You download a movie from the internet or import it from an external source, but it does not play on your iPhone. It may be because the video format differs from the format that iPhone supports.

Your iPhone can only play videos in the .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats. However, if you’ve just downloaded a movie from the internet, it’s most likely in.avi or .mkv format. Such a movie will not play in built-in apps like Photos and Files.

Thanks to Apple’s development of the iOS system, you can now record and preserve high-quality images and videos with an iPhone. Additionally, if you want to view the output on your device, the iPhone videos converter can convert multiple video files to a specific format.

Occasionally, you record videos on your iPhone and want to share them. The good news is that iPhone videos can be converted to mp4 files.

You can do so even if you want to extract the audio from your iPhone movie and convert it to mp3. In this blog, we will discuss more iPhone video formats, how to convert them, and more.

Related: How To Put Videos On iPhone? Top 5 Ways

What Video Formats Does iPhone Use?

It’s crucial to determine what video formats your iPhone can support. The crisp Retina display and the high-quality camera make it possible to play movies and record videos while enjoying a great viewing experience.

However, the video player often refuses to play your videos or displays an error message when doing so.

When selecting a video format for your iPhone, it’s important to consider both the codec (e.g., H.264/AVC, HEVC/H.265, MPEG-4, M-JPEG, AV1, VP9) and container format (e.g., MOV, MP4, ASF, AVI). Both of these issues can cause compatibility problems and make your video content fail to play or upload.

Now, let’s examine which video formats the iPhone supports.

iPhone Supported Video Formats

The iPhone supports most video codecs, including H.265, MPEG-4, M-JPEG, etc.

In addition, Apple devices do not support the AV1 and VP9 codecs. As a result, iPhone users can’t view 4K content on YouTube because Google (who owns YouTube) encodes 4K video using the VP9 codec.

iPhone devices can only open videos in the .mp4, .mov and .m4v container formats. However, they cannot open all video files, such as those saved in the .wmv, .mkv, and .avi container formats.

Tip: If you have a video file with an unsupported format that cannot open on your iPhone, you can convert the video to an iPhone-supported format using a video converter or open it with a third-party media player like VLC.

iPhone Recording Video Format

What about the iPhone’s default video recording format?

The H.264 QuickTime files in MOV format are by far the most common.

But if you change your iPhone recording setting to “High Efficiency” mode, your iPhone will capture video in the H.265 format.

With the release of iOS 11, and iPhone 8, and later taking videos in HEVC format by default, you may encounter problems playing these videos on older devices. If you want maximum compatibility across devices and social platforms, record your iPhone videos in H.264 format.

You can change your iPhone’s video recording format from the settings:

  1. Open Settings > Camera > Formats
  2. In the following window, you will see two options: High Efficiency and Most Compatible.
  3. Select the latter.

If you’re experiencing problems with your iPhone that you can’t fix, you’ll need to convert the nonworking video to a format compatible with your iPhone.

How To Change iPhone Video Recording Format?

Regarding iPhone Video Recording Format, H.264 QuickTime MOV files are the iPhone’s default recording format. However, if you set your iPhone’s recording mode to “High Efficiency,” it will capture media in the HEVC format, often known as H.265.

iPhone 8 and the phones after that have recorded videos in HEVC format by default since iOS 11. Even though the newer HEVC standard compresses video files more effectively, some older devices may not open HEVC files natively.

Suppose you want to capture footage on your iPhone that is compatible with most devices and social media platforms. You can modify the settings on your iPhone to record videos in H.264:

  1. Go to Settings and Camera, and there you will find Formats.
  2. Click on it.
  3. You have two choices here: Select either High Efficiency or Most Compatible from the drop-down menu.

If you are having trouble with your iPhone, you’ll need to use an iPhone video converter to convert the non-working video to an iPhone-friendly format.

Troubleshooting Tips to Fix Unsupported Videos and More

Now let’s discuss the problems iPhone users might encounter, such as the inability to play video on iPhone, trouble opening iPhone video on other devices, and failed attempts to upload the video to social platforms.

Why? There are two possible reasons: your file is corrupted, or the video format is unsupported.

How To Deal with a Corrupted iPhone Video File?

If you have a damaged video file and cannot play it in most media players, try turning to the VLC Media Player to open the file. VLC may be able to repair the file for you.

If the VLC fails to repair your video file, you should try more advanced and professional video repair software. This type of software normally costs money and requires significant effort to use.

Fix Unsupported iPhone Video Format?

The iPhone cannot play all video formats and records videos in limited formats.

To make your video compatible with the widest number of devices and social networking platforms, you should convert it to an MP4(H.264) file.

The MP4 format enjoys widespread support not only on iOS devices but also on Windows- and Mac-based computers, as well as the majority of other devices and social media platforms. This makes it the ideal format for use in modern video production.

