How to Play MP4 on Mac in 4 Easy Ways [Solved]

QuickTime Player cannot open MP4 on Mac? Don't fret, you can learn the ultimated guide on this page. Here, we will introduce some best MP4 player for Mac, and help you watch the MP4 videos on Mac smoothly.

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Jane Zhou

Updated on May 30, 2024

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While playing some MP4 videos on Mac, you might find that your Mac system sometimes cannot open the file. That's because there are different codecs associated with the MP4 file format, and your Mac exactly doesn't support the codecs that are contained in your MP4 file.

So, if you want to successfully open your MP4 videos on a Mac, stay here to find the solutions. This page will provide some easy yet useful methods to play MP4 on Mac smoothly. Now, let's get started!

Why Can't QuickTime Player Open MP4 on Mac?

MP4, also known as MPEG-4 Part 14, bears a striking resemblance to the QuickTime MOV file format in that both utilize the MPEG-4 codec for video compression. However, substantial differences exist between the two formats. The QuickTime format, developed with Apple's proprietary compression algorithm, offers limited MPEG features and is primarily designed for compatibility within the Mac ecosystem. Consequently, QuickTime may struggle to support MP4 files outside of Mac systems fully.

On the other hand, QuickTime Player is only capable of playing MP4 videos that are encoded with specific codecs, such as MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.264 for video, and MP3, AAC for audio. When an MP4 file contains different codecs or additional metadata, it can lead to error messages like "MP4 won't open on Mac" or "QuickTime Player can't open MP4".

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4 Methods to Open MP4 Files on Mac

In this section, we will show you different workable ways to play your MP4 movies on Mac in a snap!

Method 1. Play an MP4 on Mac via A Professional MP4 Recorder - Recommend

The easiest way to play MP4 videos on Mac is using an outstanding Mac MP4 player - EaseUS RecExperts. It supports almost all common media file formats, and allows you to enjoy them smoothly on Mac or PC. Videos (like MP4, MOV, AVI, etc.) and audio (MP3, AAC, FLAC) can be opened in this media player. Besides, you can enjoy them at various playback speeds, like 2X, 2.5X, and more, to meet your different needs. The best part is that you can even import a whole folder of MP4 videos to open them with this program. If you often deal with media files, don't miss such a fantastic Mac MP4 recorder!

Here's how to open MP4 files on Mac and Mac Pro:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS RecExperts, and click "Recordings" on the lower right to open the media player.

EaseUS RecExperts Click Task Scheduler

Step 2. In this window, you can see all your recorded files, including MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, MP3, etc.

A List of Recordings

Step 3. Click the file you want to play to view it immediately. You can also trim the file by clicking the scissor sign on the bottom.

Play MKV Files

Method 2. Open MP4 Movies on Mac by Converting to Mac Supported Format

Another useful way is to change your MP4 video into other video formats supported by Mac, like QuickTime (MOV). Handbrake can help you complete this task.

It is an open-source video converter that is compatible with both Windows and Mac. Using this freeware, you can convert almost all multimedia files in decent quality. Moreover, an array of additional features for customizing the files are supported by this free MP4 converter for Mac.

Step 1. Install and open Handbrake on your Mac, then click on the Source option in the top toolbar.

Step 2. Next, choose and import the MP4 file that you want to convert. After that, click on the Browse button to choose a saving path.

Step 3. Finally, choose MOV as the output format and click on Start to begin the conversion.

Convert MP4 to MOV

Step 4. Once done, you can play the converted MOV files via QuickTime Player.

Method 3. Play An MP4 on Mac by Installing Perian

As we said before, QuickTime only supports several MP4 codecs. So, if you cannot open MP4 on Mac via QuickTime Player, Perian will help you.

It is a perfect mate for QuickTime. With this add-on installed, QuickTime Player will open a wide range of codes, including MP4, AVI, MKV, WMV, and much more. Now, check out the following tutorials to make your QuickTime Player more compatible:

Step 1. Move to, then install Perian.

Step 2. Once installed, you will see this plugin listed inside System Preferences.

Install Perian

Step 3. Find the AVI video you want to play on your Mac, then right-click on it to open with QuickTime Player.

Note: Perian doesn't work on Mac OS X Mavericks, Yosemite, Mac 10.11 EI Capitan, and Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

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Method 4. Open MP4 on Mac with Elemdia Player (Third-Party)

Elemdia Player is one of the most popular Mac MP4 players. It supports most video formats and comes with lots of customizable options. With its help, you are able to open MP4, MKV, MOV, FLV, or other videos effortlessly. Unlike QuickTime Player, you don't need to download or install any plugins or codecs.

What's more, this MP4 player offers a set of features, including syncing audio with subtitles, highlighting bookmarks, configuring subtitles according to your taste, etc. All in all, it is a nice choice for enjoying movies on Mac.

Elemdia player

Step 1. Download and install this media player on Mac's official website, then open it.

Step 2. Click "File" > "Open" to select the MP4 file you want to access from the Main Menu.

Step 3. At last, you can enjoy watching your MP4 videos in your desired way.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are a lot of methods you can try to play MP4 videos on a Mac. All you need to do is to choose the right one that suits your needs best. Eerything considered, we highly recommend EaseUS RecExperts. This software can not only lets you play MP4 files on your Mac, but also allows you to record MP4 files on your Mac screen. Just download it and have a try!

How to Play MP4 on Mac FAQs

1. Why can't I play MP4 files on my Mac?

QuickTime is the default media player on Mac, which only supplying MP4 encoded with MEG-4 or H.264 video codec. However, apart from the codecs mentioned above, The MP4 format also contains other video and audio codecs. That's the main reason that you cannot play MP4 files on Mac, and another reason is that your MP4 file might be damaged.

2. What program will play MP4 videos on a Mac?

There are lots of media players on Mac that can open MP4 videos:

  • EaseUS RecExperts
  • Elmedia
  • VLC Media Player
  • 5KPlayer
  • DivX Player

3. Does Mac support MP4 videos?

Yes, Mac supports MP4 videHowever, But it only supports certain formatmats codecs, like MPEG-4, H.264, and AAC codecs. So, if your MP4 videos contain other codecs, you might fail while playing MP4 files on Mac.

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