Apple’s default app doesn’t support MKV video files. So, how to play an MKV file on Mac or iPhone/iPad? This post offers simple workarounds you can use.

An MKV file is a Matroska video file, used for storing common multimedia content like movies or TV shows. Sometimes, you download a video from online sites and find it’s in MKV.

However, you can’t play it via QuickTime on Mac and you can’t open it on your iPhone or iPad’s built-in apps, because MKV is not natively supported on Mac and iPhone.

Thankfully, there’re other ways you can try. This post will teach you how to play an MKV file on Mac and iPhone.


If you need an MKV player and editor, you can try out MiniTool MovieMaker.

MiniTool MovieMakerClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

How to Play an MKV File on Mac?

How to watch MKV on Mac? Here’re 3 methods.

Method 1. Convert MKV to Mac-Supported Formats Online

To play MKV on Mac, the easiest way is to convert MKV to Mac-compatible formats online. Mac supports MOV, most MPEG (MP4, M4V, MPG, MP3, M4A), and some AVI and WAV files. These files can be opened on Mac without additional software.

Therefore, you can convert MKV to MOV online to play it on Mac smoothly. There’re many online MKV to MOV converters, such as CloudConvert, FreeConvert, Convertio, Zamzar, and AConvert.

Here’s how to convert MKV to MOV online using AConvert.

  1. Open the AConvert site and click Video on the left side.
  2. Click Choose Files to upload your MKV file.
  3. Click the Target format menu and select MOV.
  4. Click Convert Now to start MKV to MOV conversion.
  5. Once done, download the MOV file and play it on your Mac.

convert MKV to MOV online using AConvert

Method 2. Use a Mac MKV Player

The second method to play MKV files on Mac is to install an MKV player. There’re many available Mac MKV players in the market.

Elmedia Player is a free Mac video player that supports all common video formats like MKV, AVI, FLV, WMV, and more. How to open MKV on Mac using Elmedia Player? Just install and open this Mac MKV player, then drag and drop MKV files onto the main window or right-click an MKV file and choose Open with Elmedia.

Also, you can try VLC Media Player for Mac. It not only can play MKV files but also convert MKV to MOV. Moreover, you can use other Mac MKV players, such as MPlayer, 5KPlayer, GOM Player, and IINA Player.

Also read: Solved – How to Trim an MP3 File in Windows Media Player

Method 3. Install a QuickTime Plugin Perian

Perian is a QuickTime plugin that can help you play MKV files on Mac. But now, Perian is no longer under development and the final version may or may not work on 10.8. It still works on QuickTime 7.6.6.

If Perian isn’t compatible with your current version of QuickTime, just try methods 1 and 2 to open MKV files on your Mac easily.

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How to Play MKV Files on iPhone/iPad?

After learning how to open MKV files on Mac, you may wonder how to play MKV on iPhone because iPhone can’t play MKV natively. iPhone mainly works with MP4, MOV, and M4V formats. Check out this port – Common Video Formats Supported By iPhone & How to Convert Videos to learn more about iPhone video formats.

To play MKV on iPhone/iPad, you need an iPhone MKV player – VLC Media Player. You can easily download it from the App Store.

Next, find your MKV file on your iPhone, tap the Share icon, select the VLC app, and your MKV video will play.


To convert MKV or other video file types compatible with iPhone on your Windows PC, you can try MiniTool Video Converter. It’s a free mobile video converter that can convert videos for iPhone, Android, Huawei, and Samsung.

MiniTool Video ConverterClick to Download100%Clean & Safe


Many movies and videos you download from the web are in MKV format. To smoothly watch them on your Mac and iPhone/iPad, this post offers 4 methods. Just choose a way to watch MKV on your Mac and iPhone/iPad.

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