Summary: Are you facing ‘Error in Loading Media: File Could Not Be Opened’ message when trying to watch online videos. Learn how to fix this media file error in Chrome and other browsers on your PC, Mac and Android. The post also shares the best method to repair downloaded videos not playing on PC and Mac drives.
Figure: Media file error in online video
You have just enrolled in a self-paced open online course to learn a new skill or to complete your degree while in-between jobs or to watch Billboard’s Top 100 picks to soothe your soul after a long tiring day. Be it for solace or for mere self-help, videos have made a significant impact on our lives and have flooded websites and social media outlets.
However, things may take an abrupt halt when while playing a video on the host website, the screen throws ‘Error in Loading Media: File Could Not Be Opened’ message. This error although commonly reported in Chrome, can occur in any browser, including Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or other.
So, if you encounter media file loading error, what will you do? How will you troubleshoot this issue? Here we will share how you can fix the ‘media file could not be played’ error in any browser on PC, Mac and Android.
How to Fix “Media File Could Not Be Played” Error
Each time you are encountered with ‘Media File Could Not Be Played’ error while playing a video, it’s mostly due to a browser issue.
Here are some easy solutions you can try to fix the error on your PC, Mac, or Android phone:
Reset your browser settings.
Update to the latest version of browser.
Delete cache, cookies and browser history.
Play the media file in incognito mode.
Turn off hardware acceleration.
Disable browser extensions.
Try the below workarounds that may fix the media loading error on PC, Mac, iPhone, and mobile phone:
Ensure good Internet speed on your system.
Try to play video in another browser.
Open only your source video website. Close all other browser windows.
If possible, watch videos in low quality. Click on video Settings > Quality. Select a lower quality (resolution or frame rate) view.
Method 1: Reset your browser settings
Changing browser settings might help you to resolve ‘Media file could not be played’ error. When you reset, all data including Chrome settings, extensions, and browsing history are removed.
Steps to reset browser settings in Chrome:
Click the three vertical dots on the top-right corner (Customize and control Google Chrome)
Click Settings > Advanced.
On Windows PC: Under Reset and clean up, click On Mac: Click Restore settings to their original defaults.
Now open the host website of your video and see if it plays without the error.
Method 2: Update to the latest version of browser
If the media file loading error appears in any browser, ensure that you are using the latest version.
Steps to update Chrome browser (on PC/ Mac)
Click the three vertical dots on the top-right corner of the toolbar and click Help > About Google Chrome
Figure: Update or Relaunch Chrome in PC
3. If a new version is available, you will see an option “Update Google Chrome”, else your Google Chrome is up to date. You may see Relaunch button, if Chrome finds new updates, click on it to finish this process.
If you still get the error message, clear cache, and cookies and then play the media file.
How to update browser in Android phone?
Installed browsers on your Android phone should automatically update, when you have turned on Auto-update apps in Play Store Settings. However, you can also check if there’s a new browser update available to fix error loading media file in Android.
Steps to update browser in Android:
On your Android phone or tablet, open Play Store app.
At the top-left, tap Menu > My apps & games.
Figure: Google Play Store Settings
3. Under Updates find your browser.
4. Next to Chrome, tap Update.
Method 3: Delete cache, cookies and browser history
Cache and cookies are a small piece of information which are stored in web browser’s directory to provide you with a better user experience. Browsers whether Chrome or Internet Explorer tend to store cache and cookies to speed up the loading process; however, with time, these cache & cookies pile up in the system, creating problems such as ‘Media File Could Not Be Played’ error. Therefore, you must clear all cache, cookies and browser history on a regular basis.
Steps to delete cache, cookies and browser history on Chrome:
Open Google Chrome browser
Click on Settings.
Scroll down to Advanced > Privacy and security.
Click on Clear browsing data.
Figure: Clear browsing data under Privacy and Security
Click on You can also select the time range of deleting this data from Last hour, 24 hours to All time.
Select Browsing history, Download history, Cached images and files, Cookies and other site data.
How to clear cache, cookies and browser history on Android phone?
Launch Chrome on your Android device and click on three dots on the top-right.
Go to Settings > Privacy.
Figure: Chrome Settings in Android
Scroll down and select Clear Browsing Data.
Set the Time Range to All-time
Figure: Clear data in Chrome on Android phone
Check Cookies and site data and Cached images and files, and click Clear data.
After deleting cache and cookies, try playing the media file. If the issue persists, try playing the media file in the incognito mode.
Method 4: Play media file in incognito mode
Incognito doesn’t store any cookies and automatically deletes your search and browsing histories. Simply press ‘CTRL + SHIFT + N’ keys to turn on incognito mode. Enter the website link and play the file.
Method 5: Turn off hardware acceleration
If you’re having trouble playing the media file, this could be due to hardware acceleration. When enabled, hardware acceleration passes graphical intensive tasks within the browser to make it perform better. However, it may be the cause of ‘Media File Could Not Be Played’ error; therefore, disable it and then play the media file.
Steps to disable hardware acceleration in Chrome on PC/ Mac:
On the Chrome toolbar, click Settings > Advanced.
Figure: Chrome Settings> System window
2. Under System, toggle-off the Use hardware acceleration when available option.
Method 6: Disable browser extensions
If the ‘Error loading media. File could not be played’ error is occurring because of browser extensions, disable them.
You can check if the browser extensions are causing the error. Open the video hosting website in Incognito Mode and play its video. If the video plays smoothly without any error, it indicates, an extension is causing the media file error.
Steps to disable extensions in Chrome:
Open Chrome and click on the three vertical dots.
Click More tools > Extensions.
Figure: Select Extensions under More tools
3. You can choose Remove or toggle-off each extension.
Figure: Remove or Toggle off Extensions in Chrome
4. Next close the window, reopen the browser, and check if the video error is fixed.
Can’t play downloaded & saved videos on PC, Mac, Android phone!
If you’re unable to play video files saved on your PC, Mac or smartphone, utilize a video repair tool to troubleshoot the issue. When files are not completely downloaded or there is an interruption in the transfer process, you’re likely to encounter video playback errors.
It’s annoying to face ‘Error loading media. File could not be played’ in any browser when you want to watch an important video. One of the above methods can help you to fix the media file error in Chrome or other browser on you computers and Android devices.
Do share with our readers in the comment section below stating which method to fix media file loading error worked in your case.
Sumona is a technical blogger with experience in writing data recovery tips and tutorials. She has over 7-year experience in data recovery/repair technology. She is passionate about Photography and Exploring lesser-known destinations.