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Top 9 MKV Players for Mac to Play MKV Files on Mac

Windows got the native support of MKV format on Windows 10 in 2015, while Mac seems to have no update plan for this open-source container format. This makes it hard to play MKV files on Mac with the built-in media player – QuickTime Player. Because of this, the third-party MKV players for Mac surge to help you out.

For your reference, here are the top 9 dedicated Mac MKV players to help you play MKV files on Mac easily.

Can’t Play MKV on Mac? Convert MKV to Mac-supported Format to Play

MKV is not the format natively supported by Mac, so you can’t play MKV files with QuickTime Player. To make MKV playable on Mac, you can convert MKV files to Mac-supported formats like MP4 and MOV with a video converter like MacX Video Converter Pro.

Part 1. Top 9 MKV File Players for Mac Free Download

To help you get the desired option, here we do a new compilation of MKV player for Mac software, with their pros, cons, ratings, and reviews.

No.1: 5KPlayer

  • Price Availability: Free
  • Rating: 2.9/5 ★★★★☆ (Trustpilot)
  • Supported macOS: All versions of macOS

Born to be a GPU-accelerated 4K video player, 5KPlayer can play MKV files on Mac up to 4K and 8K fast, smoothly, and in high quality. It comes with built-in diverse audio and video codecs so it can play all mainstream media files, including MKV, M2TS, TS, MOD, TOD, MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, M4V, MPEG, H.264, FLV, etc.

"MKV stuttering playback", "unsupported video codec", "MKV no sound", etc. are the most notorious problem when playing MKV files. However, you will get rid of these if you use 5KPlayer as the default MKV player for Mac. Even the large and computer-intensive 4K HEVC/H.264 MKV videos can be handled easily once the Hardware acceleration mode is turned on.

Besides an MKV media player, 5KPlayer also plays DVDs, ISO Images, 360-degree videos, etc. Also, it supports live streaming M3U8/ internet radio, downloading online media files, DLNA streaming content to a smart TV, and AirPlay mirroring iPhone iPad at will. Due to its ease of use and rich features, 5KPlayer has received a chunk of thumbs up from customers worldwide.


  • Supports native (MP4, MOV) and non-native Mac formats (MKV, AVI, WMV, etc.).
  • Various customization settings.
  • Supports streaming protocols: AirPlay and DLNA.
  • Supports NVIDIA CUDA®, AMD, Intel® QSV, & DXVA 2.0 Hardware-acceleration.
  • Supports playlists.


  • Choppy performance when playing 4K videos at 60fps or 120fps.
  • Run in the background and have high CPU usage when you don’t use it.

No.2: VLC Media Player

  • Price Availability: Free, open-source
  • Rating: 4.3/5 ★★★★☆ (TechRadar)
  • Supported macOS: Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later
VLC Media Player

VLC is a world-famous cross-platform free media player running on Mac and Windows with over 4 billion downloads worldwide. It accepts a wide range of formats, ranging from 4K, HD Matroska, QuickTime file format, MP4, OGG, AAC, to DVD, Blu ray, without having to install any extra MKV codecs or filters. It also features functions, like live streaming, video conversion, DVD playback, and so on.

When using it as an MKV player for Mac, you don’t need any third-party help no matter whether the MKV video is using whatever codec or resolution. A range of customization options are prepared to let users adjust audio and video settings, apply filters and effects, install additional extensions, synchronize subtitles, loop videos, deinterlace videos, and so on.

Besides serving as the best free Mac MKV player, VLC is the first media player to play encrypted DVDs using the libdvdcss library, incomplete and damaged videos, as well as partially downloaded files. Also, it is available to create screencasts, record the desktop, and even convert MKV into various formats.


  • Free, open-source, and cross-platform.
  • Play all MKV files in HD and Blu-ray without extra codec packs.
  • Support almost all container formats, codecs, files, and streams.
  • Various customization options.
  • Supports AirPlay, DLNA, and Chromecast streaming.
  • Supports media conversion, live streaming, and recording.
  • Hardware Accelerated-supported.


  • Outdated layout and interface.
  • Choppy, crashing, mosaic, or frame dropping when playing 4K videos on Mac at 120fps.
  • It is hard to recognize the sub-codec of AV1-av01.
  • MKV playback errors, like VLC stuttering and grey screen, happen occasionally.

No.3: Elmedia Player

  • Price Availability: Free trial, $19.95 for the Pro version
  • Rating: 4.5/5 ★★★★☆ (Mac App Store)
  • Supported macOS: macOS 10.12 or later
Elmedia Player

Elmedia Player is not as famous as VLC but it remains my personal preference for the best free MKV player for Mac. It is a popular choice among Mac users for it is integrated with online media download, AirPlay, and DLNA streaming functions, and extensive support for nearly any video format imaginable, including MKV, FLV, SWF, WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4, MP3, MPG, etc.

