How to convert a MOV file to MP4 on macOS

How to convert an MOV file to MP4 on macOS

QuickTime is the stock video player on macOS, and it is one of the least favorite apps that Apple has developed. That said, up until Sierra, it had one saving grace; it could convert a MOV file to an MP4 file. But that feature is gone now, so if you are running a macOS version that is Sierra or later, you do not have a simple way to convert a MOV file to MP4. You are going to have to use iMovie. It comes pre-installed on most recent macOS versions, so you should already have it on your system. Unluckily, it is not straightforward to use so much so that it probably be enough to send you looking for an alternative. So without further ado, here is how you can use iMovie to convert a MOV file to MP4.

Convert MOV to MP4

Open iMovie and create a new project. Afterward, add the MOV file to the project’s library by dragging & dropping it on to the My Media area. When added, drag & drop it onto the timeline. That’s all that you have to do.

You can export the file as an MP4 file now. Go to File>Share>File.

In the panel that opens, choose a resolution & quality for the video. Don’t select ProRes because you will end up with a MOV file again. All other qualities will provide you an MP4 file. Tap Next and give your file a name and save it wherever you want.

The process is not complicated, but iMovie is hardly intuitive to use. The feature that allows you to convert a file to an MP4 file is hidden under a ‘Share’ option. You would not expect to find a save feature there.

Furthermore, MOV files can be converted using online apps, but if you explore the export option, you’ll change the quality freely and select any resolution you wish. You can get an estimate of the output file’s size, and it’ll change to match the quality you have set. It’s handy if you want the file to below a specific size. As for the ‘Compress’ option, you can select whatever you need. It will not change the format.

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Regarding why you need to convert MOV files precisely to MP4 files, it’s because the built-in screen recording utility on macOS saves the recordings as MOV files. Additionally, MOV files are not as universally supported as MP4 files; in fact, they do not even come close. These files tend to be larger, and if you have a size limit to be cautious about, the MOV file can be a problem.

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