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How to Solve "DVD Won't Play on Mac (MacBook Pro/Air/iMac)"

Apple chose to abandon disk drives from Macbook in 2013 and it wants $79 for the external SuperDrive to play DVD. For many old Mac models, though able to play DVD with their built-in drives, users still suffer from the issues like "DVD won't play on Mac", "supported disc not available", etc. Worse still, your extra payment for the SuperDrive doesn't make things better. Even with the release of the latest 16-inch Macbook Pro, there is no disc drive support.

- My macbook won't read or play DVD's. It spins it around for a while then ejects it automatically.

If you are one of the Mac users subjected to DVD won't play on MacBook Pro/Air/iMac, scroll down this article to find out why your DVD discs fail to play on Mac and solve this irksome problem easily and fast.

See ways to play DVDs on Mac easily

Rip DVD to QT MP4 MOV Digital to Play on Mac without DVD Drive

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1. Why DVD Won't Play on Mac (MacBook Pro/Air, iMac)

Generally, there are many reasons leading to DVD not playing issues on Mac. You have to make certain of the exact reason and then fix the problem when your Mac refuses to play DVD accordingly.

1. DVD is dirty, smudged or scratched. This is the major reason why your Mac DVD player ejects DVD, though your drive accepts it. If your DVD disc is susceptible to accident damage and dust, please repair scratched DVD if not seriously hurted.

2. The actual DVD drive lens is dirty, which will particularly affect dual-layer discs. Or your SuperDrive is bad or damaged.

3. macOS upgrade often results in system problem, and Mac won't play DVD issue is of no exception.

4. Software Update is to blame for "iMac won't play DVD" problem. See fixes to macOS update problems.

DVD won't play on mac

5. Check DVD region. If you have an issue with your Mac when playing DVD you insert it, check if it is region issue with your DVD. For example, a UK DVD in region 2 won't be played on a USA DVD player. See how to remove region code from DVD.

6. Your are playing some unsupported discs like commercial DVDs, or store-bought DVDs etc. If so, you may get the message "supported disc not available"; and your DVD player may refuse to play DVD. See how to remove DVD copy protections, best DVD ripper for Mac.

7. DVD drive issue or hardware issue related to DVD drive.

How to Solve the Problem When Mac Won't Play any DVD

1. Resort to cleaning kits to clean DVD discs.

2. Make sure the aluminum enclosure is facing up rather than upside down. Then connect the SuperDrive directly to the computer's USB port instead a USB hub. (If your DVD player not working on Mac, the disc drive may be damaged, just purchase a new one to play DVD on Mac with no problems. See best DVD player for Mac)

3. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC) in case of DVD not playing on Mac after an macOS update.

For the users with Macbook Pro/Air, please follow the steps below to deal with Macbook not playing DVD:

  • Step 1. Shut down the Mac.
  • Step 2. Plug in the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter to a power source and to your Mac.
  • Step 3. Using the built-in keyboard, press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard, then press the power button at the same time.
  • Step 4. Release all keys, then press the power button again to turn on your Mac

For the users with iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, please follow the steps below if your iMac won't play DVD:

  • Step 1. Shut down the Mac.
  • Step 2. Unplug the powercord.
  • Step 3. Wait 15 seconds.
  • Step 4. Plug the power cord back in.
  • Step 5. Wait 5 seconds, press the power button to turn on the Mac.
restart your macbook

4. Clean your Mac with remnants of some software; get rid of MacKeeper ( for a good scanner download "malwarebytes") and of many old stuff if macOS upgrade is the chief culprit.

  • Step 1. Turn off your Mac computer completely.
  • Step 2. Connect to SuperDrive as long as the screen is completely black.
  • Step 3. Re-launch your Mac.
  • Step 4. by then the SuperDrive will swallow DVD disc but not launch the video automatically; run your DVD player in the Applications and use it to activate your superdrive.

5. Software Update hampers the smooth DVD playback on iMac? Follow the below solutions to fix it:

  • Step 1. Start up Disk Utility, select your startup volume.
  • Step 2. Tap Repair Permissions button and it will run through your hard drive on your mac.
  • Step 3. Have a check on the permissions set on each Apple application file component and match it against the permissions recorded in the Receipts file that was saved when the application was last updated.
  • Step 4. Your Mac will correct the permissions setting on the errant component if any mismatch is found.

6. Repair disc permission to solve "Mac DVD Player won't play DVD" issue. This is helpful for the DVDs with region codes.

  • Step 1. Open Disk Utility, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  • Step 2. Select the startup disk from the list of volumes.
  • Step 3. Click the First Aid tab.
  • Step 4. Click Repair Disk Permissions.
repair disk permission

7. Update macOS. Ensure that your Mac's operating system is up to date. Apple regularly releases updates that may include fixes for DVD playback issues. Go to the Apple menu (Apple logo in the top-left corner) > About This Mac > Software Update to check for and install any available updates.

8. Reset NVRAM or PRAM. Resetting the NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) or PRAM (parameter RAM) can sometimes resolve hardware-related issues. To do this, restart your Mac and hold down the Option, Command, P, and R keys simultaneously until you hear the startup chime for the second time. Release the keys and check if the DVD plays.

9. Check for Updates to DVD Player Software. If you're using third-party DVD player software, make sure it's up to date. Visit the software's official website or check for updates within the application itself.

10. Resort to other DVD player to play commercial DVDs, such as VLC or 5KPlayer.

11. Check for Hardware Issues. If none of the above steps work and your Mac consistently has trouble reading DVDs, it could be a hardware problem with the DVD drive. In such cases, consider contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store for further assistance.

Any Other Solution to Fix DVD Won't Play on Mac Issue?

In most cases, your DVD won't play on Mac just because the DVD you are playing is encrypted (Redbox DVD rentals won't play is a good example). The above solutions may not solve some problems, e.g. VLC cannot play damaged or scratched DVD, resetting SMC or repairing disc permission can't fix "DVD player not working on Mac". Any other solution to solve "DVD not playing on Mac" once and for all?

Here is the best answer: Rip DVD to MP4, MOV, M4V for playable on Mac's QuickTime player or copy DVD to USB flash drive, hard drive for playback on iMac/MacBook via USB port using MacX DVD Ripper Pro, the primary feature of which is to help you smoothly play any DVD on Mac without using DVD driver.

Step 1. Free download to convert DVD disc that won't play on Mac due to protections like Disney X-project protection, Sony ARccOS, Lionsgate DRM, region code 1-6, CSS, etc.

Step 2. Rip DVD to USB flash drive, hard drive, MP4, MOV, MKV, MEPG-2, VOB, ISO image, AVCHD, AVI, MP3, etc. and play the DVD video on Mac.

digitize DVD to MP4 for playback on Mac without DVD drive or player

Step 3. "Safe Mode" is available to stably rip latest protected DVD like 99-title DVD, oversized 75GB DVD, bad sector DVD, AV DVD, workout DVD, etc. without crash issue.

Disclaimer: This post is to fix the problem on playing DVD discs on Mac computer and show users how to digitalize DVD. It does not in any way advocate ripping a DVD for any commercial or other illegal use. Please consult the law in your country before you convert any disc.

author- bella
Bella Brown

Bella has been working with DVD digitization for over 12 years. She writes articles about everything related to DVD, from disc drive, DVD copyright protection, physical structure, burning and backup tips. The unceasing passion of DVD movies helps her build a rich DVD library and ensure a practical solution to address almost all possible DVD issues. Bella is also a crazy fan for Apple products.