It doesn't show video on Android, what should I do?

It doesn't show video on Android, what should I do?

A fairly common problem for tablet and phone users on Google Android is the inability to watch online videos as well as downloaded movies on their phones. Sometimes the problem can have another form: a video shot on the same phone is not displayed in the Gallery, or, for example, there is sound, but instead of video, just a black screen.

Some of the devices can play most video formats including flash by default, others require the installation of separate plugins or players. Sometimes troubleshooting requires identifying a third-party application that is interfering with playback. I will try to consider all possible cases in this manual (if the first methods are not suitable, I recommend paying attention to all the others, they can probably help).

Doesn't play online videos on Android

The first of the common options is problems with playing online videos in a browser on Android. Most of the recommendations on this topic boil down to actions with Flash Player, however, it is almost never used for movies or other videos, it is HTML 5 video and therefore the problem and the solution, as a rule , They are different:

  1. If you have a modern phone with one of the newer versions of Android 10, 8, 7, 6 and the online video does not play in the browser, or there is only sound and a black screen, first try reducing the resolution of the video ( if there is such a setting on the player). If that doesn't work, try disabling hardware video acceleration in your browser. For example, in Google Chrome, for this, you need to go to the page chrome: // flags (in Yandex browser - browser://flags ) in the search field, enter "hardware" and disable (set to "Disabled") the parameters related to hardware video decoding ...
  2. For older versions of Android (up to and including 4.4-5, although it may work on newer ones), where the built-in browser has not been updated for a long time, try installing a third-party browser from the new one. version that still works on this version of the operating system. For example, many videos work well in Opera, UC Browser, or Dolphin Browser (they support Flash in addition to HTML5 video). These browsers are available in the Play Store or third-party sites if the official app store has stopped working on your Android version (for more details: How to download Android apps apk).
  3. If you have proxies, VPNs, ad blockers, or other apps installed that might interfere with the network and the viewing of sites, try uninstalling them (or turning them off) and see if the video works.
  4. If your Android phone or tablet does not display a specific video online or only on one site, and everything is in order with the rest, it is very possible that the problem is with the site itself and you cannot do something here.

There is another way, if we are talking about Flash video and today it is hardly applicable: install Adobe Flash Player on your phone. However, here you must take into account the fact that Flash Player for Android, as of version 4.0, is not supported and you will not find it in the Google Play store (and it is generally not necessary for newer versions). However, there are ways to install Flash Player on newer versions of the Android operating system; See How to install Flash Player on Android.

If none of these methods solved the problem and the video still does not appear, the methods described below may also be helpful and work.

No video (black screen) but audio on Android

If for no apparent reason your video has stopped playing online, in gallery (filmed on the same phone), YouTube, on media players, but there is sound, but no picture, while everything was working properly before, possible reasons here may be (each item will be discussed in more detail below):

  • Screen display modifications (warm colors at night, color correction, and the like).
  • Overlays.

On the first point, if recently:

  1. We install applications with the color temperature change functions (F.lux, Twilight, among others).
  2. They included built-in features for this: for example Live Display feature in CyanogenMod (located in Display settings), Color Correction, Invert Color or High Contrast Color (in Settings - Accessibility), Night Mode.

Try disabling these features or uninstalling the app and see if the video starts to show.

The same goes for overlays - those apps that use overlays on Android 6, 7, and 8 can cause the video display issues described (black screen video). Such apps include some app lockers like CM Locker, some style apps (adding controls on top of the main Android interface), or parental controls. In Android 10 and 9, I did not find such a reason, but it is not excluded. If you have installed such applications, try uninstalling them. For more information on which apps might be: Android Overlays Detected.

If you do not know if they were installed, there is an easy way to check: boot your Android device in safe mode (this temporarily disables all third-party applications) and, if in this case the video is displayed without problems, the case is clearly in some from third-party applications and the task is to identify it and disable or remove it.

