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Posted by Donna Peng - Contact Author

How to Play ISO File on macOS Big Sur, Catalina, and Others

An ISO file (or ISO image) is an exact copy of a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray. It archives everything into a single file, making it easy to manage. And it can be burned back to DVD when necessary. Therefore, we often convert disc to ISO file. Mac's built-in DVD Player app by itself cannot open and play ISO files. Well, how to play ISO files on Mac?

Method 1. Mount ISO as a Virtual Drive and Open DVD Player to Play It as a DVD

It is unnecessary to install a piece of specific ISO mounting software to mount ISO as a virtual drive. You simply need to use Mac's built-in Disk Utility or a command line.

How to mount ISO on Mac with Disk Utility?

Step 1. Go to the directory /Applications/Utilities/ and find Disk Utility.

Step 2. Launch Disk Utility, click the File menu, click Open Disk Image… and select target ISO file you want to play on Mac later. Then on your Mac desktop you should find the ISO file appears mounted.

Mount ISO with Disk Utility
Mount ISO with Disk Utility

How to mount ISO on Mac with a command line?

Step 1. Open up a Terminal window.

Step 2. Type hdiutil mount filename.iso in the Terminal. You should type the path to your ISO to replace filename.iso. For example, ~/Downloads/sample.iso

After mounting ISO to a virtual drive, DVD Player can play the contents as a DVD.

Method 2. Convert ISO to Mac Playable Format

An ISO file of a movie DVD is very big in size, from 5GB to 8GB. If you want to save space, you can convert ISO to a mainstreaming video format like MP4 which is much smaller in size and easy to play on Mac.

How to convert ISO for Mac?

To do this, you can download and install WinX Free DVD Ripper for Mac. It can not only convert DVD and VIDEO_TS folder, but can also convert ISO to MP4, MOV and other formats.

Step 1. Open WinX Free DVD Ripper for Mac and click ISO image to select and open target ISO file to convert.

Step 2. On Output Profile panel, scroll down to Mac General Video and choose a desired output format. Click Done.

Convert ISO to Mac playable format
Convert ISO to Mac playable format

Step 3. Hit RUN and it will work immediately. After a while, you will get a new file, around 1GB (based on your settings).

Method 3. Download and Install an ISO File Player for Mac

Although you can't run ISO file on Mac's DVD Player, you can also install a third-party app to play ISO file on Mac, such as 5KPlayer. 5KPlayer is a free media player compatible with Mac and Windows.

How to open ISO file on Mac?

Step 1. Download and install 5KPlayer on your Mac.

Step 2. Open 5KPlayer. Now you can drag and drop the source ISO file to 5KPlayer. Then it will start playing. Alternatively, you can click DVD button on 5KPlayer main interface, click ISO file tab, and then choose the ISO file to play.

App to play ISO on Mac
App to play ISO on Mac

Above are the 3 ways to play ISO files on Mac computer. Hope one of them can work with you.


author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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