How to Play AVI on Quicktime

by Marshal M. Rosenthal

The AVI video file format is heavily used on PCs, but cannot be used on a Macintosh computer. To be able to play an AVI video file on the Macintosh, which expects to see the native QuickTime video format only, you must enable the Mac’s OS X operating system so it can recognize AVI video files. Installing video file add-on software will let the Mac’s QuickTime player play AVI video files as easily as it does the native QuickTime video format. Installing the video file add-on software won't harm the OS X operating system.


Download the Mac version of the free QuickTime Player program from Apple's QuickTime website to your computer's desktop. Double-click on the QuickTime icon on the desktop and follow the menu commands to install the software.


Download video file add-on software, such as the free version of Perian, to the Mac's desktop. Double-click add-on's icon and follow the menu commands to install the software into the Mac's OS X operating system so QuickTime Player can play the AVI video file.


Run QuickTime Player. Use the mouse to drag the AVI video file from the Mac's hard drive onto the QuickTime icon in the dock at the left side or at the bottom of the screen. Wait as the AVI video file loads into the QuickTime Player program and displays itself in a video window that appears on the desktop. Press the "Play" button in the QuickTime control bar at the bottom of the video screen to watch the AVI video file in QuickTime.


  • check Make sure to use the latest version of the video file add-on software when you install it on the Mac's OS X operating system.


  • close Don't run other video player programs at the same time as QuickTime Player.

About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jochen Sand/Photodisc/Getty Images