How to Play MKV in Mac OS X (El Capitan & Yosemte included)

Many QuickTime users just realized that they can't play the MKV or HD MKV files in their Mac OS X (Yosemite & Mavericks included). What's the matter? Can QuickTime play the MKV files? Actually, QuickTime player doesn't support the MKV or HD MKV files natively. So, is there any possible way to play an MKV file with QuickTime? Of course there is. Apart from QuickTime, there are a lot of options to help you play an MKV file in the Mac OS X (El Capitan & Yosemite included).

In order to play an MKV file in Mac (El Capitan & Yosemite included), we need to first learn something about the MKV format:

An MKV file is a free, open source container format developed by Matroska. It can hold different types and unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks in one file. For instance, there might be an .avi file contained within an .mkv file. An MKV file is not associated with a single player like QuickTime. That's the reason why people usually feel frustrated when they try to play an MKV file in QuickTime. Here are some solutions:

Solution 1: Convert MKV in Mac OS X (El Capitan & Yosemite included)

If you have a lot of MKV files and want to play them on more players like the iPhone, iPad or iPod, you'd better convert the MKV to other formats like the MP4, MOV, M4V or etc. Here, I'll recommend the Video Converter for Mac (Yosemite & Mavericks included), which enables you to convert an MKV to any popular video format for various players, devices and applications. For QuickTime, you can convert the MKV to an MOV file that is associated with QuickTime. See more tips below.

Download mac version

Step 1: Drag the MKV files onto the interface.

Step 2: Choose any format or device you want (most popular format or devices are also supported here).

Step 3: Simply hit Convert at the lower-right corner of its interface.

play mkv files

Watch the detailed video tutorial:

Solution 2: Convert MKV in Mac OS X with an online video converter

Here is an easier way. No need to install any programs. Try it out now.

Solution 3: Play MKV with a powerful MKV player for Mac (Yosemite) - Wondershare Player

If you don't like QuickTime, you can use the most powerful MKV player Mac has to offer; the Wondershare Player. It is a free and user-friendly application, playing any video and audio format file on every platform including Windows and Mac. For those who like one media player for all videos, the Wondershare Player will be the absolutely choice. What's more, it adds support for subtitle files. You can directly add subtitles to a movie without captions. It's really powerful, right? So have a try!

Get the MKV player for Mac (Yosemite & Mavericks included) right here:

Download mac version

 video player mac

Solution 4: Play QuickTime MKV — Install Perian plugin

Perian is a free, open source QuickTime component that adds native support for many popular video formats like the MKV.  When you've had Perian installed, you have to quit QuickTime completely and then restart it. Note that you don't just close the QuickTime Window; in fact, it's still running in the background. To do this, QuickTime can update its format and encoding library.

Note: If the Perian plugin is no longer working in your Mountain lion, there is another doable workaround. Please try a reliable Perian alternative on Mountain Lion and Perian alternative on Yosemite.

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Jordan, try to open it with Quicktime 7. That seems to work for me after intalling perian.
Thanks Christine, nice to see you addressing this problem as not many are. Perian v.1.2.3 (the latest current update) won't even play .mkv properly on Mac OS 10.6.8 even though it states it does. VLC is my only option.
Hi, Ramiz. Yes, as per its official website: "Perian stopped updating, and it may -- or may not -- work on 10.8 Mountain Lion." Thus, it maybe not function well on Mountain Lion. You can try some other workaronds like Perian Alternative to play MKV files on 10.8 succesfully. Thanks for your feedback.
First solution isn't work. Perian doesn't have fully worked update for Mountain Lion.
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