iPhone Unable to Play Video File Format Not Supported Error

Last Updated on March 23, 2018

Sometimes, it happens that your iPhone won’t let you take a video giving out the following error:

Unable to Play Video
This video cannot be played because the file format is unsupported.

Now, normally the solution to such a problem is to either use a different video player or convert the video to a different format. But, the real issue that is causing the Unable to Play Video error to show up on your iPhone is the Storage.


On your iPhone, head over to the General > Storage and iCloud usage. Look for the space available. In your case, you’ll see that your Storage is full or is about to get full.

To fix the Unable to Play Video error on your iPhone, simply free up some space and you’ll be able to record and view videos again without any issues.

If that doesn’t fix your issue, you can change the video codec that iPhone uses for recording videos in the Camera settings. In the Camera tab, look for Format settings. If you have some videos that you took in “High efficiency” mode in iOS 10, they won’t play on your iPhone running iOS11 or greater.

The iOS encodes the recorded videos in .h265 format while iOS10 and below use the older .h264 for MP4, MOV or M4V video formats. On your PC, you can use VLC player to play the videos normally without any issues.

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Written by Utkarsh

Utkarsh Bhatt is a certified tech expert and software engineer for a Fortune 500 Company. He was born in 1995, making him one of the oldest members of the team at EFX. Utkarsh loves solving technical issues and is always the first to jump on any problem that needs solving. When he’s not coding or debugging, he enjoys playing video games (especially Super Smash Bros.) and watching cartoons.

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