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Try the best MKV player on Mac

Top MKV Player for Mac in 2022

If you come across some decent movie in MKV format and want to watch it on your Mac computer or Apple tablet, you will face the issue that your device is unable of playing it. There is no need to panic thinking that your device is broken, the truth lies in the format you are trying to open. Finding the best MKV player Mac app will facilitate this issue.

Top choice
Elmedia: universal video player
4.8 Rank based on 1531+ users, Reviews(793)
 Let's Find the Best MKV Player for Mac.

Since QuickTime has a rather limited list of the supported video formats, namely, it can easily play .mov, .mp4, and m4v, lots of users need to search for an alternative MKV player for macOS. As we know for ourselves, finding decent media players is not an easy task and requires lots of time. That’s we recommend you to read our article, as we’ve done all the difficult work for you.

The Complete Solution to Enjoying MKV on Mac - Elmedia Player

Elmedia Player logo
Elmedia: universal video player

Elmedia Player is known as the best video player for Mac. It natively supports all kinds of file formats, from FLV, SWF, AVI, MOV, MP4, MP3, and of course MKV. This popular MKV player for Mac brings you the best HD quality viewing experience without any lagging or unsynchronized audio thanks to its robust hardware-accelerated decoding.

Free Video Player for Mac

With Elmedia Player PRO, you can do even more. Get your most personalized viewing experience by using features like Air-Play streaming, and wireless connectivity of Chromecast to your smart TVs, and DLNA-enabled devices. Also, you get additional subtitle support, advanced video and audio fine-tuning options, screenshot capturing, and tons more.

icon pros Pros

  • Note-worthy range of supported file formats
  • Fully customizable video and audio playback personalization and controls
  • Robust subtitle support
  • Versatile wireless streaming capabilities across multiple devices
  • AirPlay-enabled.

icon cons Cons

  • Limited support for older devices
  • Some features accessible only on the PRO version.

VLC - Reliably Open MKV Files on Mac Every Time

Free Video Player for Mac

VLC Player is another solid option for watching MKV on Mac. VLC is known as the video player for Mac that plays all formats. It supports almost all file formats with ease, and MKV is one of them. One of its most favorite features is its high-security measures used to keep viruses and spyware at bay, granting much comfort to its users. Besides that, this free MKV player for Mac offers a host of other outstanding features like a high-speed built-in video and audio converter, the ability to create custom playlists on the fly, customize your own skis and interface design, and just an all-around reliable video player for Mac.

icon pros Pros

  • Highly customizable with an editor tool for personalized extensions and skins
  • No spyware or user tracking
  • Supports most video, audio, and image file formats
  • Completely free with no ads.

icon cons Cons

  • Unreliable playback for Blu-Ray and DVDs
  • Interface feels outdated and not as intuitive as other updated apps
  • Inconsistent performance with music.

How to Watch MKV Files on Mac with 5KPlayer

A simple application with a modern interface.

5KPlayer is another popular free Mac MKV player. It provides a very user-friendly experience, especially when it comes to file format compatibility. You get an endless number of options to customize your viewing experience. Whether that’s connecting via AirPlay, downloading HD video straight from the web, or high-quality audio extraction, you get it all with 5KPlayer.

icon pros Pros

  • Simple to use video to MP3 audio converter
  • High quality and lag-free AirPlay connectivity for screen mirroring and screen recording capabilities
  • Support for the latest macOS version and other popular devices.

icon cons Cons

  • New users may need time to get used to configuration.

MKPlayer - A Solid Choice Mac MKV Player

MKPlayer is an easy-to-use media player designed to offer unique features to enjoy watching videos.

MKPlayer is another relatively common MKV player Mac alternative. Although it shares similar features with other third-party Mac MKV players, it has its own distinct user experience. It’s simple to install from the App Store and get started right away. You have all the standard playback customization options, convenient video adjustment settings, a responsive mini-player for multi-tasking on your Mac, and more. Overall, a decent MKV player for Mac.

icon pros Pros

  • Reliable performance of MKV files
  • Responsive control panel for mini player settings.

icon cons Cons

  • Advanced features like Safari extension, advanced video adjustments, and multilingual subtitle selection limited to macOS High Sierra and Mojave (unlocked for $9.99).

