How to Play AVI videos on Mac?

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Your AVI files cannot be played on Mac? Are you facing trouble playing your AVI video files on Mac QuickTime Player? If you are thinking why AVI files don’t play on Mac, here is a complete guide that explains why QuickTime cannot play AVI Files and how to open or play AVI files on Mac.

About AVI: .avi Files Not Playing on Mac

AVI is a multimedia container format developed by Microsoft. AVI files contain both Audio and video data in a file container that helps audio to synchronize with video playback. AVI is a sub format where data is stored in the form of tagged chunks of info. 

AVI Format

If AVI files have issues playing on Mac’s QuickTime player, one of the main reasons could be incompatible codec. A codec is a compressor/decompressor that is useful in understanding the video or audio tracks in an AVI file for your Media player. If the codec existing in the AVI is not compatible with QuickTime, AVI files cannot be played on Mac.

AVI file Format is divided into 3 sub chunks.

  • First one carries metadata that includes size of the file and frame rate. 
  • Second sub chunk is a movi tag that carries actual audio and video information of an AVI file.
  • Third (idx1 tag) is an optional chunk that holds the information about the Offset (address of the destination or reaching point within the file).

Why AVI files Cannot be Played on Mac?

QuickTime fails to open or play video files if the AVI index is broken or any of the codecs(chunks) used to encode the video is not available in QuickTime Player. To overcome this, you need to include the codec that supports AVI files on Mac.

However, this is now usually one of the older problems unless you are using an outdated QuickTime version for AVI files to play on Mac (AVI was initially called video for Windows) as QuickTime supports VFM formats. Nevertheless, the issue with AVI files and QuickTime players exists.

How to Play AVI in QuickTime On Mac?

Here are the few methods explained to make .avi files play on Mac. Follow the below mentioned methods to solve the AVI file not compatible with QuickTime and make your unplayable AVI files play

Install Add-on or a plugin to play AVI file on Mac

The QuickTime may sometimes not be able to play your AVI file because of incompatibility. However, with help of a support program you can play the AVI file without much interruption. 

Add-On or the Plugin is a supporting software that would help you in playing any video formats that you desire. Using a suitable plugin is one of the ways you can use  to make your AVI file playable on Mac.  Hence, download a suitable plugin to your QuickTime and enjoy your AVI files on Mac. 

Download and Install the Supporting Codec

An AVI file will be created based on a specific compression technique. There are many ways in which an AVI file is created or compressed. If the QuickTime player is not compatible with that precise compression method, it fails to open the file. However, by installing the right codes to your Mac that supports the file to play, the AVI files can be played.

You can go to the Divx website and download the AVI supporting codec.

Try a Different Media Player to Play AVI Files

QuickTime should be enough to play an AVI file. But if it does not work despite downloading new codec or plugin, you may try a different media player altogether. One of the most widely used and recommended software to play AVI files is VLC media player. Download the Mac version of VLC player, and then play your AVI file flawlessly.

Additional Info: Also, if not for VLC you can browse the Mac app store to find a suitable AVI player to play your file. Do make sure to include the file extension (in this case .avi) in the search query to find the appropriate AVI media player.

Also Read: VLC Player crashing and not responding on Windows and Mac OS

Play AVI files on macOS by Converting AVI to MOV

QuickTime is highly compatible with MOV videos. Hence, by converting the AVI to MOV file you will have a better chance to play the unplayable AVI file. To do so, you can download AVI converter software on Mac app store and convert the AVI to MOV. Once done, you can play the unplayable AVI files as MOV files on Mac.   

If you have tried all the above-mentioned methods to play AVI files on Mac and still there exists problem playing AVI files on QuickTime, this could be due to the corruption in the video file. To fix corruption on AVI files. You can make use of the most recommended tool video repair tool

SFWare Video Repair tool is one of the most recommended tools to fix the issue with AVI files cannot play on Mac. the added advantage of the tool is it works only on read only mode therefore the integrity of the file is unaltered. The tool works by analyzing the audio and video streams separately to identify any audio & video issues. 

Free Download for Mac

How to  Fix Corrupt AVI files and Play on Mac?

Download and install the SFWare AVI Repair tool on your Mac and follow the steps mentioned below

  • From the main screen, select the AVI Repair option
    Repair AVI file not playing on Mac
  • In the next step, Browse for the corrupted AVI file on your MacBrowse the AVI file to repair
  • Click on Repair to fix the corrupted AVI file
    SFWare repairs the unplayable AVI on QuickTime e
  • After fixing the file browse, for a location and click on Save to save the fixed AVI file.

Note: Refer to this article to learn how to troubleshoot the AVI Video Only Plays Audio issue.


With the above-mentioned methods AVI files can be played easily on your Mac. If your AVI files are not playable on Mac, you should keep your QuickTime player updated in a timely manner to avoid any errors. Despite your cautious approach, if you are not able to open AVI files on Mac, try using SFWare Video repair tool.

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