Learn how to Open AVI on Mac

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Although AVI is among the most commonly used file formats by Mac users, at times it refuses to open in QuickTime – a built-in Mac player. This problem is usually related to video codec issues, and is normally accompanied by the following message: “The document could not be opened. The video is not in a format that QuickTime Player understands.” In other instances, it says, “You may need to install additional software to open this type of file.”

This article offers you the most reliable solutions on how to play AVI files on Mac.

Elmedia – a trusted AVI Mac player

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Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+. 59.49MB free space. Version 7.16(2296). (27 Oct, 2020). 4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)
Category: MultimediaApplication

Elmedia Player is a standalone app designed to help you play AVI files on Mac regardless of the resolution. It plays 4K, 8K and 1080p resolutions and doesn’t require additional codecs and software to play videos in AVI. What is more, it guarantees you smooth playback free of buffering or interruptions.

Aside from AVI, Elmedia Player also supports MP4, FLV, MOV, SWF, DAT, WMV, MP3, MPG, Blu-ray, FLAC and M4V without additional codecs.

Elmedia Player Mac

How to open AVI on Mac with Elmedia Player

To play AVI file on Mac, use these steps:

1. Install the Elmedia app.

1.1. You can download this app for free from this website.

1.2. You can also get it from iTunes Store.


2. Run the application on Mac.


3. Choose the AVI file you want to play.


You can add your AVI files to the Elmedia Player library in a number of ways.

  • Drop the file onto the Elmedia window or its icon in the Dock.
  • Right-click the file in the Finder and choose "Open With". Select Elmedia Player and open the file.
  • Choose the "File" menu and then "Open".
  • Enjoy!

Mac AVI Player

Extra features in Elmedia Player PRO

Although you will be required to pay a small subscription fee to access Elmedia Player PRO, you will be able to enjoy additional special features and make watching AVI videos on Mac an easy and pleasurable experience.

Download AVI files with Elmedia Player PRO

The PRO version of Elmedia gives you a great opportunity to download .avi and other file formats from popular video hosting such as YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion.

download video from YouTube

Unconventional streaming possibilities

  • Streaming .AVI files and a variety of other formats straight to smart TV using Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra, DLNA or AirPlay;
  • Elmedia Player converts video formats that are not supported by Apple TV and other smart TVs to the supported formats in an instant;
  • You can also stream Dailymotion, Vimeo, or YouTube videos using Open Online Video.
how to stream from Macbook to TV

Managing subtitles

If you want to open AVI files with subtitles, your Elmedia Player PRO will help you:

  • Customize text appearance (font, color, encoding and size).
  • Adjust synch to ensure subtitles perfectly match the video.
subtitle edit Mac

Visual and audio playback settings

  • Looping video segments;
  • Normal full-screen mode. When you have several TV screens connected to the computer, you are able to pick the monitor to watch a video in full-screen;
  • Automatic deinterlacing helps you to remove the irritating horizontal stripes;
  • Video tuner finely adjusts color parameters;
  • You can take screenshots or even transform a whole video into various screenshots;
  • Control sound delays if you wish to sync audio with video for mismatch;
  • 10-band sound equalizer with several presets.
video tuner Elmedia

Other ways of opening AVI files on Mac

Another way to open AVI files on Mac is to convert them into formats that are supported by QuickTime.

One of the most reliable software that we can recommend for Mac users is Movavi Video Converter, which is an intuitive encoding program for converting AVI, MTS, FLV, WMV, DVD VOB, MKV and MPEG to MPEG-4, MOV and a variety of other formats.

Converting AVI files on Mac using Movavi Video Converter

Here are the steps to converting AVI files on Mac:

  1. Get Movavi Converter for MacOS.
  2. Add the file you wish to convert.
  3. To add files, click the “Add Media” button and choose “Add Video”.
  4. Choose your preferred output format.
  5. Find the most common conversion presets in the program interface.
  6. To convert AVI videos to FLV, MP4 or 3GP formats for watching on your computer, just choose the video you want to convert and select the right format.
  7. To begin conversion, just click “Convert” and your video will be converted immediately.
  8. Play your video with QuickTime Player.

Use online video converter to open an AVI file on Mac

Use free online video converters to open AVI files on your Mac device to avoid installing additional software.

You can find a nice program that doesn’t need software installation at https://convert-video-online.com/. Here are the steps to follow when using this online video converter:

  1. Click “Open” to find the file you want to convert.
  2. Select “Apple” as the output device and choose “MOV” as the output format.
  3. Click “Convert”.
  4. Download and play the converted file.

