3 Solutions to Fix QuickTime Can’t Open MP4 Successfully on Mac

Jenefey Aaron Jenefey Aaron
Jan 18, 2023 (Updated: Jan 28, 2023)Filed to: Solution

Many people report that their QuickTime can’t open MP4 on their Mac. Although MP4 is the most common video format, there also could be a chance that some players can’t open it. And many reasons could lead to this situation. This post will tell you the reason and give you three solutions to help you solve it. Even though you can’t solve QuickTime can’t open MP4 problem, there also will be an alternative player introduced for you in this post.

Part 1: Why Can’t Open MP4 on QuickTime

1. QuickTime Version is Outdated

If you have a long time to update your QuickTime, you may not open MP4 with QuickTime. There may be some bugs in this software. Or your MP4 may have new file data that old QuickTime can’t read. These two issues both will lead your QuickTime can’t open MP4.

2. MP4 has Incompatible Video Codec

Although QuickTime supports the MP4 format, QuickTime can’t still open MP4 if your MP4 has some different and unique video codec. Many MP4 files have old or particular metadata, which will cause trouble opening or sharing them. In case you do not know the formats and video codecs that QuickTime supports, there is a chart below to tell you.

Standard Formats and Codec Supported by QuickTime
Video Formats Video Codecs
QuickTime Movie (.mov)
MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4v)
MPEG-4 (Part 2)
H.265, H.264, H.263, and H.261
Apple ProRes
Apple Pixlet
Component Video
Motion JPEG
Photo JPEG
Sorenson Video 2
Sorenson Video 3

You can right-click your MP4 file to see its information. Then go to check whether QuickTime supports its video codec.

3. MP4 File is Corrupted

When your MP4 file is damaged, your QuickTime also can’t open the MP4. Maybe your MP4 files are missing some codecs. Or if you download the MP4 from the internet, you may lose some data when the downloading has been interrupted. So, you also should ensure the completeness of your MP4 files, and then you can open them.

Part 2: 3 Solutions for QuickTime Unable Play MP4s

Solution 1: Update Your QuickTime

You can check your QuickTime version to see whether it is outdated from the latest version. And then, you can choose only to update your QuickTime or upgrade your macOS simultaneously when QuickTime can’t play MP4 videos.

Step 1.When you launch QuickTime, you can click the "About QuickTime Player" button to check the current version of your QuickTime.

Check Quicktime Version

Step 2.If you need to update it, you can go to App Store on your Mac to update QuickTime. When there is an available version, you can see it on the "Updates" panel.

Update Software App Store

Step 3.If you want to upgrade macOS, click the "Update Existing Software" button from the "Help" button on your Mac.

Update Mac OS Version

Solution 2: Convert MP4 to Compatible Codec

As we all know that QuickTime supports MP4 format. So, you can try to convert the video codec when your QuickTime can’t open MP4. If you want to use a professional tool to change the metadata, you can use AnyRec Video Converter. This software can edit any metadata of your videos and make them compatible with the player you want to use.

AnyRec Video Converter Package
AnyRec Video Converter

Convert video format to QuickTime MOV and other 1000+ formats.

Change video codec without losing quality and file data.

Contain the completeness of your video during the conversion.

Edit and cut your MP4 before playing it on QuickTime.

Free Download

100% Secure

Free Download

100% Secure

Step 1.When you launch the video converter software, you can click the "Add Files" button on the top of the screen to add your MP4 file. Or you can click the plus icon on the main screen to choose a file.

Add Files in AnyRec

Step 2.After adding your MP4, you can click the "Format" button on the main screen. And then, there will be a window to let you choose the format. You can click the "Settings" button with a gear icon to adjust the data file.

Change Format in AnyRec

Step 3.You can adjust many profiles for your video file. You can change the encoder, frame rate, bit rate, and resolution. You can choose the suitable for QuickTime to play.

Edit profile

Step 4.When all the settings are finished, you can choose the destination of your MP4 files to save. And then click the "Convert All" button on the bottom to get your MP4 video.

Convert File

Solution 3: Fix the MP4 File

Do not worry if you find the MP4 file is corrupted when QuickTime can’t play MP4. You can use some software like VLC to fix it. You cannot only use VLC to trim video but also repair it. Before you add your file to VLC, you should change your file’s extension from .mp4 to .avi. And then VLC could repair it automatically.

Fix Video in VLC

If your QuickTime can’t open MP4 files even though you tried the above solutions. Maybe you can use an alternative to watch videos on your Mac. And you can use AnyRec Blu-ray Player on your Mac. This software can play HD and UHD videos to give you a premium visual experience.

Anyrec Blu-ray Player Product Box
Anyrec Blu-ray Player

Play MP4 files with lifelike and crystal-clear detail.

Watch 4K videos with the original image and audio quality.

Change the video parameters while playing MP4.

Compatible with all formats and encoder to play.

Free Download

100% Secure

Free Download

100% Secure

Step 1.You can see the "Open File" button on the main screen when you launch the software. Click it to choose your MP4 file to play.

Open File in AnyRec

Step 2.After you play your MP4, you can click the "Control" button on top of the menu bar. Then you can adjust the play and audio.

Control Panel

Step 3.If you want to choose a subtitle, you can click the "Video" button. You can also adjust the video size in this panel.

Video Panel

Part 4: FAQs about QuickTime Can’t Open MP4


You must know how to solve the problem when QuickTime can’t open MP4. And if you change the codec, the safest and fast way is to use AnyRec Video Converter. You can also use this software to convert QuickTime to MP4 for convenient watching. But if the solutions can’t help you, you may want to use AnyRec Blu-ray Player to open MP4 smoothly.

Free Download

100% Secure

Free Download

100% Secure

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