Beginner’s Guide to Play MKV Files on iPhone - 2 Must-Try Ways

Patricia Rapatalo .
Although MP4 is the most common video format of all time, you may still come across other video formats, like MKV. However, this file format is not accessible on iPhones unless you will use a third-party video player to stream it. Fortunately, we gathered the three best media players to play MKV on iPhone. Additionally, you can convert your MKV files to an iPhone-friendly format for hassle-free streaming. Here, you will discover a professional video converter to help you with this task.
play mkv on iphone
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MKV is a file container that can carry high-definition videos, pictures, subtitles, audio, and digital copies of Blu-ray or DVD movies in a single file. Moreover, you might encounter problems playing MKV videos on iOS devices, like iPhones or iPad. This is frustrating when you’re about to watch an interesting video, but the video won’t appear on your device’s screen. To help you better know why this happens, move to the next part of this article. We will reveal everything you need to know about playing MKV files on your iPhone and the alternative solutions you can do. Without further ado, let's begin!

Can iPhone/iPad Play MKV Videos?

To set things straight, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other iOS devices cannot play MKV files with its built-in media players. If you try to play MKV files on iPhone, the device won’t send you an error message for the playback issue. Instead, it will only show the MKV filename, format, and file size. So if you are asking why iPhone and other iOS devices don’t support MKV, the format itself is too diverse. With all the codecs that MKV can handle, it leads to copyright issues and a heavy transcoding process. Hence, iPhone won’t launch default support for MKV files.

How to Convert MKV to iPhone-Supported Formats

Distinctive Feature: It allows you to edit the metadata of your files, like title, genre, year, artist, and others to quickly identify and organize them.
System Requirements: For RAM-at least 1GB or more/ For HDD-200MB or higher is recommended/ For Processor-1GHz Intel or AMD CPU and above

The first thing you can do for a hassle-free MKV streaming experience on iPhone is to convert the file to iPhone-friendly format. That includes MP4, MOV, or M4V. You can use a video converter, like Video Master, to modify your files quickly. This tool offers the best features to help you convert your MKV files without losing their quality. Rather, you can set the quality to 4K for a vivid output result. Additionally, you can take advantage of the tool’s inbuilt video editor to add a personal touch to your videos. The tool lets you trim video Windows 10, create collages, add filters, rotate, adjust audio, and more. Besides that, you can import multiple MKV files and convert them to iPhone-supported format in one click to save time. Check the tutorial to see how to convert and transfer MKV to iPhone.

Free Download
For Win 7 or later (64-bit)
Secure Download
Free Download
For macOS 10.12 or later
Secure Download

Step 1Get the MKV to iPhone-Friendly Format Converter

Access the tool’s installer above and locate the compatible version for your computer. Let your computer analyze the installer until the prompt box appears. Obey the instructions from the prompt to save Video Master on your computer. After that, launch the tool and move to the following step.

video master main interface

Step 2Import the MKV Video

Hit the “Converter” tab from the tool’s top menu and go to the “Converting” section. Then, hit the dropdown button beside the “Add Files” option to launch the import menu. You can import a single MKV file or folder depending on your liking. On the other hand, you can drag and drop the MKV video in the middle part of the tool to directly import it.

hit converter and converting button, add files or folder

Step 3Start Converting MKV to iPhone-Supported Format

Next, let the software process your video. Once done, go to the top-right section of the tool and hit the “Convert All to:” button to see the format lists. Hit the “Video” button and select “MP4,” which is a supported format of iPhone. Also, pick the 4K Video as the resolution of the output file. Afterward, tick the “Convert All” button to start converting.

hit convert all to, select video and mp4, click resolution and hit convert all

Step 4Play and Transfer New MP4 File on iPhone

Finally, move your way to the “Converted” section of the app to check that the former MKV file is now in MP4 format. You can tick the “Folder” icon to access the output folder of where the converted video is saved. Then, you can also play the video by hitting the “Play” button on the video’s thumbnail. Now that everything is set, connect your iPhone to your computer and transfer MKV files to iPhone (the converted file). Watch it anytime without error or share it with your friends.

hit converted button, check format and hit folder, play video

Vide Master
The tool offers the best features to convert your MKV files to iPhone-friendly format without compromising the original quality. It supports the most popular video formats, like MP4, WebM, FLV, MOV, AVI, and more.
  • It allows you to edit and enhance the quality of the video before converting it.
  • The app lets you add background audio to your video to make it more engaging.
  • It uses an advanced hardware acceleration technology to increase the conversion speed of files.
  • You can convert many MKV videos at the same time to fasten your converting task.

Watch MKV Video on iPhone with MKV Player for iPhone

As we’ve mentioned in the introduction of this post, you can convert your MKV files to iPhone-compatible format or use third-party media players. Although there are many media players in the Apple Store, not all of them support MKV files. So, you have to be mindful of what app you will get. Furthermore, we have three MKV players to lessen your time in searching for the best one. Find them below to know more.

1PlayerXtreme Video Player

Distinctive Feature: It has an “Autoload Subtitles” feature that can generate the subtitle of your video while playing even if it doesn’t have a default subtitle.
System Requirements: The app requires iOS 13.0 or later.

