Converting MOV to MP4 on a Mac

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Converting MOV to MP4 on a Mac
Converting MOV to MP4 on a Mac

Most people nowadays consider MOV files to be an old and limiting format, preferring to utilize MP4 video files instead. If you have a collection of MOV files, it’s quite simple to convert them to MP4 files on macOS. We’ve discussed this in detail below, using a number of approaches, so keep reading to find out how to achieve it.

Which Devices Use MOV Files?

By default, Apple devices utilize the MOV format, so if you record a video on your iPhone or iPad and upload it to your computer, it will be in the MOV format. This is great if you want to play it on macOS since QuickTime natively accepts MOV, but it won’t work on any other platform, including a Windows PC (without codecs) or a smart TV.

You may alter this option in the iPhone’s settings to record movies in MP4 format instead. Simply navigate to Settings > Camera > Formats > Most Compatible to get started. However, if you have previously recorded MOV files, you may be unable to play them on other devices.

If you have a Mac, you may simply utilize these ways to convert MOV files to MP4 files.

1. How to Convert MOV to MP4 Files Using iMovie

Apple’s proprietary video editing software—iMovie—is the first tool you may use to convert MOV files to MP4 files. When you bought your Mac, it should have come with iMovie already loaded. If not, you may get it from the Mac App Store for free. Make sure your machine is compatible with iMovie, which currently supports macOS Big Sur and later.

Related: Free Online Tools for Converting Video to Audio

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To convert the files, just follow the procedures below after installing and using iMovie:

  1. Select File > New Movie from the top-left menu.
  2. Select the Import Media option. This will launch the media browser, from which you may load files into iMovie.
  3. Locate and choose the file to be converted, then click Import Selected in the bottom-right corner.
  4. After importing the file, click on it, and a yellow box should appear around it. Now, in the top menu, pick File > Share > File.
  5. As needed, modify the export parameters (we suggest a 1080p resolution for most uses). Click Next, then provide a file name and save location for the converted file. The export progress should be visible as a little circle in the top-right corner of iMovie. When the export is complete, a desktop notice will appear, and your video will have been converted to an MP4 file.

The iMovie technique for converting a MOV to an MP4 file is simple. It does, however, have the drawback of only converting one file at a time. If you wish to save time by converting numerous files at once, we suggest using the HandBrake approach outlined below.

2. How to Convert MOV to MP4 Files Using HandBrake

HandBrake is a free and open-source program for converting file formats to high quality. The program simply works as a video encoder and comes with a slew of presets for file conversions. It is available for free on the HandBrake website.

Launch HandBrake after installation and follow the instructions below to convert your MOV files to MP4:

  1. Select Open Source at the top of the HandBrake window.
  2. Choose the file to be converted.
  3. When HandBrake opens the file, choose the file type you wish to convert it to from the Preset menu. Similarly, using the Save As menu at the bottom of the window, choose the destination of the exported file.
  4. Select the Add to Queue option if you wish to batch convert files. Once the file has been placed to the queue, just reopen the program and repeat the process.
  5. After you’ve imported all of your files into HandBrake, use the Start button to begin the encoding process.
  6. The encoding progress meter will be shown at the bottom of the window. You’ll be able to see and utilize your newly encoded MP4 files after the conversions are complete.
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HandBrake is useful for batch MOV to MP4 conversions on your Mac since it lets you to load numerous files, put them to a queue, and convert them all at once. When compared to individual file conversions in iMovie, this may save a significant amount of time.

3. How to Convert MOV to MP4 Files Using Terminal

If you choose not to utilize the typical UI-based technique, you may convert MOV to MP4 files on your Mac using Terminal. Those who are accustomed to command line inputs will prefer this way.

Related: How to Convert MOV to MP4 Online

This conversion technique makes use of the ffmpeg shell application, which is accessible through HomeBrew in Terminal. HomeBrew is an open-source software package manager that can be installed via Terminal on your Mac.

Install HomeBrew and use ffmpeg to convert MOV to MP4 files on your Mac by following the instructions below:

  1. Launch Terminal on your Mac. This may be done by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  2. To install HomeBrew, use the following commands: /bin/bash -c
  3. $(curl -fsSL Depending on your internet connection, the procedure may take a few minutes to complete. Enter your Mac user password to authenticate yourself before installing HomeBrew.
  4. Once that is complete, use the following command to install the ffmpeg shell program: install ffmpeg using brew
  5. After installing the add-on, run the following command to convert files, changing the file paths as necessary: ffmpeg -i [input file path] -c:v copy -c:a copy [output file location] mp4
  6. Make careful to replace the file addresses with the input and output file addresses.
  7. That’s all. The video should convert rapidly and be usable.
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It’s Easiest to Convert Video Files at the Source

If you’re having difficulties playing MOV files on your device, you may quickly convert them to MP4 files using the Mac techniques described above. However, the easiest option would be to immediately record in MP4 at the source. Because most devices allow you to alter the video file type, consider changing the recording settings on your device to MP4. You will save time and effort by not having to deal with various file transformations.

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