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Plex Media Server Not Finding MP4 Files, Solved!

Plex Server not finding a MP4 movie

I have the latest version [] of Plex server installed and I'm using it with my Roku. I've added a movie [MP4] to my movies folder, in the Plex server, but Plex isn't finding it. I have tried restarting the Plex server, rescanning the library, putting the MP4 in a different folder, I have tried renaming the file and I have actually tried converting it; Plex server is just not finding the file/movie.

I've been very pleased with Plex up to this point; it's very frustrating.
I'm not understanding why it can't find this movie file. Is there a way to force Plex server to find it?

Why your MP4 content not found by Plex?

Naming and organization

The biggest reason by far for items to not be found during a Library update is due to naming. To let Plex's scanners quickly find your content, make sure to name and organize the content in an expected way. Two broad guidelines can often help here, too:
- The movie scanners will skip content that is named like a television episode (including date-based episodes)
- The TV scanners will skip content that is not named like a television episode

Plex Media Server

Excluded content

Content might be excluded explicitly by use of a .plexignore file or the file/folder name might include a special word that can trigger it to be ignored. Some content - including ISO, IMG, VIDEO_TS, BDMV, and other disk image content - is also automatically excluded.

Disk Image Format Content
If your content is in a "disk image" format (e.g. ISO, IMG, VIDEO_TS, or similar), those are not supported by Plex Media Server. You can, however, convert the content to a compatible format.

Copy In Progress

Another thing that can cause issues is if you're copying content to the drive and directly into the content location. In such a situation, when the content copy first starts, the Plex Media Server scanner will note the change and then wait 60s. If nothing else has changed at that point, it will perform a library update.

However, if your content is copying and takes longer than a minute, then it's possible for a situation to occur where the scan occurs before the copy finishes. Subsequent scans would not actually look in the directory because the mtime (modification time) wasn't updated once the copy finished.

The easy solution for that is to not copy the content directly to your content location on the drive. Instead, copy it to another location/folder on the drive first and then when the copying is completed, move it into the standard content location.


If no content at all is being found or you're unable to see particular directories when trying to set up a Library, you may be encountering permission issues. The user account under which your Plex Media Server is running needs to have "permission" to access your content. For Windows or OS X installs, this will almost always be the user account logged into the computer. For Linux Plex Media Server installs, it will usually be the plex:plex user.

The user account needs to have at least read and execute permission for the directories and content.

Convert MP4 to Plex supported file formats

If the problem is caused due to format incompatible issues, to let Plex recognize your MP4 files, the best solution for you is to convert MP4 to Plex native support format with the compatible profile settings listed as below:
Container: MP4
Resolution: 1920x1080 or smaller
Video Encoding: H.264 (level 4.0 or lower)
Video Framerate: 30fps
Video Bit Depth: 8
Audio Encoding: AAC

Here, you can easily complete the conversion with a simple to use application - Pavtube Video Converter for Windows/ Mac ( best Mac Video Converter Review), which can easily transcode MP4 encoded file with any codec such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC, VC-1, WMV, Real Video, Theora, VP8, VP9, MVC, etc to Plex Media Server native playback H.264 video and AAC audio for streaming from computer to TV via Roku, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360/One, etc.

Apart from that, to get Plex best video playing settings, you can flexibly adjust the output profile parameters in the program's "Profile Settings" window, you can change the output video codec as H.264, audio codec as AAC, output file resolution as "1920*1080" or lower than that in "Size(pix)" drop-down list, video frame rate as 30fps.


Besides MP4, the program also has the capability to transcode other incompatible file formats such as Yify MKV, AVI, WMV, MKV, FLV, etc to Plex playable format. For streaming Blu-ray/DVD disc, BDMV folder, Video_TS folder or ISO image files, just turn to Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate for Windows/ Mac.

How to Convert MP4 for Plex Media Server Playing and Streaming?

Step 1. Import MP4 video files.

Launch the program, click "Load file(s)" or "Add video" button to load the MP4 video file you want to convert in your PC into the program.

Step 2: Choose proper output format.
Click "Format" bar, from its drop-down option, select to output Plex best playable video formats by following "HD Video" > "H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)".

Step 3: Adjust to output best profile settings for Plex.
Click "Settings" to open "Profile" settings window, click "Codec" to choose H.264, "Size(pix)" to select 1920*1080 or smaller resolution according to your own situation, "Frame Rate" to choose "30" and in Audio section, click "Code" to choose "AAC".

Step 4: Begin the conversion process.
Go back to the main interface, click right-bottom "Convert" button to start MP4 to Plex supported H.264 HD codec conversion process.
When the conversion is done, click "Open Output Folder" button to pop out the folder with converted files, then  add converted files to plex for playing with Plex app on different devices.

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