As capable as it is, the Matroska (MKV) file format it isn’t as widely supported as some. Instead of scrambling around trying to find a piece of software to play your MKV files though, why not just convert them instead? In this guide, we’ll show you two easy ways to convert your files from MKV to MP4.
Some of the more common MKV files tend to come from DVD and Blu-Ray movie rips, but it’s not unheard of to see them in downloaded or converted YouTube videos too. Wherever yours come from, the MP4 format is a much more widely-supported media standard that’s compatible with most modern devices, so let’s take a crack at converting your MKV files.
Converting with VLC (Windows/MacOS)
The VLC media player can recognize and play almost any video format, including MKV. Better yet, it can also convert them to something more universal, like MP4. Here’s how.
Step 1: Navigate to VideoLAN’s homepage and download VLC. Make sure to read the fine print when installing, so you aren’t introducing your computer to any bloatware.
Step 2: Open the software and click the “Media” tab in the upper-left corner and select “Convert/Save” from the resulting drop-down menu.
Step 3: Click the “Add” button and locate the file you wish to convert on your PC. Once it’s selected, press the “Convert/Save” button at the bottom of the window.
Step 4: Specify your desired video format — in this case, “H.264 + Mp3 (MP4)” — using the drop-down menu beside “Profile.” Clicking the tool icon will also allow you to further fine-tune your settings.
Next, specify under “Destination” where you would like VLC to export your file. Then, click “Start.” The timeline will turn into a progress bar, and once it finishes, your video will be ready.
Converting with Cloud Convert (web-based)
If you would rather not install any software to convert your files, you can use a web service instead. There are a few out there, but Cloud Convert is our favorite because it’s simple and supports a vast array of file formats.
Step 1: Navigate to the Cloud Convert homepage and upload your file. You can either find it through the “Select Files” button or you can simply drag and drop the file in your browser window.
Step 2: Scroll through the list of video formats and select “MP4.” Default settings should be fine, but you can also fine-tune quality and other aspects if you prefer. Once you’re happy with the settings, click the big, red “Start Conversion” button at the bottom of the page.
Step 3: When the conversion process is complete, a green “Download” icon will pop up. Click that to download your newly converted video.
Now that your video files are in your preferred format, make sure they’re backed up safely.
Updated 1/17/2018 by Mark Coppock, confirming methods and updated screenshots.