Is the AVI file on your MacBook not opening or playing? If this occurs, you’ll be wondering how you can open & play the AVI file on Mac.
Unfortunately, Mac devices (including the MacBook Air and Pro) don’t have the proper codec to open and play AVI files & videos in quicktime natively.
Theres four main methods to quickly open and play a AVI file on Mac.
- Using a Top video player like VLC
- Installing a Codec to Mac
- Installing a Plugin for Quicktime player
- Using an AVI to MOV Converter
I’ll show you how each of the above methods will allow you to open & play AVI files in under 1-2 mins or less.
My preferred method is simply using a reliable, top video player for Mac, since Mac OS doesn’t natively support AVI files.
Related: The Best way to play a MKV file on Mac
In this post, we’ll cover how you can open and play a AVI file on Mac and the necessary steps to do so. We’ll present 4 different options and cover the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Key Takeaways – 4 Fastest ways to open an AVI on Mac
AVI files won’t play on Mac due to the lack of proper codec for Quicktime. However, you can open and play AVI files on your Mac by
- The most common method to open AVI files on Mac is by downloading a top video player for Mac that can play avi files (VLC is one). These can easily open AVI files without any complicated setup.
- Downloading the codec (3ivX MPEG-4) on your Mac will allow your default video player (Quicktime) to open up AVI files and play them.
- Quicktime, the default video player on Mac, can also open up AVI files by installing the Perian plugin. Once you have downloaded Perian and opened the .dmg file, Quicktime will be able to play AVI containers.
- If you are you only opening and playing an AVI only once (and never opening up another AVI file again), then simply use a AVI to MOV Converter. There’s no lengthy process or software to download to your computer.
There are also 21+ powerful video players for Mac that can play AVI files.
- Key Takeaways – 4 Fastest ways to open an AVI on Mac
- Why won’t AVI files open and play on Mac?
- How to open & play AVI files on Mac
- Why your AVI file corrupt on Mac and how to fix it
- The best video players that can open AVI Files on Mac
Why won’t AVI files open and play on Mac?
Perhaps you downloaded a video, movie, or show onto your MacBook and you want to open it and the file extension is AVI, but when you try to open and play it, you receive an error. What can you do?
The main reason why AVI files won’t open and play on Mac is because the device doesn’t have the proper codec to open and play AVI files & videos in quicktime natively.
Related: 4 Ways to use VLC media player with Apple TV
When Cinepak and ALaw 2:1 codecs aren’t recognized by Quicktime, your AVI won’t open or play on Mac.
This means you’ll need to use one of the various options that will allow your Mac book air, or Pro to recognize the file and give it the ability to open it.
These methods include but are not limited to plug-ins, media players, and downloading the actual Codec. For many a one time conversion from AVI to a compatible Mac format is also an option.
How to open & play AVI files on Mac
Viewing AVI files on a Mac requires 3ivx Codec, Perian plugin, VLC player, AVI to MOV converter, or a media player with AVI compatibility.
Converting from MKV to AVI can be done with a web based app that transcodes the video format without changing the original file.
Alternatively, we have a few other ways that include using a video player on Mac that can handle AVI properly. Let’s dive into all the ways you can open & play AVI files.
Option 1. Allow QuickTime to play AVI files by installing the 3ivx Codec
By having the 3ivX MPEG-4 Codec on your Mac, you’ll be able to open up AVI files and play them on your default video player, which is QuickTime on Mac.
It’s extremely easy to do this – simply install the 3ivx MPEG-4 codec on your system and then open and view AVI files on Mac by right clicking or opening in the Quicktime app.
Codecs support all video files with AVI extensions and can be played by QuickTime and other media players on Macs.
3ivx also decodes:
- M4A files.
- MPEG-4 video
- MPEG-4 AAC audio,
It is compatible with various MPEG-4 types such as:
- DivX 3
Related: How to make VLC the Default Player on Mac and Windows
Option 2: Download the Perian Plugin for Quicktime and open AVI files.
Playing an AVI file on your Mac is easy when you use the QuickTime with Perian Plugin because it will allow AVI files to be opened permanently and without effort after you install it.
