MOV video files not opening in Photoshop 2022

When I try to open a .mov file, an iPhone video, in photoshop 2022 for Windows, I am getting the error, “Could not open “IMG_*****.MOV” because the video file could not be opened“.

Why Photoshop 2022 can’t open MOV video files?

When I go to Photoshop File menu > Open > All Formats, I can see MOV file extension is in the supported video files list. Could this be a codec issue? On my iPhone, the camera capture mode is set to High Efficiency from Settings > Camera > Formats.

iphone camera settings video capture formats

So videos will be captured in the HEVC codec other than H.264. I tried to switch the camera mode on iPhone. Once a video is captured under the Most Compatible mode, it can be opened in Photoshop without any problem or error. What’s the difference between video codec and format? Scroll down to the bottom of this page, we will have it explained there. For those existing video that were encoded with the HEVC (H.265), we can convert them using a video tool. Here we’d like to share two workaround with VLC Media Player or Windows Photos app.


Method 1. Convert a video with VLC media player

I found VLC media player is the perfect solution for Windows users. It is cross-platform, easy-to-use, free and open source. Following are the quick steps to transcode a video to H.264 or other codec using VLC on Windows PC.

vlc media player logo

Launch VLC player on your PC. Click Media > Convert / Save …. from the top menu bar to open a new dialog as below.

vlc media player for windows - open media

Click +Add button in the File Selection section to find and import the video. Then hit the Convert / Save button to open a new window like this.

vlc media player for windows - convert MOV video, choose video profile

Here you can choose a profile from the Profile drop-down menu. For example, you can choose Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4) as the profile. Optionally click Customize button for more options like format, video codec, audio codec, and subtitles.

In the Destination section, click Browse button to select the output folder where you like to export the video to. Choose a different location or folder to avoid overwriting the original video when you export or save the video.

When you are ready, hit the Start button to encode the video with the new codec specified above.

When finished, open the output folder to find the converted MOV video file and open it with Photoshop on your Windows computer.

Method 2. Trim a video with Windows Photos app

By accident, I found the Windows Photos app (current version 2022.31070.26005.0, could be the most recent version as of Sep 2022) in Windows 11 can also convert videos from H265 to H264 when trimming a video. This may change however with future updates to the Photos app. See how to do a quick trim of videos in Windows Photos app. By the way, Photos app also includes the ability to save a video in a different format, this however only changes the file extension in its name, the video codec won’t change with this conversion.

Trim a video in Windows Photos app on Windows 11 computer

What’s the difference between video codec and format?

The short answer is codec is the algorithm that compresses the video file, and format is the container that holds one or more codecs such as audio, video, or even data. The format container, indicated by the file extension, holds information about the video, audio, the file metadata and how the data is structured.