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How to Change Default Video Player on Mac

The main selling point for Mac is that it comes with a high-quality default application to open video or audio on Mac. QuickTime, the built-in Mac media player is also quite good; however, there is always room for improvement. After prolonged use, when you wonder how to change default video player on Mac there is a great option for this. You’ll find the process very simple and straightforward.

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Set Elmedia as a default video player

What is the default player on Mac

When it comes to your Mac’s operating system, it will come with a bundle of applications that are essential for using your computer. The one responsible for media playback is QuickTime Player, which lets you play, record, edit and share all of your video and audio files. It comes with a minimalistic interface and support for some popular codecs. This application can also capture your iPhone or iPad’s screen directly from your Mac. As an integrated solution, it works just fine, but if you are interested in having more, you will need to switch over to a third-party media player soon. Advanced users should take into account new solutions and be treated with more features.

Reasons for changing the player

There are quite a few reasons why someone would want to switch from QuickTime Player. Probably the most sought-after feature is the ability to play different formats than the built-in macOS player supports. Taking this into account, the application also hasn’t received a revamp in quite some time and it begins to look outdated even when taken into comparison with the most basic third-party applications. And last but not least, people are tired of the lack of cutting-edge features such as subtitle customization and automatic download, streaming online content, and more. These are all real issues that people are experiencing when using the default option that Apple has provided, thankfully, there are a lot better alternatives you can use.

Step 1: Find a Video File

Use File Explorer. When right-clicked, a video file will produce a context menu where you find information and different operations for said file.

How to change a default video player on Mac

Step 2: The Open With Option

This option will list any and all installed apps that can open your chosen file. Since you chose a video, a list of media players will be presented.

How to set Elmedia as a default video player

Step 3: Advanced Selection (Optional)

If your desired app isn’t on the list, make sure to click "Other". You’ll have to navigate to the app executable itself.

Step 3 to change default media player

Step 4: Finalize Your Choice

Now that the steps on how to change default player are complete, you should click "Change All". That will apply your new settings to every file of the appropriate type. One more confirmation, and you’re all set.

Elmedia - default video player for Mac

Alternatively, select the App Store option at the bottom of the menu. The store offers a wide selection of software available for download. Our recommended choice is the Elmedia Player - a top-shelf video player for Mac.

Choose other app as a video player

Important notice: Remember that this is how to set default video player Mac for one format at a time. If you have various formats, you will need to repeat these steps for each one in order for all your videos and tracks to be played by the same default player. For example, changing the default video player for AVI files will mean you still need to repeat the procedure for MKV or MOV files.

Choose Elmedia Video Player to Suit Your Need

It wasn’t long ago that every major tech company tried to compete in the field of file formats. Now we are left with countless incompatible, inconvenient files. However, a well-developed app will play anything and everything out of the box. That’s why we suggest that you choose Elmedia as your Mac default video player.

And using it is quite easy:

1. Install the Elmedia Player

Download and install Elmedia on your macOS device.
Change default video player to Elmedia

2. Open a Video Clip

Besides the standard way, there are several shortcuts you can use - either drag a video onto the Elmedia window, or right-click your file and "Open With" Elmedia.

3. Have a Good Time

To improve your experience further, you can optimize the settings.

Best alternatives for Mac


Another great alternative you can use is JustPlay. As the name suggests, this neat application keeps everything simple and allows you to play almost any popular format you can expect. Whether it’s 4K or 8K, JustPlay will handle everything flawlessly. It also comes with features such as picture-in-picture, deinterlacing option, subtitle management, sound equalizer, and more. It costs 4.99$ and is available to be downloaded directly from the App Store. Overall, a good solution for those who just want to play some movies (no pun intended).

icon pros Pros:

  • Plays 4K and 8K video files flawlessly
  • Support for a wide array of formats
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a slick design
  • Available directly from the App Store

icon cons Cons:

  • No full support for Blu-Rays
  • No trial or free version


IINA is one of the most innovative applications you can find for your Mac OS operating system, as it does not create everything from the scratch and borrows a lot of the great features from the operating system itself. We’re talking about gesture support, retina optimization, and more. All of these, packed with a default aesthetic make IINA a great contender on this list, as it’s suitable for those who enjoy a classic Mac experience.

icon pros Pros:

  • Looks like it was designed by Apple
  • Gesture Support
  • Retina optimization
  • Looks amazing

icon cons Cons:

  • Might use too much of your CPU
  • Some users have encountered bugs


While at first glance, 5KPlayer might look like your ordinary media playback solution, what it has under the hood proves to be quite useful. Sometimes, innovation can do more wrong than good, at least this was the vision that its developers had in mind. Thus, 5K Player comes with the standard features you know and love, but also supports high resolutions, many codecs, and subtitle support. Unfortunately, the app is riddled with ads and that’s always a bad sign. Even with those, the app is still looking great and if you care to ignore them, you’re left with a pretty good alternative to QuickTime.

icon pros Pros:

  • Ability to stream YouTube videos
  • Support for high resolutions
  • Can play most popular codecs

icon cons Cons:

  • Has ads
  • Does not use the system to its full capabilities


What list can you conceive without mentioning VLC? The holy grail of media players has come a long way and manages to keep up with the current trends update by update. We have to mention that it supports most modern file types and can play audio too, it's great support for subtitles and of course, the number of settings and customization that it provides. All of these are coming in a free bundle, without having anything locked under a paywall. However, everything has a price and the one for VLC is the fact that can be a burden to use for those who are inexperienced.

icon pros Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Open-Source
  • Subtitle Support

icon cons Cons:

  • Can be hard to use by some users
  • Outdated design
If you’re looking to find out what’s the best media player for Mac, you might want to take a look at our detailed list of players. Here, you will be able to find what suits your needs the best and how you can get rid of that old relic called the QuickTime player.


If you want to change the default player, right-click on the video file, select "Get Info", then "Open With" and select the desired player from the drop-down list. Now click the "Change All" button. There are a bunch of various apps for quick media playback on the Mac, for instance Elmedia Player.
QuickTime Player is the default media player on Mac, it is already installed on your computer. But as we mentioned before, there are other best alternatives for Mac that you can set as default.
What other users are saying about Elmedia

Overall, best video player in the market. Fast, easily adaptable to any video codec available and most importantly its ability to stream easily to other devices is exceptional.


This player is really good, it reminds me of VLC in a lot of ways, but its free version is nearly perfect. It has everything you need in order to enjoy your media. And the key commands are familiar and sensible. it was so good, I eventually paid for the full version!

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