This present work is aimed to examine the effect of mass flow rate on distillate output and performance of a solar still in active mode. Outdoor experiments were conducted at the coastal town, Kakinada (16° 93′N/83° 33′E), Andhra Pradesh, India. A solar still with a 30° of fixed cover inclination, 1m of effective basin area, and a flat-plate collector (FPC) with an effective area of 2 m were used. An attempt was also made earlier in passive mode to optimize the water depth for the same solar still for maximum yield and distillation efficiency. For the passive still, it is observed that the capacity of heat storage and heat drop are significant parameters that affect the still performance. For the selected still design, the study reveals that 0.04 m water depth is the optimum value for specific climatic conditions. In the active solar still, with the optimum water depth, different flow rates of 0.5, 1 and 1.5 L/min are considered through FPC. It is observed that both the mass flow rate and the variation of internal heat transfer coefficients with the mass flow rate have a significant effect on the yield and performance of the still. The experimental results show that the combination of 1.5 L/min mass flow rate and an optimum water depth of 0.04m leads to a maximum yield for the active solar still. The enhanced yield of the active solar still is 57.55%, compared with that of the passive solar still, due to increase in area of radiation collection and more heat absorption rate.