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How to Play HEVC/H.265 Video on Mac? Does Your Mac Support HEVC?

Owning the advantages of higher quality video and better compression rate, HEVC has been adopted by Apple, GoPro, DJI, and more technology companies. Despite that, HEVC playback problem is still with us. A user said that when he imported his iPhone 7 4K HEVC recording to MacBook Pro, the Mac told that it couldn't play the video. And some Mac users have reported difficulties in playing HEVC files from GoPro, DJI, HandBrake, and other hardware or software. So, how to play HEVC on Mac without experiencing errors?

5 Ways to Play HEVC/H.265 Video Files on Mac:

1. Upgrade Mac to High Sierra and Later

Apple added the support for HEVC with the release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, so that users can play HEVC video files in QuickTime Player. So, when you can't play HEVC on Mac, check your Mac OS and upgrade it if it is macOS sierra or lower.

Related guide: How to upgrade to macOS High Sierra

2. Upgrade Hardware

However, you may also encounter HEVC playback issues on some older devices even if you have successfully upgraded to macOS High Sierra or higher. This is because support for HEVC is also influenced by video resolution and frame rate (fps). For example, it is a big challenge for an older Mac to play a HEVC-encoded 4K 60fps video. The video might be erratic, choppy, laggy, or stuttering. Generally speaking, resolutions of 1080p or lower and frame rates of 60 fps or lower are more broadly compatible with older devices.

In this case, you can either upgrade hardware or convert and compress your high-resolution and high-fps HEVC video to fit your Mac.

3. Install a HEVC-compatible Video Player

When your Mac's QuickTime Player cannot support HEVC, you can try other media players, such as 5KPlayer and VLC media player (you should note that VLC has trouble with HVC1 codec) both of which can open HEVC-encoded files. Please be noted that you may also come across playback issues if your device isn't powerful enough to handle videos in high resolution and high frame rate.

Software review and download: Best free HEVC video players for Mac/Windows

4. Install HEVC Codec on Mac

This is another way that can help your Mac recognize HEVC encoding format. Search HEVC codec from Google and download it for your Mac.

Click this: Learn more about HEVC codec

5. Convert HEVC File to Mac Supported Format and Resolution [Ultimate Solution]

This is the ultimate solution to fix your Mac not playing HEVC files.

Try to convert HEVC when:
Your Mac is not supported or unable to upgrade to High Sierra or later
Your Mac is too legacy to deal with 4K HEVC video.

How to convert HEVC to Mac supported video format or compress 4K HEVC to 1080p?

To get started, you should download a HEVC converter, for example WinX HD Video Converter for Mac.

Main features:
1. Convert HEVC to H.264, MPEG4, DivX, Xvid, MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, and more codec and container formats. Plus, you can also convert other formats to HEVC to reduce file size and save space.
2. Compress 8K/4K HEVC or other video to 1080p, 720p, or other resolution to fit your Mac.
3. Unique feature: level-3 hardware acceleration powered by Intel/NVIDIA/AMD to boost decoding, processing, and encoding speed.
4. Adjust video audio parameters, say, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate and aspect ratio.
5. Edit video: join video clips, trim video, crop video, and add subtitle.
6. Free download video and audio from video streaming sites (1000+ sites supported).
7. Record your screen and camera to capture anything you want.
8. Make photo slideshow with favorite background music.

Step-by-step guide:

Step 1. Load your HEVC file.
Open WinX HD Video Converter for Mac and click + Video button to load target HEVC file you want to convert for playback on Mac. Tips: you can load multiple files for batch conversion.

Convert HEVC onto Mac
Convert HEVC onto Mac

Step 2. Choose a Mac supported format.
On Output Profile panel, scroll down to Mac General Profile, and then choose a profile. The recommended is MP4 Video (H264).

Step 3. Set resolution if you want to downscale video, for example 4K to 1080p.
Click settings button, find Resolution, and then choose a resolution you want.

Step 4. Start conversion and/or compression.
Hit RUN and WinX HD Video Converter for Mac will start working and converting HEVC to MP4 H.264 on Mac. Now, you should be able to play the file on Mac without issues.

Video tutorial on how to play HEVC on Mac and Windows:


author - Kaley Torres

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Kaley Torres is a self-motivated, creative editor with eight years of marketing and SEO experience, specializing in writing on DVD, video, audio, images, new digital contents etc. With a partiality DVD collection, Kaley also enjoys digitizing DVD and is keen to share her DVD video conversion solutions as well as video sharing tips on social media.

Home > Video > Convert HEVC Video > Play HEVC on Mac


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