IINA Player - The Mac MKV Player with UX in Mind

IINA - The modern media player for macOS.

If you’re looking for a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of MKV video player Mac solution, then IINA has to be your video player of choice. Its intuitive, out-of-the-box interface is a breeze to use, not to mention its incredible aesthetic appeal. It can easily handle and play MKV files on Mac with relative ease and consistent performance. It’s perfect for Mac users because it integrates the macOS design language and beautifully weaves in native Mac features like Force Touch, Touch Bar, and Trackpad gestures, to create a wonderful user experience. Overall, a very reliable free MKV player for Mac.

icon pros Pros

  • Consistent and reliable performance with MKV files
  • Browser plug-in for Firefox and Chrome
  • Up-to-date UI and clean interface that’s simple to navigate.

icon cons Cons

  • Not as energy-efficient as other video players, which is a concern if battery life is important to you.

Movist Pro versatile MKV Mac player worth noting

Movist is an easy-to-use and powerful movie player.

Movist would be a cup of tea for QuickTime admirers as the Movist’s interface is very similar to the QuickTime. This Mac MKV player is very intuitive, fast, and unique due to its high-quality capture function. The app can play almost all possible video formats. Movist offers a wide range of playback navigation options, such as variable speed playback, frame-by-frame playback, and playback range. The built-in ability to create screenshots allows you to save an image of the current frame of the video. Taking everything into account it is no wonder that it is the most famous video players for Mac, the first version of which appeared back in 2012.

icon pros Pros

  • Supports auto-filling and export of the playlist
  • Unique user interface
  • Support for aspect ratio settings
  • Support for parallel subtitles.

icon cons Cons

  • You need to buy Pro version to benefit from all the features
  • No support for Apple Remote
  • Setapp subscription required.

Macgo Blu Ray Player - get super high-quality playback

The best Blu-ray Player software for Windows, iPhone and Mac.

Next on our list of best MKV player Mac apps is Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player. According to the developers, the app is very easy to use and supports all the most common media files. Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player is capable of handling both Blu-ray and DVD formats and plays HD content from both your hard drive and Blu-ray devices (internal or USB). The simple and intuitive interface will allow you to get real pleasure of watching your favorite movies.

icon pros Pros

  • Compatible with all Mac devices
  • Can play files in 1080p HD without quality loss
  • Support for DTS 5.1, Dolby TrueHD Audio DTS-HD Master Audio and Pass Through
  • Cross-platform solution.

icon cons Cons

  • MKV support is available in paid version only
  • Pricy app
  • Unable to support 3D.

Plex - Not just an .mkv player Mac app but a real media server

Plex is a global streaming media service.

According to the reviews of many users, Plex is considered to be the best player for Mac as it works with a huge list of media formats as well as the supported list of the devices is rather impressive. This best MKV player for Mac has gathered everything you may require from a decent player in terms of its functionality, characteristics, and capabilities. An additional advantage of the app is considered synchronization with cloud storage. Plex is free to use, but the company also offers a subscription package called Plex Pass that opens more advanced settings and features.

icon pros Pros

  • Compatible with different OSes
  • Ability to stream media files to different devices
  • Provides high-quality audio output
  • Provides video editing settings
  • Support any type of subtitles.

icon cons Cons

  • Difficult in configuring
  • Requires installation of Plex server
  • Free version has limited functionality.

MPlayerX - Seamless dealing with MKV files on your Mac

MPlayer is a free and open-source media player software application.