There are many advanced playback controls for you to customize your MKV file playback on Mac. You can adjust the playback speed, change the aspect ratio, fine-tune audio settings, synchronize the subtitle files, and so on. You can also create customized playlists for uninterrupted playback of your favorite songs or videos. The built-in web browser lets you browse and stream online videos directly within the application. And the Picture-in-Picture mode allows you to shrink the playback window while doing other tasks on Mac.

In brief, Elmedia Player is a feature-rich multimedia player for Mac that supports various file formats and offers advanced playback controls. Whether you want to watch movies, listen to music, browse online videos, or stream content to external devices, Elmedia Player provides a comprehensive solution for all your media playback needs.


  • Supports almost all file formats: MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, etc.
  • Various advanced playback controls and video settings.
  • Subtitle support.
  • Playlist creation.
  • Enhance videos.
  • Chromecast, DLNA, and AirPlay support.
  • Built-in web browser to play online videos without ads.


  • Can’t stream AVI, FLV, MKV, 3GP.
  • 4K videos stream is not very fluent.
  • Some advanced features are available only in the Pro version.

No.4: Macgo Mac Media Player

  • Price Availability: Free trial, $29.95 and $39.95 for the Pro versions
  • Rating: 4.6/5 ★★★★☆ (Cnet)
  • Supported macOS: Mac OS X 10.6 - macOS 10.12
Macgo Mac Media Player

Macgo Mac Media Player is put atop the list of the best free MKV file players for Mac simply because it can play virtually any video file you throw at it, even for the oddball video formats, ranging from AVI, DVD, Blu-ray, Video CD, MOV, FLV, MPEG, AAC, MP4, MP3, to RMVB, AC3. You can watch videos of high definition up to 4K. That means you have no trouble playing MKV videos at 2610p, 1080p, 720p, etc.

The player delivers excellent video and audio quality, enabling users to enjoy detailed visuals while watching movies or videos. Many playback options are provided to enhance the MKV video playback experience, including loop playback, shuffle playback, single repeat, subtitle synchronization, etc.

Besides playing MKV files on Mac, Macgo Mac Media Player allows users to directly play online videos from the internet. It supports popular video streaming websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and others, enabling you to instantly watch videos without the need for downloading them. If needed, it also offers a screenshot function that allows you to capture favorite frames, and a conversion ability to convert videos into image sequences.


  • Play all file types, whether physical or digital.
  • Hardware Acceleration support.
  • High-quality media playback.
  • Subtitle support.
  • Online media streaming.


  • Limited advanced playback features, like DLNA streaming.
  • Occasional format compatibility issues.
  • The free version provides limited functionality.

No.5: MPlayer X

  • Price availability: $1.99
  • Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★★☆ (Mac App Store)
  • Supported macOS: Mac OS X 10.7 or later
MPlayer X

MPlayer X delivers the perfect balance between simplicity and performance when it comes to playing MKV files on Mac, thanks to its Mac-style minimalistic interface. Armed by FFmpeg and MPlayer components, MPlayer X can play media files the two support, like MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, etc. videos. Since it works properly on macOS computers and digests almost all popular codecs such as HEVC, H.264, MPEG, VP8/VP9, etc., many Mac users take MPlayerX media player as a standard part of their toolbox.

When acting as an MKV file player for Mac, it lets you have many controls over your media playback. You can add subtitles and customize the subtitles. You can adjust the volume, playback speed, and full-screen play your videos. As a Mac video player, it also supports Touch Bar on compatible MacBook Pro models, and supports AirPlay stream media wirelessly to AirPlay-supported devices like Apple TV.

It’s easy to handle but it’s comprehensive for high-definition videos. It leverages hardware acceleration to deliver efficient playback of HD and 4K videos, providing a seamless viewing experience. The player also includes advanced video processing capabilities such as image enhancement, color correction, and aspect ratio adjustment, allowing you to optimize the visual presentation according to your preferences. However, MPlayer X is reportedly bundled with viruses and adware that may harm your computer.


  • User-friendly and intuitive interface.
  • Wide format support, and plays high-definition videos.
  • Subtitle support and customization.
  • Gesture and keyboard controls.
  • Supports Touch Bar, AirPlay, Apple Remote, etc.
  • Plays YouTube, Vimeo, and many others through the video URLs directly.


  • Stop updating since 2016.
  • Limited customization options.
  • Can’t create a playlist.
  • Has difficulty in playing newer codecs like AV1, HEVC, VP9, etc.
  • High CPU usage and frequent system crashes.
  • Bundled with virus and adware.

