Installing the Plex Server on MacOS

Plex is a flexible, open source free video streaming application that lets you share your digital media library between local and remote networks. It’s an easy way to watch downloaded videos or stream music between devices. With a small installation, you can access your Plex library on the go by creating your own personal Spotify and Netflix.

Installing the Plexiglas

1. Download Plex Media Server from plex.tv. This is an application that builds and activates your Plex library that you can access from anywhere.

2. Drag the Plex Media Server application to the Applications folder.

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3. Launch the application from the Applications folder. You will see a small Chevron in the status bar and the app will open the browser tab. This browser tab is the interface to your Plex media server.

plex server status bar icon

plex server login

4. Click “Register” to create a new Plex account and log in using it.

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5. Once logged in, you will be given the opportunity to name your new Plex server.

plex server name server

6. If you think you want to use Plex from outside your home network, leave the “Allow me to use media outside my home” box selected. The Plex will then automatically try to connect remotely.

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7. Plex automatically creates some libraries for you. To create a library for your movies, click the “Add Library” button.

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8. Set “Movies” as the library type and click “Next.”

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8. Click “Browse Media Folders” to select the folder containing the movies.

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9. After selecting the folder, click “Add Library”.

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10. When you have added all the libraries, click “Next” to continue.

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11. You will see the Plex main screen. You won’t see all of your media yet, as it will take some time for Plex to scan everything, but when you’re done, you’ll see thumbnails of every file that Plex scans and organizes.

plex server main screen

Run Plex at startup

It is a good idea to configure Plex Media Server to open during the connection so that you always have access to your library while the host computer is running.

1. Click the Plex status bar icon.

plex server status bar icon

2. Select Open at login from the drop-down menu.

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Use Plex on your home network

The easiest way to use Plex is on your home network. You can keep your media library on your Mac and stream content to virtually any screen.

1. Make sure the Mac that contains your Plex library is turned on and the Plex Server application is open. Look for the Chevron icon in the status bar to confirm that the app is active.

plex server status bar icon

2. Navigate to open your Plex server through a browser window 127.0.0.1:32400. This is the Plex’s internal IP address and port number. Alternatively, you can also use plex.tv/web, but the login screen is slightly different.

plex server ip address

2. Log in using the account you created as described above.

plex server login

3. After logging in, you will see the Plex main screen where you can select and play the media on your server. You may find that this is exactly the same interface you see on a device running Plex Media Server. All instances of Plex in the browser look the same.

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Use Plex offline

Setting up remote access to your home network can often be difficult, but Plex can simplify the process. If you have a modern router that supports UPnP or NAT-PMP, Plex can configure and enable remote connection automatically.

1. Access your Plex server from your home network through a browser window by going to 127.0.0.1:32400. Log in when prompted.

2. Go to “Settings -> Server -> Remote Access”.

plex server settings

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3. Click the “Activate Remote Access” button.

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4. If Plex successfully allows remote access, you will see a success screen that replaces the red text in the screenshot above.

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5. You can now access your home network from the road. Move towards https://plex.tv/web, enter your login information and Presto! There is a media library.

Using Plex

You can also access Plex via the Plex application on the receiving device. For example, if you have a smart TV, you can install the Plex app from the TV app store. The exact appearance may vary from application to application, but if you log in with your Plex account, the application will automatically connect to your server, whether you are at home or on a remote network.

Conclusion

You can set up Plex in about ten minutes, and you have everything you need to stream media on or off your home network.

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