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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 macOS without burning? Here 3 easy ways are introduced to play ISO on macOS - convert ISO to MP4 or other Mac format, mount ISO files on Mac, or use a ISO player for macOS.

Method 1. Convert ISO Files 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. There are a wide range of ISO file converter for Mac, and WinX DVD Ripper is one of the most professional one. You can convert ISO to MP4, MOV, and other formats for playback on Mac easily within 3 steps.

How to convert and play ISO image on Mac without burning?

Step 1. 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 2. Open WinX Free DVD Ripper for Mac and click ISO image to select and open target ISO file to convert. On Output Profile panel, scroll down to Mac General Video and choose a desired output format. Click Done.

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). The converted ISO image can play on Mac needless third-party help.

Method 2. 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, a command line, or DiskImageMounter(for earlier macOS). No extra third-party app is required. Use the steps below to mount and play ISO image files on Mac freely.

How to mount and open ISO on Mac with Disk Utility?

Step 1. Go to the directory /Applications/Utilities/ and find Disk Utility on your MacBook Air/Pro or iMac.

Step 2. Double click the Disk Utility option and open it.

Step 3. After you Launch Disk Utility, click the File menu, click Open Disk Image…

Step 4. Find and select the target ISO file you want to play on Mac. Then on your Mac desktop you should find the ISO file appears mounted. Now, you should mount and play ISO on your MacBook Air/Pro, or iMac successfully.

Mount ISO with Disk Utility

How to mount ISO files on Mac with a command line?

Step 1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal to open up a Terminal window on Mac.

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 (when the ISO image is located in /Downloads/Files on Mac).

Step 3. Copy the destination folder and hit Enter.

Step 4. Now the ISO file is mounted on Mac and you can play the ISO files on Mac freely.

How to mount ISO on Mac with DiskImageMounter

DiskImageMounter supports to mount ISO image file on macOS. It also supports a wide range of disk image file types, including DVD/CD-R master image, UDIF disk images, Apple Disk Image, raw disk image and more. It's a good way to mount and open ISO files on earlier macOS(OS X 10.3 and later) with DiskImageMounter.

Step 1. Open Finder on Mac and find the ISO image you'd like to mount and open on Mac.

Step 2. Control-click the ISO image file, choose Open With > DiskImageMounter.

Step 3. There should be a new drive on your Mac desktop, open the drive and open the ISO image file on Mac without burning.

Mount and Play ISO on Mac

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 open and play ISO file on Mac without burning, such as 5KPlayer. 5KPlayer is a free media player compatible with Mac and Windows. The media player enables you to play ISO image files on Mac, as well as region-coded DVDs. It is availabe on macOS(macOS Monterey and earlier) and Windows.

How to open and play ISO file on Mac without burning?

Step 1. Download and install 5KPlayer on your Mac (macOS Monterey and earlier).

Step 2. Open 5KPlayer on your Mac. 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

FAQs about Mounting and Playing ISO on Mac

Can ISO file work on Mac?

Yes. An ISO file is a DMG file on Mac. You can open and play ISO file on Mac with Mac built-in apps. It's also workable to extract an image file from the ISO file.

How do I open an ISO file on Mac?

You have several ways to open an ISO file on Mac. You can mount and open an ISO file on Mac with macOS included Disk Utility, DiskImageMounter, command line, or with ISO file reader and mounter for macOS. Some popular media player also enables you to play and open ISO files on Mac, such as VLC Media Player, 5KPlayer.

What programs can open ISO files on Mac?

VLC can open and play ISO files directly on Mac. To do so, open VLC media player on your Mac, click on File, and select Open File from the menu, browse and select the ISO file you'd like to play on Mac, click Open, and the VLC will open and play the ISO file you select on Mac.

ISO image not recognized on Mac?

Some users are encountering the problem with playing ISO files on Mac - ISO image can't be open because it is not recognized. It means that the ISO image file cannot be opened on Mac. One possible reason why maOS can't recognize and open the ISO file is because it is corrupt. Try to open and play the ISO image on another Mac or Windows computer.


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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