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How to play .wmv on mac

how to play .wmv on mac

If you’re a Mac user, you might have stumbled upon a .wmv (Windows Media Video) file that you wanted to play. As an owner of a MacBook Air, I’ve been there. Given the file format’s strong association with Windows, it’s not immediately apparent how to open these on a Mac. After some tinkering and research, I’ve compiled a list of effective solutions that I’ve personally used to play .wmv files on Mac, ensuring that you never get stuck with an unplayable video file again. In this article, I’ll guide you through several methods you can use to play .wmv files on macOS, complete with step-by-step instructions and tips.


Common Scenarios:

Encountering a .wmv File 🤔

  • You’ve received a .wmv video from a colleague using a Windows PC.
  • An old video in your archive is in the .wmv format.

Mismatched Software 🖥

  • Your default media player on Mac doesn’t support the .wmv format.
  • You need to find a compatible media player or converter for Mac.

Compatibility Concerns 🔄

  • Searching for a way to make .wmv files playable without losing quality.
  • Looking for a cross-platform solution to share content with Windows users.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Play .wmv On Mac:

Method 1: Using VLC Media Player 🎥

  • Download and install the VLC Media Player for Mac from the official VideoLAN website, which supports a vast range of formats, including .wmv.
  • Open VLC, go to ‘File’ in the menu bar, and select ‘Open File…’ to browse and open your .wmv file.
  • Enjoy watching the video within VLC, one of the most versatile players available.

Note: VLC is free and open-source, making it a go-to solution for format compatibility issues.

Conclusion: VLC is an excellent tool for playing .wmv files, due to its wide format support and user-friendliness.

Method 2: Flip4Mac Plugin for QuickTime 🔄

  • Download the Flip4Mac plugin, which allows QuickTime to play .wmv files.
  • Install Flip4Mac following the on-screen instructions.
  • Once installed, open the .wmv file using QuickTime Player, and the plugin will enable playback.

Note: Flip4Mac is a widely recognized solution but might require purchase for full functionality.

Conclusion: This is a seamless way to integrate .wmv playback into the native QuickTime Player environment.

Method 3: Converting to a Compatible Format 🔄

  • Use an online converter like CloudConvert to change the .wmv file to a Mac-friendly format, such as .mp4.
  • Upload your .wmv file to the website and select the desired output format.
  • Start the conversion and download the converted file once done.

Note: Online converters are handy but be cautious with highly sensitive material due to privacy concerns.

Conclusion: Converting files is a straightforward approach, especially for one-off uses or when sharing content across different platforms.

Method 4: Elmedia Player 🎬

  • Download Elmedia Player from the Mac App Store or the official website.
  • Install the application and open the .wmv file using Elmedia Player.
  • Enjoy the multimedia content with one of the most robust third-party media players for Mac.

Note: Elmedia Player offers a free version with an option to upgrade for additional features.

Conclusion: Elmedia Player is another excellent alternative for macOS users, with support for multiple file types and a smooth playback experience.

Method 5: MPlayerX 🎞

  • Go to the MPlayerX website and download the app for Mac.
  • Install MPlayerX and open your .wmv file through it.
  • Enjoy your video with MPlayerX’s user-friendly interface and extensive format support.

Note: MPlayerX is ad-supported software, so you might experience ads within the application.

Conclusion: MPlayerX can be a good choice if you’re looking for a simple and efficient media player that supports .wmv files.

Method 6: 5KPlayer 🕹

  • Download 5KPlayer from its official website and install it on your Mac.
  • Open 5KPlayer and drag your .wmv file into the player window to start watching.
  • Take advantage of 5KPlayer’s ability to play high-resolution videos, including those in .wmv format.

Note: 5KPlayer is not only a video player but also offers options for downloading and AirPlay streaming.

Conclusion: This method is an all-in-one solution for those looking to not only play .wmv files but also engage in streaming and downloading activities.


Precautions and Tips:

Troubleshooting Tips 🛠

  • If a .wmv file won’t play, ensure you have the latest version of your chosen media player.
  • Check the file integrity by trying to play it on a different device or media player.
  • For persistent issues, consider using a reputable video repair tool to fix any corruption within the file.

Quality Maintenance 🎬

  • When converting files, choose settings that do not compromise on video quality – look for options like ‘High quality’ or select the same resolution as the original file.
  • Avoid running too many applications while playing high-definition .wmv files to prevent performance issues on your Mac.

additional considerations

When dealing with multimedia files, especially those with potential compatibility issues like .wmv on Mac, it’s essential to understand the underlying technologies and standards. Players like VLC and Elmedia Player use their own decoders, designed to handle a diversity of formats regardless of the operating system. This is why they are often the first choice for users facing compatibility problems.

It’s worth noting that while Mac’s native QuickTime Player doesn’t support .wmv out of the box, solutions like Flip4Mac exist precisely to bridge that gap with Windows-centric media formats. However, you might need to upgrade to the paid version for advanced features such as converting or editing video files. For more information on QuickTime and compatible formats, check out Apple’s Support page for QuickTime.

If you find yourself often sharing videos with users across different platforms, you might consider standardizing your video library to a more universal format like .mp4. Not only does this preempt compatibility issues, but it also ensures smoother playback and easier video management.


Through personal experience and research, I’ve found these methods to be effective in playing .wmv files on a Mac. Whether you choose to use a media player like VLC or Elmedia Player, or convert your files to a more Mac-friendly format, each option has its merits. Consider the frequency with which you’ll be handling .wmv files and whether you need a one-time solution or something more permanent. Armed with the right tools and the information provided here, you’ll have no trouble playing .wmv files on your Mac. For more insights on the topic of multimedia playback on Mac, be sure to check out more resources on the official Apple Support website.


To open a .wmv file on Mac, you can download and install the VLC media player, which natively supports .wmv format.

Without downloading software, you can upload the .wmv file to a cloud service like Google Drive and stream it from there.

If QuickTime doesn’t play .wmv files, consider installing a third-party video player like VLC or convert the file to a compatible format like .mp4.

Yes, you can convert .wmv files using video conversion tools available for Mac, such as HandBrake or online video conversion services.

VLC media player is a free and open-source application that can play .wmv files on Mac efficiently.

To edit .wmv files, convert them to a Mac-compatible format using a video converter, then use video editing software like iMovie.

The easiest method is to use VLC media player, which supports .wmv and many other formats out of the box.

Mac may not natively recognize .wmv files because it’s a Windows Media format. Using compatibly software like VLC is recommended.

QuickTime Player may play .wmv files if you install additional codecs like Flip4Mac, but it’s not officially supported anymore.

Playback quality should be consistent across platforms if you use a capable media player like VLC, which maintains quality fidelity.