"Hi,I just downloaded an MKV format movie on my MacBook, Can iTunes play MKV or do I need to do some extra work to add MKV to iTunes or convert MKV to iTunes compatible format? And I'd like to import MKV to iTunes for playing on my iPhone, is that possible?

Technically iTunes does not support playing MKV files. iTunes only supports playing limited video formats like MP4, M4V and MOV. To import MKV to iTunes Mac users could have a hard time trying to do so. But there are methods to make that happen. This post would show you how to add MKV to iTunes and play MKV on iTunes by converting MKV to iTunes compatible format and installing a tool to directly import MKV to iTunes.

Import MKV to iTunes by Converting MKV to iTunes compatible format

To add mkv to iTunes Mac OS does have a few good softwares. Leawo Video Converter is one of those great applications. It's one of the most powerful video converter to convert MKV to iTunes Mac users could find.


Video Converter for Mac 

☉ Supports conversion between all video and audio formats.

☉ Supports to convert 2D video into 3D.

☉ Converts video with unique video editing features.

☉ Output file to multiple devices for playback with device presets.

Get Win Version

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Check out the steps below to see how to convert MKV to iTunes Mac compatible format using Leawo Video Converter

1. Open Leawo Video Converter, click “Video Converter” tag and enter the video converter section. Add the source MKV file to the converter by directly dragging source file to the converter or clicking “Add file” button to input source MKV file from the computer.

Add File

2. Hit the button next to the big green "Convert" button to call out a drop-down menu. Click the "Change" button in the middle to enter the format selecting panel. Choose a format compatible with iTunes like MP4 or MOV.

Choose output format

3. Click the “Edit” button on the left of the previously mentioned drop-down menu, click it and enter the parameters setting panel. Adjustable parameters and values include Video Codec, Quality, Video Size, Bit Rate, Frame Rate, Aspect Ratio, and Audio Codec, Audio Quality, Bit Rate, Sample Rate, Channels.

Adjust parameters

4. Click the big green “Convert” button on the interface to call out a sidebar. Set the output directory for the output file and click “Convert” button at the bottom of the sidebar to begin the conversion.

Start conversion

The video below is the guide of using the Windows version of Leawo Video Converter to convert videos, but the steps on both Windows and Mac Os are the same. Watch and see how to use Leawo Video Converter for Mac to convert MKV for iTunes

Add MKV to iTunes Using External Software

Many people like to download MKV from the Internet and ask questions like "Can iTunes play MKV files?", now you have a certain answer to that question. And that answer is VideoDrive. It's a software program that allows you to add video formats that's not supported by iTunes like MKV, AVI and FLV to iTunes. Also it allows you to play MKV in iTunes.

With the help of VideoDrive, you can easily import MKV into iTunes and play MKV on iTunes.

Add MKV to iTunes for Transferring to iOS Devices

If your purpose of adding MKV to iTunes is to transfer them to iOS device for playback, then you can try to convert MKV to iTunes compatible format just like you did when you want to import MKV to iTunes for playback. But there's another method that can save you a lot of work from converting MKV to iTunes compatible format. That is to install a video player on your iOS device that supports playing MKV files. And then you'll be able to transfer MKV file to iPhone using iTunes when you connect your iOS device to iTunes.

It's quite easy but it's all based on the premise that you have a proper video player on your iOS device to play MKV. So in the following content, a few MKV video players for iOS devices would be listed for your choice.

VLC for iOS

VLC for iOS is the iOS version of the VLC Media Player we’ve been using on Windows and Mac OS. Although it’s for mobile, it still carries a lot of features and is totally free.


AVPlayer provides a lot of practical features like controls for playback speed, video scrubbing and USB or Wi-Fi transfer for getting content into the app. And one bonus feature: setting passcode to protect your content, might be useful to some people, LOL.


nPlayer is a universal app sells at $4.99 with a relatively old-fashion interface that looks like an app from 10 years ago. Nevertheless it’s still a very powerful video player supporting various files and all the Dolby audio codecs.


Costing $1.99, CineXPlayer supports playing 3D videos and all the usual video formats and video output capabilities is useful. Live TV Channel support is a bonus feature.

To transfer MKV to iOS device via iTunes, make sure you've got the video player installed on your iOS device, let's take VLC for example:

Steps of transferring MKV to iOS device via iTunes

Step 1: Connect your iOS device to iTunes, go to the panel that shows the apps on your device.

Step 2: Slide to the bottom of the panel to find the area as shown on the picture below to find VLC player, Click it to lock, then you can drag MKV file directly from your PC to the box on the right side of VLC player.

Step 3: After the MKV file's been completely transferred to your iOS device, open VLC on your device to see if the MKV file is there.