If you’re seeing the “This File Isn’t Compatible With QuickTime Player” error on your MacBook or iMac, you’ve come to the right place!
Apple developed the QuickTime Player as the native media player for macOS. It looks good and works just fine. Not to mention, navigating the app is quite easy.
You could use the app to playback most video, audio, and image file formats either for entertainment or professional needs.
However, sometimes, many Mac users encounter the “This File Isn’t Compatible With QuickTime Player” issue when they try to play any specialized video or audio files. There are a few other reasons for this error as well.
Read on to learn the root cause and troubleshooting options to fix the “QuickTime Player not working” issue for specific file formats.
Why This File Isn’t Compatible With QuickTime Player
The infamous macOS video player error, the file isn’t compatible with QuickTime Player could show up for several reasons.
According to this Apple Support article, Apple didn’t rule out that the QuickTime Player won’t show any incompatibilities with certain video or audio file types.
Mostly, the video not compatible with QuickTime errors occur due to the following reasons:
- QuickTime Player doesn’t support your file’s codec
- There’s a file format name mismatch with the QuickTime Player’s codec database
- The video or audio file is corrupted
- Virus and malware in the macOS interfering with the QuickTime Player’s operation
- QuickTime Player is outdated
- macOS is outdated
- QuickTime Player app not responding anymore
Whatever the reason, trying the following troubleshooting steps in the order of their appearance below should solve the issue quickly:
Ways to Fix This File Isn’t Compatible With QuickTime Player
1. Update the QuickTime Player App
Here’s how you can update the app:
- Run the System Preferences app from Dock.
- Select the Software Updates option.
- If you see the Other updates are available notification, click on the More info link.
- If there are any pending updates for the app, you’ll find those here.
- Apply the update and restart your Mac.
Now, try to playback the same file. If the issue persists move on to the next methods.
2. Double-Check the File Format
Sometimes, you may mistakenly change the extension name of the file in anything that the QuickTime Player doesn’t understand. Renaming the file in the correct format name should resolve the file compatibility issue. You may try the following steps on a MacBook or iMac:
- Click Go on the Finder menu bar and then click Computer (Shift + Command + C).
- Now, navigate to the folder where the video file is available.
- Select the file, right-click, and then select Get info.
- Inspect the file type, name, tag, format name, etc., closely.
- Click Name & Extensions and then rename the file format if you find any mistakes.
Now, try to run the file on QuickTime Player to test if you could resolve the issue or not.
Also Read: MacOS: Show/Hide Hidden Files & Folders
In rare cases, you may receive the video file as a .ZIP or .RAR file from the sender. QuickTime Player won’t be able to play videos in a compressed or ZIP file.
You need to extract the video file to a folder and then play it on the QuickTime Player. For this purpose, you can get WinZip for Mac from App Store to unpack .RAR, .ZIP, etc., files.
3. Check for Video or Audio File Corruption
So far, if you’ve tried all the above troubleshooting, and still the file isn’t compatible with QuickTime Player, then you must cross-check the file for any corruption.
4. Update macOS
You’re likely trying to run a specialized or older video file format and QuickTime Player doesn’t support your file’s codec. In that case, you need to try to get the appropriate codec by updating macOS.
Apple keeps on adding more codecs for the QuickTime Player when it pushes app updates or macOS updates. As you already updated the video player, now you must try the following instructions to update your MacBook or iMac:
- Run the System Preferences app from the Dock.
- Navigate to the Software Update option.
- If you see any pending macOS updates, click the Update Now or Upgrade Now button.
5. Quit and Restart the QuicTime Player
Sometimes, the video player may get stuck in the back-end processing phase. Thus it doesn’t respond well to file execution commands and shows random errors. You can force-stop the app and restart it by following the instructions below:
- Open the Activity Monitor app from the Dock or Other folder on the Launchpad.
- On the Search field of the Activity Monitor app, type Quick, and the QuickTime Player app will show up at top of the list.
- Now, double-click the video player process and then choose Quit on the dialog box that shows up.
After the force stop, double-click the video file again to check if the issue got resolved or not.
6. Encode Video or Audio Files for QuickTime Player
Your MacBook or iMac comes with an out of the box multimedia encoder. You can use this tool to re-encode a faulty multimedia file so that macOS can play it on the QuickTime Player app. You may follow the steps outlined below:
- Hit Shift + Command + C keys simultaneously to open the Computer folder.
- Now, go to the drive location where you saved the video file.
- Right-click the file and then select Encode Selected Video Files option from the context menu.
- The Encode Media dialog box will show up.
- Click the drop-down arrow beside the Setting.
- Now, various encoding options will open.
- Select any since QuickTime Player supports all of these.
- Click Continue.
- Once the encoding session is complete, test your video file on QuickTime Player.
7. Scan macOS for Any Viruses
Though macOS is virtually uninfectable, however, some smart malware and virus programs can cause damage to the built-in apps like the QuickTime Player.
Use any of the following antivirus apps from the Mac App Store to find and eliminate viruses. You may use any other malware scanner too.
Once you’re certain that the macOS is free from malware, spyware, and virus programs, give the video file another shot.
8. Look for a Compatible App on the App Store
If you’re in this section, it means you tried all the previous methods to troubleshoot the “This File Isn’t Compatible With QuickTime Player” error.
Now, the last option is getting another video player that could play the file you’re facing issues with the QuickTime Player.
To look for a compatible video player for special or less-popular multimedia files, try these steps:
- Select the video file in question and right-click.
- Now, hover the mouse cursor over Open With, and a new context menu will open.
- There, choose App Store.
- When the App Store opens up, it should show a bunch of relevant apps you can get for the video file you selected.
- Alternatively, you can type the file name in the App Store Search field to get a few compatible apps.
- Install the app you like and try to run the video file.
It might impact your mood a lot when you get an interesting TV show or movie for your MacBook or iMac, but the macOS shows video not compatible with QuickTime.
Furthermore, you’re using your macOS for high-end video and animation production, and when you try to test your content, you get, the file isn’t compatible with QuickTime Player error.
In all these cases, try the troubleshooting methods mentioned above in this article and you should be able to playback your multimedia content on your macOS.
If I missed any troubleshooting methods, don’t hesitate to mention those in the comment box below.
Next up, how to fix videos not playing on Mac.