How to Play MKV Files on Mac.
Watching movies on a laptop isn’t the best way to do this, but you can’t carry your TV on an airplane yet. While Quicktime Player handles all my media content with ease, there are certain formats that it still doesn’t recognize. MKV format is one of the most popular in the film industry due to its unlimited storage capacity. In this guide, I will show you how to play MKV files on Mac. Let’s start.
The MKV format is an open and free container format that can contain an infinite number of audio, video and text files in a single file. This makes it a great format for TV shows, movies, and more.
There are several options for playing MKV files on Mac, but we’ll pick three of the easiest ones;
- Installing the QuickTime Plugin
- Installing a Third Party Player
- Video Conversion
1. Play MKV Files on Mac – QuickTime Plugin
Quicktime Player is the default video player for macOS. Yes, it lacks some features that other players have, but the plugin won’t fix anything. Perian is a popular plugin for QuickTime Player that lets you play MKV videos on your Mac.
Download the plugin installation file from the official website or from this link.
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Your download should start automatically, and once the file is downloaded, you can simply open the downloads by clicking the download button on the taskbar. Click “Perian.dmg” to start configuring.
This will show an error like the image below, which says “Perian cannot be open because it is from an unknown developer” . Don’t worry, you can easily remove this error by temporarily disabling the GateKeeper protection shell.
To turn off Gatekeeper, open System Preferences by searching in Spotlight or the Apple menu ï£¿. A settings window will open and you can click “Security and Privacy”.
After that, you will see the section “Allow downloading applications from” and the button “Open anyway”. Click the button to cancel the default action.
If your Mac has a password, you’ll need to enter it again to confirm it. Make sure you enter the admin username and password, otherwise it won’t install the plugin.
The installer will now open and you just need to click “Perian.prefPane” to start the installation.
Ignore this warning and resolve it by clicking OK. It automatically installs all the necessary files and you just have to wait for it to complete.
After the installation is complete, you will see a window similar to the one below. You can close it now as the plugin has been successfully installed.
Play MKV file using plugin
Now you can open any file from your system with QuickTime Player and it will start loading instead of showing you an error. This may take some time depending on the file size.
This plugin converts MKV file to MP4, so it takes some time to download. Once this happens, you can watch videos on your QuickTime Player without any problems. If you close the window, a pop-up window will appear asking you to save the file in MP4 format. You can save the file in MP4 format and play it.
- No additional player required.
- Easy installation and integration
- Open source
- Also converts MKV to mp4.
- Slow download speed
2. Play MKV files on Mac with VLC
The latter method works great if you want to continue using QuickTime Player as your primary media player on your computer. The plugin is still a workaround and slow compared to other media players.
VLC media player is one of the most popular video players and its popularity continues to grow due to its stable and reliable performance and support for a wide range of formats and codecs. You can install VLC to play MKV files and other formats without installing any special plugin. You can even set it as the default media player on Mac.
Go to the VLC website and download the latest package or click on this link.
It opens the download page and starts the download after a few seconds.
Once the download is complete. Double click the package in Downloads to install it.
When it expands the container, you will see a window similar to the one below. You need to drag the traffic cone to the Applications folder by clicking and holding the icon.
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An authentication pop-up will appear. Click the “Authentication” button to start the installation.
It may ask you for your login credentials. Enter your administrator username and password and click Change Settings.
The VLC media player will be installed and you can now play any MKV file with the VLC media player. Just right-click the MKV file and choose “Open With”. Click the VLC icon. Starts playing videos without crashing.
- Support for a large number of plugins.
- Built-in MKV support.
- Elegant interface
- 4K playback issues
3. Play MKV files on Mac using Handbrake
If for some reason you cannot use the above two methods. Converting MKV files to a supported format is the best option. Using the web converter is time-consuming and time-consuming considering you have to download, convert, and then download the converted file first.
Handbrake is an open source video transcoder which is used to rip DVD and also allows you to convert MKV files to mp4. Installing Handbrake on your Mac will take less than five minutes. Go to the website or click this link to download the installation package.
Start by clicking the downloaded package in the Downloads folder.
It will open the container and you can click the handbrake icon to start the converter.
To select an MKV file to convert, click the “Open Source” button in the upper left corner of the window.
Select the file on your computer by navigating to the desired folder.
After selecting the file (s), you can select presets and adjust the video duration. You can edit dimensions, filters, video, audio of the output file. After you are done with the settings, select the output folder and click “Start”.
After conversion, the output file is automatically saved to the destination. You can open the folder and play the file on any media player, or send to other devices using iTunes.
- You can convert multiple files at once.
- Several presets are available.
- Full control over sizes, sound, chapters, etc.
- Converts to MP4 only
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3 ways to play MKV files on Mac
These were 3 ways to play MKV files on Mac. Installing the plug-in is the easiest way to play MKV files if you don’t want to switch to a new media player, given that QuickTime is already powerful. I recommend installing VLC because it gives you much more than just MKV playback, even AirPlay (coming soon). Handbrake is best when you need to convert and transfer a file to iPhone, iPad and iPod. This gives you more control over the quality, and you can optimize your video for specific devices. Let us know which method you would use to play MKV files on Mac.