The AVI or Audio Video Interleave by Microsoft is a container format that has .AVI file extension. Mac computers cannot play AVI videos in its native QuickTime media player. The limitation is annoying as AVI is a popularly used video format.
So how to play AVI movies on Mac?
If you want to play any video file on Mac, the macOS should be able to recognize the file type and its codecs. Otherwise the app won't open the file.
Here we bring various methods you can use to open AVI files on Mac systems.
Why AVI videos don’t play on Mac?
When you open any file in a media player, it examines both the audio and video codecs within the video file. If the same are not used by the media player it won’t play the file. Similarly, when you try to play AVI files in QuickTime, the player doesn’t recognized its Cinepak and ALaw 2:1 codecs used in the video. As a result, QuickTime fails to play AVI videos.
Therefore, you are left with below choices:
- Enable AVI support using a plugin or add-on software
- Play your video in AVI supporting media player.
- Get the right codecs for AVI on Mac.
- Convert AVI to a QuickTime MOV format.
- Corrupt AVI file won’t play on Mac, repair it.
5 Methods to play AVI videos on Mac
1. Enable AVI support using a plugin or add-on software
Use Perian, an open source QuickTime plugin to play AVI files on Mac. It is easy to install and would open AVI files on Mac’s QuickTime automatically.
Perian is only available for QuickTime 7.6.6. The latest version, Perian 1.2.3 supports macOS X 10.4.7 and above.
You can download for free Perian from http://www.perian.org/.
Note 1: Perian doesn't work on Mac OS X Mavericks, Yosemite, Mac 10.11 EI Capitan and Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
If your Mac don’t meet the system requirements, try the other methods to watch AVI files, given in this post.
Note 2: The developer has discontinued the support and update of Perian software. However, it is continued to be used by many to play AVI, DIVX, FLV, GVI, VP6, or MKV files on Mac.
2. Play your video in AVI supporting media player
If QuickTime doesn’t play AVI videos on Mac, go for another media player. Choose an AVI player that supports your macOS. The player should flawlessly play high quality 4K or 8K AVI videos or movies on Mac. Also, it should be free from ad pop-ups.
Play AVI videos in VLC on Mac
The foremost pick to play AVI videos on Mac is VLC Player. The multifunctional VLC can play high quality videos of almost all formats including AVI. Make sure to use the latest version of the player.
NicePlayer is the best player to watch AVI movies on Mac. The player offers full screen floating windows view. Both VLC and NicePlayer are easy to use. Moreover, they provide greater controls to user such as playback settings, subtitles, etc.
Other AVI Player for Mac are Elmedia Player, Cisdem, 5K Player, and others.
3. Get the right codecs for AVI on Mac
Install 3ivx MPEG-4 codec on your system to view AVI files on Mac. The codec supports all the video files with AVI extension and plays them on QuickTime and other media players on Mac.
The 3ivx decoder can also play MOV, MP4, M4A, and 3GP files with MPEG-4 video and MPEG-4 AAC Audio. It is compatible with MPEG-4 variants like DivX 3, MPEG-4 and Xvid.
You can install 3ivx codec from http://www.3ivx.com/download/
4. Convert AVI to a QuickTime MOV format
Convert AVI file to QuickTime MOV or MP4. You can install video converter software on Mac or use any online AVI file converter program.
Desktop video converters are fast and can convert multiple AVI files to MOV or MP4 at a time, whereas online programs such as Zamzar, CloudConvert, and others don’t allow more than 1 or 2 file conversions simultaneously.
Here we recommend, Stellar Converter for Audio Video —an AVI converter software that is 100% safe and without annoying ads.
Just install the software on your Mac and follow the below 3 steps:
- Add File: Add any number of AVI video files.
- Select Output Format: You can also choose resolution/ bitrate of the output MOV or MP4 video file.
- Select Convert: Select destination to save the output video and the conversion process begins.
The software supports macOS 10.7 and above.
5. Corrupt AVI file won’t play on Mac, repair it.
If you are not able to play AVI videos in spite of getting the correct codec, using the compatible player or converting to MOV, then try an AVI video repair software. The AVI video file may be corrupt. A corrupt file won’t play on any system.
Download the DIY Stellar Repair for Video software on Mac and follow the below 3 steps:
- Add file: Add any number of corrupt AVI files for repair.
- Select Repair: This begins the repair process.
- Preview & Save: Preview the repaired video and save it at a desired location on Mac.
It’s available for free trial to help you ascertain the effectiveness.
It is not difficult to enable Mac to play AVI videos and movies. You can get the AVI codec, use any AVI player, or convert file to MOV format. Perian plug-in is also helpful. But, make sure the add-on software supports your macOS and QuickTime version.
When these methods don’t work, your file may be corrupt. Go for an AVI video repair software – Stellar Repair for Video. The software is available for the latest macOS Catalina and below versions.