MOV File: How to Open and Convert

mov file logo MOV file or QuickTime File Format is a special extension for most media files used in Apple products. You can open a file of this format in almost any standard software. If the basic functionality is not enough for you, then choose Adobe Premiere to get more advanced features. Go on reading to learn more about MOV.extension.
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What Is a MOV File?

The MOV standard was first introduced in 1998. Apple has developed this file type for QuickTime and several other products. Despite the fact that the name MOV can be associated with a movie, files with this extension can contain not only video but also audio, text, images, Flash, 3D models and virtual reality panoramas.

MOV files store data in a similar way as tracks. In other words, a particular track contains a certain type of data (for example, audio, video, text and so on). Then each track is encoded and included in a special multimedia container file. MOV file type has a lot in common with an MP4 file type. Moreover, MOV is a kind of storage format for MP4.

  • Multiple tracks are available
  • Ability to overlay subtitles
  • Supports several types of media files
  • Top quality of media
  • The capability of lossless/lossy compression
  • Suitable for popular operating systems
  • Excellent structure and simple editing
  • Sizes are rather large, depending on the bitrate
  • The best quality requires QuickTime environment

How to Open a MOV File?

The latest versions of top operating systems contain software that can open MOV files. Unfortunately, the older OS versions require the installation of special programs. So if you want to open and edit files of this format, you should choose a suitable option. It can be both professional software and free applications.

Professional Software to Open a MOV File

Adobe Premiere Pro. This video editor has many powerful tools and functions. It is perfect for working with .MOV format files as it supports h.264 and h.265 codecs.

Sony Vegas Pro. This professional software includes a huge selection of video editing tools. It has a nice interface and supports .MOV extension.

Final Cut Pro. This pro software is perfectly compatible with Apple products. Thanks to its wide video editing capabilities, you can create high bitrate movies.

Elmedia. You can open and play almost any audio or video file using this software. You don’t even need to download any extra codecs. Using Elmedia Player, you get the opportunity of online streaming from Vimeo, YouTube, etc. and top-level streaming control.

Free Software to Open a MOV File

Movavi Video Editor is a great choice if you need a good set of tools for editing your MOV file. Although this is free software, it provides many advanced features, including rotating videos, adding captions, cropping, applying filters and others. It is compatible with Windows and Mac devices.

VLC Media Player. This cross-platform media player can work with almost any video format since it contains many codecs. The .MOV file can also be opened and played here.

QuickTime. This is the original MOV file player created by Apple. All modern Mac devices have this software. As for the Windows system, the latest versions of this OS do not require a special QuickTime environment since they can work with h.264 and h.265 codecs. If you want, you have an opportunity to install an older version of the program from Apple’s catalog.

Windows Media Player. The latest version of Windows OS has this built-in player. Owners of the 12th or higher version of the program can open and play MOVs.

Open a MOV File Online

Adobe Flash Player. Many modern web browsers have this built-in extension. It provides the ability to play a variety of media file formats, including MOV, in a browser window.

Google Drive. This online storage service allows you to not only store the downloaded files and back them up. You can also share and stream your MOV video through various mobile devices or any browser.

How to Convert a MOV?

If your device does not support MOV.format, then you need to transcode or convert your files. Below you will find several options that you can use to convert large MOV to MP4 or any other format.

CloudConvert. You can use this cloud service to convert MOV to MP3, MAVI or any other of more than 100 available formats. It also works with GIF files. You can use the service for free. However, the size of the converted files is limited to 1GB and 25 minutes per day.

Apple’s Compressor. This converter is strongly related to Final Cut Pro. Its user interface is very simple. You can enhance the MOV file, adjust the output settings, and prepare video for sale on the iTunes Store. You can speed up the conversion by customizing distributed encoding with other Mac devices.

FFmpeg. This cross-platform software has many useful features. Among other things, you can encode, decode and transcode media with such a convenient tool. You can do most of the manipulations using the command line.

Brorsoft Video Converter. The program allows you to convert a MOV file and more than two hundred other audio and video formats. If you are not sure that you are ready to pay for this converter, you can try the free trial version. It is compatible with the latest Mac and Windows OS versions.


  • How to reduce MOV File size?

First of all, you can use transcoding – apply a lossy compression and change the format into a smaller one. You can also try other tools if your software supports them. This may be a decrease in screen resolution, a high bit rate or a frame size.

  • How to stream a MOV video to YouTube?

Most container formats meet YouTube requirements, including a .MOV file. If you are unable to upload the MOV video to YouTube, then the reason may be the audio and video codecs contained in it. To cope with this problem, you can use some software for converting.

  • What is the difference between .MOV and .MP4 formats?

In fact, the two formats are very similar. MOV is a kind of container format for MP4. When encoding media tracks, both formats use the same codecs. However, if an MP4 file can contain 1 track of audio, video, or possibly 1 subtitles track, then MOV files include more tracks.

  • How to fix problems with a corrupted MOV file?

Due to damage to some top-level atoms that store important information for playing video, you may have problems with the operation of the MOV file. To solve this problem, you need to try to restore the damaged data. If you plan to work on this yourself, Restore.Media or will come in handy. However, if your knowledge and skills are not enough, you need to find experts on the freelancer’s websites.

Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more