I attempted to record a long video with my Nexus 5, only to discover that the video stopped capturing partway through. I searched for a possible explanation, but nothing I found seems to match this particular case:

  • It doesn't appear to be a file size limitation, because the recording stopped at 3891MB (4,081,007,519 bytes), a ways off from 4GB.1
  • It doesn't appear to be a storage capacity limitation, as I had ~10 GB of free storage before the recording began
  • It doesn't appear to be a time-based limitation, as the recording stopped at 31:50, not a "rounded" number like 30:00 or 60:00
  • It doesn't appear to be a battery limitation, as I had ~47% battery after the recording had finished
  • I am not inclined to suspect a heat limitation, as I don't remember the phone feeling particularly warm when I picked it up -- although that wasn't until a couple minutes later

1 Additionally, the Nexus 5 stores to internal memory rather than an SD card, and I understand that the filesystem is ext4, which supports files well over 4GB

For what other reason would video stop recording? And how could I prevent this issue from occurring in the future?

This question and this question suggest installing a separate camera app; that will be the next thing I try. However, both of those questions solve a slightly different problem and do not offer an explanation as to why my video stopped recording.

For more information: I am running OS version 4.4.3 and I am using the default camera app. When I returned to the phone, the screen was still on, the app was still running, and I was able to record more video. The video saved properly and does not appear to be corrupt. I am fairly certain that the screen was not touched during the recording process. I was recording in 1080p from the back-facing camera.

  • Related android.stackexchange.com/questions/56243/…
    – Firelord
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:11
  • 2
    To reproduce the issue, I recorded a 4k video in my OPO. The app stopped with the toast "File size limit reached". (Note that Internal SD card is of type ext4 and isn't full yet.) The app recorded a video of duration 8:20 and size 3.80 GB (4,079,914,206 Bytes; Industry Standard of 1GB = 1000MB not 1024 MB). This is purely an app restriction in my case. Did you try recording the video again? It could be possible your default camera app also showed similar toast.
    – Firelord
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:03
  • 1
    @Firelord Good info. OP's 3891 MB / 1024 ~= 3.80 GB, might be mixing and matching mebibytes and megabytes. Commented May 29, 2015 at 21:09
  • 1
    @Firelord I think that's it! I tried it again and got the same toast: i.imgur.com/McT4kSk.jpg. Both videos were also ~3.80GB (4,081,007,519 and 4,080,981,125 bytes). Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 14:51
  • @user1354557 Good that you got the reason. Purely app restriction as it seems. Should I post it as an answer, or would you do the owner for a future reader?
    – Firelord
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


This issue of video stopping at the size ~3.80GB seems to be file size restriction embedded in the camera app, irrespective of the filesystem your SD card has, or the space left in it. (Note that some camera apps also has a default limitation of 1-hour video duration, however, it is not related to the relevant issue here.)

My default camera app in OnePlus One device gives me a toast "File size limit reached" when this file limit is reached by the camera recording 4k video for duration 8:20. Depending upon the resolution of your video the duration will vary.

It is also to be noted that the industry wide standard of 1GB is 1000MB compared to 1024MB of computer science, and so, (4000x1000x1000) / (1024x1024) = ~3815MB or ~3.8GB → where the video seems to stop finally.

  • A quick search reveals that folks tends to overcome this limitation by an app that loops a video by starting a new video once limitation is reached. Candidates are Looping Video Recorder, DashCam
    – Firelord
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 15:48
  • Cinema FV-5 also seems to overcome this issue by auto-starting a new file once limitation is reached. Saw the option in app but didn't try recording. Not much time, sorry!
    – Firelord
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 16:19

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