When you get the “video cannot be played” error on your device, it can be rather frustrating, but this is a common issue that Android owners report having. Whether you record videos or download them on your device, you expect to be able to view them. It’s quite easy to shoot videos, store media, watch, and even share the content on your Android device; however, it’s completely normal for this error to be seen.

Some of the reasons that your videos wont play is that the SD card is corrupt, the download is from an untrustworthy source, the video is corrupt, or your media player or Android isn’t updated. There are a few ways that you can try to solve this error.

Restart your device

This should be the first thing that you try. This is the easiest way to troubleshoot what’s happening so that the videos will begin to play again. Make sure that you have all of the applications on your device closed. Press and hold on the power button and select restart from the menu. Try to play your videos, and if it doesn’t work still, then you need to try another fix.

Clear the Cache on Your Device

Your device accumulates a cache so that you can have reduced loading times, but clearing it can help fix a number of issues, one of which include media player or video issues that can arise because of a corrupt cache. Here’s how you can clear the cache and residual files in your device.

1. Launch your settings app. The app resembles a gray gear.

2. Scroll down the settings options and select “Device Care.”

Device Care

3. Under “Device Care” you’ll see three icons at the bottom of the screen. Select the middle icon that has a circle in the middle of it. It should have the word “Storage” under it.

Clean Now

4. At the top of the screen, you’ll see a blue button with “Clean Now” on it and the amount of storage that you’ll be cleared up.

5. Now, launch the gallery of your device and try to play the video.

If that doesn’t work, then corrupted cache wasn’t your issue.

Uninstall Untrustworthy Apps from Your Device

If you recently downloaded apps from an untrustworthy source or somewhere outside of the Google Play store, then you should try uninstalling them. This may be disrupting the media player on your device, which might be what’s giving you that error. These apps may change certain things in your phone or install malware on your device, so delete them and then try to play the videos that you weren’t able to play before.

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Install a Media Player on Your Android Phone

VLC Player or MX Player are popular media players for Android devices that might help solve the error that you’re getting. If the video is from a source that you downloaded from, then it’s a possibility that you don’t have a compatible player on your device for that video. These external players that you can download onto your device will give you a wider range of file types that you can play, so this is likely to solve your media player issues. These players are available on the Google Play Store for you to try out.

Update your Android Device

Sometimes, you put off updating your device and forget that you have to update it after a while. To see if your phone needs to be updated, launch your Settings app. The icon resembles a gray gear. Scroll down the settings list and select “System Updates.” Tap on the top option that says, “Download and Install” and it’ll tell you if there’s a recent update that you need to install. It’ll install it automatically and you’ll need to restart your device before you can use the updated Android OS.

Factory Reset your Phone

This will remove any data that you have on your phone. You’ll need to backup all your data and information, especially the videos that you’re going to want to play or have had issues playing. Launch your settings and tap on “About Phone.” At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a “Reset” option that you can tap. Select “Factory Reset” and try to play the video after you set up your device.