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I could really use some help figuring out this very weird issue I have with Twitter GIFs.

Some Twitter animated GIFs (which Twitter converts to MP4s, but I’ll refer to them as GIFs for simplicity’s sake) don’t work in my Windows PC’s Web browsers. This applies to some GIFs and not others – it seems to be something like a 30/70 work/don’t work split – and it affects both Firefox and Chrome on my PC, but not on my Android phone. (This applies to both the main Twitter site and the TweetDeck platform.)

For example, take this first GIF (direct link).

In Firefox on my PC, the GIF preview image loads, but clicking Play makes it go to black. Using the direct link also shows a blank space, with the video progress bar – even though it’s 7 seconds long– stuck at the end and the Play button doing nothing.

In Chrome on my PC, the GIF freezes on the first frame and clicking does nothing; the direct link shows the same as above, with the progress bar stuck.

Yet, in both Firefox and Chrome on my Android phone, the GIF works fine both in the tweet and using the direct link.

Now, take this second GIF (direct link).
It loads perfectly fine in all my browsers, on both PC and phone, whether in tweet-form or using the direct link. [Todd Howard voice] It just works.

That the issue only happens in my PC’s browsers, and in none of my phone’s, would indicate the cause is something on my PC … except it only affects some GIFs and not others, and I can’t imagine what the difference is between those that work and those that don’t.

I know it’s a minor thing overall but it’s weird and annoying so I really want to fix it. Any help in troubleshooting this would be greatly appreciated.

  • try to disable hardware acceleration in your PC browsers – user0 Jul 15 '19 at 22:41
  • @user0 Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately it didn’t work. No change. – Walter Jul 15 '19 at 23:14
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    I am having exactly the same issues... I have yet to find a solution. ;( – RogueDeus Sep 3 '19 at 20:16
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    @RogueDeus Still no fix here, unfortunately. I have to download the GIFs/MP4s and play them on my desktop to see them. – Walter Sep 4 '19 at 0:02
  • @Walter Are you running Win7 with an old NVIDIA Mobile GPU? I am, on both accounts, and this issue persists on all browsers for me. Regardless if I have hardware acceleration enabled. The GIF is either a blank box, or a frozen frame. They never play. – RogueDeus Oct 29 '19 at 9:26
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It's because those GIFs are MP4s coded with high levels (6.0 etc.) that normal hardware can't play.

In Chrome:

Disable "Hardware-accelerated video" decode in

chrome://flags
(type this is address bar)

Keep "normal" hardware acceleration on!

Chrome > Settings > Advanced > System > Use hardware acceleration when available

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  • I just tried this in Chrome and I can confirm it worked. That’s great, thanks. However, do you know how to fix the issue in Firefox too? On a whim I tried setting media.hardware-video-decoding.enabled to “false” and restarted the browser but nothing changed, the same GIFs/MP4s still don’t work. – Walter Oct 27 '19 at 23:15
  • That did fix Chrome. But I use Firefox as my main browser and there is no obvious similar way to do this. about:config has similar hardware decoding flags, but no combination of those, plus options>use hardware acceleration when available on or off, works. – RogueDeus Nov 7 '19 at 8:44
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I saw someone on reddit say this and it helped me too:

Had the same problem and turning off "Use hardware acceleration when available" solved it for me.

Chrome > Settings > Advanced > System > Use hardware acceleration when available

via: Twitter videos and gifs not playing

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I found this worked for me.
Open the Firefox menu and head to Preferences. Then, under General settings head to Performance. Uncheck Use recommended performance settings and close the browser.
After start-up Twitter gifs played automatically.

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