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10 Ways to Fix “This Video Cannot Be Played” Error in Google Drive

Google Drive can be a handy tool for storing important data, photos, and videos. However, occasionally, you might encounter issues while trying to play videos on Google Drive. Usually, you’ll encounter an error message that reads “This video cannot be played” or “Whoops! There was a problem playing this video”.

There could be many reasons behind the error. Here, we’ll provide you with some of the possible ways to fix this issue in your Google Drive account.

1. Check Your Internet Connection

Check the Internet Connection

Firstly, check if you have a stable internet connection. Google Drive needs stable and high-speed internet to play the videos stored in your cloud storage. You can’t play videos with slow internet or a fluctuating network.

If you suspect that your internet speed is the issue, test your Wi-Fi speed. If your internet speed is fine, then you could consider resetting your router and refreshing your connection.

2. Ensure That the Video File Type Is Supported

Google Drive supports various video formats, but not all of them. It’ll allow you to upload videos of any format, but it’ll only play compatible formats. Video formats that you can play on Google Drive include 3GPP, AVI, FLV, MPEG4, MPEG-PS, MOV, MTS, WebM, and WMV.

Related: The Best Video Converter Apps for macOS

If Google Drive doesn’t support your video, simply convert it and upload it to Google Drive again.

3. Avoid Pirated Videos

Pirated Content

By all means, avoid using Google Drive to store or share pirated content. If you’ve tried playing a pirated video, Google may have banned or blocked it. Google finds and blocks pirated content using file hashing.

Besides, there are several ways to access commonly pirated apps for free or at discounted rates through legit platforms.

4. Ensure That Your Video Is Not Corrupted

You might be unable to play a video file in Google Drive simply because the video is corrupted. In such a case, even the video players on your computer might not be able to play the video when you download it.

If this is the cause for this issue, then worry not. There are several video repair tools that can help you repair corrupt videos. Such tools can help you repair videos of several file formats like WMV, AVI, MKV, FLV, MPEG, MP4, and many more.

5. Try Incognito Mode

Browsing in Incognito Mode

Adding plug-ins or extensions to your web browser can be quite helpful. However, some extensions introduce features that interfere with the default functionality of your browser. You could be facing this error because of one of the extensions you’ve just installed.

To check if an extension is the main cause for this error, enable incognito mode and try playing your videos on Google Drive. This mode allows you to browse privately, and it’ll disable all extensions. Sign in to your Google account again in incognito mode and try playing the video.

Related: How to Enable Private Browsing in Your Browser

If you no longer encounter the error, then one of the extensions is the culprit. Disable all extensions and then re-enable them—one at a time—to find out which one is problematic.

6. Open the Video in a New Window

Instead of double-clicking on the video to play it, try opening it in a new window. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Right-click on the problematic video and select Preview.
  2. Click the three vertical dots menu option on the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select the Open in new window option.

Opening a Video in a New Window

7. Disable Hardware Acceleration

Hardware acceleration is a process where your browser offloads certain tasks to the hardware in your system in order to accelerate those tasks. In this case, this feature allows the browser to access and use your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to render video results.

Although hardware acceleration speeds things up, it may cause several issues that interfere with your browser’s functionality. To resolve this issue, disable hardware acceleration.

8. Clear Browser Cache and Cookies

Browser Cookies

Browser cache and cookies aim to make your browsing experience as seamless as possible. Cookies are the files created by the sites you visit. They make your browsing experience simpler by saving browsing data. On the other hand, cache remembers parts of pages, like images, so you can open them faster during your next visit to the site.

Related: How to Clear Cookies and Cache in Chrome

While browser cache and cookies can enhance your browsing experience, they can overwhelm your browsers if you don’t regularly clean them. Simply clear browser cache and cookies to resolve the video error issue and any other browser issues. From here, sign back into Google Drive and check if the issue persists.

9. Update Your Browser

Perhaps you’re using an outdated browser version that lacks the advanced features required to play certain videos. In such a case, you’ll have to update your browser.

Web browsers usually update automatically when you close and reopen them. However, if you haven’t closed your browser in a while, there could be a pending update. Here’s how you can update common web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge:

How to Update Chrome

  1. Click the three vertical dots menu option on the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Navigate to Help > About Google Chrome.
  3. To apply any available updates, hit the Relaunch option.

Updating-Chrome

How to Update Firefox

  1. Click the menu button (the three vertically aligned lines on the top-right corner of the screen).
  2. Navigate to Help > About Firefox.
  3. Firefox will check for updates and download them automatically. Hit Restart to Update Firefox to complete the process.

Updating Firefox

How to Update Edge

  1. Click the three horizontal dots menu option on the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Navigate to Help and feedback > About Microsoft Edge.
  3. Hit the Restart button when Edge finishes checking for updates.

Updating Edge

10. Download the Video to Your Device

If you have enough disk space, you can download a copy of the video to your computer and then watch it with your favorite video player. This also applies if you’re using the Google Drive app.

This is also useful if your video’s resolution or any other properties are not compatible with Google Drive’s limitations. Simply right-click on the video and select the Download option.

Play Videos on Google Drive, Anytime

Google Drive is a convenient cloud storage platform, but it has its flaws. You may have run into errors while playing your videos on Google Drive, but this shouldn’t be the case anymore. Hopefully, you were able to resolve this issue using one of the solutions in this article.

If the issue persists and you know that your video is compatible with Google Drive, you might consider using a different browser. This could be a useful way to determine if the issue lies with the browser or with the video.


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