No.6: MKPlayer

  • Price availability: Free trial, In-App purchases
  • Rating: 4.6/5 ★★★★☆ (Mac App Store)
  • Supported macOS: macOS 10.10 or later

MKPlayer (MKV & Media Player) is a media player application tailor-made for Mac computers. It provides a convenient and user-friendly platform for playing various multimedia files on your Mac. So, you can enjoy a wide range of audio and video formats such as MKV, MP4, AVI, and MOV. And play music and even online streams with just a few clicks.

When playing MKV files on Mac, this Mac MKV player also provides advanced playback controls, allowing you to adjust settings like playback speed, aspect ratio, subtitle synchronization, and movie playlist creation. If you prefer a bigger screen, this application also supports AirPlay technology, allowing you to stream MKV media files from your Mac to compatible devices like Apple TV.

BTW, this MKV video player offers you two options: free and paid. If you choose the free version, you can play MKV video files on macOS for free. If you purchase MKPlayer for $4.99, the TV playback feature is unlocked. More pro features will be accessible after you finish the in-app purchase at $6.99, including Safari Extension, MKV multi-track audio and multilingual subtitles playback, and video adjustment features.


  • Clean and intuitive interface.
  • Supports MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, and more without the need for additional codecs.
  • Advanced playback controls.
  • Customizable options: different themes and appearances to personalize the player.
  • Playlist creation.
  • AirPlay support.


  • Limited advanced features like media management or editing capabilities.
  • Lack of streaming services integration.
  • No official technical support channels.
  • Pro features need to be paid.

No.7: IINA

  • Price availability: Free, open-source
  • Rating: 4.4/5 ★★★★☆ (MacUpdate)
  • Supported macOS: Mac OS X 10.11 or later

Free and open-source, IINA is a Mac-based media player designed specifically for Mac users to play native and non-native Mac file formats smoothly. Undoubtedly, you can play MKV files on Mac with this tool. It supports a wide range of audio and video formats, including but not limited to MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, MP3, FLAC, etc. Thanks to the Hardware Acceleration technology, the 4K video playback is seamless and high-quality.

There are also extensive customization options. You can personalize the player's appearance by selecting from different themes, color schemes, and layouts. The shortcuts and gesture controls allow for convenient navigation and control during MKV file playback. If needed, you can load and customize subtitles easily.

Released under the GNU General Public License version 3, it is modern from its framework to the user interface. IINA offers a sleek and modern interface that blends well with the macOS aesthetics. Also, it integrates seamlessly with other macOS features and services like Force Touch, Touch Bar, Picture-in-Picture, Dark mode, and AirPlay streaming.

Overall, IINA is a feature-rich Mac MKV player that caters specifically to macOS users. Its user-friendly interface, extensive format support, customization options, and integration with macOS features make it a popular choice among Mac users who want a powerful and seamless MKV media playback experience.


  • Free and open-source.
  • Play diverse local file formats, online streams, and YouTube playlists.
  • Support for Chrome and Firefox extensions.
  • Supports Force Touch, Touch Bar, and Picture-in-Picture, Dark Mode, etc.


  • No screenshots feature.
  • Can’t play newer codecs like AV1.

No.8: Movist

  • Price availability: $4.99
  • Rating: 4.3/5 ★★★★☆ (Mac App Store)
  • Supported macOS: macOS 10.13 or later

Movist is another great MKV file player for Mac coming with a clean and intuitive user interface, making it easy to navigate and use. Besides MKV format, it also supports a wide range of media formats, such as MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, WMV, MP3, and FLAC. As a dedicated Mac media player, it integrated well with macOS features, including Touch Bar, AirPlay, and Retina Display support.

To give users an unprecedented media playback experience, Movist beefs itself up with advanced playback capabilities. The support for hardware acceleration decoding delivers a smooth and efficient playback, especially for the high-definition and 4K content. Other customization options include aspect ratio adjustment, video scaling, deinterlacing, color correction, subtitle search and synchronization, playback speed adjustment, audio equalization, etc.

Movist is really a lightweight and feature-packed media player tailored for macOS. Its user-friendly interface, extensive format support, advanced playback features, and integration with macOS make it a popular choice among Mac users to play MKV and other media files.


  • H.264, H.265/HEVC hardware video decoder acceleration.
  • Multiple and high-quality subtitle support.
  • Compatible with Apple Sillicon.
  • Supports playlists.
  • Screenshot capture.
  • Bonus features: HDR Tone Mapping, video rotation & flip, deinterlacing, audio equalizer, etc.


  • Screen flickers during playback for some videos.
  • Sometimes video buffering.
  • MKV file not playing issue happen occasionally.

No.9: OmniPlayer

  • Price availability: Free trial, $8.99 for Pro version
  • Rating: 4.0/5 ★★★★☆ (MacUpdate)
  • Supported macOS: OSX 10.13 or later

OmniPlayer for Mac is a comprehensive media player for almost any video and audio format on macOS. You can use it to play various 4K/1080P/720P HD videos easily with hardware decoding. File formats such as MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV, etc. are easy to recognize. When playing MKV files on Mac, you can enhance the playback experience by adjusting the playback speed (0.1x ~ 8.0x), creating playlists, controlling audio tracks, syncing subtitles, and so on.

