Solved: How to Play AVI Files on Mac

Mac’s native QuickTime player does not support AVI files. However, if you wish to play AVI files on a Mac, you can try using a different media player or convert the files to a different video format compatible with Mac or download the required video codec.

AVI Files Overview

Audio Video Interleave or AVI by Microsoft is a video container that has both audio and video in a single file which helps in synchronous audio-video playback.

AVI files are were default video file format of Nikon and Olympus DSLR cameras, You would notice .avi files on video productions as well as consumption because it is easy to edit, share, and consume content online with AVI.

But there are downsides to AVI files as well, The RAW AVI files can have a very large file size, they do not support embedded subtitles and variable bitrate and it works smoothly only on PCs. For a Mac user, things are pretty difficult when trying to open AVI on Mac.

Why Can’t I Open or Play AVI Files on My Mac QuickTime?

Mac’s native Quicktime player doesn’t recognize the Cinepak and ALaw 2:1 codecs used in AVI video, so you’ll have to find other options to play AVI files on Mac, such as:

Go through the next section where I have elaborated on each of the above-mentioned methods in detail.

How to Play AVI Files on Mac?

For Macs running OS X 10.7 or earlier: Users previously installed Perian plugins on their QuickTime player to view and play AVI files.

However, since the Perian plug-in is no longer officially supported, we need to explore alternative methods to watch AVI files on Mac.

For the 10.7 above follow the fixes below to view AVI on Mac:

Method 1: Install the Correct Codecs to Play AVI Files on Mac

To play AVI on Mac, you can install the necessary codecs like 3ivx MPEG-4 on your system.

This codec will support all videos with the .avi extension so that you can play the video file on the QuickTime player. this would also fix codec errors in your AVI files.

NOTE: Download codecs only from reliable sources, unreliable sources can contain malware which can corrupt the system files.

Method 2: Open AVI Files using a Different AVI Supporting Media Players

If QuickTime Player isn’t playing your AVI files then choose a different media player that supports AVI files on mac,

Choose VLC, Elmedia Player, NicePlayer, MPlayerX, and KMPlayer that open AVI files on Mac without any hiccups and are ad-free.

Also Read: Fix AVI File Not Playing Audio In QuickTime

Method 3: Convert the AVI file to MOV or MP4 Format

If you are specific about getting your .avi files to play in QuikTime then this is the best solution for you, try converting the avi videos into Mac-compatible formats like MOV and MP4 using an online converter or VLC Media Player.

Here’s how to convert AVI to MP4 using VLC Media Player:

  • Launch VLC Media Player and click on Convert / Stream.
  • In the Window with Drop media here, you can Click on Open Media to select the AVI file or either drag and drop it.
  • Select the new format (MOV or MP4) in the drop-down below Choose Profile.
  • Now select a destination for the converted video file format and wait for the conversion to be completed.

Once the file format conversion is completed you can view the destination to see the converted video file.

Now open AVI on mac, the video file must be playing. In case the video is not playing on Mac then we suspect corruption issues and you will have to repair the AVI video file.

Precaution: Before repairing the AVI video file, try playing it on a Windows PC to check for any playback issues or audio problems on the AVI. Proceed with the repair only if you notice any such issues with the AVI video file.

Repair the Corrupt AVI Files On Mac

If none of the above solutions was able to play AVI files on Mac? Then the AVI video file could be corrupted. We suggest using dedicated video repair software in situations like these.

You will require an efficient video repair tool like Yodot Video Repair to fix the corrupt AVI file. The tool has a very simple UI capable of repairing the video file without having any quality loss and provides a free preview before saving the file and it’s completely safe.

Steps to use Yodot Video Repair to fix to play the AVI files on Mac.

Step 1: Launch the tool, select the video, and click on Repair.

select the avi file from the main screen

Step 2: The tool starts repairing the corrupt video file.

the tool starts repairing the avi file

Step 3: After completion, preview the recovered video file and save it on your device.

preview the avi file after repairing


Since Windows and Mac offer different computing experiences, this can cause file compatibility issues. Watching AVI files on a Mac could also be added to that list.

We conclude here with the hope that the solutions mentioned above answered “How to watch AVI on Mac?”. If troubleshooting doesn’t work, try using Yodot Video Repair to fix the video files easily as it can repair AVI files that won’t open in VLC as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Mac have an MP4 converter tool?

No, macs don’t have a built-in video converter tool, you can use media player applications like VLC, Elmedia player, or an online converter tool to convert your video file.

Does changing AVI to MP4 reduce quality?

Yes, converting AVI to MP4 leads to quality loss but it depends on several factors like conversion tool, original AVI Encoding, and MP4 encoding settings.

Which video formats can be played on QuickTime?

QuickTime can play MOV, MP4, M4V, MPEG-2, AVCHD, and some versions of WMV and FLV formats.