Home > Troubleshoot QuickTime > Fix QuickTime Not Playing HEVC Files

By Farrah Penn - Last Updated: Contact Author

[Solved] HEVC Files Won't Play with QuickTime Player

HEVC or H265 short for High Efficiency Video Coding is a video compression codec. It is the advanced version of the most popular H264 codec that is being used for more than a decade now. The main difference between H264 and HEVC is that HEVC/H265 provides better video compression while keeping the video quality as same as that of H264. H264 can support resolutions up to 4K UHD while HEVC is capable of supporting resolutions up to 8K UHD.

But just like H264, HEVC is not widely supported yet especially on older systems. Or you can say it is not backward compatible with low-performing hardware. Several media players don't directly support HEVC and may require an external codec. One of the media players is QuickTime which finds itself incapable of dealing with this codec. So, in this post, you'll learn why QuickTime can't play HEVC coded movies or videos and how to fix it.


QuickTime Won't Play HEVC Error Overview

Whenever you try to play an HEVC coded movie or a video on QuickTime player then you may receive playback errors or the playback will be choppy. Many people will mostly blame the video file being corrupt. But actually, the same file gets played with other media players. So, what could the problem be? Is it because of corrupt HEVC files, codec errors, hardware support? Let's find out in the next part.

Why QuickTime Won't Play HEVC Files?

The main reason behind this problem is that QuickTime doesn't support HEVC on older versions of Mac OS. So playing these files on such systems will always return a playback error. But if you're using MacOS 10.13 High Sierra or higher then there won't be any playback issues.

Secondly, if your computer's hardware is old then it will also cause the problem to gain your attention. Intel has made it clear that any processor below the seventh generation is not capable of playing HEVC. Videos will play on these systems but they will lag badly. This is because the older processors don't have a dedicated HEVC decoder and they are just limited to H264 only.

Solutions to QuickTime Won't Play HEVC Files

1. Update Mac OS or QuickTime - (Preferred for Mac)

If you're running an older version of Mac OS then simply upgrade it to the latest version. You'll also need to update QuickTime to its latest version. The latest versions of Mac support HEVC by-default.

2. Upgrade Hardware - (Least Preferred)

If you're a Windows user then you should upgrade your computer's hardware. Windows OS is hardware demanding OS. You can't do anything serious on this OS unless you have a good graphics card and an up-to-date processor. Windows computer rigs are quite easy to upgrade and you can easily replace video cards and CPUs anytime.

3. Switch to Other Media Players - (Recommended)

QuickTime may have a hard time dealing with HEVC files but you don't have to worry that much. If anytime QuickTime isn't working for you then you can switch to a better option like VLC. VLC is an open-source media players which properly supports H265 videos. It sees continuous developments and gets more stable with its latest releases. QuickTime is now more exclusive to Mac users as Apple has dropped support for the Windows version. So, why waste time with it if you're a Windows user?

4. Re-Encode Video Using VideoProc - (Highly Recommended)

If none of the above-mentioned solutions work for you then you should rely on this final one. If you're unable to update your Mac OS or don't have plans to upgrade your hardware then you can simply re-encode an HEVC video back to H264 using VideoProc, a powerful video editing application. With it, the technical video re-encoding work would be never much easier before. Download it now and follow the steps below about how to make it.

How to Re-Encode HEVC Videos to H264 Using VideoProc

Step 1: After installing VideoProc, open it and click Video on the initial screen. This will take you to the main window. Here click +Video and load your HEVC movie or video files.

get access to video processing panel

Step 2: Select MP4 H.264 at the bottom of the page. If there you cannot find it, you can move to the Target Format for more. Lastly, click the blue RUN button at the right bottom of the window to start HEVC video transcoding.

choose h264 profile on VideoProc

After converting completed, now the HEVC video should open and play on QuickTime.

Final Words

Besides, VideoProc also has many more powerful features, like it can be used as a video downloader, intermediate video editor, a powerful screen recorder, subtitle editor and finally a DVD copier and ripper. So which feature you can't wait to experience? And why not download it now to put all one them in your pocket?


Farrah Penn

Farrah Penn has been a copywriter at Digiarty since 2014. Because of the occupational requirement and personal interest, Farrah has carried on broad and profound study and researches to multimedia related stuff, popular electronic devices and multimedia programs in the market.

Home > Troubleshoot QuickTime > Fix QuickTime Not Playing HEVC Files