In addition to local file playback on Mac, you can DLNA cast the media files to Smart TV (Samsung, Sony, LG, Chromecast, Roku, etc.) wirelessly. At the same time, the online streaming videos are also supported by this Mac MKV player. You can play online videos and audio with HTTP/HTTPS protocols. And you can play YouTube and Vimeo videos using the video URL directly.


  • Supports nearly all mainstream media types.
  • Play online videos and audio with HTTP/HTTPS protocols.
  • Play YouTube and Vimeo videos using the URL directly.
  • Playlist creation and control.
  • Load local and online subtitles.
  • DLNA and Chromecast support.


  • Doesn’t support Apple AirPlay.
  • Can’t do full screen.
  • It nags users to upgrade to the VIP version.

In emergency, you need these MKV players for Mac as QuickTime on Mac doesn’t works for MKV files. QuickTime Player only supports QuickTime movie files (MOV), most MPEG-4 files (MP4, M4V, M4A, MP3), MPEG-2, DV Stream, Mpeg, and some audio files like WAV, AIFF, and AAC. When you are encountering "Error-2048: the file is not a movie file" error message, chances are that your MKV file is not supported by default and you need to switch to a third-party media player to play MKV files on Mac.

Part 2. How to Play MKV Files on Mac?

Step 1. Free download a MKV file player on your Mac computer, install and launch it. Here, we take 5KPlayer to show you how to.

Step 2. After opening Mac MKV player 5KPlayer, just play MKV files by using one of the following ways.

  1. Drag and drop your MKV files to 5KPlayer to play directly.
  2. Click on the "Video" button on the main UI of 5KPlayer and choose a MKV file to open with 5KPlayer.
  3. Find your MKV video on Mac and right click on the file to choose "Open with" and then choose 5KPlayer.app to play.

Note: MKV is a container format that may contain different video and audio codecs that your media player can't recognize. To solve the MKV not playing error caused by incompatible codecs, simply convert MKV video first and then play with your media player.

Play MKV File on Mac
Play MKV File on Mac

Part 3. How to Solve MKV Player Not Playing MKV Files on Mac?

The Mac MKV player you choose may be not that powerful to play all MKV files. If necessary, you can convert MKV to MOV on Mac first and then play it with your media player without issues. This way also allows you to play MKV files with QuickTime Player.

The tool you can use is MacX Video Converter Pro which allows for converting any file format for any media player, device, or platform. You can convert MKV to MOV, MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV, etc. for storage, sharing and uploading, and also compress 4K MKV large videos to smaller sizes.

Step 1. Free download MacX Video Converter Pro, install and launch it on your Mac computer.

Step 2. Click on the "+ Video" button on the main UI to add your MKV file to the video converter. Besides, you can also add more than one MKV videos at a time for batch conversion.

Step 3. When the "Output Profile" window pops up, choose an output format. Here, we suggest you to choose MP4 as the best one.

Step 4. Now, click on the "Browse" button to pick the destination folder to save your converted file, and hit "RUN" to start converting your MKV file for Mac.

Convert MKV Files on Mac

Part 4. MKV Video Playback FAQs

1. How do I play MKV files on my Mac?

Commonly, you have 3 ways to play MKV files on Mac. The first and best one is to use a dedicated Mac MKV player like 5KPlayer and VLC media player. The second one is to convert MKV files to Mac-supported formats and then play them with QuickTime Player. The third one is to install Perian plugin for QuickTime, but this one is only useful for QuickTime 7.6.6.

2. What video player plays MKV files on Mac?

Many media players can help play MKV files on Mac. Google examples include MKPlayer, Elmedia Player, IINA, VLC Media Player, Movist, OmniPlayer, MPlayerX, and 5KPlayer.

3. Why can't I play MKV files on Mac?

MKV files can't be played on Mac as MKV is not the file format supported by Mac by default.

4. Does QuickTime support MKV files?

No. QuickTime doesn't support MKV files. QuickTime Player only supports QuickTime movie files (MOV), most MPEG-4 files (MP4, M4V, M4A, MP3), MPEG-2, DV Stream, Mpeg, and some audio files like WAV, AIFF, and AAC. Obviously, MKV is not in the list.

author- candice
Candice Liu

Candice's particularly skilled in writing and sharing video-related contents. Her guides cover from deep-seated video/audio parameters, to media entertainment on different platforms. She also enjoys shooting and processing videos by herself for a more reliable basis of informative info with her articles, which are never at the expense of eliminating an entertaining read.