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How to fix Samsung Galaxy A5 that won’t play videos, prompts “can’t play video” error? [Troubleshooting Guide]

Having trouble playing videos on your Samsung Galaxy A5? Read on to find out why this happens and how to fix the problem.

Many people have encountered this problem after installing a new update (app or firmware) on their Android devices. When they attempted to play videos on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram, an error that says, “Can’t play video” would pop up. If this happened to you as well, then you may attempt to fix the problem with this troubleshooting guide. But before you start to troubleshoot, let us first try to determine the underlying cause. Doing so will help us understand how and what triggers the problem to occur on your Galaxy A5.

Now before we proceed, if you have other concerns with your device, make sure you visit our Galaxy A5 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this phone. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions or workarounds we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

What hinders your Galaxy A5 from playing videos?

Apparently, this is a software issue. It could be an isolated problem with Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or other pertinent apps you are using to play videos on your device. In some instances, the error is attributed to a corrupt video file you are trying to play. It’s like when you download a song but the download wasn’t successful or was interrupted so didn’t finish. The same thing when you tried to open a corrupted document using Microsoft Word on a computer. While you may be able to access the file, there is a higher chance that you won’t be able to open it simply because the file is broken. In this case, your media or video app couldn’t read the broken video file and therefore it won’t be able to play it. In most cases, it was found that the error was triggered by a faulty update installed on the Google+ app.

Usually, your device will prompt you with a relevant warning or error message. So be sure to read any prompt you see because it’ll give you some clues on what has transpired and how you ended up facing this issue.

Potential solutions and workarounds

Below is a rundown of potential solutions and workarounds that have done wonders to other Android phone users who have dealt with the same trouble when playing videos on their respective devices. Try these solutions and see if you too can get the same positive outcome.

Before you begin, give your phone a quick restart to refresh the system and the rest of the apps. Performing a restart can also fix minor glitches that might have caused an app or your device itself to misbehave. After the restart, try to play your video again. If it still doesn’t play, then go ahead and troubleshoot software problems on your Galaxy A5 with any of these subsequent methods.

Reset app preferences on your Galaxy A5.

When you reset your app preference, be sure to select the video player or video app you want to use for playing videos on your phone.

To do so, go to Settings-> Application Manager or Apps-> tap the three dots (menu icon) on the upper-right corner of the screen and then tap Reset App Preferences.

After doing so, try playing your video again and see if it’s now able to play. If it still doesn’t work, try the next solution.

Uninstall Google+ Updates in Application Manager.

As mentioned earlier, many people have encountered the same error due to a Google+ update. To make sure this isn’t the culprit, try to uninstall updates from your Google+ app.

To do so, go to Settings-> Application Manager or Apps-> Uninstall Updates.

Some updates are automatically installed so even if you haven’t updated Google+ manually, it’s still possible that a new update was implemented in the background.

After removing Google+ updates, restart your phone then try to play videos afterwards.

Remove and reinstall Google+ app.

For some reasons, Google+ app seems to trigger the issue on playing videos on various Android phones. If uninstalling Google+ updates failed to fix the error, then you may try to uninstall and reinstall the Google+ app on your Galaxy A5 instead.

  1. To get this done, go to Settings-> Application Manager or Apps-> Google-> Google+, then tap Uninstall. If you don’t see an option to uninstall, then select the option to Disable the app instead. Then continue with the next steps.
  2. Reboot your phone then tap on Play Store from Home.
  3. Type in Google+ in the search bar on the Play Store screen.
  4. Tap on the three dots next to the Google+ app, then select Install.

Wait until the app is completely re-installed on your phone. Reboot your device once more then try if you are now able to play videos.

Update your media/video app.

If the problem occurs only when using certain video app, it means that the problem is isolated to that application. If that is so, then updating the app will likely fix it.

If you haven’t turn on automatic updates of apps on your device, then you’ll need to update apps manually. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Apps from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Play Store.
  3. If prompted with the Apps & Game screen, tap Get Started.
  4. Tap the three-line icon before the Google Play search field.
  5. Tap My apps & games.
  6. If an update is available, you can see it under Installed section.
  7. To install the update, select the desired app and follow the on-screen instructions.
  8. Press the Home key to return to the home screen.

Restart your phone then try to play your videos using the recently updated app again.

Uninstall then reinstall media app.

If the problem occurs only when trying to play videos on certain media apps like Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, uninstalling and reinstalling the app might fix the problem. The app might have been corrupted and therefore no longer able to work as intended. Reinstalling the app can rectify the glitch and put it back into its normal state. Here’s how to uninstall an app on your Galaxy A5:

  1. Tap Apps from the Home screen.
  2. Tap More options (three dots).
  3. Select Uninstall/disable apps from the given options.
  4. All your apps icons will have a red minus sign (-) over them.
  5. Tap the red minus sign (-) on the app you want to uninstall or disable.
  6. If prompted with a warning message about turning off the app, tap Disable to continue.
  7. Any updates on the app will be uninstalled and replaced with the factory default version before the app can be disabled. If updates were installed, tap Uninstall to disable the app completely.

Alternatively, you can do these:

  1. Tap Apps.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll to and tap Application Manager.
  4. Tap to select the app you want to uninstall.
  5. Tap Uninstall twice to confirm action.
  6. Wait until the app is completely removed then reboot your phone.

After the reboot, reinstall the app with these steps:

  1. Go to Apps-> Play Store-> then enter the name of the app on the search field.
  2. Tap the search icon then select the desired app from the search results.
  3. Finally, tap the Install button and follow the onscreen instructions to install the app.
  4. Tap the Home key to return to the Home screen

Try to play your video with your recently installed app and see if it works.

You may resort to a factory reset if none of the prior methods is able to fix the problem and that you cannot play videos using any of your media app. It might be a complex system bug that requires a full system reset. However, doing so will also wipe all your critical data from your phone’s internal storage. Should you wish to proceed with a factory reset, back up your data first. If a system reset is  not your option, then you can just skip it and seek other options. But if you consider doing it, here’s how…

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  5. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  6. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  7. Press Power button to select.
  8. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  9. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  10. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  11. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Need more help?

Escalate the problem to Samsung Support if the problem persists and that you still couldn’t get to play your videos through any video apps installed on your Galaxy A5. It might be an intricate system issue that already needs an official fix patch.

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