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How to convert MP4 to MKV without losing quality using Movavi Video Converter

Edited by Ben Jacklin
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With video converter by Movavi, you can convert MP4 to MKV, MKV to MOV, and AVI to MKV, along with other popular formats without losing image quality. Get the free download trial of this MP4-to-MKV converter or buy the full version of the software for Windows PC or Mac and easily change the format of your videos! In the guide below, we cover how to convert MP4 to MKV using this program. Read on, and you’ll also learn to turn your multimedia encoded in various video formats into MKV files and vice versa.

Step 1. Download and install the MP4-to-MKV video converter

Get the MKV file converter from the Movavi website and install it following the on-screen instructions. This handy and practical app will let you change the format of your video files in a flash.

Step 2. Add the files you want to convert

Click Add Media and select Add Video to add the videos you want to convert. With the MKV converter from Movavi, you can transcode your entire media library in multiple batches, choosing the settings manually or automatically.

Step 3. Choose a video format

Open the Video tab at the bottom of the application window and find the MKV category. Expand the list and choose one of the MKV presets. If you want to adjust any advanced parameters, access them by clicking the Cogwheel button below the presets panel. If you are converting MKV files to MP4, AVI, 3GP, or any other media format, pick the appropriate preset for your required output format.

How to choose an output format to do the MP4-to-MKV conversion

Step 4. Convert MP4 to MKV or vice versa

To choose the folder where you want to place the converted files, click the Save to button. Now, click Convert to process the videos. Converting files can take anything from one to several minutes, depending on the file size and the number of the files you’re converting.

The Movavi MKV video converter creates your new file or files in your chosen format automatically. When the process is completed, a folder with the created files opens automatically.

MP4 vs. MKV: A comparison

Both formats usually contain a video codec, an audio codec, subtitles, and other useful data. MP4 is highly popular for storing media files since it offers a good ratio of size and quality and works with a variety of platforms and devices. MKV is also quite popular as it is handy for movie storage due to multiple subtitle streams and audio tracks in various languages being packaged in one file. However, the MKV format has only limited compatibility.

See the table below for a more detailed overview of the MP4 vs. MKV comparison.

Comparison parameter



File extension



Developed by



Video-encoding formats

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

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

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  • When testing, we compare key characteristics, including supported input and output formats, quality loss when converting, and other significant features.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the MKV video format?

MKV (short for “Matroska Multimedia Container”) is a free, open-source multimedia container format. An MKV container can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, image, and subtitle tracks in a single file. This is why it enjoys immense popularity with movie enthusiasts who store their vast film collections in this format.

How to convert MP4 to MKV for free?

You can take advantage of the VLC media player as an MP4-to-MKV converter for free. All you need to do is follow these steps.

  1. Install and launch VLC.
    Download VLC

  2. Go to Media > Convert / Save.

  3. Click Add and find the video file you want to convert.

  4. Select Convert / Save in the lower portion of the interface.

  5. In another dialog box, click the Wrench icon, choose AVI in the Encapsulation tab, and click Save.

  6. Hit Browse and specify a name for the output file. Make sure the name includes the .mkv extension.

  7. Click Start to convert your video to MKV.

You can also use MP4-to-MKV converter online services, such as cloudconvert.com or convertfiles.com. However, keep in mind that most of these services have restrictions on the number and size of files that can be converted at one time.

Which format is better – MP4 or MKV?

Although both formats are popular, MP4 is supported by a wider range of devices, systems, and platforms. If you consider watching videos on a smartphone or tablet, MP4 is a much safer bet. If you play them back using media applications like VLC and 5KPlayer, MKV can be a sufficient option.

Are MKV files smaller than MP4 files?

No, MKV files are usually larger than MP4 files – owing to the fact that MKV supports multiple audio as well as subtitle tracks and has other additional features. This doesn’t affect quality as both MKV and MP4 videos deliver roughly the same picture. However, you may want to use MP4 files or convert them to MKV and compress them with a dedicated app like Movavi Video Converter.

Why does VLC not play MKV?

This may be due to video and codec issues, damaged or corrupt files, technical glitches, or many other problems. Here’s what you can do to fix it.

  1. Open VLC and go to Tools > Preferences.

  2. Select All in the lower-left corner of the program window.

  3. Click Input / Codecs.

  4. Choose Video codecs and then FFmpeg.

  5. In the right-hand portion of the interface, find Hardware decoding and select the Disable option next to it.

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