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Why Won’t the Video Play on My Computer?

October 19th, 2009

computer-video-wont-work.jpgNot being able to play videos is a common problem for many modern computer users. Most of the time this happens simply because you are lacking some type of application that is needed to play the video in the proper format. This article that was sent in by Everett Bryant earlier today can give you some ideas about some of the most likely solutions that will allow you to get your videos playing again.


These days for many people, a great deal of recreational time that people spend on their computers is for social networking and watching videos. The computer is a great tool for being able to watch videos, especially on a laptop for when you are on the go. You can either stream a video from an online source, place a video in your DVD drive and watch it form there, or have a video in a digital format stored on your hard drive that is ready to watch at any time. With all of these options you can run into a list of problems of why the videos will not work. We will try to help you identify the problem and find a solution.

Streaming videos from online can be quite the guilty pleasure that people have. It can be real easy to waste a couple of hours on YouTube while watching music videos from when you were a teenager. Luckily most sites have a standard format on how they play their videos and even if they don’t, a solution is not hard to find. Most video streaming sites like Hulu and YouTube use a technology called Flash to play their videos. If you run into a problem with not being able to play videos from a Flash site, nine times out of ten the solution is to go to Adobe.com and update or install the latest Flash player. Most computers available to buy will already have it installed but some might not have the latest updates. Some streaming sites will use Microsoft Windows Media, Apple’s Quicktime, or Real’s RealPlayer to stream their videos. These options are not used that much anymore but you will run into them every now and then. To play them all it takes is to go their respective Web sites and download the software.

The section about playing a DVD on your computer will be short because it is pretty straightforward. Most of the time people will have trouble playing a DVD disc on their computer for two reasons. One, they never installed the software that plays the DVD or it has expired. Windows Media Player, which comes by default on the Windows operating system, will also play DVDs but a lot of people forget about that and use a commercial DVD player solution. Or two, their particular DVD player does not play the new Blu-Ray format. That is becoming a more common problem with people who have laptops that are one to two years old. The newer ones are coming with Blu-ray pre-installed but the fairly recent ones did not.

The third option of playing videos on your computer, straight from the hard drive, is usually the easiest of all. When you run into problems though, it can be the hardest one of the three to figure out. This is because to play a video on your computer you must have the proper codec installed. And video that is stored on your hard drive can be saved in different formats, which means that your media player may not have the codec by default.

What a codec does exactly is beyond the scope of this article but the most popular codecs are mpeg, divx, xvid, and several others. If your media player informs you that you do not have the proper codec, you will have to go to the Web site and install it yourself. This can be intimidating for newer users so my suggestion would be to install VLC media player. This free software has almost every popular codec format pre-installed. This will make the likelihood that you will need to search for a new codec to be able to play videos much lower.

Hopefully this article has helped you if you have encountered any of these problems while playing video on your computer. Videos on your computer can be fun and exciting but when something goes wrong, it can kill the thrill pretty quickly.



12 Responses to “Why Won’t the Video Play on My Computer?”

  1. comment number 1 by: Mike_Chans

    I Have a dell studio laptop with Windows 7 install on it. Few weeks ago sudently I couldn’t watch any videos on any browsers installed on my laptop (Explorer, Firefox, Chrome). When I open a page that contains a video the page don’t respond anymore. I checked that I had the lastest version of adobe flashplayer and adobe shockwave player, to be certain I redownloaded them. The videos still couln’t work. So I started to search for some answers on the internet but I couldn’t find any. So I lunch a system restore and all went back to normal. Few weeks later the same problem appends so I did a system restore again. At this point I tought it was a problem with the windows update but when after the system restore I reinstall the updates the problem didn’t show off. Finally today I was watching a video on my laptop (not on the internet) and the player crashed. I went on youtube to see if I could watch videos and gest what I can’t. I can’t even see the ads that shows up in the yahoo homepage. I ready the make an other system restore but I want to get rid of this problem once and for all!!!! CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME

  2. comment number 2 by: Mark

    I also have the same problem. It just started doing it to me a few hours ago and i have been searching for an answer to this problem since. I was just watching youtube videos before i went to work and when i came home the problem began. The only difference is i tried using sysytem restore and it didnt work. i tried redownloading adobe flash and shockwave, Directx, I even ran tests on my G Force video card but nothing worked. I Cant figure it out. If anyone could help me it would much appreceated. Im running Vista Home Premium on 32/64 bit on a nvidia 9800m gts G Force video card.

  3. comment number 3 by: Sue

    I have the same problem,starting to think its windows 7

  4. comment number 4 by: Joe

    I had the same problem went to tools clicked off x actavating filter and it came back tried everything else this worked for me.

  5. comment number 5 by: Melissa

    same problem here and apparently there isn’t a solution for it… I’ve seen lots with the problem but no answers as to how to fix it.

  6. comment number 6 by: RT

    Same problem, and yes, it happened after i downloaded an update. So should i try and do something about that?

  7. comment number 7 by: Sonia

    I am very frustrated that my new Dell Windows 8 desktop will not open the DVD player. A very simple thing to do in Windows 7. What is the purpose of having a DVD player IF it doesn’t open to play a CD or movie? That is, other than to install programs. Why did Microsoft do this? It just makes me want to get an Apple Computer. This is so upsetting!!

  8. comment number 8 by: paul

    no any movie can play in my computer, i try all my best to rectify it but wouldn’t work

  9. comment number 9 by: john jemiolo

    i can play any dvd on my laptop

  10. comment number 10 by: Anonymous

    the weather channel vidoes dont play but the commercials do makes no sense

  11. comment number 11 by: abe

    I have been having the same problem but I’m on windows 8. I tried watching videos on my phone and they work just fine.

  12. comment number 12 by: Jan

    +
    Try changing the browser you are using. I was unable to get Weather channel videos to play with Google Chrome but when I switched to Safari - no problem! God bless you!

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