This plugin adds support for other codecs as well and not just AVI. for example, DivX, DivX 3.11 alpha, XviD, MS-MPEG4 V3, 3ivX, MS-MPGE4 v2, MP- MEPEG4 v1, Truemotion VP6, Sorenson H.263 FLV and other formats.
To get started with this option on your Mac OS X system all you need to do is download the Perian package and install it in the QuickTime library of your user or top level library if you want every user to access it.
Once this has been done restart all programs running QuickTime (iTunes QuickTime player and browser) and voila you can now play any AVI file with ease!
Option 3. Open and play an AVI file using VLC Player on Mac
VLC media player is a video player that supports many video formats and is great choice for playing AVI files on Mac devices.
To start, you need to download and install VLC media player for Mac. Next, follow these steps to get AVI on your Mac:
1. Open your Mac and launch VLC media player.
2. Under the ‘File’ tab, select ‘Open File’. A dialogue box will appear.
3. Click on the hard drive icon or folder icon, whichever is applicable to you, to bring up the directory where your .avi files reside.
4. Select the .avi file that you wish to watch and click ‘OK’ button in order to confirm your selection of file.
5. The movie or downloaded AVI file should now begin playing automatically in VLC media player for Mac once you hit ‘Play’ button.
Once chosen, the AVI video will automatically play on the VLC media player. With VLC media player for Mac, you can manage your playlist and make adjustments such as volume and contrast easily.
So if you’re looking for a reliable choice that provides a great user experience for playing AVI files on Mac, then this option is definitely worth considering.
Option 4. Use a AVI to MOV video converter
Although the main methods of getting AVI to work on Mac is through a video player or the perian plugin – they are not your only option. What if you don’t want to download a media player and want to use your Mac Default player to open AVI?
You can use an MKV to AVI video converter to convert your digital video files from the MKV storage format to the AVI format. These web based apps utilizes a computer program that can change the container format of your digital video without changing the actual video format, or it may recompress the video in a process called transcoding.
To use this, simply upload your video by dragging it into the Upload box on the video converter and then download the file in a .MOV or quicktime compatible format.
Option 5. Use a Media player with AVI compatibility
If you don’t want to use the Perian plugin or a video converter, then you can also use a media player that is compatible with AVI files.
There are many different media players available for Mac, such as VLC Media Player, MPlayerX, and Elmedia Player. All of these players support AVI files and provide an easy way to play them on your Mac.
To get started, simply download the media player of your choice and install it on your Mac. Once installed, open the player and find the option for “open”, typically located in the menu bar at the top of the screen on most media players.
Then select “Open File” from the drop-down menu and choose the AVI file you want to watch. The file will then begin playing automatically in the media player if it supports AVI.
Why your AVI file corrupt on Mac and how to fix it
If you’re unable to play AVI videos even with the right codec, compatible player, or conversion to MOV, then consider using a video repair software for AVI files. The issue may be due to a corrupt file, which cannot be played on any system.
For example, a video repair software will allow you to do the following in order to fix the corrupt file.
- Add File: Upload as many corrupt AVI files as you need to repair.
- Select Repair: This starts the repair process (automatic)
- Preview & Save: Preview the repaired video to confirm it works and save it to your desired location on Mac.
Also see: Is a MacBook Air Good for Video Editing (The Truth)
The best video players that can open AVI Files on Mac
Below, are some of the best video players for Mac that can open and play AVI multimedia containers without any issues.
1. VLC Player
VLC is a free, open-source, and cross-platform multimedia player that can play various audio and video formats, including MKV files on Mac. It is easy to use, highly customizable, and well known as the best video player for mac when you have a digital container format that is difficult to open.
Whenever a video file can’t be opened on Mac, I try VLC first as it almost always works due to the supported formats. You can even use VLC on other devices that can play media (not only MacBook), for example you can use VLC on Roku as well.
Plex can let you watch new movies as it’s a media server and player that organizes your personal media collection and streams it to all of your devices. It’s available on Mac as well as many other devices, like Roku.
In addition to playing MKV files on Mac, it also supports a wide range of other file formats and provides a clean, easy-to-use interface for browsing and playing your media.
Jellyfin is a free and open-source media server software that allows you to manage and stream your personal media collection, including movies, TV shows, music, and photos, to various devices, including Mac computers.