If you want to transfer video files to your iPhone, you can use an iPhone Video Converter to convert the videos to MP4 format, which your iPhone supports.

iPhone Corrupt Video Files

If your iPhone does not support the video file you are trying to play, it will display an error message. You can reload and/or transfer the file to your iPhone to fix this issue and then try playing it again.

Why Won’t Videos Play on My iPhone?

Because of its limited format support, it can be challenging to play or share videos on an iPhone. There are many different types of video formats, and sometimes you may encounter one that your particular device does not support.

When a video is not fully compatible, you might experience the following problems:

Error 1: Unsupported Video Format Error

Many users report that the app gives the error message “Unsupported video format” even when they try to play MOV videos or other compatible files on iPhone.

Most people ignore detailed codec information when it comes to video files because they don’t realize that MOV, MP4, and AVI are containers that can contain many types of codecs. This includes H.264 and H.265 (as well as MPEG-4 and M-JPEG).

However, iPhone 8/X and later only support the latest video formats. For example, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision formats are only playable on the latest models of iPhone.

Error 2: Stutter Playback on iPhone.

Even though HEVC is said to be supported on all iPhones running on iOS 11 and later, that doesn’t mean every resolution. When you import a higher resolution into your iPhone, it will be downscaled to 2K, and the stuttering may still be noticeable.

iPhone models older than the iPhone 6/6 Plus do not support 4K resolution. For example, the maximum resolutions of the iPhone 6/6 Plus are 1080p/240 fps, and the iPhone 5s are 720p/240 fps.

No iPhone models have been released for sale that supports 5k or 8k.

Which iPhone Video Setting is The Best?

It’s no secret that you want to shoot great-looking and compelling videos with your iPhone. To get professional-quality videos on your iPhone, take advantage of the video format setting on your iPhone.

The new iPhones come with dual and triple rear cameras, ensuring your photos and videos are of the highest quality. The iPhone currently comes in two versions, one with a dual camera and another with a triple rear camera. These options ensure that you can get the best photos and videos possible.

Try switching between your cameras to get the best focus on your subject as you record a video.

Furthermore, Apple allows you to record videos in high-quality formats like HD, 4K, and 4K (PAL).

Additionally, the new iPhone models shoot excellent videos with more improved colors compared to the previous versions. Moreover, they can record video qualities at 720p, 1080p, and 4K.

The best video setting for your phone depends on the model of your device. The most recent versions of the iPhone provide high-quality video when shot in a 4K resolution. To get this level of quality from your rear camera, simply change your camera settings.

Additionally, you can have more control of your video quality by navigating to the Settings app and tapping on Camera. You’ll have numerous options for changing the resolution, frame rate, recording formats, grid overlay, and more.

This is the highest quality your iPhone can shoot in. However, if you want to record in 4K, you must enable High Dynamic Range (HDR). This requires a lot of space, especially if you decide to record in 4K and enable HDR; therefore, it is essential to have enough storage space on your phone. With this setting enabled, you can record the best and highest-quality video possible.

How to Convert iPhone Video to mp4 for Free?

If you have videos taken on your iPhone that you want to share with others, or if you’re going to play those iPhone videos on other devices, such as a computer, consider converting them to the MP4 format.

Therefore, you will need to use a video converter app for your iPhone to reach your goal. Most iPhone video converter apps are available for download and can be installed on your device. Many iPhone video converters are available in the market, but we recommend Wondershare UniConverter. To convert the iPhone video to mp4, follow the below-listed steps.

1. Import videos from your iPhone

The finest iPhone video converter is available in two versions, one for PC and the other for Mac. Install and run the appropriate one on your PC—import iPhone videos to your computer. Select the Converter tab in the video converter, then drag and drop the selected iPhone videos into the dotted box.

2. Select MP4 As The Desired Output Format

After the video has been imported, click the Format icon to launch the popup box—select MP4 from the left sidebar of the Video tab. Then, on the detail panel, select your desired preset. If you want to change some settings, go to the Gear icon and select them.

Go to the Devices page and select your device model to view the converted videos on your iPhone.

3. Convert Your iPhone Videos To MP4 Format

By selecting the Folder icon at the bottom of the software’s main interface, you can save the output to a specific folder. Finally, select the Convert All button to convert iPhone videos to MP4 format.


Apple has produced several models of the iPhone that are capable of taking high-quality photos and videos. Moreover, iPhone users can maximize their videos’ quality by adjusting the format setting.

Furthermore, a user can convert iPhone videos to mp4 using an iPhone video converter. Additionally, there are many ways to do it for those who would like to extract the audio from iPhone videos. Select the app that best suits your needs, and get started. The App Store also offers applications for converting video files to audio files.