March 28, 2022

How to Use VLC to Convert MOV to MP4

11 min

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VLC media player is open-source freeware created by VideoLAN. VLC supports a large variety of multimedia file formats. Unlike most media players, VLC happens to have a built-in conversion tool, so it can be used as both player and a video converter. This article covers ways to convert MOV to MP4 in VLC on Macintosh and Windows computers.

Supported operating systemsWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and others
Container formatMPEG-2, 3GP, MP4, FLV, VOB, RM, Raw DV, SVCD, QuickTime File Format, VCD, DVB, MXF, Matroska(MKV), DVR-MS, DVD-Video, PSV, PS, TS, ES, ASF, AVI, DVD-Video
Video file formatsMPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MJPEG, Real Video, ProRes, DNxHD, Sorenson, VC-1, Cinepak, DV, Theora, VP9, VP8, VP7, VP6, VP5, Dirac, H.263, H.264, WMV, HuffYUV
Subtitle formatsDVD, Text files (MicroDVD, SubRIP, SubViewer, SSA1-5, SAMI, VPlayer), Closed captions, Vobsub, Universal Subtitle Format (USF), SVCD / CVD, DVB, OGM, CMML, Kate, ID3 tags, APEv2, Vorbis comment
Advanced featuresFilters, effects, basic editing tools, graphic equalizer, ears protection, screenshotting, bookmarks, watermarks, etc.

No wonder such a powerful tool can be used as a .mov-to-.mp4 converter. Read on to learn how to convert MOV to MP4 using VLC on both Windows PC and Mac.

How to convert MOV to MP4 in VLC on a Windows PC

Own a computer running Windows 10? MOV is probably not the most friendly format for a Windows PC. But if you have VLC, .mov videos can be easily converted with the help of this software. Follow these instructions to learn how to use VLC to convert MOV to MP4 on a PC.

1. Import your MOV file

First, launch VLC for Windows. Open the Media menu, then select the Convert/Save option.

In the new window that appears, click the Add button and import your MOV file.

2. Convert MOV to MP4

Click the Convert/Save button. In the Profile drop-down menu, select Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4). Specify the output folder and the file name (you’d want to change the file extension to “.mp4” manually, as the program doesn’t do that), click Save, then Start. Once the process is complete, you will find the new video in the specified export folder.

This is it! Now you know how to convert MOV to MP4 in VLC on your Windows computer.

How to use VLC Media Player to convert MOV to MP4 on a Mac

Although MOV is an Apple-friendly file format, Mac users might want to convert their files to MP4, too. To make the VLC media player convert MOV to MP4 on a Macintosh, follow the instructions below.

1. Import your file

Click File and select the Convert/Stream option. In the Convert & Stream window that opens, click the Open media button and import the .mov file you want to convert to MP4. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop your file directly to the VLC window.

2. Convert your MOV video to MP4

In the Choose Profile section, select Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4) as the output format.

Finally, click the Save button, specify the file name and destination for your .mp4 file, and click Save once again. You’ll find the converted file in the specified folder.

This is how you can use VLC for MOV files conversion on a Mac. In fact, you can use these instructions to convert with VLC any media file to MP4. Read on to learn some helpful VLC MOV-to-MP4 conversion tips that you don’t want to miss if you’re going to become an advanced VLC user!

VLC conversion tips

We’ve already described how you can convert .mov to .mp4 with VLC on a Mac and PC, but there is really much more to it. VLC also offers features that advanced users can take advantage of to tweak conversion settings. Here are some tips on using advanced features provided by the VLC developers.

  • If you want VLC to play the output video during the conversion process, select the Display the output option.
  • If you want to convert videos of interlaced formats (1080i and 720i), enable the Deinterlace option.
  • If you have files with data streams in different containers, you can use the Dump raw input option. Once this option is enabled, VLC will pack all data streams into one file without reprocessing the data itself.

VLC has other features you might find helpful:

  • Playback of corrupted, incomplete, and unfinished files
  • Access to ISO files, even on operating systems that don’t support ISO images
  • Video filters and effects: distortion, rotation, trimming, mirroring, and more
  • Logo overlays
  • Video-to-ASCII conversion
  • Live streaming
  • Display of a video as the desktop wallpaper (on Windows PCs only)
  • Screencasting (desktop recording only)

You can tell by now that VLC is no ordinary media player. When it comes to converting MOV to MP4 in VLC, this freeware might come in very handy. Still, it wasn’t created to serve as a converter, so sometimes, it’s good to have an alternative program. If, for some reason, you couldn’t use the VLC player, MOV files can be converted with another program designed specifically for media conversion.

VLC fails to convert to MP4? Try a VLC alternative!

If you tried to put into practice our step-by-step guide on how to use VLC to convert MP4 to MOV, but something went wrong, you can always use an alternative .mov-to-.mp4 converter. Movavi Video Converter supports a large number of media formats and can process your files in no time.

Movavi Video Converter is a powerful tool that has numerous advantageous features:

  • Support of more than 180 formats
  • No quality loss conversion
  • Compression tool
  • Support of HD videos
  • Video-editing tool
  • Conversion of audio and images
  • Subtitles finder
  • Batch conversion
  • Sound level adjustment
  • Device-targeted conversion

You can learn more about the Movavi tool for fast-speed file conversion using the link below.

