How to Open MKV File on a Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Opening an MKV file on a Mac might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. MKV stands for Matroska Video file, and it’s a popular format for high definition video online. The problem is, Mac’s built-in video player, QuickTime, doesn’t support MKV files. So, what do you do? No worries, I’ve got you covered. By the end of this brief overview, you’ll know exactly how to get those MKV files playing smoothly on your Mac.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Open MKV File on a Mac

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let me give you a quick overview of what we’re going to do. Essentially, we’re going to download a third-party video player that supports MKV files, and use it to open and play your videos. It’s really that simple.

Step 1: Download a third-party video player

Download a third-party video player like VLC Player or 5KPlayer that supports MKV files.

Third-party video players like VLC or 5KPlayer are free to download and use. They support a wide range of video formats, including MKV. You can easily find them with a quick Google search, and they have versions specifically designed for Mac.

Step 2: Install the video player

Install the video player on your Mac by following the on-screen instructions.

Once the download is complete, open the installation file and follow the prompts to install the video player on your Mac. It usually involves dragging the app icon to your Applications folder.

Step 3: Open your MKV file with the new video player

Right-click on your MKV file, select "Open With," and choose your newly installed video player.

After installing the video player, find your MKV file. Right-click on it, hover over "Open With," and select the video player you installed. Your MKV file should now open and play without any issues.

After completing these steps, your MKV file will play on your Mac just like any other video file. No more compatibility issues or frustrating error messages. You can now enjoy your high definition MKV videos on your Mac without any hassle.

Tips for Opening MKV Files on a Mac

  • Ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of the third-party video player for better performance and compatibility.
  • If you have multiple MKV files, you can set your preferred video player as the default app to open all MKV files automatically.
  • Keep your video players updated to ensure they continue to support MKV files and other formats.
  • Check the preferences or settings of your video player for options to improve your viewing experience, such as adjusting the playback speed or video quality.
  • If you’re having trouble with a particular MKV file, try downloading it again or using a different video player to see if the issue persists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I convert an MKV file to a format that QuickTime supports?

Yes, you can use a video converter to change your MKV file to a format like MP4 that QuickTime can play.

Using a video converter can be a good solution if you prefer QuickTime over third-party video players. There are many free and paid converters available online.

Will I lose video quality if I play an MKV file on a third-party video player?

No, third-party video players like VLC are known for maintaining high video quality.

These video players are designed to handle a variety of video formats without compromising on quality.

Can I edit MKV files on my Mac?

Yes, you can edit MKV files on your Mac using a video editing software that supports the format.

Some video editing programs may require you to convert the MKV file first, but others can handle the format natively.

Is it safe to download third-party video players?

Yes, as long as you download them from their official websites or trusted sources.

Always ensure you’re downloading software from the official website or a reputable app store to avoid any security risks.

What if my MKV file still won’t play after following these steps?

Try playing the file on a different third-party video player, or consider the possibility that the file may be corrupt.

If you’ve tried different players and the file still won’t play, it may be worth looking into whether the file itself is the issue.


  1. Download a third-party video player like VLC Player or 5KPlayer.
  2. Install the video player on your Mac.
  3. Open your MKV file with the new video player.


Opening an MKV file on a Mac is no longer something to dread. With a simple download and installation of a compatible third-party video player, you can be on your way to watching your favorite high-definition videos in no time. Remember, QuickTime may be the go-to for most Mac users, but it’s not the only player in town. VLC and 5KPlayer are excellent alternatives that come with the added benefit of supporting a wider range of file formats, not just MKV.

Moreover, these players offer a wealth of features to enhance your viewing experience, from customizing subtitles to adjusting audio tracks. And if you’re worried about safety, sticking to official websites for downloads will keep your Mac secure. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy your MKV files on a Mac with ease. And hey, if you hit a snag, you now have a handy guide to get you back on track. Happy watching!