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How to Play MKV Files on Mac

play mkv on macMKV is a popular video file format that reads metadata encoded in files such as subtitle, menus and chapter points. This is also one reason why many people prefer using this format to watch movies, live streaming events, and other videos requiring synchronization, for example, a sports event or a concert. However, if you're using Mac, you will find that it's a bit difficult to play MKV on Mac as the default Quicktime Player doesn't support the MKV format and its codec. So is there any working way to open and play MKV files on Mac? Yes, there are some solutions and today we're going to talk about the most effective 3 ways.

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Play MKV Files on Mac with Quicktime using Plug-ins

Quicktime is one of those video players that does not support the MKV file. The most common error you will receive is "Error Message: Error – 2018: the file is not a movie file". or similar. Most people will go for installing a codec pack to fix the problem. That's a good option, but there is also a better way to watch MKV on Mac. You can also download a plug-in that can help you decode, open, and recognize the file. You can use Perian. Perian is an open-source plug-in that is compatible with QuickTime player. As soon as you download it on your Mac, it automatically syncs with Quicktime.

Step 1 Download and install Perian

Download and install Perian on your Mac. Set-up the tool correctly according to the set-up wizard. Find the file that says, "Perian.dmg." If the Mac computer does not read the file, make sure to change your security settings from the GateKeeper. Disable it by going to "system preferences" and choose security and privacy. Under the "apps downloaded from" select "enable anyway."

open security

Step 2 Play the MKV video on Mac

Click on "Okay this time, then restart your computer, then launch the Quicktime player, and play the MKV file.


Also, there is one thing you should know about this plug-in. The developer discontinues the updates and support of this plug-in.

Use VLC Media Player to Play MKV on Mac

If you are not satisfied with Quicktime Player, you can use VLC. Choosing VLC, you are sure that it can play almost all file formats and can have the capability to convert the file for your benefit. Well, it can do both. VLC is one of the most used video players because it supports some of the most difficult play formats. It is quite popular for many even if you do not use a plug-in or a codec. The consistency of the player's performance is one reason people are getting hooked with this player. Meanwhile, here is how you can play MKV files on Mac.


Step 1 Visit the official website of VLC

By visiting the official website of VLC, you can download and install the app on your Mac. Follow the set-up wizard correctly.


Step 2 Download and install VLC Media Player

Open the plug-in package and install it. To unwrap the file, drag VLC by clicking the VLC logo.


Step 3 Authenticate the Permission

Click "authenticate" the enter your Mac computer user name and password.

authenticate step

Convert MKV to MOV or MP4 for Easy Playback on Mac

The last recommended way to play and watch MKV on Mac is to convert MKV to Mac-friendly formats like MOV and MP4. To get the job done, you can use Acethinker Video Master. It is a powerful tool that can convert videos to different formats like MKV, AVI, WMV, H.264, MKV, 3GP, FLV, SWF, HTML5, M4V, MOV, VOB, MP3, AAC, WMA, M4A, WAV, OGG, etc. Aside from that, you can merge two or more videos before converting them. Follow the steps below to convert the MKV video for easier playback on Mac.

Step 1 Download and install Video Master

Download and Install the app on your Mac. Use the download buttons below to easily download it, instead of going to the home page. Then, make sure the video in the MKV file is saved on your computer storage.

Try it for Free

Step 2 Import the MKV Video

Click on the "Convert" tab, then drag and drop the file in the main interface or you can click the "add file" at the center of the main interface and locate the file you want to convert.

video master import

Step 3 Choose a Format

Once the file is uploaded, click the format dropdown located at the bottom of the main interface. Under "settings" dropdown choose, MOV or MP4. These two formats are supported by Quicktime Player, so these are the best options for you. Before converting, choose the output video quality among the options. You can also retain the original quality if you want to.

select format

Step 4 Start to Convert MKV on Mac

Finally, click the "Convert" button and wait until the file is successfully converted. Open the file folder where the file is saved and try playing the video using QuickTime player.

convert file

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