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How to view animated GIFs on Mac



The preview application, which is the default image viewer in macOS, is not built to properly handle animated GIFs. Instead, you'll have to try other methods to correctly view animated GIFs.

Of course, if you try to double-click an animated GIF image, you'll probably see something like this:



Basically what is happening, is that the preview application is loading each individual frame of the animated GIF image as a thumbnail. Obviously, most people want to see an animated GIF and not the sequence of images of it.

Therefore, we will teach you two simple methods to view animated GIFs on a Mac.


View animated GIFs on Mac via web browser


The easiest solution is to open an animated with your favorite web browser GIF image. This can be done with Chrome, Firefox or even Safari, but in this tutorial we are going to use Safari.

Just right click on the animated GIF file and then go to "open with ..." -> Safari. When you do this, the image will open in your web browser:


When the web browser opens, it should show the animated GIF image in action, instead of displaying a static image:



View Animated GIFs on Mac using the Spacebar

Another thing you can do to see an animated GIF is to use the space bar method. To do this, simply select the GIF image by clicking on it:


Once you have selected the file, just press and hold the spacebar on your keyboard:


Once this is done, you will see the animated GIF in the peek and pop viewer. The only caveat is that only encouraged as to hold down the space bar. Depending on the length of the GIF, the web browser method may be more convenient.
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