Why QuickTime can't play AVI video on Mac?

AVI is among the most widely used file formats for videos today, but for Mac users, it's always not so easy to play AVI file with QuickTime player, especially when you have upgraded to the latest OS X 10.9 Mavericks.Why can't QuickTime play AVI videos? As a container format, AVI is not a specific type of file and there is no single codec for videos with .avi externsions. This is the reason why you can't play AVI movies with Quicktime on Mac or Windows computers. Luckily, here are three simple solutions that will allow you to play AVI on your computer.

Solution 1: Convert AVI to QuickTime (.mov) for Free Playback (Recommended)

play avi with quicktime player

Play AVI in QuickTime with No Restriction

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Convert to AVI to QuickTime for playback in steps

Step 1. Import AVI to the Video Converter.
After launching the program, open the local folder where you've saved the AVI file, then drag and drop it to the main interface of the program. The file will be imported immediately.

Step 2. Select an Output Format
To play AVI in QuickTime without hassle, you can convert AVI to MOV, MP4, MPV, or other QuickTime supported formats. Then select it from the "Video" tab at the bottom format tray to set it as target output.

Step 3. Start Converting AVI to Mac Supported Format
Simple click the "Convert" button, and the program will start processing the conversion.

quicktime wont play avi 

Note: Converting AVI to formats that are supported by QuickTime with iSkysoft Video Converter for Mac, this solution is highly recommended. It makes the issue that QuickTime can't play AVI quite simple. For Windows users, please download the Windows version and do steps in the same way.

Solution 2: Get QuickTime Component: Perian

The QuickTime player is mostly used in Mac OS, if you don't want to use the first solution to convert the AVI files to QuickTime compatible formats, you can try this solution, but no 100% work guarantee.

Perian, is a great open-source QuickTime component that allows playback of different video formats that cannot be played natively on your Mac computer. If you want to use QuickTime as your main video player, you may choose to download Perian because it provides the necessary codecs or components that will allow you to play AVI on Mac. If you have QuickTime 7, you may be glad to discover that it can actually play AVI files without needing any additional plug-ins and codecs.

avi to quicktime 

What you need to know before downloading Perian:

  • The latest version 1.2.3 of Perian doesn't work on Mac OS X Mavericks because Perian requires installation of quicktime 7, which doesn't exist for Mavericks. It also doesn't work on Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
  • With a Mac running Mac OS X 10.7, say, Lion, you have to downgrade to the previous version, say 1.2.2. The version of 1.2.3 of Perian does not support QuickTime 10 in Lion and fails to fix the loss of audio after one second in xvid files with ac3.
  • Before installing Perian, you need to remove all QuickTime Components installed on your Mac, like FFusion, Xvid Delegate, 3ivX, DivX, DivX Decoder, XviD, msmpeg4v1, msmpeg4v2, AviImporter, EX_M4S2, Casio AVI Importer, AC3 Codec, and MatroskaQT.
  • For a Mac running Lion or Mountain Lion, converting AVI video to QuickTime is highly recommended.

Solution 3: Switch to Other Media Player for AVI Playback

The VLC media player, is an excellent open-source media player that is known for supporting a wide range of audio and video files. Unlike other media players which have limited format-support, you will be surprised that VLC can play a video or audio file that you didn't even know existed. If your OS is Snow Leopard or higher, installing VLC is definitely a good choice especially if you only plan on watching AVI files on your computer.

Cons of this AVI player (VLC media player):

  • VLC player doesn't play AVI videos with high qualities.
  • VLC player doesn't support Mavericks.

play avi in quicktime 


Related Articles & Tips


brain_fisher
Hi Kerry, as the default player on Mac, QuickTime doesn't support AVI naturally. To play AVI on Mac, you need to convert it to QuickTime compatible formats or switch to other players which support AVI files on Mac.
kerrymaxwell
This article is billed as "How to Play AVI with Quicktime on MAC", and then proceeds to tell you how to convert AVI to other formats. THAT IS NOT PLAYING AVI FILES WITH QUICKTIME! That is "How to Convert AVI Files to Something Quicktime Can Play".
Nora
i use vlc on my mac, and i have mavericks
Jilly
This was really useful. Thanks
Bindu
Thanks for the information, found it very helpful.
jomcp
It has worked to convert my avi files to be able to watch them on my mac but \'iskysoft\' is continuously displayed across the video whilst its playing, taking up a quarter of the screen. Is this standard or is there a way of getting rid of this?
disqus_P5K65KB7xN
There are some of us who are not interested in playing movie files out of our computers. We want to play them on our specially formatted and not specially formatted dvd players, that jack hdmi into our computers.?
disqus_P5K65KB7xN
I want to convert a rar assembled video to an avi ON the mac, then burn it onto the disk. It looks like I created the avi inside the VLC player, but it is not extractable. How do I FIND the avis extracted from rar assemblies, so I can burn the result onto a cd or dvd?
Brain Fisher
Hi, you can choose MP4 as output format, which is most popular and can be supported by many platforms.
bamagreg
What format is best to convert to for MacBook Pro Lion OS and iTunes/iPad4 ?

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