Powerful management, support for an impressive set of formats, classic design, and Apple Remote support make MPlayerX truly one of the most popular MKV player Mac apps. MPlayerX can seamlessly deal with the files stored on your Mac computer as well as the app makes it possible to play media files from the Internet that are accessed using the HTTP protocol. Besides that, you won’t need to pay a dime in order to use the app as it is an absolute "free" player. However, one of the downsides is that the last update of MPlayerX was back in 2016 since then there have been no changes.

icon pros Pros

  • Ability to remember the interrupted point
  • Supports casting video to Smart TVs
  • Ability to control playback with the Apple remote and mouse
  • Synchronization of the audio track and subtitles.

icon cons Cons

  • Available only for macOS
  • The last update was in 2016
  • Is not compatible with the latest macOS versions.

DivX - Simple yet powerful MKV file player Mac app

DivX is free video software to play, convert and cast video.

DivX ends our list of best MKV player Mac apps. Thanks to the simple interface, you will get used to it quite fast. In addition, the player has a free distribution status that allows you to download the app for free. DivX is able to read all major video formats as well as compress huge video files to acceptable sizes without spoiling the quality of the picture and sound. What is also worth mentioning is support for DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. They will improve the sound quality of even the simplest audio systems.

icon pros Pros

  • Cross-platform solution
  • Ability to broadcast to any DLNA-compatible device
  • Supports Chromecast.

icon cons Cons

  • Requires the web installation of the application
  • Limited list of supported formats.

Things to consider when choosing the best MKV player for Mac


A good MKV video player Mac app ought to be:

  1. Able to support high-quality videos like 4K and 8K.
  2. Compatible with macOS Monterey.
  3. Without annoying ads or malware.
  4. Easy to manage, with the right interface and intuitive modern design.
  5. Lightweight and use fewer system resources.
  6. Able to play videos without delays.

Table to find the best MKV Mac player in 2022

Use this tool to compare and contrast the best way for you to play MKV on Mac. These media players all have something to offer, so find the best one for you here!

Scroll to view more
Swipe tip
Top features
VideoDuke
Elmedia
VLC
5KPlayer
MKPlayer
IINA Player
Plays MKV on Mac and other popular video formats
Plays MKV on Mac and other popular video formats
yes (AVI, FLV, SWF, MP4, WMV, MOV, DAT, M4V, MPG, DivX, MKV, etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG AVI, etc.)  
yes (MKV, M2TS, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG AVI, etc. )  
yes ( AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V etc.)  
Supports several popular audio formats
Supports several popular audio formats
yes (MP3, WMA, AC2, MKA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, etc.)  
yes (AAC, AC-3, FLAC, MP3, ALAC, etc.)  
yes (MP3, AAC, AC3, WMA, FLAC, ALAC, etc.)  
yes (AAC, AC-3, FLAC, MP3, ALAC, etc.)  
yes (AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.)  
Enables local file streaming to other devices (TV, Streaming deivce, etc.)
Enables local file streaming to other devices (TV, Streaming deivce, etc.)
yes (PRO)  
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
Featured Audio Equalizer
Featured Audio Equalizer
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
Supports Subtitle Feature
Supports Subtitle Feature
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
Enables subtitle synchronization
Enables subtitle synchronization
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
Free option
Free option
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes

What are MKV Files?

MKV files are multimedia container formats that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture, and subtitle tracks, all in one file - irrespective of the type of encoding needed for each. So that means you could have an MKV file that contains both H.264 video and AAC or MP3 for audio.

The great thing about the MKV format is it was designed to be future-proof and that way its files wouldn’t become outdated. A few ways this was achieved include:

  • Accelerated seeking
  • Online streaming compatibility
  • Subtitle support
  • Metadata suppor
  • Corruption recovery - allowing corrupted files to be recovered and playable
This format has a large number of pros and cons.

Advantages and disadvantages of MKV format to consider

Just like any other video format, the MKV format has both pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Supports all video and audio codec combinations including H.265 (MKV HEVC movies).
  • Highly flexible as it contains a large number of videos, audios, subtitles, pictures, 3D objects, and other files.
  • It’s nonproprietary (open source and totally free).
  • Two compression options: Lossy and Lossless.
  • Amazing video and audio streaming dynamics.
  • Uses both LAN and standard Internet protocol for streaming.
  • Can play corrupted files.
  • Has reliable error restoration mechanisms.
  • Offers accessible, comprehensive, and clear documentation.
  • Allows you to add metadata without rewriting the whole file. You can also include your own self-documentation..
  • Enables fast seeking using chapter markers.
  • It’s supported by the Library of Congress, FADGI, and PERFORMA (preservation formats) project.

