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How to play AVI video file on Mac

Rob Parsons Updated on Apr 11, 2023 8:24 AM

Want to stream video from the collection in AVI on Mac or transfer to a portable Apple iOS device? The AVI format, short for Audio video interleave, was first developed by Microsoft in the early 1990s. The AVI file format is heavily used on PCs, but can't be used on a Mac computer. Even as for Apple's QuickTime media player, unfortunately, the free version of QuickTime is not compatible with all types of AVI video files on Mac. If you want the freedom to play AVI files on Mac, you must enable the Mac's OS X operating system so it can recognize AVI video files.

To be able to watch AVI on Mac, here are some methods for your reference.

Method 1: Convert AVI to QuickTime compatible formats

Converting AVI to Mac QuickTime file format makes AVI video files playable on all of the native Mac video programs. To play AVI for Mac, here we will use a tool called Video Converter for Mac, which enables you to drag-and-drop and convert AVI into any of QuickTime friendly formats like MOV, MP4 and M4V quickly and easily. After that, you can not only watch AVI on Mac smoothly, but also transfer the files into iTunes and sync with your iPhone, ATV or iPad for playback on the go.

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for Windows | for MacOS

As you open the program and add files into the interface, you will see the screenshot below:

Basic Steps:

  • Add your source .avi files onto the program via "Add File" button in the upper left corner of the screen. Note, as MKV is not acceptable on QuickTime player in Mac by default, here you can also import MKV files. Check out: How to play a 1080p MKV movie on Mac computer.
  • Select output format from "Profile" drop-down menu. Highlighted in No.2
  • Press the "Convert" button in the bottom right corner of the interface to start conversion.

Supported devices and OS:

  • Devices: iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and PC with Mac OS X
  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or above.

Method 2: Utilize Perian –a QT component package to handle AVI on Mac issue

If you already use QuickTime as your video player, you can still play .avi on a Mac. Perian is a handy free program that allows your Mac to play almost any movie format including AVI files. Installing this add-on software will let the Mac's QuickTime player play AVI movie files on Mac as easily as it does the native QuickTime video format. In fact it claims to play all the following movie formats: AVI, DIVX, FLV, MKV, GVI, VP6, and VFW, MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivx, H.264, Sorenson H.263, FLV/Sorenson Spark, FSV1, VP6, H263i, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Snow, NuppelVideo, Techsmith Screen Capture and DosBox Capture.

You can download it for free from perian.org (Update! Perian no longer works in OS X Mavericks or above, you can use another alternative — VLC media player, a swiss army knife that comes with large number of codecs on board and plays almost anything you throw at it).

Method 3: Use Elmedia Player

Should you want to watch AVI on MAC, there is another way. Elmedia Player is a top-notch media player that is specifically designed for Mac devices. With its advanced features and functionality, it is a great way to play AVI files on your Mac.

One of the key benefits of using Elmedia Player is its ability to play AVI files flawlessly. Unlike other media players that may struggle with playing AVI files, Elmedia Player can handle them with ease. It also supports a wide range of other video and audio file formats, making it a versatile media player for all your needs.

Elmedia Player also has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. The player allows you to customize playback settings to suit your preferences, such as changing the aspect ratio, adjusting the playback speed, and adding subtitles to your videos. If you want to play AVI on Mac OSX, you can count on Elmedia Player as the go-to solution.


While there are other apps or addons that will let you play AVI on Mac OSX, we had the best experience with two methods mentioned above. If you're looking for what is probably the easiest way to stream AVI video on Mac, Video Converter for Mac or Perian is definitely the way to go.

That's it! Hopefully this has provided much insight on how you should go about playing AVI file on a Mac.

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