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Play 4K Video with QuickTime Player

QuickTime can't play 4K Video

For Mac users, you might have some personal 4K video downloaded from YouTube online sites or shot with your 4K devices recorders, when you try to open the 4K video with QuickTime Player - Mac's default media player, you may encounter the following problem:

"My friend gave me a 4K resolution video. When I used QuickTime player, the video is very sharp and some of the text in it can't be seen correctly. However when I used VLC to play it, it played without any errors and I can clearly see the text. I like the UI of QuickTime player, so is there any way to make it appear on QT?"

Why QuickTime player can't handle 4K video?

Let's be honest : appart of the UI, Quicktime X a crapy software in term of compatibility. And it became crappier since the development of Perian has stopped. And on Mavericks it's even worse (Perian doesn't work anymore ...). The cause : QuickTime X is based on the AV Foundation Framework which is only powerful with H.264 stuff (yeah the file format sold on iTunes).

Solution to fix QuickTime player not play 4K video

1. Use QuickTime alternative to play 4K Video

Besides VLC, you can also play 4K video with the following powerful but free 4K video player.

5K Player

5KPlayer is a new and a pretty powerful video player in terms of playing the HD videos. Apart from playing 4K videos, 1080p HD videos smoothly, it also lets you play 5K videos, which is the biggest advantage of this player over other players.

Media Player Classic and K-Lite Codec Pack

Media Player Classic, also known as MPC, is an open source free media player, mimicking the look and feel of Windows Media Player 6.4. As a matter of fact, MPC on its own cannot play 4K UHD videos. It needs the help from K-Lite Codec Pack. To make things easier, you are suggested to download K-Lite Codec Pack full package which covers Media Player Classic. Despite that it can work on even the oldest computers, you still need a more powerful system to perform 4K playback.


The KMPlayer at first only serves for Windows users. But in April, 2016, a Mac alpha version was released for Mac users with OS X 10.6 or later operating system. It supports for a wide range of file formats and can play videos in superb quality, including 4K UHD. According to the description in its official site, the PC edition only works on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7(32bit). If you need a 4K video player for Windows 10, 8.1 or 7, you'd better choose another program, such as 5KPlayer.

Divx Player

This very popular and well known video player now supports playback of files up to 4K in resolution. It supports DivX HEVC video with the HEVC plugin, as well as regular DivX and DivX Plus. DivX Player is promoted as a very high quality media player and is one of the most popular choices. Some of the unique features that are well worth mentioning with this software including the ability to quickly switch between subtitles in various languages. You can also easily flick through different soundtracks in order to hear features like the director's commentary, or the motion picture in another language when available.

Related articles: 3 Ways to Play MKV on QuickTime Player | Open MP4 with QuickTime Player | Fix AVI Not Playing on QuickTime Player

2. Compress and convert 4K for QuickTime Player

If you fail to open certain 4K video with above listed free 4K video player or can't get a smooth 4K playback effect on above listed 4K video player, then it would be ideal for you to convert and compress unsupported 4K to QuickTime player most favorable QuickTime MOV format.

Here, you can get the job easily completed with our powerful 4K Video Converter for Mac - Pavtube Video Converter for Mac, Which has full support for all 4K container file format such as 4K AVI, 4K WMV, 4K MP4, 4K MKV, 4K FLV, 4K MOV, 4K TS, 4K MXF, 4K XAVC/XAVC S, etc and 4K compression codec like H.264, H.265, Prores. You can batch load multiple 4K video into the program at one time for converting to QuickTime player most favorable QuickTime mov files with super fast conversion speed and perfect output file quality.

To compress 4K video to 1080p, click "Settings" on the main interface to open "Profile Settings" window, in video section, from "Size(pix)" drop-down list, select "1980*1020" or "1080*720" to get smooth playback experience on QuickTime Player. You can also tweak other settings according to your own needs.

Step by Step to Convert and Compress 4K Video for QuickTime Player

Step 1. Add 4K Video Files

Launch the QuickTime Video Converter for Mac. Drag & drop 4K video files to the program directly and your files would be added instantaneously. Or you can head to the "Add video" button to locate the 4K videos you want to add.

Load 4K Video files

Step 2. Set Output Format

Select output format in the "Format" bar. Here "Common Video -> MOV " QuickTime (*.mov)" is highly recommended as the output format.

Output QuickTime Player supported file format

Step 3: Compress 4K to 1080p.

Click "Settings" on the main interface to open "Profile Settings" window, in video section, from "Size(pix)" drop-down list, select "1980*1020" or "1080*720".

Step 4. Start 4K video to QuickTime player conversion.

Click "Convert" to let this smart converter start transcoding 4K to QuickTime .mov with 1080p or 720p resolution on Mac. When the conversion is done, you can play the converted videos in QuickTime player without hassle.

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