Find the right codec to play AVI file on QuickTime

Your Mac device needs to have a specific codec for it to open AVI files freely. Find the various components for your QuickTime Player on Apple’s official website.

One of the most popular codecs for playing AVI files on Mac is DivX codec

Downloading DivX Codec:

With DivX codec, you will be able to play all DivX videos in QuickTime without downloading additional components and plug-ins unless the file has been encoded with a proprietary codec.

But you have to download this codec from a trusted source to avoid installing harmful malware.

DivX codec Mac

What is an AVI file format?

AVI (Audio Video Interleave) was created by Microsoft Corp. in 1992. It is a format that supports both video and audio files. An AVI wrapper carries video and audio files that have been compressed with various codecs and can be played in Windows Media Player provided you have the right codecs. AVI remains one of the most commonly used file formats thanks to its ability to compress audio and video files with a variety of codecs.

AVI file format

Advantages and disadvantages of AVI files


Here are the main advantages that AVI files hold over other formats.

There are numerous codecs available that can achieve the desired ratio of compression for AVI audio formats. Such examples are DivX and XviD.

The AVI Video format is known for its exceptional HQ audio fidelity.

To make it compatible with the standard DV, you can compress DV-AVI unlike any other video/audio formats.

Because it’s developed by Windows, the AVI file format is playable with any of the major Microsoft operating systems, and non-Microsoft ones.

You can easily create disks and DVDs using the AVI format for storing initial video/audio information.

AVI files do not require any special devices or software apps in order for the files to run. This also improves the number of users that can easily open AVI format files.

AVI file format is currently the most popular and widely used format for short movies, video promos, and advertisements, mostly due to its compression capacities. Most people are very familiar with it, recognize it with ease, and have no difficulties in working with it.

When it comes to master files, the quality preserved with AVI is excellent. You can start with the master files and create new files in other formats that will meet a wide range of sharing needs.


If you have compressed AVI files with a particular codec, then you need to have the same codec installed on your device, in order to play the files. And while the installation of a codec is fairly simple, many users get frustrated when trying to find the right one from a reliable and safe source. And even when such sources are easily found, the intermission makes for an unsatisfactory user experience.

When uncompressed, AVI files tend to be quite large in size as opposed to other file formats. Users must give up disc spaces in favour of the benefits of AVI files, and will not have the same storage capacity as with other formats.

When compressed high up standard limits, the video quality will suffer quite a bit. Since most modern users now have HD, Ultra HD, or 4K screens, the quality decrease may not be so easily tolerable.

The very large number of available codecs make it difficult to get the right quality and compression straight away, so you will have to experiment a bit before reaching it.

AVI files are not user interactive (e.g. clicking to continue pauses).

AVI does not support softsubs. This type of subtitles requires the playback device to combine the video and subtitle content while the media is playing.


We are answering the most frequent questions on how to open AVI on Mac here:

AVI files use less compression and consume more space compared to MPEG and MOV formats. At times you do not need compression to create AVI files, which makes them lossless, resulting in large file sizes. However, AVI files retain their quality for a long time and do not require codecs to play.

Try Elmedia Player. Perhaps the easiest and most reliable way to play AVI files on MacOS is to install Elmedia Player on your computer.

  • Run the Elmedia Player on your Mac.
  • Choose how to add AVI files to your Elmedia Player library.
  • Drop the files to the Elmedia Player window or its icon in the Dock.
  • Right-click the AVI file in the Finder and choose "Open With". Select Elmedia Player as the application to open the file.
  • Choose "File" in the menu then "Open".
  • Enjoy!

Elmedia Player PRO has proved to be the best AVI player for Mac. It is adaptable and doesn’t need codec packs to play AVI files on Mac. It also allows you to download various AVI files and stream them to different screens, including Apple TV, Chromecast, smart TV, DLNA, or AirPlay devices. This player also serves as the receiver when streaming from other devices. With Elmedia Player PRO, you will enjoy various playback settings, download subtitles, take screenshots and convert the video into different screenshots.

MOV is the best choice for Mac users.

  • MOV was developed by Apple for Mac’s QuickTime. AVI was created by Microsoft for Windows Media Player.
  • AVI is quite old and has already been replaced by Microsoft’s WMV format.
  • AVI doesn’t support MP4 codecs but MOV does.
  • AVI has some of the progressive capabilities found in MOV.
  • MOV contains subtitles in it while AVI doesn’t.
  • AVI is more popular than MOV.
Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 59.49MB free space
Version 7.16(2296) (27 Oct, 2020) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication