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How to convert MKV to MP4

Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

Managing video formats and compatibilities can sometimes be a chore. Different programs use different formats and file extensions, and some will be difficult to playback using some software. A common issue users encounter is to convert MKV files to MP4 files.

Matroska (MKV) and MPEG-4 (MP4) files are both video files capable of storing HD video. MKV stores subtitle, audio, and video all in one large file and is typically how Blu-rays and DVDs store data for their videos. MP4s also store information in one file, but looking at MKVs vs. MP4s, the latter are significantly smaller in file size, without diminishing the video quality, and tend to be compatible with more media players. Finding a Matroska (MKV) video format player narrows down options a lot, so many people opt to convert to MP4 so that they can view videos on other devices.

MP4 vs. MKV: which one wins? Many devices will play an MP4 file but not an MKV file. Though an MKV is commonly created from a Blu-ray or DVD image, the MP4 format is much smaller and compatible with more software. Can Windows Media Player play MKV files? Yes, but it'll take something else to play MKV files on Android. Even if someone prefers to save video files as MKVs, they will need a fast and easy way ready to go to convert .mkv to .mp4. In this article, we'll look at 11 ways to convert MKV files into a more versatile MP4.

How to convert MKV to MP4 without losing quality in Movavi

With Movavi Video Converter, you can transfer MKV to MP4 without losing quality using the revolutionary SuperSpeed mode. The program supports batch processing that makes conversion even faster.

You can also use this smart software to convert MP4 to MKV. Movavi Video Converter provides one of the easiest ways to do fast conversion between more than 180 multimedia formats. So if you’re looking for an MKV-to-MP4 converter, download Movavi Video Converter and forget about format compatibility limits forever.

Step 1. Install the program on your Windows PC or Mac

Download the installation file for Movavi Video Converter to your hard drive, open it when the download is complete, and install the program.

Step 2. Open files for conversion

First, add the files you want to encode into a different format: click Add Media in the upper-left corner and select Add Video.

Step 3. Select the output format

Open the Video tab to access the list of supported formats and choose the required format – MP4 or MKV – depending on your goals. Each format has a list of ready-made presets, offering a choice of resolutions. Select the one that best meets your needs.

Step 4. Start converting MKV to MP4 or vice versa

By default, all output files are stored in the Movavi Library folder. If you want to use a different folder, click the Save to button and locate the required folder on your computer. Need to batch-convert MKV to MP4? No problem, Movavi Video Converter can process a huge number of files at a time. To start processing your media files, just click the Convert button. Since the Movavi software supports the latest video-processing technologies, conversion takes almost no time. Whether you switch your MKV files to MP4 or MP4 to MKV, the results will always be perfect!

How to convert MKV to MP4 online

If you're not looking to install more programs or apps on your device and just want an easy-to-use tool available to convert MKV to MP4 online, these options are the fastest and easiest ways out there. Though each of them has specific strengths, they are all easy to use and entirely online tools for converting MKV to MP4.

With any of these browser-based web applications, the best part is that you can usually just go to the site, choose a file to convert, and click convert. Using an online MKV converter to MP4 can be a straightforward way to get a quick conversion done simply. All of these services are usable on any OS that can access a web browser.

What makes Online Video Converter standout for use as an MKV to MP4 converter is its high conversion speeds, and its interface is easy to use and learn. You'll be converting files seconds after arriving at the web page without digging through help files. Its browser-based, minimalist design provides easy to use access to many video format conversions at very high speeds and can easily convert MKV files to MP4.

The downsides of this .mkv-to-.mp4 converter are that file size is limited to 100MB for the freeware version, and their browser edition is unable to batch convert MKV to MP4. For a quick use tool for smaller files, this is an excellent tool to convert MKV to MP4 free.

There are a lot of pros to CloudConvert. Its easy options to alter video settings during conversion are handy tools to have available. Like the other online MKV to MP4 converters on this list, it's accessed through a browser, so it can be used on any device that can access websites. In addition to being able to change MKV to MP4, it can handle many other file formats as well as pictures, documents, and audio.

CloudConvert is an excellent MKV-to-MP4 video converter but does have some drawbacks. With its many options come a bit more of a confusing interface. Its browser-based menus are relatively simple, but unless you're pretty video savvy, you may have to look up a few options before knowing what they do. Casual users should be able to figure out how to convert .mkv to .mp4 reasonably quickly, but an advanced user will get far more out of this converter.

Zamzar is also a great option to convert MKV to MP4 for free online. The pros of using Zamzar as an MKV converter to MP4 are definitely its simple interface and its adaptability. Being able to convert nearly any file type comes in handy, as you can easily use it as an MKV to MP4 converter for free, then if you ever need any other video conversion, this same tool will work for many different file formats. The tool’s simplicity means that even the most technologically illiterate users should have no problem figuring out how to convert MKV to MP4.