Movie won't open, there is sound but no video, and there are other issues with viewing videos (downloaded movies) on Android smartphones and tablets

Another problem that the new owner of an Android device risks stumbling upon is the inability to play videos in some formats: AVI (with certain codecs), MKV, FLV, MP4 (especially with the H.265 codec) and others. . We are talking specifically about movies downloaded from somewhere to the device. Here everything is quite simple. Similar to a normal computer, Android tablets and phones use appropriate codecs to play multimedia content. If they are absent, the audio and video may not play, but only one of the general stream can be played: for example, there is sound, but no video, or vice versa.

The easiest and fastest way to make your Android play all the movies is to download and install a third-party player with a wide range of codecs and playback options (in particular, with the ability to enable and disable hardware acceleration). I can recommend two of these players: VLC and MX Player, which can be downloaded for free on the Play Store.

The first of the players is VLC, available to download here:

After installing the player, try to play any videos that you have had trouble displaying. If it still won't play, go to the VLC settings and in the "Hardware Acceleration" section try to enable or disable hardware video decoding and then restart the playback.

MX Player is another popular player, one of the most omnivorous and convenient for this mobile operating system. To make everything work in the best possible way, follow these steps:

  1. Search for MX Player in the Google app store, download, install and launch the app.
  2. Go to the application settings, open the item «Decoder».
  3. Check the "HW + Decoder" boxes in the first and second paragraph (for local and network files). 
  4. For most modern devices these settings are optimal and no additional codecs need to be downloaded. However, you can install additional codecs for MX Player, for which scroll through the decoder settings page in the player to the end and pay attention to which version of the codecs it is recommended to download, for example ARMv7 NEON. After that, go to Google Play and use the search to find the corresponding codecs, that is, search for "MX Player ARMv7 NEON" in this case. Install the codecs, close them completely, and restart the player.
  5. If the video won't play with the HW + decoder enabled, try disabling it and instead enable only the HW decoder first, and then if it doesn't work then the SW decoder is there, in the settings.

My phone won't open videos in Gallery or Google Photos

Another common situation is that an Android phone does not open a video in Gallery (or opens it without an image), even if the video was recorded on the same phone. The following solutions are possible here:

  1. Go to Settings - Applications (or Settings - Applications and notifications - Show all applications), open the menu at the top right and reset the application settings, then try to start the video from Gallery again, and if asked which program open the video, select which video player (for example, Samsung Galaxy's built-in video app, mentioned VLC player and the like).
  2. When playing a video in Gallery, try clicking the menu button (dots in the upper right) and check if there is an item to select an application to play with. If so, try selecting another player. The same could be true for the Google Photos app:

Additional reasons why Android is not displaying videos and ways to fix it

In conclusion, there are several rare, but sometimes found, variants of the reasons why the video does not play, if the methods described above did not help.

  • If you have Android 5 or 5.1 and it does not show the online video, try to activate the developer mode and then in the developer mode menu, change the streaming player from NUPlayer to AwesomePlayer or vice versa if such an item exists.
  • For older devices with MTK processors, as well as for some newer and cheaper phones with Chinese processors, there may be restrictions on resolution and video formats, some of them simply cannot be played (although there may be sound).
  • If you previously enabled Android developer mode, try disabling it.
  • Whenever the problem manifests itself in a single application, for example YouTube, try going to Settings - Applications, find this application and then clear your cache and data (the clear buttons can be found in the subsection "Storage" in the last Android versions 10 and 9). If this doesn't help, try uninstalling and reinstalling, and for built-in apps, disable it, agree to remove updates, and check if the video is working.
  • If the video starts to play normally, but at some point problems appear (especially for online videos), the reason may be the filling of the RAM or internal storage of the phone during playback. You can estimate free space in various applications, for example CPU-Z.
  • According to some reviews, disabling the built-in Google Photos app can interfere with video playback, and on older phones where the Google+ app was pre-installed, disabling it or removing its updates sometimes worked.

Video instruction with possible solutions to the problem.

That's it: for those cases where Android does not display video, be it online video on local sites or files, these methods are usually sufficient. If suddenly you did not appear, ask a question in the comments, I will try to answer immediately.