How to Open a WebM File

Whenever a three-letter abbreviation appears in common computer talk, those not in the know might be confused. Most of the time, these refer to the file extensions, the final portion in the file name, the one that comes after the dot sign.

How to Open a WebM File

One such file type is WebM. To add to the confusion, this extension has four, instead of three letters. For example, a friend might send you a file “my_funny_cat_video.webm” by email. If so, chances are you might not be able to open it. To do so, you will need a compatible plug-in or an app to help you.

How to Open a WebM File in Windows

To open stand-alone WebM files on desktop and laptop computers running Windows, you can use one of the browsers that support this format. These include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. To open the file this way, do the following.

  1. Open the file’s location on your computer.
  2. Right-click on the file then click Open with from the menu.
  3. Click Choose another app.
  4. Click the More apps link towards the bottom of this menu.
  5. Click on one of the suggested browsers that support WebM files. If you do not see your preferred app on the menu from Step 5, then you should click Look for another app on this PC.
  6. Now, you will have to browse the folder where the app’s files are located and select the executable file for that app. Once you do that, the app will appear in the Choose another app menu. You might want to use this app for opening WebM files in the future. If so, tick the checkbox next to Always use this app to open WebM files.

Besides web browsers, you can also use one of the compatible media player apps. The most popular such app is VLC Player. It is free, relatively small, and works perfectly with any type of media files, both audio and video.

Of course, there are other apps that work with WebM files as well, so you might consider checking them out. First of all, there is Windows Media Player. Although it does not play WebM videos right out of the box, the simple installation of DirectShow Filters add-on will do the trick. Next, it is worth mentioning another three alternative apps you could use. These are MPlayer, KMPlayer, and Miro. They provide tons of support for almost any media file imaginable and work both on computers and mobile devices.

How to Open a WebM File in Mac OS X

Like Windows, to play WebM videos you can use any of the browsers mentioned above on the Mac. Although Apple’s native Safari browser can’t play these files on its own, there’s a VLC plugin that will allow you to do so.

Of course, when you install VLC for Mac OS X, you’ll also have the benefit of using the stand-alone app. This will allow you to play any WebM video you might receive or download. It’s worth mentioning that just like with Windows, you can also use MPlayer, KMPlayer, and Miro on your Mac as well.

How to Open a WebM File on a Chromebook

When it comes to Google’s Chromebook laptops, playing WebM videos is native for these devices. Shipping out the support for most common media files, you can simply open a WebM file directly in Google Chrome and play it.

If you cannot open a WebM video, there can be only a couple of reasons for this. One; the file is corrupted or not properly encoded so it contains errors. If that is the case, you will not be able to play that file with any app. The best thing to do is to download the file again, just to make sure that is the reason why you are not able to play it.

Another reason could be that your Chromebook has some administrative restrictions on it. This might prevent you from accessing certain content online, as well as block any videos that you load. If there is a system administrator you can contact, it is best to check with them first. That will save you a lot of time experimenting with different apps.

How to Open a WebM File on an iPhone

With WebM being a file format that Google is propagating, it comes as no surprise that Apple devices do not readily work with it. First of all, Apple’s QuickTime does not have a codec that supports WebM videos. In order to play them on your iPhone, you will have to resort to other strategies.

The first scenario is when you want to watch a video on a website. Unfortunately, since it is a WebM video, your browser will not be able to play it. Worry not, for there is a solution in the form of a third-party app. PlayerXtreme Media Player is a free app that allows you to play any WebM video, as long as you know its URL address. Before you proceed, make sure you install the PlayerXtreme Media Player app from App Store.

  1. Open the Safari browser on your iPhone.
  2. Visit the page with WebM video you could not watch previously. Try to play the video and the new browser window will open for that video.
  3. Now tap More (three dots).
  4. From the list of available apps, tap Open in PlayerXtreme.
  5. Once you do that, the video will start playing.

Although PlayerXtreme is a common solution for iPhone users, you can also use the VLC for Mobile app. It is a free, open-source, and works great with WebM videos as well.

How to Open a WebM File on an Android Device

Contrary to Apple mobile devices, Android phones and tablets come with native support for WebM videos. If you are using Android 2.3 Gingerbread or newer, you will definitely be able to play them from the phone’s browser. And that is especially true if you are using Google Chrome.

But sometimes a WebM video may not play on your device, and there could be a number of reasons why that is the case. It could be that there was a problem when the file got encoded in the first place. Or perhaps you are using an app that does not support WebM on its own. Another reason could be that there were some interruptions in file transfer while loading the video, so the file is not playable.

Whatever the reason, it is always good to have an alternative app close by that is able to play WebM videos. And what could be better than an open-source, free-to-use app such as VLC Player? You can download the mobile version called “VLC for Android” from the Google Play store.

Additional FAQ

Why do we use WebM instead of more standard video file types like mp4 or mov?

WebM video format is specifically designed to perform best when playing online. They provide for great video quality with a relatively small file size. This allows for low bandwidth traffic when playing WebM videos, making them perfect for use on websites and web platforms.

Compared to that, MP4 and MOV files end up being much larger than the WebM file of the same length. Although both MP4 and MOV formats are regarded as a standard for the video quality, the files you end up with are huge. That’s definitely not something you’d like to stream, especially if you’re on a metered connection.

One of the best examples of the use of WebM is YouTube. Google’s video platform uses it when playing videos on every single internet browser that supports WebM. This includes Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft’s Edge.

Since it is open and royalty-free, this format is significant for the worldwide success of the internet. Just like HTML, HTTP, and TCP/IP, anybody can use WebM, without ever worrying about paying license fees.

What exactly is a WebM file?

WebM files are video files of a specific format. Just like the popular Matroska video files (MKV), WebM is based on that same format. It is an open-source format that is completely royalty-free and is primarily designed for use on the web.

Playing WebM Videos on Your Device

Hopefully, you have managed to play a WebM video on your computer or mobile device. Besides learning that you can use a web browser or a stand-alone app to play these videos, now you know even more. By understanding what WebM files are and why we use them, you’re getting a better understanding of modern web technologies and future trends.

Have you succeeded in playing WebM files on your computer? Why do you use WebM file format? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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