How can I convert a WMV (Windows Media Video) movie file to QuickTime MOV on OSX El Capitan?

If possible I would prefer to use an installed program rather than an online program.

Neither VLC nor Handbrake can convert WMV to MOV. A Google Search reveals some other options, but I'm dubious about installing these unknown 3rd-party applications without a recommendation from people I trust (ie StackExchange users).

2 Answers 2


As for recommended way that is subject to opinion.

As for doing it with installed applications, this is one way to do it. This requires 2 applications. If you really need a MOV file this is how I found to do it. (If MP4 is suitable then skip step two.)

Step One

Using Handbrake, convert the WMV file to MP4.

Step Two

Using MPEG Streamclip, convert the resulting MP4 to MOV (the process can take considerable time depending on your movie size/length) NOTE: Last update to the software was in 2012. So be aware that it may or may not work well on your system.

There are other free converters out there too that can convert MP4 to MOV. But this 2 step process is what I found to be effective.

Testing with a WMV file duration of 2m:18s:
WMV original size: 7.2 MB
MP4 converted size: 9.7 MB
MOV resulting size: 14.8 MB

EDIT: As noted by user3439894 in the comments, QuickTime Player will convert MP4 to MOV. QuickTime Player is already installed in OS X.

  • QuickTime Player can export a .mp4 to .mov. Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 2:09

Install FFmpeg, e.g., using Homebrew:

brew install ffmpeg

FFmpeg is high-quality software for converting video and audio files between different formats. It does require installing separate software, though.

  • 2
    How could the OP convert WMV to MOV using ffmpeg? The vast amount of options on the command line might be a bit too much to handle for users not used to it.
    – nohillside
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 8:12
  • You can convert the file by running ffmpeg -i yourfile.wmv yourfile.mov. Note that to make it work the first time, you may need to run brew link ffmpeg. If it still doesn't run, try running brew reinstall ffmpeg first. Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 20:25

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