[iOS 17.5.1] Camera Roll Videos Won't Play on iPhone? - 9 Fast Fixes

Clare Phang
Last updated: Feb 28, 2024

This post will explain why your videos are not playing on the iPhone camera roll and introduce 9 helpful methods to fix it. Read on to learn more.

Many users have encountered "videos not playing on iPhone" problems, especially after updating to iOS 17.

Don't worry! In this post, you'll find 9 workarounds to "camera roll videos won't play on iPhone". Read on for details.

iPhone not playing videos

Why Won't My Videos Play on My iPhone Camera Roll?

You may receive a popup message showing:

  • Unable to Play Video. This video cannot be played because the file format is unsupported.
  • Unable to Play Video. An error occurred. Please try again later.
  • Unable to Load Video. An error occurred while loading a higher-quality version of this video.
Unable to play video popup

The reasons why iPhone camera roll videos cannot be played are mainly:

  • iOS 17 update issues.
  • Video format is unsupported.
  • Corrupted/damaged/incomplete video.
  • Insufficient storage space.
  • Poor internet connection.
  • Large file size.
  • High resolution(the old iPhones earlier than iPhone 6 can't play 4K videos).
  • Software glitches.
  • The original element of the video was deleted.

How to Fix Videos in Camera Roll Not Playing

After figuring out why iPhone camera roll videos cannot be played, it's time to learn some practical methods.

In total, we will introduce 9 workarounds for you below. Keep reading!

1. Restart Your iPhone

In the case that this error happens after updating to iOS 17, have a try at restart first. A simple restart will refresh some of your system and program settings.

Play the video again after restarting your iPhone to see whether the video can be played normally now. If can't, skip to other solutions.

The way to restart your iPhone differs from iPhone models:

  • For iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, or later:
  1. Press and hold the volume button and the side button until the power-off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider>Wait for about 30 seconds.
  3. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.
Restart iPhone X、11、12、13、14、15
  • For iPhone 6, 7, 8 or SE (2nd or 3rd generation)
  1. Press and hold the side button until the power-off slide appears.
  2. Drag the slider>Wait for about 30 seconds.
  3. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.
Restart iPhone 6、7、8、SE
  • For iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier:
  1. Press and hold the top button until the power-off slide appears.
  2. Drag the slider>Wait for about 30 seconds.
  3. Press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo.

2. Check Video Format

As one of the popup messages shows: "Unable to Play Video. This video cannot be played because the file format is unsupported".

The video file format is to blame. Check whether the video format is supported on iPhone.

  • Extension for videos taken with iPhone: .mov

  • Video file formats supported by iPhone: .m4v, .mp4, .mov

Videos cannot be played on an iPhone or iPad unless they have a .mp4/.mov/.m4v extension.

3. Clear iPhone Storage

Playing videos or launching applications requires sufficient iPhone space.

There are times when the iPhone has accumulated so many cookies that videos in the iPhone camera roll cannot be played back properly.

Free up iPhone space by clearing iPhone system data, uninstall unnecessary apps, delete unnecessary photos, delete videos, cookies, cache, etc.

If your Mac is running out of space, you can use BuhoCleaner to free up your Mac space in minutes. Related article: Mac System Data Storage Large? 9 Ways to Clear It
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4. Turn Off Optimize iPhone Storage

Ensuring the right settings is of vital importance. Switch the option "Optimize iPhone Storage" to "Download and Keep Originals".

Here is how:

Go to iPhone Settings>Photos>Enable iCloud Photos>Check "Download and Keep Originals".

Turn off Optimize iPhone Storage

To view original videos, you can download them over Wi-Fi or cellular data.

5. Ensure Enough iCloud Storage Space

Once you have enabled the iCloud Photos feature, videos and photos taken with your iPhone will be automatically uploaded and saved to iCloud.

According to iCloud storage plan, it only offers you 5GB of free space. Insufficient iCloud storage space may cause the "iPhone not playing videos" issue.

  • How to check iCloud storage:

    Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Account Storage.

Manage Account Storage
  • How to turn off iCloud Photos:

    Go to iPhone Settings>Photos>iCloud Photos.

Turn off iCloud Photos
Enabling iCloud Photos ensures that you always have the latest videos and photos from your iPhone, iPad, Apple Vision Pro, Mac, iCloud.com, and more.

6. Update iOS

As we mentioned in the reasons, iOS 17 update issues are one of the main causes of this problem. As Apple keeps releasing the new iOS 17 update, follow the update in time. The latest iOS 17 update may fix some known bugs in the old iOS 17 version.

iOS 17 update

7. Force Quit and Reopen the Photos app

Photos app crashing can lead to unresponsive iPhone camera roll videos. To solve this issue, simply swipe up to quit the Photos app and reopen it.

8. Delete Videos and Photos in Recently Deleted

Videos you delete will go directly to Recently Deleted and stay for 30 days rather than being permanently removed.

Videos and photos in Recently Deleted still take up your precious iPhone space. What's more, it may lead to damaged/incomplete videos.

Go to Recently Deleted in Photos and delete all useless videos and photos permanently.

Recently Deleted album

9. Check Internet Connection

Videos downloaded from the internet or iCloud may require a stable internet connection to play well.

The video may not load or the loading speed may be slow under a poor internet connection.

Besides what was mentioned above, solutions like restoring video edits, disabling app restrictions, converting via messenger, asking Apple Support for help, clearing app cache, etc. are also worth a try.


This post has offered 9 practical solutions for the "camera roll videos won't play on iPhone" issue.

Try one method you prefer now!

Clare Phang has been captivated by the world of Apple products since the launch of the iconic iPhone in 2007. With a wealth of experience, Clare is your go-to source for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all things Apple.