How to play animated GIFs on a Mac

The rich preview application seems to be able to support all kinds of file formats, it only fails when you open the GIF image in it. It’s an image format he can’t handle properly. You will see all the frames of the picture instead of the actual animation. If you want to view animated GIFs on a Mac, here are some ways to easily view GIF animations on a Mac.

Use the space bar to play the animated GIF

If you do not want to use an animated GIF with a web browser, Space is one of the easiest ways to view a picture.

1. Find the image you want to see on your Mac.

2. Click once and press the button. Space once on the keyboard. The GIF will play indefinitely until you exit the window.

3. After viewing the image, release the button. Space, and the image viewer closes.

4. To open the GIF in full screen mode, tap Option + Space With a Mac keyboard to open it full screen.

This method seems more suitable for viewing GIFs, but requires you to maintain Space.

Use an animated GIF file with a web browser

Almost all web browsers support GIF images, and you can access the animated GIF file using any available Mac browser.

1. Find the GIF in the Finder on your Mac.

2. Right-click on it and select “Open” and the name of your browser. It can be Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or any other browser that supports GIFs.

3. You should be able to see the GIF image currently playing in the on-screen browser. In the following example, I opened a GIF in Safari. It worked well.

Use a third-party application

Use a third-party application such as Pixea not only lets you view GIF files on your Mac, but also some advanced features.

The smallest interface fades out of your way, leaving you with only a few options to zoom in / out, move forward or backward to the next image in the folder, or increase / decrease the size of the Pixea viewer. In addition, opening a GIF is as easy as with an app when you are prompted to drag a GIF into the app. It’s that simple.

Keyboard shortcuts are the best part of Pixea because you can zoom in and out, fit on the screen, full size, or browse a GIF. Do you use most of these features with the GIF Viewer? Maybe not, but getting them with a free third-party app that also supports a wide variety of image formats is a cake. Optional word game.


Because Preview, Apple’s long-standing default image viewer, can’t help you view animated GIFs on a Mac, you still have numerous ways to view it. Learn more about creating and editing GIFs on your device.

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