How to Fix DJI Video Not Playing Issue?

Author: Kevincy
Publish date
Apr 9, 2024
DJI Video Not Playing
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Cause #1: Video File Was Not Saved Properly
Cause #2: Format or Codec Incompatibility
Cause #3: Corrupted Files

If you've recently flown your DJI drone and found that the videos it captured won't play back properly or at all, you're not alone. There are a few common reasons why DJI videos may fail to play that have simple fixes.

Next, I'll list some potential causes for why your DJI footage won't open and provide solutions to get those memorable flight videos playing again.

Cause #1: Video File Was Not Saved Properly

One of the most common reasons DJI videos won't play is that the file was not saved correctly to the SD card in the drone. This can happen if you powered off the drone while it was still recording. Powering off a DJI drone before stopping the recording corrupts the video file.

The solution is to reinsert the microSD card back into the drone, power it on, and let it sit for 30 seconds before checking the files. Leaving the drone powered on for a bit after recording allows it time to properly close out the video file before shutting down. You can even start a new recording, let it run for a few seconds, then stop it to be safe before powering off.

Additionally, always pay attention to the battery of the drone and make sure to end the flight before the battery is exhausted to avoid the footage being improperly saved, leading to the DJI video not playing.

Cause #2: Format or Codec Incompatibility

DJI drones like the Mini, Mavic, or Phantom series normally record videos in MP4 or MOV formats, using common codecs like H.264 or HEVC (H.265). While MP4 and MOV are very common file wrappers, not all programs can read every codec inside them. So another possibility is that the specific video and audio codec combination DJI uses may not be compatible with your device.

In this case, installing the missing codecs can fix the DJI video playback problem. On Windows, ensure you have the K-Lite Codec Pack or Shark007 installed which includes all the popular codecs. On Mac, you likely already have these built-in but it doesn't hurt to check for updates.

If videos still refuse to play after installing codec packs, trying another media player may help. VLC is a great free option known to support most formats out of the box. Converting the DJI video to a more universally compatible format like MP4 H.264 video with AAC audio can also be a viable solution.

Cause #3: Corrupted Files

In some cases, the DJI video files may become corrupted due to various reasons, such as interruptions during file transfer from the drone's microSD card to your computer, unexpected power outages, system crashes, or device malfunctions while saving, editing, or watching the footage.

There's a small chance to fix the corrupted DJI videos by reinserting the microSD card to the drone and wait for the system self-repairing. If it doesn't work at all, video repair tools like Digital Video Repair, Stellar Repair for Video, or Restore.Media, etc. can be a lifesaver.

These tools can analyze the corrupted MP4 files and fix various issues, from minor glitches to significant corruption, ensuring your videos are playable again. However, the success rate can vary based on the extent of the corruption.


Q1: What video format does DJI use?

A: DJI typically uses MP4 or MOV formats, with H.264 or H.265 codecs, known for their balance of compression and quality. The exact format may vary depending on the specific drone model and camera settings.

Q2: Why is my DJI 4K video is choppy or laggy during playback?

A: Choppy playback is usually caused by insufficient processing power to decode the high-definition video stream in real-time. Ensure your computer meets the minimum specifications required by the video format, close any unnecessary background tasks and try playing the file on a more powerful system if possible. Re-encoding to a lower resolution or bitrate may also help older hardware handle playback smoother.

Q3: Are there any specific settings to reduce DJI video playback issues?

A: Ensure your drone's firmware is up-to-date, and choose recording settings that balance quality and compatibility, considering the capabilities of your playback devices.

Q4: What should I do if none of the solutions work?

A: If all else fails, consider consulting with a professional who specializes in video file recovery or contact DJI support for further assistance.

Wrapping Up

With a few simple checks and potential fixes covered here, you should now be able to resolve common issues that prevent DJI drone videos from playing properly. Remember to always power off your drone safely after recording to avoid file corruption. And don't forget to safely transfer footage from the microSD card in small batches. Let me know if any other questions come up.

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