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How Do I Play MKV on Mac – Different Ways

Well, watching movies on a laptop is not actually the best way to do it, however, you can’t carry a TV on the Plane, yet. However, the Quicktime Player handles all of my media content along with ease, there are many formats that it still can’t really recognize. The MKV format is actually one of the famous ones in the movie industry due to its unlimited storage capacity. In this article, we are going to talk about How Do I Play MKV on Mac – Different Ways. Let’s begin!

The MKV format is actually an open and free container format that can actually hold an infinite number of audio, video, and text files in a single file as well. This basically makes it an excellent format for TV shows, movies, actually.

There are a lot of options to play MKV files on Mac however, we’ll select the easiest three;

  • Install a QuickTime Plugin
  • Install a third-party Player
  • Convert the Video

How Do I Play MKV on Mac – Different Ways

Play MKV Files on Mac via QuickTime Plugin

Quicktime Player is basically the default video player for macOS. Yes, it does lack a few features that other players have however, it is nothing a plugin won’t fix. Perian is a really famous Plugin for QuickTime Player which also lets you play MKV videos on your Mac.

You can download the Plugin setup file from the official website.

Your download should automatically start and when the file is downloaded, then you can simply open the downloads through tapping the downloaded button on the tray. Then tap on ‘Perian.dmg’ in order to begin the setup.

It would actually show the error just like the figure below, which says “Perian can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”. Worry not, you guys can easily delete this error, through temporarily turning off the security blanket of GateKeeper.


  • In order to disable Gatekeeper, just open ‘System Preferences’ by searching in the Spotlight or from the Apple menu. It would open the settings window and you can tap on ‘Security & Privacy’.
  • After that, you’d see the section that says ‘Allow apps downloaded from’ and also a button ‘Open Anyway’. Press the button to override the default action.

play mkv on mac

  • If your Mac has also a password, you have to enter it again to authenticate it. Make sure that you enter the Administrator’s name and password or else it won’t install the plugin actually.
  • Then this will open the installer and you just have to tap ‘Perian.prefPane’ in order to begin the installation.
  • Ignore this warning and permit it through tapping ‘Okay‘. It automatically installs all of the important files and you just have to wait for it to finish actually.
  • After you guys finish the installation, you’ll then see a window similar to the one below. You guys can close it now as the Plugin is successfully installed actually.

play mkv on mac with Plugin


  • No additional Player needed
  • Easy installation and integration
  • Open-sourced
  • Converts MKV to mp4 as well


  • Slow loading speeds

Now, you guys can open any file from your system along with QuickTime Player and it would start loading rather than showing you an error. Relying on the Size of the file, it may also take some time.


This Plugin basically converts the MKV file to MP4 and that’s why it takes a little while in order to load. When it does, you can watch the video without any problems on your QuickTime Player. If you guys close the window, you will get a pop-up that would suggest that you save the file in MP4 format. You guys can save the file in MP4 format and play that rather.

Play MKV Files on Mac with VLC


  • Support for a huge variety of Plugins
  • Native support for MKV
  • Sleek UI


  • Problems along with 4K playback

The last method works great if you want to keep via QuickTime Player as your main media player on the PC. The Plugin is still a workaround and slow whenever compared along with other media players.

The VLC media player is one of the most famous video players out there. And the popularity keeps growing due to its consistent and reliable performance and support for a wide range of formats and codecs. You guys can install VLC in order to play MKV files and other formats without even installing any special plugin. You can also even set it as a default media player on mac.

  • Head to the VLC’s website and then download the latest package or click this link.
  • It then opens the download page and beings the download in a few seconds as well.
  • When the download is finished. Double-tap on the package in the Downloads in order to install it.
  • When it unwraps the container, you’ll see a window just like the one below, you have to drag the traffic cone to the applications folder through tapping and holding the icon.
  • It would prompt you along with an authentication pop-up, and tap on the ‘Authenticate’ button in order to begin the installation.
  • It also may ask you for the login credentials. Enter the administrator username and password and tap on ‘Modify Settings‘.

play mkv on mac

  • VLC media player would also install and now you guys can play any MKV file with the VLC media player. Now simply right-click the MKV file and choose ‘Open With’. Tap on the VLC icon. It begins to play the video without any hiccup.

Play MKV Files on Mac With Handbrake


  • Multiple files can be converted all at once
  • Multiple presets are also available
  • Full control over dimensions, audio, chapters, etc


  • Only converts to MP4

If for any reason, you guys can’t use the above two methods. Then converting the MKV files to a supported format is actually the best option. Using a web converter is both time-consuming and slow, considering you have to first upload, convert, and then download the converted file again as well.

Handbrake is basically an open-sourced video transcoder that is used in order to rip DVDs and it also lets you convert MKV files to mp4. Download Handbrake on your mac would take no up to five minutes. Head to the website.


  • It would then open the container and you guys can tap on the Handbrake icon in order to open the converter.
  • If you want to select an MKV file for conversion, then press the ‘Open Source’ button on the top left corner of the window.

play mkv on mac

  • Choose the file from the computer via browsing to the folder that wants.
  • After you select the file(s), you can also choose presets, and adjust video duration. You guys can edit dimensions, filters, video, audio of the output file as well. Well, after you guys the tweaks, choose the output folder and then tap on start.
  • After the conversion, The output file is then automatically stored at the destination address. You guys can then open the folder and play the file on any media player or send it to other devices via iTunes.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this “play mkv on mac” article and also find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries and issues related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to Listen to Audible on Mac – Tutorial

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Windy Moore

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