptable format such as MP4 so that they can play on the new device.

○ Which video format is supported on Android?

Generally speaking, Android devices can support many different video formats, which include MP4, 3GP, WMV, FLV, AVI, MKV, H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) as well as MOV (in some cases). The formats supported by one specific Android device depend on its manufacturer. Meanwhile, the media player application you are running also has an impact on it.

○ How do I know if a video file is corrupted?

To identify whether a video file is corrupted or not, you can observe if there exist one of these following signs:

  • Error Messages: When you attempt to play a video, your media player sends some error messages to you.
  • Audio Malfunction: When the video is playing on your Android phone, you are unable to hear any sound at all or the audio is distorted severely.
  • Wrong File Size: If the size of the video file is considerably smaller or larger than expected, it can be an indication of video corruption. For example, there must be an issue on a video file of 1 KB.

If you cannot confirm if there is something wrong with the video, you can seek for help by using some specialized software to detect any problem on your video and fix it effectively.


This article has focused on the reasons for videos not playing and the common solutions in various scenarios. There are a number of different methods so please spend some time trying them one by one so that you can find the effective one for you. I believe you will be able to get out of the trouble after reading the guide.