MacBook Pro won't play any videos, online or offline

Yesterday, a MacBook Pro (2019 model, Catalina) that I use suddenly stopped being able to play any videos, online or offline, even directly from Photos or anywhere else on the hard drive.

I did a bit of troubleshooting that didn’t uncover anything helpful, so I just restarted the computer and the issue went away. Unfortunately this morning it’s once again unable to play any video.

Online videos sort of freeze on the first frame, and after a while appear to progress for a few seconds, but then if I click the play button, the entire video suddenly rushes by in extreme fast forward. For videos on the hard drive, it’s just an immediate extreme fast forward.

Only partially helpful message displayed anywhere is on YouTube, where it’ll eventually say to restart my device if the video doesn’t play, but that’s obviously only a temporary fix.

I appreciate any info and advice.

Something’s clearly wrong, but what/where is the question. And it’s a question that’s sometimes hard to pin down, but IME it’s always been software. Whenever my Macs have begun to behave strangely, my usual drill is to run OnyX and/or CleanMyMac (especially the Scan, Maintenance and Malware routines), and sometimes TechTool Pro’s Volume Rebuild routine (DiskWarrior, too, before APFS). That almost always corrects the problem. Booting into Safe Mode (to try to weed out the culprit) or resetting PRAM may also help ( If the problem persists, you may have to dig even deeper, perhaps deleting/reinstalling some possibly problematic apps, and finally, reinstalling your OS. Obviously, repopulating your Mac from a before-the-problem (= healthy) clone would probably eliminate the problem, but you may not have one.

I hope this helps.

Update… I didn’t really get a chance to do much with this yesterday, but so far through this morning videos are still playing normally again, so it’s only happened once after the initial discovery.

I also posted on the Apple support forums, the only reply is very similar to gbdoc’s (which I appreciate) from a “community specialist”.

Hopefully the issue doesn’t return, although I sort of expect it to since whatever the underlying cause was hasn’t been addressed, or at least until I get a chance to upgrade this computer to Big Sur.

I’m curious this didn’t get a few more replies, has anyone even heard of this happening before? I did google it but couldn’t find anything exactly as I described, although it was hard to not just get a million results related to videos not working in a web browser generally.

I’m on a MBP 2018 running Mojave and have had the same issue exactly on several occasions (3 or 4?) in the last year. Jumped through many hoops, but wasn’t willing to reinstall the OS… Restart always fixed it. Not helpful, but good to know one isn’t alone… :wink:

Thanks, it is good to know you aren’t the only one with a certain problem :slight_smile:

Did you also see videos super fast forward to the end once they responded at all?

If you saw the issue on Mojave, that makes me think that it may not go away when I eventually install Big Sur. Also, forgot to note it earlier, but the 2nd time it happened it eventually started working again without a restart.

now that you mention it, I did see some jumping around, although not as you say, ‘fast forward to the end.’ For me, I could never get it to start working again - no matter what I tried, without a restart.