Cons:

  • Has a larger file size than most other formats can offer.
  • Additional file editing tools may be required.
  • Not all players can open MKV files.

Most of the listed cons are relative. For instance, the last one can be avoided when you use Elmedia Player because it’s a multi-feature Mac MKV player.

Categories of Matroska files

Matroska Multimedia Container is a free open source format that contains four types of files: MKV (Matroska video), MKA (Matroska audio), MKS (subtitles), and MK3D (stereoscopic/3D video). These four categories are the best choice for whenever you want to play MKV files on Mac. Here is an overview of the four Matroska file categories.

MKV files

MKV extension is commonly used for HD movies and TV shows. It is great for playing videos, audio (in movies), and videos with subtitles. The best MKV player for Mac to open the MKV extension includes Elmedia Player, Windows Media Player, 5KPlayer (containing MKV codec), and VLC (although sound and subtitles may be unavailable).

MKA files

These are mostly used as audio files and normally contain various audio compression formats such as MP2, MP3, AAC, AC3, and DTS among others. This extension can have either music albums or display karaoke subtitles. With MKA extension, you can easily divide audio files into tracks or chapters, change tracks and merge MKA with MKV format.

MKS files

With MKS extension, you can easily import various subtitle formats, including VobSub (.sub), SubRip (.srt), Sub Station Alpha (.ssa/ .ass) and Core Media Player XML universal subtitle format (.usf). Any open-source Mac MKV player can launch an MKS file by simply double-clicking on it.

MK3D files

MK3D extension is commonly found in home theaters because it’s a special 3D option of MKV multimedia. It provides 3D video support in two isolated video tracks – one track for each eye, but at times it can be one track with data for both eyes in numerous formats.

As you see, being able to watch MKV files on Mac is not so difficult as it may seem at first sight. Definitely, the easiest option is to install a plugin to the QuickTime player and forget about this issue. Nevertheless, for some users, it is not enough and they are looking for a more powerful MKV player for Mac. We recommend installing Elmedia Player because it gives you much more than just playing MKV. Still, many men, many minds. Choose your MKV player Mac app and enjoy watching movies in HD quality to the fullest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, QuickTime doesn’t support MKV files on Mac. In fact, the component for QuickTime that allowed playing MKV files on Mac no longer exists. Therefore, the easiest way to play MKV is to download a 3rd party video player like Elmedia, which can easily run MKV files without the need to install extra codecs and plugins. Otherwise, the only other option available is to convert MKV files to MOV, the most Mac-friendly format.

To play MKV files on Mac with VLC Player, you simply open VLC and select File > Open file... and then locate the MKV video and click Open. You can also right-click on the MKV file, click Open within the context menu and choose "VLC Player".

Since QuickTime - the default video player on Mac - doesn’t support MKV format, you need to download a third-party player to open your MKV files. Even watching an MKV video requires a third-party player. It’s advisable to use a free MKV player like Elmedia Player because it doesn’t require additional plugins and codecs. Here are the simple steps to follow when downloading Elmedia Player.

  • Download, install and open free Elmedia Player on your Mac device.
  • Open your MKV video. You can simply drag the video onto the open app or onto the icon in the Dock. Another option is to right-click on the video file in the Finder and choose the "Open with" option and then select Elmedia Player.
  • Click the Play button and enjoy your video.

There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is Apple’s native player doesn’t support MKV file playback. The good news, however, is that you can download free, open-source third-party video players that can play MKV on iPhone. Apps like VLC for iOS can play anything from MP4 to MKV. Other options are Infuse 6, Playable Pro, Flex, and more.

Elmedia: universal video player
Requirements: macOS 10.12+ , 89.14MB of free space
Version 8.5(3120) (8 Jun, 2022) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication