Have you found that the pre-installed video player on your Mac cannot play some of your videos? Or that it sometimes lags or stutters? What you need is a reliable and powerful video player for Mac that plays all formats and avoids all the problems you encountered.
This article lists some of the best video players for Mac in 2023 with detailed reviews. Whatever you need, simple and easy-to-use players or more advanced ones with rich features, you can find it here.
For a quick summary, our top pick is iFunia Media Player, recommended for everyone, and VLC is another best video player for Mac, recommended more for advanced users. Of course, there are more options worth considering in the list. Read on for more information!
We tested more than a dozen video/media players for Mac, and adhered to the following criteria.
You can first determine your needs and requirements, then consider the evaluation in next section to choose the best Mac video player for you.
Compatibility: macOS 10.11 or later
Download size: 29MB
Price: Free; $19.99 for Pro version with video conversion feature
Developed by iFunia Studio, this best video player for Mac supports all video formats, such as MP4, MKV, WebM, MOV, WMV, DVD folders and more. It also plays any audio files including MP3, M4A, OGG, FLAC, etc. Also, it is well optimized for macOS to smoothly play movies and any HD videos up to 8K resolutions seamlessly.
It offers you a full control over video playback, including playback modes, Volume control, Rotate, Mini-screen, Playlist, etc. You can also add .ass or .srt subtitles, and switch soundtracks. Being completely free to play videos, it provides a Pro version with conversion feature to watch your videos on different devices. We highly recommend this lightweight and functional video player for Mac to all users.
Compatibility: macOS 10.7.5 or later.
Download size: 48MB
Supported by VideoLAN non-profit organization, VLC Media Player is undoubtedly the most popular video player for Mac today, known for its unparalleled format support and high degree of customization. It also plays compressed files or partially downloaded videos.
Hidden under its old-fashioned interface, there are loads of tools and settings to tweak by yourself. You can change the playback quality and speed, add filter, increase the volume to 200% up most, etc. You can extend this best video player for Mac through plugins and make it a versatile tool customized for yourself, including video conversion and recording features. However, most advanced features come with a learning curve for novice users.
Compatibility: macOS 10.11 or later
Download size: 75.2MB
IINA is another free and open-source media player program. Unlike VLC, it is designed only for modern macOS. Based on mpv, this best video player for Mac supports all popular video formats. Also, you can play online streams with its browser extension and Youtube-dl.
With a minimalist UI design, IINA includes many free features such as online subtitle search, speed control, Touch Bar support, music mode, picture-in-picture, and a customizable UI.
It can offer an immersive experience for watching movies with its frameless design and dark mode. So it can be a top choice to watch movies and TV shows on Mac.
Compatibility: macOS 10.6.3 or later
QuickTime Player is the default player program pre-insalled with Mac. It lets you watch HD movies or clips in MOV, most MPEG files(.MP4, .M4V) and some AVI and WAV files..
The latest QuickTime X includes basic video editing, conversion, recording and live streaming support. You can trim the video, export it to 4 different resolutions or extract the audio only.
The biggest drawback of this default video player for Mac is very limited format support. It does not support some popular video formats such as MKV, WebM, WMV, etc.
Compatibility: macOS 10.12 and higher
Download size: 93.5 MB
Price: Free; $19.99 for Pro version
Elmedia Player is one of the best video players for Mac that will play any files you throw at it, such as MP4, AVI, MOV, SWF, DAT, FLV, etc. It also performs well when playing high resolutions like 4K videos. The free version provides full playback control including subtitle and audio track supports, playback speed and volume.
However, most of its advanced features are only available in the Pro version. For example, if you want to stream your videos to TVs and Chromecast devices via AirPlay, make screenshots of playing videos, or switch to the picture-in-picture mode, you will need to purchase the paid version.
Compatibility: macOS 10.13 or later
Download size: 52 MB
Price: $4.99 for Movist; $7.99 for Movist Pro
Movist is a video player designed for macOS like IINA. It offers a modern style of macOS including light and dark themes. As a paid video player for Mac, it’s equipped with rich playback features to enhance users’ watching experience.
It is optimized to consume less power to ensure a smooth playback of UHD videos. During playback, you can view multiple subtitles in different languages at the same time, or select multiple tracks simultaneously. You can pay more to get the Pro version, which will let you watch videos on a website without buffering.
Compatibility: macOS 10.8 or later
Download size: 69MB
5K player is a feature-packed free video player for Mac, a mixture of free media player, media streamer and online downloader. It plays videos in most popular formats as well as 360°videos. Similar to Elmedia, 5K Player can also stream audio video via AirPlay & DLNA. The free model is based on ads.
However, the download and installation can be sketchy. It changes the default video player on your Mac without asking or prompting. And many users reported that it is difficult to uninstall it.
The most popular is not necessarily the best for you. Usually, you do not need to pay for Mac video player because there are plenty of functional freeware, but anything other than video playback is a different story and usually costs extra. I believe you’ve found your best video player for Mac after reading this article. If not, then just download and try them out, starting at the top!
Despite the popularity of VLC, many Mac users are looking for a better alternative player that is more lightweight and easier to use. VLC looks outdated for macOS, and its interface is not very clear and intuitive, full of confusing settings for beginners.
We recommend the free video players for Mac listed above as the best alternatives. And iFunia Media Player is our top pick. It offers modern interfaces more adapted to macOS, and also supports a broad range of video formats like VLC. It’s simple yet powerful, allowing you to customize playback settings and easily convert videos to other devices. You can choose the best alternative based on your needs.
QuickTime Player can play MP4 videos encoded with MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264 codecs, but it may fail to play others due to incompatibility. In this case, you need to install another video player for Mac.
Luckily, there are many freeware programs that can play MP4 videos in any codec. We recommend iFunia, VLC and IINA as the best free MP4 players for Mac. You can choose one of them as you like.
The default QuickTime Player on your Mac can play high-quality video up to 4K in some formats, but it won’t play 8K video or other incompatible video files. In this case, you can choose a third-party video player for Mac from our recommendations above, such as VLC, iFunia, IINA and Elmedia. These video players are all capable of playing 4K/8K video in any format.
Cheryl has been writing tutorials, reviews, and how-to articles on consumer apps since 2016. She specializes in multimedia products and is always testing on Mac, PC, and various devices.