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Elmedia Player - The Complete Solution to Enjoying MKV on Mac
  • MKV is not the limit - play nearly everything
  • Stream files to enjoy them on your TV
  • Options galore, both for playback and subtitles
  • Most of this is available free of charge
Top choice
Elmedia Player
4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)
Best MKV Player for Mac - Elmedia

Top 5 MKV Player Mac Apps for macOS Devices


If you consume media on your Mac in any decent capacity, you’re probably familiar with MKV files. It’s a popular container format that holds an unlimited number of video, audio and subtitle files all in one - making it very smooth and convenient to use. Unfortunately, QuickTime Player can’t play MKV files on Mac, without additional plug-ins and even that comes with security and accessibility issues.

Instead, the simpler option is to opt for an alternative media player that can play MKV files on Mac natively.

Here’s a list we put together for you, of the best MKV players for Macs.

Elmedia Player - The Complete Solution to Enjoying MKV on Mac

Watch MKV files on Mac with Elmedia

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

With Elmedia Player PRO, you can do even more. Get your most personalized viewing experience by using features like Air-Play streaming, 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.

Pros and Cons:

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
  • Watch videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo directly in your player window - completely ad-free

Cons:

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

VLC - Reliably Open MKV Files on Mac Every Time

Play MKV files on Mac with VLC

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 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.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Highly customizable with 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

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

Best MKV Player for Mac - 5KPlayer

5KPlayer is another popular free MKV player for Mac. 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.

Pros and Cons:

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

Cons:

  • New users may need time to get used to configuration

MKPlayer - A Solid Choice Mac MKV Player

Open MKV files on mac with MKPlayer

MKPlayer is another relatively common alternative MKV player for Macs. 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.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

IINA Player - The Mac MKV Player with UX in Mind

IINA - free MKV player for Mac

If you’re looking for a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of Mac MKV player, 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./p>

Pros and Cons:

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

Cons:

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

Things to consider when choosing an MKV video player


A good MKV player Mac app ought to be:

  1. Able to support high-quality videos like 4K and 8K.
  2. Compatible with macOS Big Sur.
  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.

Best Video Player for MacBook

So you’re looking for a video player for your Macbook? There are so many options but which one should you go with? What are things you need to keep in mind when looking for the perfect video player for you? Well, the first thing to keep in mind is performance and battery usage. Streaming and watching videos can last hours and if you’re not careful, it can quickly drain your battery before you even know it. So when looking for a video player, you should look for one that is lightweight (processing power) and energy-efficient. This way, you can enjoy hours of video content without worrying about it slowing down your MacBook or draining your battery. We recommend you go with Elmedia Player, as it meets these important criteria. You can change default video player Mac app and set Elmedia as a default player just in a few easy steps.

Table to find the best Mac MKV player in 2021

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 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

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, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

To play MKV files on Mac, you need to download a third-party video player that can play MKV files without additional codecs or plugins. You can choose any of the seven best MKV players we have discussed in the above article. Click on the download link and continue enjoying your videos.

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.

Yes, but you have to use a third-party Mac MKV player since QuickTime doesn’t support MKV files natively. A great app that’s highly reliable, powerful, and has everything you need is Elmedia Player. And it’s easy to download and start using in just minutes.

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 Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 59.66MB free space
Version 7.17(2353) (6 Dec, 2020) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication
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