Learn more about Movavi Video Converter

To convert your MOV file to MP4, follow these steps:

  1. Install Movavi Video Converter: launch the installation file and follow the instructions on the screen.
  2. Import your files to the program: click Add Media, then Add Video, and select the MOV file you want to convert to MP4.
  3. Select MP4 as the target format: open the Video tab, choose MP4, and choose a preset.
  4. Save the result: click Save to at the bottom of the program window and specify the output folder. Finally, hit the Convert button to start transforming your MOV file to MP4.

It’s as simple as that. Now you know that if for some reason you couldn’t use VLC to convert to MP4, you can always do it with Movavi Video Converter.

VLC vs. Movavi Video Converter comparison


VLC media player

Movavi Video Converter

Versions for both Windows and Mac
Сonverter functionality
Editing tools
Fast conversion
Simple interface
Player functionality
Output options for specific devices
Batch processing

As you can see from the table above, the VLC media player and Movavi Video Converter have a lot in common: they are ad-free, can be installed on both Windows and Mac, and can convert video and audio files. However, these programs were initially meant to be used for different purposes. VLC’s primary task is media playback, whereas Movavi Video Converter was designed for media file conversion. Still, both programs can perform more than you would expect.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specialises in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Frequently asked questions

Can VLC play MOV files?

Yes, VLC plays MOV files without problems. However, there might be some issues concerning the older MOV files encoded with the Apple QuickTime codec. VLC player might not support these files if you try to open them on Windows. VLC plays .mov files encoded with the H.264 video and AAC audio codecs.

Why did VLC convert MOV to MP4 with no audio?

There can be several reasons why this happened. If you tried to convert MOV to MP4 in VLC, and there is no sound in the converted video, something must have gone wrong in the process, or the conversion settings were incorrect from the start. Check the list of the most frequent reasons for this issue.

  • The Keep original audio track option is enabled. Open the Media menu, select Convert/Save if you are a Windows user, and Convert/Stream if you're using a Mac. Click Add and select the file you want to convert. Click Convert/Save (or Convert/Stream), and in the window that appears, click the Edit selected profile button. In a new window that opens, select the Audio codec tab and ensure that the Keep original audio track option is disabled.
  • Incompatibility. Some containers just can’t hold specific formats. For example, you can’t convert a video to MP4 with a PCM audio stream.
  • No sound in the original video. Check if there is actually a sound stream in the initial video file.

How do I convert MP4 to MOV in VLC?

If you want to use VLC to convert MP4 to MOV, follow the appropriate instructions.

For Windows users:

  1. Launch VLC, open the Media menu, and click Convert/Save. In the window that appears, click Add and import your MP4 file.
  2. Click Convert/Save and, in the window that opens, click the Edit selected profile button. On the Encapsulation tab, select MP4/MOV. Proceed to the Video codec tab, check the Video box, and select the MPEG-4 codec. Then open the Audio codec tab, check the Audio box, and ensure that the MPEG Audio codec is selected. Name the new profile, and click Create.
  3. Specify the output folder and the file name (change the file extension to .mov manually), click Save, then Start. Once the process is complete, you will find the new video in the specified output folder.

For Mac users:

  1. Click File and select the Convert/Stream option. In the window that appears, click Open media and import your MP4 file.
  2. In the Choose Profile section, click Customize. On the Encapsulation tab, select MP4/MOV. Proceed to the Video codec tab, check the Video box, and select the MPEG-4 codec from the drop-down menu in the Codec section. Then open the Audio codec tab, check the Audio box, and make sure the MPEG Audio codec is selected. Click Apply.
  3. Finally, click the Save as File button, hit Browse, specify the file name and destination, and click Save twice. You’ll find the converted video in the specified folder.

Does converting MOV to MP4 reduce quality?

Typically, it does, but not always. MP4 is a lossy file format, but MOV files can be encoded with a variety of codecs, lossy or lossless. So if two videos, one in MOV and the other in MP4, are both encoded with lossy codecs, and other encoding parameters are identical, the videos will look the same.

MOV vs. MP4 – which one is better?

It really depends on your goal. MOV is the QuickTime format created by Apple. If you’re planning to watch or edit videos on an Apple device, it makes more sense to use the MOV format. MP4 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and is a universal video file format supported by a large variety of devices, so you can use MP4 videos for any purpose on any device.

MOV or MP4 – which one is better for YouTube?

The recommended file format for a YouTube video is MP4 with the video stream encoded with H.264, and the audio stream encoded with AAC. However, the platform also supports other file formats such as MOV, AVI, WMV, MPEG4, WebM, FLV, and others.

Why did VLC convert MOV to MP4 with no video?

There can be several solutions to the case in which VLC converts MOV to MP4 with no video.

  • Fix the conversion settings. Wrong conversion settings can lead to the “no video” error.

    Open the Preferences menu, select Video, and click Show All. Find the Video section and open the Output modules drop-down menu. Change the Video output module to OpenGL and click Save.

  • Install the latest version of VLC. iPhone-recorded videos are encoded with the HEVC codec, and the developers only started to support the conversion from this codec to H.265 in version 3.0.

To avoid the “no video” error, use Movavi Video Converter. The flawless conversion process and support of some 180 file formats make Movavi Video Converter an efficient tool worth trying.