The cons of this video converter for MKV to MP4 are quite a few, however. Free users are limited to 2 conversions per day, and with a 50MB size limit, many larger MKV files will be off-limits on this converter. Conversion times can be slower than other online converters, as well.

Online-Convert is a great tool to use as a converter for MKV to MP4 transcode. On the positive side, Online-Convert is incredibly powerful in how many file types and extensions it can work with. The addition of a Firefox extension for ease of use is a very nice option for chronic converters, and the availability of apps made it much easier to convert MKV to MP4 on Android or iPhone.

There are, however, some negatives to Online-Convert. The site works very well and is among the fastest of the free MKV to MP4 converters online. Their site, however, is full of ads and pop-ups. The browser extension and apps would solve this problem, but users have found these do not work nearly as well as the browser service itself, commonly delivering errors and themselves being rife with ads.

ConvertFiles is a reliable converter for MKV to MP4 for free online. The pros for ConvertFiles are its easy-to-use interface, its versatility, and its accessibility. The browser site is simple to use; users can simply browse for a file on their device and easily use its MKV-to-MP4 converter online. It can convert nearly any type of file, and if your file takes a bit to convert, ConvertFiles will even email you with a download link for your file when it's complete.

The cons of ConvertFiles are definitely its size limitations. Free users of ConvertFiles are only allowed to convert files up to 250MB, which severely limits its abilities as MKVs tend to be huge files.

Convertio is a long time standby as an MKV converter to MP4 online and has many positives. The interface is simple. Source files to be converted can be linked directly from a web URL, from a local device, or a cloud service. It's fast and delivers a reliable result. It can convert thousands of different file extensions, yet its browser interface is simple enough that nearly any user will easily be able to learn how to change MKV to MP4.

The cons of Convertio are mostly that many of the features are gated behind the paid version of their service. Free users are limited to 100MB file size, and the number of conversions per day is limited. This service may not be sufficient for someone who wants to convert MKV to MP4 online with big files.

Online free MKV to MP4 converters – final thoughts

All of these online converters are great ways to convert MKV to MP4. If you're looking for a simple way to convert an MKV file without downloading any additional apps or programs, these services may be the answer to how to convert MKV files to MP4.

How to convert MKV to MP4 for free on a desktop

While MKV-to-MP4 converters online can be convenient for simple MKV to MP4 conversion, you can do significantly more with free programs for desktops. An MKV-to-MP4 converter download eliminates the slower speed of the cloud and is the clear option if you want to batch convert MKV to MP4. Often, downloaded MKV-to-MP4 video converter programs will have added functionality and efficiency over their online counterparts. The next four items on this list will be video converters for MKV to MP4 available for free download on desktop.

Supported OS: Windows 7/8/10. Mac OS X 10.10 or higher

It supports over 180 video formats and also has specific presets for device manufacturers to optimize playback and compatibility. Batch conversion allows you to convert multiple videos from multiple devices into one format simultaneously. For a free program, it offers a lot of advantages. It has a lot of beneficial features with a simple interface that doesn't sacrifice functionality.

On the negative side of Movavi Free Video Converter, only the paid version can be used to trim, crop, and adjust videos automatically during conversion.

To use Movavi Free Video Converter to convert .mkv to .mp4, download the program and then simply drag the media file into the input window in the program and choose MP4 as output format.

Supported OS: Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 (64-bit only). Mac OS 10.11 and later. Linux.

The pros of HandBrake are pretty numerous. It has many features, from optimization for specific devices to video filters and nearly limitless batch queuing. The range of devices that HandBrake can optimize for means maybe you can finally get that MKV to your PS4 or watch an MKV on your iPhone. Also, as it's community-driven and open-source, there's no pay version for features to be gated behind.

The cons of HandBrake, unfortunately, come alongside its many features. It is a powerful way of converting MKV to MP4, but there are so many features, it can be confusing for some users. Open-source freeware tends to be complicated and caters more to the type of people who develop it, and Handbrake is no exception.

To use Handbrake, download the program free through their website. Once it's installed, under the Source tab, select the file you want to convert. Under the Output tab, select MP4 and choose any option you would like. There are many additional tabs of options, but these can be circumvented by choosing a preset for quick use.

Supported OS: Pretty much all (Windows, iOS, Mac OS X, Linux, Android)

There are a lot of pros to VLC. First, as a media player that is regularly updated with the latest FFMPEG codec, you'll always have the most updated output files. It's a mainstay of media players for a reason and is itself one of the few answers to how to open an MKV file. Why use VLC for the MKV-to-MP4 conversion, though if you can have VLC play MKV? Though you can play MKV on VLC, you may need a way to convert when you find that your PS4 is not playing MKVs.

VLC has some cons, mostly because it's a media player and library first and converter second. Though it can convert MKV to MP4 and be the answer to how to play MKV files on PS4, some users report video corruption when using it. Often recurring errors have popped up, like the infamous bug where VLC would convert MKV to MP4 with no audio.

To use VLC to convert MKV to MP4, just click the Media menu, then click Convert/Save. Choose an MKV file and just select MP4 for the output.

