How to Play an MKV file on Mac?

Matroska, popularly known as MKV file format, is commonly used for playing high quality HD 720p or 1080p movies and videos. However, Mac users are not able to play MKV video files. The reason being Mac’s QuickTime Player doesn’t support MKV file format and its codecs.

To address the issue, here we share, various methods to play MKV files on Mac:

  1. Use QuickTime plugin to play MKV files on Mac
  2. Switch to another media player
  3. Use Stellar Video Converter to play MKV videos
  4. Play MKV files on Mac using Handbrake

How to play MKV file on Mac?

1. Use QuickTime Plugin to Play MKV files on Mac

Perian, a QuickTime plugin, can help in playing MKV video files on your Mac. Perian is a free, open source plugin for QuickTime Player and is easy to install. It works automatically in QuickTime, once it is set up on Mac. Perian supports only QuickTime 7.6.6.

Note: Perian support and updates have been stopped by the developer. However, the plugin can still be used to play MKV and other formats that are not supported by QuickTime Player.

You can download Perian from Once the plugin is downloaded and set up, restart your computer and then play MKV files.

Note: Although Perian plays MKV files in QuickTime, it’s slow to load file in the player.

Are you receiving an error while setting up Perian on Mac?

While setting up the plugin, if you receive the error — ‘Perian can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer’, temporarily disable the security blanket of Mac’s GateKeeper.

Steps to disable Gatekeeper on Mac:

  • OpenSystem Preferences from Apple menu
  • Click onSecurity & Privacy
  • Go to ‘Allow apps downloaded from’ and click on Open Anyway

2. Switch to another Media Player

Since it takes time to load videos by using Perian in QuickTime, alternative media player is a preferable solution to play MKV files on your Mac.

You can play MKV videos in other media players that support your macOS.

The best MKV Player for Mac is open-source VLC Media Player. You can also try MPlayerX, Elmedia Player, 5K Player, XBMC Player etc.

3. Use Stellar Video Converter to Play MKV videos

Convert MKV videos to file formats such as MP4 and MOV that are supported by QuickTime Player. You can use Stellar Converter for Audio Video to convert MKV videos to MP4, MOV, M4V and other formats that can be played on Mac systems. The software is safe to download and maintains original video quality after conversion.

Download the software on Mac and follow the below 3-step conversion process:

  1. Select Add File: Add MKV video files that you want to convert.

Main Screen- Stellar Converter for Audio Video - Add File

2. Select Output Format: Select format and resolution/ bitrate of the output video file.

Stellar Converter for Audio Video - Advance Edit Output Formats

3. Select Convert: In dialog box, select destination path where you want to save the converted files and click ‘Save’.

Stellar Converter for Audio Video - Destination Path

Audio Video Converter Audio Video Converter mac

4. Play MKV files on Mac Using Handbrake

Handbrake is an open-source application that converts MKV files to MP4 format. You can easily convert MKV file by using Handbrake and play the converted video on QuickTime or other media player on Mac.

To download Handbrake, visit

The software supports Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

Still unable to play MKV files on Mac? Your Video may be corrupt

When converting video format or switching to another media player doesn’t help, chances are your MKV video file is corrupt. You need a video repair software such as Stellar Repair for Video to fix it.

This DIY software repairs corrupt videos that are not playing on any media player. The repair process is simple — Add file, select ‘Repair’ and ‘Preview & Save’. You can repair multiple videos at a time.

Video Repair Video Repair Mac


If you want to play MKV videos in QuickTime Player on Mac, install Perian plugin. However, it is recommended to use another media player supported by Mac, because QuickTime plugin takes longer to download high-quality videos.

Another feasible way is to convert MKV file to another macOS-supported format. Use either Handbrake or Stellar Video Converter. Handbrake can convert MKV files to only MP4 format while Stellar Video Converter converts not only to MP4 but also to other formats such as MOV, MPEG, AVI, FLV etc.

Stellar Video Converter software gives you greater control over the quality of output video. You can optimize MKV videos for TV, PC, Mac, Android phone, iPhone and other devices. It’s available for free trial to help you ascertain the effectiveness.

  1. Lauro Muller March 16, 2020
    • Sumona Chatterjee March 31, 2020
  2. Natasha Beckerson February 17, 2020
    • Sumona Chatterjee February 18, 2020
  3. Michael Steven January 23, 2020
    • Sumona Chatterjee January 24, 2020

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