How to Fix It When Facebook Videos Aren't Playing

9 solutions to get videos working again

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Video streaming has become a commonplace convenience, but as with most technology it isn’t flawless. Everything from bad internet to a system-wide glitch could prevent you from being able to watch something. So how do you fix it when videos in Facebook won’t play?

Why Aren’t Videos Playing in Facebook?

As with most video playback issues, there are a number of things that could be causing problems:

  • Your current internet or cellular data connection could be down, or too slow
  • The app may be out of date
  • Your current web browser might need to download an update
  • Other processes running on your computer or mobile device could be causing memory or playback issues
  • Your Facebook cache might be too full
  • The video itself may be corrupt and unable to play
  • Facebook video settings could affect video playback

How to Fix Videos Not Playing on Facebook

In most cases, getting Facebook videos to play again will be a relatively simple matter. The toughest part is typically figuring out which approach is the necessary one.

  1. Test other Facebook videos to see if the problem is limited to just the one you were first trying to watch. This could mean that the video in question is the problem, in which case you’ll need to notify the original poster. If the problem does turn out to be the video, they may be able to adjust their post settings or re-upload the video.

  2. Double-check your internet (or cellular data) to make sure you have a strong connection. You may need to turn on mobile data for your smartphone or restart your router/modem. It’s not likely you’ll be able to browse Facebook without noticing a connection issue first, but it’s a possibility.

  3. Try restarting your device. Restarting your device depends on your platform: Windows [Restart a Windows PC], Mac [Restart a Mac], Android [Restart an Android phone], or iOS [Restart an iPhone]. Sometimes a restart is all it takes.

  4. Check to see if your Facebook mobile app is the current version, and if not, update the app. Updating apps depends on your platform: Android [Update apps on Android] or iOS [Update apps on iOS]. An out-of-date app could lead to other problems aside from video playback.

  5. Open Facebook on a different web browser. If your browser is running an older version or is just too old in general, it could lead to all sorts of site display and navigation issues.

  6. If the problem is your web browser is out-of-date, you may need to update it. How to update your web browser depends on which you are suing: Firefox [How to Update Firefox], Chrome, [How to Update Chrome], or Safari [How to Update Safari].

  7. On a PC or Mac, go into Settings & Privacy > Settings > Videos and adjust your video playback settings. Depending on how things are set up, they could be limiting the way videos display for you.

  8. On an iOS device, open the Facebook app and select Menu > Settings & Privacy > Settings > Media. On an Android device go to Menu > Settings & privacy > Settings > Profile settings > Media and contacts. See if your video playback settings are conflicting with your internet connection (or anything else) and change them as needed. These settings will have a bigger impact on your mobile device since they’re tied more directly to the speed and strength of your internet connection and cellular data permissions.

  9. Try clearing your Facebook cache. If the cache gets too full it can create a number of different performance problems, so it’s good to do this occasionally even if there are no problems.

  10. If you’re still running into video playback problems, try contacting Facebook directly. It’s not very likely but the problem could be entirely on Facebook’s end, in which case the only thing you can really do is make sure someone has been made aware of it. After that, you just have to wait for things to get sorted out.

  • How do I download Facebook videos?

    You can always download your own Facebook videos through the Edit (pencil) menu. To get someone else's, however, you'll need a third-party app. Make sure that any you download comes from a trustworthy source and isn't out to steal your personal or login information.

  • How do I delete videos from Facebook?

    To delete your videos, select the Edit (pencil) icon on the video in question, and then select Delete Video. You can't remove other people's videos, but you can untag yourself so things don't show up on your feed.

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