Supported OS: Windows, Mac OS X

The pros of Prism are many, as it boasts some very powerful tools to convert with specific device profiles to make it easier to learn how to play your MKV files on iPhone or find ways to play MKV files on Android. It boasts a powerful tool to convert from MKV to MP4 directly from DVD as well.

The con of Prism is one reason in chief. The software is free-trial only, and after the trial period ends, the product is not very well-reviewed.

Desktop free MKV to MP4 converters – final thoughts

These are all great software to use for a casual conversion. They all have their weaknesses, but they are all practical tools for converting much larger files and more sophisticated operations like batch conversion than their online counterparts. Depending on which features are essential to you, you're bound to find something that works perfectly for what you need in a tool to convert MKV to MP4 for free.

MKV vs. MP4 comparison

MKV (Matroska Video) is a free container format that lets you combine multiple audio, video, and subtitle streams – which is why it became so popular for movie storage. One file can keep audio tracks in all languages and many subtitle streams that can be switched on the fly. MP4 is currently the most popular container format for storing media content: video, audio, subtitles, and even images (for example, photos of movie intros). Even though there is an MPEG-4 video codec, files with an MP4 extension can contain videos encoded by other codecs – for example, H.264 or H.265. Due to a good ratio of quality and size, this format has gained immense popularity and is supported by the largest number of devices and platforms, including iOS and Android.

Comparison parameter



File extension



Video-encoding formats

H.264, H.265, MPEG-4, MJPEG, Theora, VP9, DV, others

H.264, H.265, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, Dirac, others

Audio-encoding formats

AAC, AC3, MP3, ALAC, Vorbis

AAC, MP3, AC-3, Apple Lossless, ALS, SLS, others

Device and OS compatibility

Some TVs, media players, and mobile devices. Windows PC (with a particular codec installed), no native support in macOS

Compatible with almost all devices and operating systems

Frequently asked questions

How do I open an MKV file?

There is a large variety of media players you can open MKV files with. Try VLC, one of the most popular Matroska (MKV) video format players.

Download the VLC player

Want to play MKV on Windows? No need to install extra software. Windows Media Player can play MKV just easily.

How do I play MKV files on PS4?

You can play MKV files on PS4, provided these files are encoded with MPEG-4 or H.264. PS4 supports video streaming so that you can stream your MKV to PS4, too. If PS4 is not playing MKV, most likely it’s because your files don’t meet the requirements.

How do I convert MKV to MP4 on Mac?

You can convert your MKV files to MP4 with Movavi Video Converter. Download the installation file and follow these instructions.

Download Movavi Video Converter for Mac

  1. Install and open the program.

  2. Import your MKV files.

  3. Select MP4 as the output format.

  4. Convert MKV to MP4 by clicking the Convert button.

Is MKV better than MP4?

No, not really. Both MP4 and MKV are container formats that can be used in analogous situations. MKV is usually greater in size than MP4, but that doesn’t mean MP4 is worse in quality. The most significant difference between MKV and MP4 is that MP4 is more widely used because it is supported by most devices.

Why did VLC convert MKV to MP4 with no audio?

VLC is more than just a player as it can convert media files, too. Some users take advantage of the VLC MKV-to-MP4 conversion option but find out that there is no audio in the output file. There are two steps to fix the problem.

First of all, ensure that you have the latest version of VLC.

Download the latest version of VLC media player

If the results are the same with the latest version of the program, try changing the Strict standard compliance setting in VLC. To do this, launch VLC, open the Tools menu, and select Preferences. In the new window, click Input/Codecs, then select All in the Show settings section. Click FFmpeg in the Video codec section in Input/Codecs. Then set the Strict standard compliance parameter to -2. Finally, click Save. This should do the trick.

Сan VLC play MKV?

Yes, it can. Not only can you play MKV on VLC, but you can also convert your files to a more widely-spread format like MP4.

How do I play MKV files on Android?

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to playing MKV files on Android. Try one of these mobile apps available on Google Play:

  • VLC

  • MX Player

  • CnX Player

  • KMPlayer

  • FX Player

You can also convert MKV to MP4 for Android using an appropriate program. We suggest you try Movavi Video Converter – it supports a large number of media formats and, most importantly, device-oriented conversion, so you can tweak your files to play them smoothly on a specific device.

Download Movavi Video Converter for Windows

Download Movavi Video Converter for Mac

How do I play MKV files on an iPhone?

Here’s a list of apps for you to watch an MKV on an iPhone:

  • VLC

  • MCPlayer

  • PlayerXtreme

  • MKPlayer

How do I use FFmpeg on Linux to convert MKV to MP4?

To convert MKV files to MP4 on Linux, first ensure you have the FFmpeg tool installed on your computer. Then invoke FFmpeg and use -i to specify the input video. Then use -codec copy and type the name of the output video file.

The result looks like this: ffmpeg -i Avatar.mkv -codec copy Avatar.mp4

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