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How to Open and Play MKV Files on a Mac – 3 Easy Methods

    How to Open and Play MKV Files on a Mac

    MKV is a popular and versatile video file format that stands for Matroska Video. It supports many advanced features like multiple audio tracks, subtitles, chapter points, and rich metadata support. However, Macs do not natively support playing MKV files. When you try to open an MKV file on a Mac, you’ll get an error saying the file cannot be opened. 

    Luckily, there are a few easy ways to get around this limitation and play MKV files on your Mac. In this guide, I’ll show you three simple methods to play MKV videos on a Mac – using VLC media player, Elmedia player, and converting MKV to MP4.

    Method 1: Use VLC Media Player

    One of the easiest ways to play MKV files on a Mac is to use the free, open-source VLC media player. VLC supports playback for just about any audio or video format you can think of including MKV. 

    To play MKV files using VLC:

    1. Download and install the newest version of VLC media player on your Mac.

    To download the VLC media player for Mac, please visit:

    2. Once installed, open VLC and click on File > Open File from the menu bar. 

    3. Browse and select the MKV file you want to play.

    4. VLC will begin playing the MKV video with no issues. 

    5. You can also adjust audio tracks and enable subtitles if available within the MKV file.

    The benefit of using VLC is that it’s 100% free and works perfectly for playing back MKV and other media files. The interface is straightforward and user-friendly.

    Method 2: Use Elmedia Player

    Elmedia Player is another great free media player for Mac that can handle MKV playback. The free version of Elmedia works well for MKV files.

    Here’s how to use Elmedia to play MKV:

    1. Download and install Elmedia Player on your Mac.

    To download Elmedia Player for Mac, please visit::

    2. Open the application and click the Open button.

    3. Browse and select the MKV file you want to play. 

    4. Elmedia will play the MKV file flawlessly.

    Elmedia provides some additional handy features when playing MKV or other videos including:

    – Ability to stream audio and video via AirPlay.

    – Options to tweak subtitles, playback speed, aspect ratio and more. 

    – Supports online videos and YouTube playback as well.

    So if you want a Mac-centric media player with robust options, check out Elmedia. The free version works fine for MKV playback.

    Method 3: Convert MKV to MP4

    The last method to play MKV files on a Mac is to convert them to the MP4 format. Since MP4 is natively supported, this allows you to play the videos in QuickTime and other Mac apps.

    To convert MKV to MP4:

    1. Download and install the free Handbrake video converter.

    2. Open Handbrake and click on the Source button to import your MKV file.

    3. In the preset list, choose Format: MP4 File.

    4. Click Browse to set the output file name and location. 

    5. Finally, click on Start Encode to convert MKV to MP4.

    The process can take a while depending on the MKV file size but works reliably. The resulting MP4 file will play on your Mac just like any other video file.

    The benefit of converting to MP4 is you can use QuickTime, Preview, and other built-in Mac apps to play the video. It also takes up less space compared to MKV typically. The drawback is it takes some time to convert.

    For more detailed insights on MP4 versus MKV, please visit:


    While Macs don’t support MKV playback out of the box, you have a few great options to access MKV files on a Mac. VLC and Elmedia are perfect media player choices. Converting to MP4 also works if you prefer QuickTime or want smaller files.

    With these handy methods, you can now easily play MKV movies, shows, and other video content on your Apple Mac computer. Try out these options to enjoy MKV files on your Mac.