How to Open AVI Files on Mac: A Beginner’s Guide

Opening AVI Files on Mac – The Ultimate Guide

If you are a Mac user and have some AVI files to open, you might have noticed that sometimes they can’t be played on QuickTime or any other native media players. It can be pretty frustrating, especially when you need to access the files urgently. But worry not, as this article will guide you through the steps of opening AVI files on your Mac in no time.


Step 1: Download VLC
The best solution to open any type of media files on your Mac is to download a reliable media player that supports multiple formats. In this case, we recommend VLC Media Player, a free-to-use software that can play nearly any format of audio and video files.

Step 2: Install VLC
Once you have downloaded the installation file of VLC, double-click on it to open the installer wizard. Follow the on-screen instructions and drag VLC to the Applications folder.

Step 3: Launch VLC
After the installation is complete, open VLC by navigating to the “Applications” folder and double-clicking on the VLC icon.

Step 4: Open AVI file in VLC
Navigate to the AVI file that you want to open, right-click on it, and choose “Open with” from the menu. Choose VLC from the list, and the AVI file will open in VLC.

Step 5: Use VLC settings
In case the AVI file still doesn’t play, head over to the VLC preferences and adjust the settings accordingly. You can access the preferences under the “VLC” option on the top menu bar.

Step 6: Install codec packages
If you are still having trouble with opening the AVI file, you might need to install some codec packages that correspond to the format and type of your video. Codec packages can easily be downloaded from the internet and installed on your Mac.

Step 7: Convert the AVI file
Another solution is to convert the AVI file into a compatible format that can be played on your Mac. There are various free or paid software that can help you with that, such as HandBrake or Wondershare UniConverter.

Step 8: Upload the file to cloud storage
If none of the above solutions worked, another option is to upload the AVI file to cloud storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox. You can then access the file on any device that supports the cloud service.

Step 9: Use an online converter
In case you don’t want to install any additional software, you can use an online converter to convert the AVI file into a compatible format. Online converters such as Online-Convert or Zamzar are free and easy to use.

Step 10: Play the file on other media players
If you have other media players installed on your Mac, such as QuickTime or Elmedia Player, you might want to try opening the AVI file with those too.

Step 11: Update your software
Your Mac might need some updates or software upgrades to support new formats or codecs. Make sure that your Mac software is up-to-date and running smoothly.

Step 12: Seek professional help
If all else fails, seek professional help from a technician or IT expert who can assess and troubleshoot any issues related to opening AVI files on your Mac.


While AVI files can be played on many media players, Macs tend to have difficulty opening them. This is because AVI files are encoded with different codecs that are not supported by QuickTime or other native media players. For this reason, you need to install a third-party media player such as VLC or use other alternative solutions.

Tips and Tricks

1. Always back up your files before attempting to convert or troubleshoot them
2. Use a reliable source to download codec packages or other software
3. Use online forums or community groups to find solutions to your AVI file issues
4. Keep your Mac software up-to-date to ensure compatibility with new formats
5. Use external hard drives or cloud storage to store large-sized video files
6. Avoid tampering with original file formats unless necessary
7. Seek help from a professional if you are not comfortable with technical troubleshooting
8. Use keyboard shortcuts to enhance your experience with media players
9. Adjust the playback speed or volume as needed for optimal viewing
10. Remember to close any unnecessary applications or programs to avoid lag or delays in playback.

In conclusion, opening AVI files on Mac can be challenging, but it can easily be resolved with the right steps and tips. Remember to always use reliable sources and back up your files to avoid any mishaps. With patience and persistence, you can enjoy your AVI files on your Mac without any problems.

Advantages and Disadvantages: How to Open AVI Files on Mac

AVI (Audio Video Interleave) files are popular multimedia container formats used for saving audio and video files. Although Mac computers can open and play various video formats, they may encounter difficulty in opening AVI files. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of opening AVI files on Mac.

Advantages of using QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player is a built-in media player on Mac computers. Here are some advantages:

  1. It is free and has limited installation and setup requirements.
  2. It can handle a broad range of multimedia content, including AVI files that are encoded using common codecs.
  3. It supports basic editing, including trimming and splitting clips.
  4. It provides simple controls for playback, including playback rate adjustments and volume control.
  5. It allows users to share their videos and perform simple tasks, such as recording audio and video from a webcam.