Related: Jellyfin vs Plex vs Emby: Which is better? (The Truth)
To use Jellyfin to play AVI files on Mac, you first need to set up the Jellyfin server on your computer. You can then add your AVI files to the Jellyfin library and access them from your Mac.
Emby media player is a free media player software that allows you to organize, play, and stream your own media collection on a variety of devices – Macs can run this.
It provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface to browse and play your media, including AVI file and is quite unique compared to VLC player.
To play AVI files on Mac using Emby, simply install the software, add your media files, and use the built-in media player to play the files.
Additionally, Emby provides support for a wide range of video and audio codecs, ensuring that your AVI files will play smoothly.
XBMC (now known as Kodi) is a free, open-source multimedia player and entertainment center for Mac that supports a wide range of video and audio formats, including MKV files. It provides a standard interface for browsing and playing your media, and has advanced features such as support for different video aspect ratios.
5. MPlayer X
MPlayer X is a free, open-source multimedia player for Mac that supports a wide range of video and audio formats, including MKV files. It has some similarities to VLC mediaplayer in that has a wide range of compatible video formats it accepts.
6. Movist Pro
Movist Pro is a commercial media player for Mac that supports a wide range of video and audio formats, including MKV files. It also has support for multiple audio tracks, subtitle support, and support for different video aspect ratios.
7. Elmedia Player
Elmedia Player is a commercial media player for Mac that supports a wide range of video and audio formats, including MKV files. It has basic UI and has advanced features such as support for different video aspect ratios.
5KPlayer is a free, multimedia player for Mac that supports a wide range of video and audio formats, including MKV files. It provides basic playback features such as volume control, and full-screen mode.
How to convert AVI to MP4 on a MacBook?
You can convert an AVI video file to MP4 on Mac a few different ways. One way to by using HandBrake (app) or another free web based converter.
Important: There are media players that can help play back AVI files without conversion, but if you still need to convert I’ll give you a step by step process I’ve personally tested.
To convert AVI to MP4 on a Mac using a Web based converter, follow these steps:
- Open up a Web Based AVI to MP4 converter
- Launch the app and drag and drop the AVI videos you want to convert into the program
- Click the format icon and choose MP4 or MP4 HEVC as the output format
- Adjust video quality properties if needed (optional)
- Edit the AVI video before conversion (optional)
- Choose an output folder and click “Convert”
- Find the converted file by clicking the check mark button.
As an alternative, you can use workaround methods to convert the AVI file to other formats more quickly, such as MP4, by using Office for Web or a PowerPoint client.
To do this, upload the AVI file to an online platform (such as Stream, YouTube, SlideShare, or Vimeo), and then insert the online video into PowerPoint.
Related: How to Download a Youtube Video with VLC (Windows & Mac)
Related: The 7 Best MacBooks for Photoshop & Photo Editing
Converting AVI to MP4 does not take much time and there are also media players that can help play back AVI files so you don’t need to convert.
What are the advantages of using AVI over MOV?
AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is an older video format that has been around for many years and is widely supported by various media players.
AVI files have a simple structure, which makes them easy to play, edit, and stream.
Additionally, AVI files can be compressed using a variety of codecs, which allows them to be smaller in size while retaining good video quality.
What is the difference between AVI and MP4 formats?
AVI and MP4 are both video file formats, but they have some differences. AVI is an older format that is supported by a wider range of media players but may not support some of the newer video and audio codecs.
Audio Video Interleaved (AVI) is older, while MP4 is a newer format that is optimized for streaming and is more efficient in terms of file size, but may not be supported by older media players.
Can you play AVI files on an iPhone or iPad?
Yes, you can play AVI files on an iPhone or iPad, but you may need to install a third-party media player app, such as VLC for iOS, OPlayer Lite, or ACPlayer. Additionally, you may need to convert the AVI files to a format that is compatible with iOS, such as MP4 or MOV.
AVI files don’t natively play on Mac devices because they lack the proper codec, so in this post I discussed how there are several ways users can open and play AVIs on Mac, including 3ivX MPEG-4 Codec or Perian Plugin for QuickTime.
Other compatible video players (like VLC player) can also be used to open and view AVI files on Mac without any complicated setup.