When looking at the disk stats in the storage tab of "About this Mac", mkv files are showed as Other instead of being grouped with other videos on the disk.

Orange = Videos

When browsing the disk with the finder, mkv files are correctly displayed as videos when sorting files by kind.

Is there any way to make the disk stats consider mkv files as videos ?

Thank for you answers

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately there isn't a way to force the system to recognize *.mkv files as videos from the 'About This Mac' window. Macs do not natively support this file type (you'll notice that neither Quicktime nor iTunes will play them) and lack the specific decoding algorithm for the *.mkv format by default (also known as a 'codec'), so the system actually doesn't know what to do with them. Technically the *.mkv format is actually considered an open standard container format (not a video format), which means that it's not limited to any specific coding format (it can hold pretty much anything). Macs group 'container' files that aren't natively supported media types as 'Other'.

I know what you're thinking, and YES, it IS weird that it can figure it out in Finder though. I have no facts on why, only a guess. It might be because we've installed a 3rd party media player capable of handling and decoding the file. So basically the 3rd party player knows what an *.mkv file is, the system knows that the 3rd party player is in fact a video player, but unfortunately it doesn't come back around to close the information loop. It would be nice if that 3rd party player could pass that info on to the system though, wouldn't it?

  • I believe MKV is a container format, not a codec. The codec used more often than not for the video within an MKV is MP4. This is why the best advice for this user might be to convert his/her MKV files to straight MP4, which will mean they're entirely compatible with macOS. Jan 24, 2017 at 11:47
  • If we're being pedantic, mp4 is a container format just like mkv. The codec is usually H.264/AVC.
    – Chris A
    Jan 24, 2017 at 17:29
  • @KeirThomas The 'also known as a codec' side-note wasn't directed towards the '*.mkv format' itself, but towards the 'specific decoding algorithm' portion of that sentence. And yes, a lot of the time it is just an *.mp4 wrapped in an *.mkv container, but not always, and Mac systems know better than to assume!
    – NYKg
    Jan 25, 2017 at 3:02
  • @ChrisA But MP4 can't contain things like subtitles, where as MKV can – and that's why the OP finds himself with MKV files, because certain sites offering downloads have switched to them for this very reason. Jan 25, 2017 at 15:04

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