Disadvantages of using QuickTime Player

Despite its advantages, QuickTime Player has several drawbacks when it comes to playing AVI files:

  1. It may require codec installation, which can be time-consuming and confusing for novice users.
  2. It may not be able to play all AVI files, especially those that use rare or less common codecs.
  3. It may not support subtitles and other additional features of some AVI files.
  4. It may not offer advanced editing features, such as adding effects or transitions.
  5. It may not be able to handle large and high-quality AVI files smoothly, resulting in lags or crashes.

Advantages of using VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a cross-platform and open-source media player that can play various multimedia files, including AVI files, on Mac computers. Below are its advantages:

  1. It is free, lightweight, and easy to download and install.
  2. It can play almost all video and audio formats, including those that are compressed or encoded using less common codecs.
  3. It allows users to adjust various settings, such as aspect ratio, playback speed, and audio channels.
  4. It can support subtitles, equalizers, and other additional features of some AVI files.
  5. It provides basic editing tools, such as capturing screenshots and recording videos.

Disadvantages of using VLC Media Player

Despite its advantages, VLC Media Player also has some limitations that users need to consider:

  1. It may not be as user-friendly as QuickTime Player, especially for those who prefer simpler interfaces and controls.
  2. It may crash or freeze when playing large or high-definition AVI files, especially those with multiple video or audio streams.
  3. It may require some tweaking of its settings to optimize its performance and compatibility with specific AVI files.
  4. It may not support or recognize some hardware or software components of Mac computers.
  5. It may not provide advanced editing or customization options, such as adding metadata or watermarks.


1. What is an AVI file?

An AVI file is a type of video file format that was developed by Microsoft in the 1990s. It stands for Audio Video Interleave.

2. Can Mac open AVI files?

Yes, Mac can open AVI files using QuickTime player or other third-party media players.

3. How do I open an AVI file on my Mac?

You can open an AVI file on your Mac by right-clicking on the file and selecting “Open with” and select QuickTime player or another media player of your choice.

4. Why won’t QuickTime play my AVI file?

QuickTime might not play your AVI file if the required CODECs are not installed on your Mac. In that case, try using another media player like VLC or install the necessary CODECs.

5. Can I convert an AVI file to a different format on my Mac?

Yes, you can convert an AVI file to a different format using media conversion software or QuickTime Pro.

6. How do I download a media player on my Mac?

You can download a media player on your Mac like QuickTime player by visiting the official website of the media player and downloading the application from there.

7. Is it safe to download media players on my Mac?

Yes, it is safe to download media players on your Mac as long as you download them from a reputable source and not from a third-party website.

8. What is the best media player for Mac?

The best media player for Mac varies depending on individual preferences, but popular options include QuickTime player, VLC, and MplayerX.

9. How do I troubleshoot issues with opening AVI files?

You can troubleshoot issues with opening AVI files by checking if the necessary CODECs are installed, trying to play the file on a different media player, or converting the file to a different format.

10. Can I edit AVI files on my Mac?

Yes, you can edit AVI files on your Mac using video editing software such as iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro.

11. How do I compress AVI files on my Mac?

You can compress AVI files on your Mac using video compression software such as HandBrake or QuickTime Pro.

12. How do I fix sync issues with AVI files on my Mac?

You can fix sync issues with AVI files on your Mac by using video editing software to adjust the audio and video tracks manually or by converting the file to a different format.

13. Can I play AVI files on my iPhone or iPad?

Yes, you can play AVI files on your iPhone or iPad by using third-party media player apps such as Infuse or VLC.

How to Open AVI Files on Mac: Tips and Tricks

If you are a Mac user, you might have found yourself in a situation where you downloaded a video file in AVI format and couldn’t open it. AVI is not a native video format for Apple devices, which is why you might encounter some compatibility issues. But don’t worry, in this article, we will show you how to open AVI files on your Mac using different methods.


Opening an AVI file on a Mac might seem like a daunting task, but as you can see, there are several methods you can use to accomplish it. Depending on your preferences and needs, you might choose one method over another. For example, if you need to play AVI files frequently, you might consider installing a third-party media player like VLC or Elmedia Player. On the other hand, if you only need to open an AVI file from time to time, you might prefer to use QuickTime Player or convert the file to a more compatible format like MP4.


We hope this article has helped you learn how to open AVI files on your Mac. Remember that compatibility issues can happen with any video format, and it’s always good to have a backup plan. If you encounter any other problems with your Mac, don’t hesitate to search for solutions online or consult with an expert. Thank you for reading, and until next time!