PlayerXtreme Video Player is a professional application that allows you to play videos, photos, music, podcast, iTunes contents, and audiobooks. With all its support for most media files, this is the recommended video player to play MKV on iPhone without converting it. This app supports a vast number of video formats, like MKV, MP4, MOV, WMV, and others. In addition, you can use this app to transfer MKV files from YouTube and other video-sharing websites to your iPhone. Then, you can create a playlist of your MKV videos to place them only in one folder. Besides, the video player allows you to screencast your videos to Smart TV for a better streaming experience.

User guide:

  • Move to the Äpp Store of your iPhone or hit the link above to quickly access the app on the App Store. Tap the “Get” icon under the app’s name to install the player. Afterward, explore the app and proceed to the following step.
  • Next, locate the MKV video on your iPhone’s “Photos” app. Long-press the file and hit the “Share” button from the options. Then, find the PlayerXtreme Video Player on the list of apps and tap on it.
  • A notification will appear on your screen once the MKV file is already transferred to the video player. Once done, you can now tap the video to play it. While watching, you can take advantage of the tool’s streaming settings, like subtitles, lock screen, and others.

playerxtreme video player main interface

2VLC for iPhone

Distinctive Feature: The app allows you to control the playback with iPhone gestures. You can also disable the gestures anytime if you don’t use them.
System Requirements: It requires iOS 9.0 or later.

VLC Media Player is a cross-platform software that is accessible on many devices, including iPhone. The flexibility of this app gained popularity to many users around the world. That said, VLC is one of the best MKV player for iPhone that you can rely on. It comes with many features that you can enjoy, like synchronization of files with OneDrive, Box, Google, iTunes, iCloud Drive, and Dropbox. Also, you can adjust the video playback speed, play in full screen, or automatically play the next MKV video. Moreover, the VLC app offers support for advanced subtitles like SSA compatibility, multi-track audio, and more. With all these features, VLC is indeed an amazing media player.

User guide:

  • Tick the link of VLC Media Player above to quickly launch it on your iPhone’s App Store. Hit the “Get” icon to save the app on your device. Once installed, open it and familiarize its features.
  • Then, tap the “Network” button on the bottom part of the app to access a different menu. Here, you can choose where you want to get the MKV video. If the video is already saved on your iPhone, hit the “Local” files option.
  • Afterward, select from the location option and find the video you want to play. Tap on it and it will automatically play. Meanwhile, you can use the different playing options on the bottom of the app, like play in full screen, playback speed, and others to enhance your streaming experience.

vlc for iphone interface


Distinctive Feature: The app supports many subtitle codec, like SSA, ASS, SubStation Alpha, DVB, VobSub, and more to assure that you can play video with subtitles.
System Requirements: The app requires iOS11.0 or above.

The last media player that you can utilize to watch MKV on iPhone is KMPlayer. KMPlayer is a high-performance app that can play many audio and video formats, such as MKV, AVI, MP5, MP3, AAC, FLAC, and more. It has rich features to better enjoy the file you are watching MKV files, like bookmark, subtitle settings, play speed, and quick button. The bookmark feature allows you to add a bookmark to the points to play any sections you want. Besides, the subtitle settings let you change the text color, size, and position of the subtitle. What is more, you can control the brightness, hue, saturation, and other color settings of the video.

User guide:

  • Before anything else, install the app from the App Store and launch it. Pass over the notifications on your screen to fully save the app. Then, acquaint yourself with its main interface.
  • After that, move to the “Home” tab of the app and tap the “Files” button to import your videos from your “Camera Roll.” Make sure that the MKV video is also included on your camera roll.
  • Once done, move to the “Video” tab and locate your MKV file from the list of videos. Tap the “three-dots” icon beside the file details. Finally, tap the “Continue To Play” button to watch your MKV video on iPhone.

kmplayer interface

FAQs About Playing MKV Files

1. How can I add MKV files to my iTunes library?
Unfortunately, you cannot transfer MKV videos to your iTunes library. The main reason is that iTunes doesn’t support the MKV format. MP4, MOV, MXF, AVI, MP3, AIFF, WAV, are some of the audio and video formats that iTunes can play. Furthermore, the only solution is to convert your MKV videos to iTunes-friendly formats.
2. Why does my MKV video play with audio only?
The reason why your MKV file has no video image and only plays its audio is due to its codec format. If the video codec of the file is not compatible with the video player you are using, the playback will have an error. Before playing your MKV files on media players, you have to check its video codec. Also, make sure that the MKV player supports the codec of your file to avoid any problems in playing them.
3. How to play MKV on Android?
Just like iPhones, Android smartphones do not support MKV files natively. In order to play and enjoy them on Android, you will need to use an Android video player that allows the playback of MKV files. Also, you can convert them to Android-compatible formats. Moreover, you can use the Video Master to convert your MKV files on your computer and transfer them on Android phones or other devices.

Comparison Chart of the Video Players

Tools Pricing Plan Limitations Supported Quality
PlayerXtreme Video Player $79.99/lifetime license The transferring of files from the web is slow. 720P, 1080P, and 4K
VLC Media Player Free It needs a lot of exploration for its features. 720P, 1080P, 2K, and 4K
KMPlayer Free Pop-up ads might be overwhelming for some users. 720P, 1080P, and 4K

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