Fix common audio and video issues

(Redirected from Video or audio does not play)

Sometimes, the video or audio content in a web page cannot be properly downloaded and displayed in Firefox. This article will help you solve these problems.

Note: If you're having trouble with a website, click the Fx57GreenPadlockFx70GreyPadlock icon in the address bar to see if Firefox has blocked parts of the page that are not secure. See Mixed content blocking in Firefox for details.

Allow autoplay of media with sound

Firefox may be blocking media with sound from playing automatically. To allow media autoplay, see Allow or block media autoplay in Firefox.

You may need to install the required PulseAudio software

If you see a notification saying "To play audio, you may need to install the required PulseAudio software", it means that Firefox cannot find or use PulseAudio. The PulseAudio software is required to play any audio from Firefox. Most Linux distributions now come with PulseAudio pre-installed.

Use your system's software package manager and ensure that PulseAudio is correctly installed.

HTML5 audio and video

Firefox has built in support for open media formats usually associated with MP3, WebM, Ogg and Wave containers. However, MP3 and MP4 containers usually depend on platform decoders for MP3, AAC and H.264 audio and video streams. For more information, see Fix video and audio playback problems on Firefox for Windows and HTML5 audio and video in Firefox.

Clear the cache

See How to clear the Firefox cache.

Disable interfering extensions or ad-blocking software

Ad-blocking software, such as anti-banner filters of your Internet Security program, or extensions, such as Flashblock or Adblock Plus, can prevent audio or video content from playing.

Check some Firefox settings

  • Cookies:
  1. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select Options.Preferences.Settings.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel and go to the Cookies and Site Data section.
  3. Verify that cookies are enabled and that the site is not blocked in the Exceptions list.
  • History:
  1. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select Options.Preferences.Settings.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel and go to the History section.
  3. Make sure that Firefox is set to Remember history.
  • Pop-up windows:
  1. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select Options.Preferences.Settings.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel and go to the Permissions section.
  3. Allow the website as an exception to the "Block pop-up windows" setting.

Flash Plugin

End of Flash support: Like other browsers and Adobe, Firefox ended Flash support at the end of 2020. Please see End of support for Adobe Flash for more information.
The Flash plugin is used for embedded audio and video on some websites. When the Flash plugin is missing, a message will appear in place of the content:

  • "A plugin is needed to display this content" indicates that the plugin is not installed on your machine.
    flash required fx35

See Install the Flash plugin to view videos, animations and games and Flash Plugin - Keep it up to date and troubleshoot problems.

Note: If Flash is disabled in the Add-ons Manager, you won't be able to use it.

  1. Click the menu button Fx57menu, click Fx57Addons-icon Add-onsFx57Addons-icon Add-ons and Themes and select Plugins.
  2. Review the list of plugins.
    • To enable Flash, click on Never Activate and select Ask to Activate in its drop-down menu.

If you see a Run Adobe Flash icon on web pages, where the plugin content should be, you'll need to click on the icon to activate the plugin:


For more information, see Why do I have to click to activate plugins?.

Allow Plugin Container in your Internet security program

Allow your Internet security software (including firewalls, antivirus programs, anti-spyware programs, and more) to trust Plugin Container for Firefox. For detailed instructions, see Configure firewalls so that Firefox can access the Internet where in that case Firefox means Plugin Container for Firefox.

Reset preferences

See Reset Firefox preferences to troubleshoot and fix problems.

Remove specific entries in the hosts file (advanced users)

If you use a hosts file, you can temporarily disable it by renaming it Xhosts. Or, you can edit the hosts file to remove specific entries such as that can cause videos on certain sites to fail (for more information, see this MozillaZine forum thread). To apply changes to your hosts file, you may need to flush the DNS cache by entering the command: ipconfig /flushdns in the Run dialog box on Windows.

Based on information from Video or audio does not play (mozillaZine KB)

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