I want to convert .mov to .mp4! I saved the video from iMovie but it is in .mov format! How do I convert it to .mp4?

I'm using a MacBook and I want to share it to my phone, but my phone can't open .mov format video.

  • related – bummi Mar 29 '16 at 11:40
  • Try renaming the file from .mov to .mp4, it might work. Some mov files are actually mp4 compatiable. – Simon Woodside Apr 15 at 3:22
  • I needed this to insert a QuickTime screen recording in a Google Slides presentation. Just saying for SEO. – Gabriel R. May 20 at 9:27

I personally find using ffmpeg shell program (available through Brew using brew install ffmpeg) the most convenient way to do the conversions.

It includes tons of options for nearly any single thing you could possibly do with a movie.

In your case though, for a conversion, you can simply type:

ffmpeg -i /path/to/input/file /path/to/output.mp4

The .mp4 extension in the output path serves as a cue for the program to do the proper conversion -- no more options are necessary.

  • 3
    This is awesome – Praxiteles Jul 27 '17 at 6:45
  • AWESOME !!! great library to play with. – Fadi Dec 24 '18 at 18:48
  • The mp4 is quite large, do you have a command to get a smaller one? Like 480p? 720p? – Noitidart Sep 4 at 16:24
  • Thank you, it works, except the performance is not good, pretty slow for me – Neekey Oct 20 at 1:39


You can use Handbrake to convert .mov to .mp4 files.

HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.

Reasons you’ll love HandBrake:

  • Convert video from nearly any format
  • Free and Open Source
  • Multi-Platform (Windows, Mac and Linux)

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  • Does Handbrake also offer the option to rewrap video / put .mov to .mp4 or vice versa without transcoding/re-compressing the video/audio data? – Dictionarics Anonymous Mar 29 '16 at 13:36

You can also use VLC to convert .mov into several formats:

  1. Install and open VLC
  2. Go to "File" > "Convert / Stream..."

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  1. Load the video (for example drag the .mov file into box)

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  1. Choose the format you want
  2. Click on "Save as File" button, sit back and relax
  • 2
    For those interested, this resulted in an .m4v despite what it says in the drop-down menu – Andreas Nov 16 '18 at 2:15

Apple's gotcha had ya covered. ...Sadly, things have changed with the advent of macOS 10.13 High Sierra :\

Once upon a time You can you could use QuickTime Player to export .mov files and have them converted to .m4v files that will play on your other Apple products. M4V is a video container format developed by Apple from the MP4 standard - M4V is very similar to the MP4 format. The main difference is that M4V supports DRM copy protection - such as for copyrighted material viewed with Apple TV.

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There's also a "Share" option in the player when you open a .mov file in QuickTime Player:

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...and I am not sure if this converts the file, but you can use it to send your video to your mobile device with, for example, the Messages app.

See this article for more information on the difference between MP4 and M4V.

Lastly, per this tutorial, you can just Export the file from iMovie:

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  • 1
    Quicktime no longer has these options in High Sierra. Not sure why Apple removed them. – mzaur Oct 31 '17 at 0:09
  • @mzaur thanks for commenting - I just confirmed this. Very disappointing :( – Mr. Kennedy Nov 1 '17 at 21:45
  • Will keep an eye on your post, hopefully there is a way again. I use quicktime to record screen clips. I need to save as mp4. – Noitidart Sep 4 at 16:26

Which iPhone models who you own? The iPhone can only play H.264 or MPEG-4 video. The most simple way is downloading Handbrake, which not only assists you to convert MOV to iPhone suppported H.264 or MPEG-4 video, but also offers advanced profile parameters adjusting function to assist you to get better output video and audio quality.

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