How to View RAW Files on Mac – Here is the Ultimate Method You Should Know

Last Updated on November 28, 2021 by Peter Wood

How to manage and view RAW image files on Mac? When you shoot in RAW format stored all information and data captured by a sensor, you can adjust the color, tone, exposure, and more parameters. Because the different RAW files contain various parameters, it should be hard to view, edit or manage all the RAW formats on your Mac.

Both Photos and Preview do not work with the RAW formats. Other social media platforms do not support a RAW format. What should be the best method to view RAW on your MacBook? Just learn more about the ultimate guide to open the RAW files on Mac from the article.

How to View RAW Files on Mac

Part 1: Why You Need a RAW Viewer for Mac

Can you view RAW files on your MacBook Pro? The RAW updates and codecs are in the standard Software Updates for Mac. You can get the codec by updating Mac to the latest version. But viewing the RAW images is not as easy as JPEG files. Moreover, there are many restrictions for viewing RAW photos with Photos or iCloud. It is the reason that you need a RAW viewer instead.

How to View RAW Images in Photos

The Photos app is the native photo viewer on macOS. If you have already enabled the Download Originals to this Mac option in the Preferences option, you can tick the iCloud option to choose the Download Originals option. You can get the codec by updating Mac to the latest version.

Download Originals to This Mac

Limitation for Viewing RAW Files in Photos on Mac

1. As the Photos app automatically syncs the files to iCloud, which means that your RAW images will upload to iCloud. If you do not want to subscribe to more storage space for iCloud, you'd better not view RAW files on Mac with Photos directly.

2. Photos only enable you to open one image at a single window. When you need to view multiple photos, it should be inconvenient to open or view the RAW files with Photos on your Mac without navigation features of the program.

3. Moreover, Photos only provide the basic viewing features. When you want to manage, edit or even convert the RAW photos, it should be hard to get the desired features within the program. It is the reason that you need a RAW viewer on Mac.

Part 2: How to View All RAW Files on Mac

Just as mentioned above, Photos might not be the best way to view RAW files on Mac. To view the RAW file on Mac, WidsMob Viewer Pro is a versatile RAW image viewer for Mac. It enables you to browse the photos in the thumbnail mode to check all the photos within a folder, full-screen mode to browse photos in detail, EXIF mode to check the shooting parameters for RAW images, and slideshow mode for playback RAW files and photos automatically.

1. Support most of the RAW format, Sony, Nikon, Canon, HEIC, DNG, etc.

2. Hardware acceleration to view the RAW photos within 6x fast speed.

3. Basic RAW editing features to convert, apply effects and rename files.

4. Load one RAW image into the program to view all the photos of the SD.

Win Download Mac Download

Best Method to View RAW on Mac Computer

Step 1: Download and install the RAW viewer for Mac, launch the program on your Mac. If you need to view RAW from an SD card, insert it into your MacBook beforehand. Just drag and drop one RAW image into the program. You can view all RAW files on Mac within the same folder.

Selected Photos Viewer Pro

Step 2: When you import the RAW into the program, you can view RAW files on your MacBook within various modes. Just learn more details about the viewing modes as below.

Thumbnail Mode

Once you click the album on the left side, you will enter the thumbnail mode and view thumbnails of RAW files on the right side. The slider at the bottom allows you to modify the thumbnail size.

View Media by Folder Viewer Pro

Full Screen Mode

If you want to view the detail of your RAW files, click the View menu on the top ribbon, and select the Enter Full Screen option. Then you can view RAW on Mac with all details.

Slideshow Mode

Another useful RAW viewing mode in the program is slideshow mode. It can release your hands while viewing RAW files on Mac. Click the View > Slideshow to start playing your images one by one automatically.

View Slideshow Mode Viewer Pro


As mentioned previously, the RAW viewer for Mac can keep all information of your photos. To view the photo information, you can click View -> Show Info on the top menu bar to display it.

Step 3: Viewing RAW files on Mac, you can use image editing tools to help you change your RAW files directly.

Crop RAW Image

To remove unwanted areas on a RAW image, select it and click Edit > Crop to get the cropping tool. Now, adjust the border to cover the subject you want to keep and remove other areas.

Photo Crop on Viewer

Batch Convert RAW Image

If a RAW file was captured in an incorrect orientation, open it and select Rotate Left or Rotate Right option in the Edit menu to correct it. Moreover, you can also rename, resize or convert the RAW files in a batch process.

Step 4: Finally, you can save or share your photos after viewing RAW on Mac. Click on the File > Save as to open the profile dialog. Set the output format, quality and click the Save button to export the RAW files. If you want to sync the RAW images to your iPhone or iPad, click Share > AirDrop to transfer the RAW files on Mac.

Share Photo on Viewer


Based on the guide above, you should master how to view RAW files on Mac. Apple has introduced the RAW codecs into the new software updates. It makes Mac friendly with RAW files. Of course, you can view your camera RAW files in the native photo viewer, the Photos app. However, it is not the best option. On the other hand, WidsMob Viewer Pro is more powerful for browsing RAW images. It is not only easy to use but also able to keep all information and data.