Setup Plex Media Server on Mac

Plex Media Server allows you to share your media content across all your devices in the same local network or even remote networks. If you have a huge movie collection on Mac, and want to watch the movies on your mobile phone which does not have sufficient storage to host them, you can set up your home media sever using Plex. In this quick guide, we will show you the easy steps to setup Plex Media Server on Mac and how you can stream or play media content on your Mac using an iPhone or other mobile devices.

Download, install Plex Media Server for Mac

You can download the free media server software for Mac from this link.

You will get a DMG file in your Downloads folder on Mac. Double click this installer, copy it to the Applications folder to install it, the same way you install a typic app on Mac. 

Configure Plex Media Server on Mac

Launch Plex Media Server from the Launchpad on Mac. You will not see a typical desktop software interface. Instead you will see its icon,  a small chevron, at the status bar at the top right corner of your Mac screen, the same place you can see Wifi status, battery status, input method, date and time, etc. 

Click the Plex Media Server icon from Apple top menu bar, choose Open Plex to open the web interface to start configuring your media server. It will ask you to sign in or sign up. You can choose to log in using your Google account, Facebook account, or an email address. Once you are logged in, you will have the option to name your media server and enable remote access to your media server. 

Plex Media Server for Mac setup - set server name
Plex Media Server for Mac setup – set server name

Leave the Allow me to access my media outside my home option ticked, if you plan to access Plex media server through internet on the go. Or disable it if you only need to stream media content at home. Anyway, we can change our mind anytime and turn it on or off from the Plex web app. So we will disable the remote access for now.

The next step is to add your folders on Mac to the media server and organized them into different libraries or categories. Plex will create the Music and Photos libraries automatically for you. You can however go to add as many libraries as you want, and you can have multiple libraries with the same type. 

Plex Media Server setup - add library
Plex Media Server setup – add library

Click Add Library button, select Movies as your library type. Click Next. Click Browse for Media Folder to select the folder where the movies, videos are saved.  

“There was an unexpected error loading the dashboard”

Get this error when trying to open a media library on Media Server? 

After you have added all the folders to Plex media server, wait for a while for the media server to scan for the media files on your Mac. You will then see the thumbnails for the media files under each library. Or you can log out and re-log in your Plex account from the web app.

Access media server on your home network

Once the server has been setup, you can access the media server from the host computer and other devices on your home network. 

Go to download the Plex apps, the Plex Media Players, from the same page you downloaded Plex Media Server software above. It offers players for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, TiVo, Android, Android Auto, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, NVIDIA SHIELD, PlayStation, Xbox One, Amazon Alexa, Sonos, Caavo, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, Lenovo Mirage Solo VR. 

Make sure to connect both computer which the media server is running on and the client to the same network and log on the same Plex account. Otherwise the media player cannot find the server.

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