How to Convert MOV Videos to MP4
If you want to convert MOV video to MP4 to play on most devices, you have both graphical and command line methods to do it. Here’s how to perform the conversion using the free VLC and FFmpeg tools on Windows and Mac.
RELATED: What is an MP4 file (and how do I open one)?
The graphical method: VLC Media Player
To convert your MOV video to MP4 using a graphical option, look no further than the free and open-source VLC Media Player. This application helps you play and convert most media formats on your computers.
To perform your conversion with this application, start by downloading and launching VLC Media Player on your computer.
In the VLC Media Player menu bar, click Media > Convert/Save.
In the window “open”, select the folder where your MOV file is located. Then double-click the file to load it into VLC.
At the bottom of the window “Open media”Click on the button “Convert/Save”.
You will land on a window “Convert”. Here in the drop-down menu “Profile”select “Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4)”. This ensures that your video is converted to MP4.
Then, next to the field “Destination file”click on “Browse”.
In the window that opens, select where you want to save the resulting MP4 file. In the field “File name”type a name for your file followed by
.mp4. Make sure your file name does not say
.mov at the end.
Then press the button “Save”.
Back in the window “Convert”start the conversion process by clicking “To start up”.
VLC Media Player will start converting your MOV video to MP4. And when it is done, you will find the resulting MP4 file in your specified folder.
Another graphical way to convert media files is to use HandBrake, which is a free tool that converts almost any media format.
RELATED: How to Use Handbrake to Convert Any Video File to Any Format
The command line method: FFmpeg
If you prefer using command line methods, FFmpeg is a great free way to convert your MOV videos to MP4 from the command line. This is a tool that you download and then use from the command line to perform media file conversions.
To use it, first go to the FFmpeg site and download the package for your operating system. We will download and provide instructions for the Windows operating system, but the Mac steps aren’t too different.
Once you have downloaded FFmpeg, extract the contents of the archive to a folder on your computer.
Then locate your MOV video, right click on it and select “To copy”.
Open the folder where you extracted FFmpeg and navigate to the folder “bin”. There, right click anywhere empty and choose “To stick on”. Your MOV video file is now available in the folder “bin”.
In the same folder “bin”right click anywhere empty and choose “Open in Windows Terminal”.
When Windows Terminal opens, type the following command and press Enter. In the command, replace
source.mov with the name of your MOV file and
target.mp4 with whatever name you want for your resulting MP4 file.
ffmpeg -i source.mov target.mp4
FFmpeg will start the conversion and you will see the progress live on your screen. Wait for it to finish.
When your conversion is complete, you will find the resulting MP4 file in the same folder “bin”. And you are now ready to play your video file in MP4 format!
FFmpeg is an extremely useful utility, and you can use it to convert many other files as well. Check out our guide to the tool for all of its uses.
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