How to Fix MOV Files Won't Play in Plex?

Plex is a popular media server that allows you to stream movies, TV shows, music, and other media files across different devices. However, some Plex users have reported issues playing MOV files. Fortunately, there are several things you can try to get your MOV videos working properly in Plex and ensure seamless streaming.

Kevincy Kevincy | Updated on Dec 22, 2023

Can Plex Play MOV Files? Yes And No!

While Plex supports a wide range of media formats, it may struggle to play MOV files sometimes. It's not strange that quite a lot of people have reported this issue across various social media platforms and communities, including the Plex official forum.

Generally, Plex does support MOV files according to the official list of Plex supported video formats. However, compatibility issues may arise due to various technical restrictions. Now, let's expand on it.

Fix Any Format & Codec Issue

MOV playback failure in Plex can be commonly fixed by video transcoding in most cases. Give HD Video Converter Factory Pro a try! It offers a quick and simple solution owing to its intuitive GUI and a wide rage of codecs pre-installed.

Why MOV Files Won't Play in Plex?

There are a few common reasons why your MOV files may not work properly in Plex:

  • Codec Incompatibility: The video or audio codec used to encode the MOV file may not be supported by Plex.
  • DRM Protection: MOV file with DRM copy protection can prevent you from accessing its content.
  • Corrupt File: The MOV file itself may have errors or be corrupt.
  • Unsupported Audio: Even if the video plays, sometimes unsupported audio codecs will result in MOV file no sound.
  • Outdated Plex App: An older version of the Plex app may lack support for certain MOV files if they use newer codecs.
  • Network Issues: For users streaming over a network, bandwidth limitations or network errors can affect playback.
  • Plex Server Settings: Incorrect server settings can prevent MOV files from playing correctly.

So in summary, playing MOV files in Plex relies on both the media file and the app being compatible with each other. If there is a mismatch, you'll get playback errors.

Troubleshooting Tips to Fix MOV Playback in Plex

#1. Update Your Plex App

Start simple by ensuring you have the latest version of the Plex app installed on your playback device, whether it's a smart TV, smartphone, media player, etc. Open the app store for your device and check for any available Plex updates.

The newest Plex version may have added support for codecs/formats and bug fixes that can help resolve issues like MOV file only plays audio. Updating always gives you the best chance for maximum compatibility.

Update Plex to the Latest Version

#2. Transcode MOV Files

If codec incompatibility is the issue, transcoding your MOV files to a more Plex-friendly format like MP4 (H.264/AAC) can easily resolve the playback problem. And WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is an awesome option with a self-explanatory GUI. Here's how to use it for batch processing your MOV files:

  • Open "Converter" and add your MOV files that don't work in Plex.
  • After loaded, open output format library, go to "Video" category and choose "H.264" option.
  • (Optional) Open "Parameter settings" to configure your output MOV files if needed.
  • Choose a location and hit "Run" button to start transcoding your MOV files to Plex-friendly format with GPU acceleration.

After done, you can play the converted files and enjoy a seamless viewing experience in Plex.

Transcode MOV to Plex Supported Format

#3. Fix Corrupt MOV Files

File corruption could be preventing Plex from reading it. You can check if your MOV file is corrupted by trying to play it in different media players. If the file doesn't play in any player, it may be corrupted.

Next, try repairing MOV files using a video repair tool, which scans the file content and fixes errors like bad headers, missing metadata, etc., giving you a chance to fix various issues in video files, such as audio-video sync issues, playback freezes, and more. Once you've repaired the file, try playing it again in Plex.

Fix Corrupt MOV Files

#4. Remove DRM Protection

MOV files purchased from other platforms may have DRM protection, which prevents unauthorized playback and distribution. Plex does not support DRM-protected content.

To play these MOV files in Plex, you first need to legally remove the DRM protection. However, you have to understand that DRM removal using some 3rd-party tools must only be done if you legally purchased the content yourself. Stripping DRM from rented or borrowed videos may violate copyright protections in some regions.

Remove DRM from MOV

#5. Direct Play Instead of Transcoding

Plex generally tries to transcode the video into a universal streaming format in real time when the video codec is not natively supported. But the process can sometimes cause playback failures.

As an alternative, you can force Plex to Direct Play the MOV file instead. This streams the original data without any transcoding. It avoids conversion issues but requires your playback device to natively support the MOV file's codecs.

To enable Direct Play, adjust the settings on your Plex client app and disable transcoding. Then try playing the MOV again using the original file data.

#6. Check Network Connection

For streaming issues, ensure your network is stable and has adequate bandwidth to handle streaming high-quality video files.

If your network connection is slow or unstable, it can cause Plex to struggle with buffering and streaming high-quality MOV videos. To fix this, try connecting your device to a faster network or reducing the streaming quality in Plex settings.

#7. Enable DLNA Streaming

If Direct Play isn't an option, another idea is to try streaming your MOV over DLNA instead of through Plex.

First enable DLNA server support in Plex's settings. Then open the MOV file on your Plex client device using a DLNA playback app instead of the Plex app. The DLNA server will stream the native file which may avoid the Plex conversion problems.

VLC and Kodi are good DLNA client apps on many devices. Give this a shot if all else fails.

Functional A/V Processor

HD Video Converter Factory Pro, a great Swiss army knife of A/V processing, works as a novice-oriented video editor, converter, downloader, recorder, compressor, GIF maker. Get the all-in-one app here!


Q1: Why do some MOV files play in Plex but not others?

A: It depends on the specific codecs used within the MOV container. Proprietary codecs like Apple ProRes, Cinepak, or CineForm usually don't work, while standard ones like H.264 or AAC may be supported.

Q2: Why does Plex play the MOV video but not the audio?

A: The video stream may use a compatible codec while the audio uses an unsupported format. Converting the audio to AAC or AC3 may help.

Q3: How do I find the codecs used in my MOV file?

A: VLC is helpful to check the video codec by navigating to "Tools" > "Codec Information". Apps like MediaInfo also inspect media formats.

Final Words...

By walking through this guide, you should be able to play your MOV files on Plex without any interruptions. Instead of attempting to identify the specific issue and solution for your model, it is more efficient to transcode MOV files to eliminate any potential issues. If this approach does not work for you, or if you have any other suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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