How to Convert MOV to MP4 on Mac

Are you a Mac user looking for a simple and effective way to convert MOV files to MP4? Look no further! In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of converting MOV to MP4 on your Mac, so you can easily share and play your videos on various devices. Whether you’re a tech-savvy enthusiast or a casual user, we’ve got you covered with these easy steps.

Mac computers are known for their user-friendly interface and powerful multimedia capabilities. However, sometimes you may encounter compatibility issues when trying to play MOV files on certain devices or platforms. Converting your MOV files to the widely supported MP4 format is a great solution, as it ensures your videos can be played on virtually any device or media player. So, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to convert MOV to MP4 on your Mac!

1. Install a Video Converter Software

To start the conversion process, you’ll need a reliable video converter software on your Mac. There are several options available, both free and paid, that offer various features and conversion capabilities. Some popular choices include HandBrake, VLC Media Player, and Adobe Media Encoder.

1.1 HandBrake

HandBrake is a free and open-source video converter software that supports a wide range of formats, including MOV and MP4. It offers a simple and intuitive user interface, making it suitable for beginners. Download and install HandBrake from the official website, then launch the application to proceed with the conversion process.

1.2 VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a versatile multimedia player that can also convert video files. It’s available for free and compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. Install VLC Media Player on your Mac, open the application, and navigate to the Media menu. From there, select “Convert/Save” to access the conversion settings.

1.3 Adobe Media Encoder

If you’re looking for advanced features and professional-grade video conversion, Adobe Media Encoder is an excellent choice. It’s part of Adobe Creative Cloud and offers a comprehensive set of tools for video editing and transcoding. Subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud and install Adobe Media Encoder on your Mac to get started.

2. Import Your MOV Files

Once you have installed the video converter software, it’s time to import your MOV files for conversion. Most converter applications provide an easy drag-and-drop feature, allowing you to add files effortlessly. Alternatively, you can use the “Add File” or “Import” button within the software to browse and select your MOV files from the local storage.

2.1 Drag-and-Drop

To import your MOV files using the drag-and-drop method, simply open the folder containing your videos and drag them into the converter software’s interface. The software will automatically recognize and add the files to the conversion queue.

2.2 Add File/Import

If you prefer using the software’s built-in file browsing feature, click on the “Add File” or “Import” button within the application. A file selection window will appear, allowing you to navigate to the folder where your MOV files are stored. Select the desired files and click “Open” to import them into the software.

3. Choose MP4 as the Output Format

Now that you have imported your MOV files, it’s time to select the output format as MP4. Most video converter software provides a list of supported formats and output presets for various devices and platforms. Locate the format settings or output options within the software and choose MP4 as the desired format for conversion.

3.1 Format Settings

In some video converter applications, the format settings may be accessible from a dedicated menu or tab. Look for options like “Output Format” or “Profile” to access the format settings. From there, select MP4 as the output format and adjust any additional settings, such as video codec, audio codec, resolution, or bitrate, according to your preferences.

3.2 Output Presets

Many video converter software offer pre-configured output presets for popular devices and platforms. These presets optimize the output settings for specific devices, ensuring the best compatibility and quality. If you intend to play the converted videos on a particular device, look for a preset that matches your device’s model or the platform you’ll be using. Select the appropriate preset, which will automatically set the output format to MP4.

4. Start the Conversion Process

With the format settings configured, you’re now ready to start the conversion process. Locate the “Convert” or “Start” button within the software and click on it to begin converting your MOV files to MP4. Depending on the size and quantity of the files, the conversion process may take some time to complete.

4.1 Conversion Progress

During the conversion process, most video converter software display a progress bar or indicator to show the status of each file. This allows you to track the progress and estimated time remaining until the conversion is finished. Some applications may also provide an option to pause or cancel the conversion if needed.

4.2 Batch Conversion

If you have multiple MOV files that you want to convert to MP4, most converter software support batch conversion. This means you can add multiple files to the conversion queue and let the software process them sequentially. Batch conversion saves time and effort, especially when dealing with a large number of videos.

5. Locate the Converted MP4 Files

Once the conversion process is complete, you’ll need to locate the converted MP4 files on your Mac. By default, most video converter software save the converted files in a specific folder or directory. However, some applications also provide the option to choose a custom output location or directly open the output folder after conversion.

5.1 Default Output Folder

If you’re unsure where the converted MP4 files are saved, check the application’s settings or preferences. Look for options like “Output Folder” or “Destination Folder” to determine the default location. Typically, the converted files are stored in a dedicated folder within the software’s installation directory or in your Mac’s “Movies” or “Documents” folder.

5.2 Custom Output Location

Some video converter software allow you to specify a custom output location for the converted files. If you prefer to save the MP4 files in a specific folder or directory, check the software’s settings or conversion options. Look for options like “Output Path” or “Save To” to choose a custom location. Make sure to remember the selected location for easy access to the converted files.

6. Playback and Share Your MP4 Files

Now that you have successfully converted your MOV files to MP4, it’s time to enjoy your videos and share
them with others. MP4 files are widely supported on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. You can use media players like VLC, QuickTime, or iTunes to play the converted MP4 files on your Mac. Additionally, you can upload the MP4 files to video sharing platforms, social media, or cloud storage services to easily share them with friends, family, or colleagues.

6.1 Using Media Players

To play the converted MP4 files on your Mac, simply double-click on the file, and it will open in the default media player, such as QuickTime. If you prefer using a third-party media player like VLC, right-click on the file, select “Open With,” and choose the desired media player from the list. Enjoy watching your videos in the MP4 format without any compatibility issues!

6.2 Sharing on Video Platforms and Social Media

If you want to share your converted MP4 files with a wider audience, consider uploading them to video sharing platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. Create an account, follow the platform’s instructions for uploading videos, and select the MP4 files from your Mac for upload. You can customize the video settings, add titles, descriptions, and tags to reach the desired audience. Similarly, you can share the MP4 files on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter by following the respective upload or share options.

7. Backup Your MOV Files

After successfully converting your MOV files to MP4, it’s a good idea to create a backup of the original MOV files. This ensures that you have a copy of the original videos in case you need them in the future. You can store the backup files on an external hard drive, cloud storage, or another reliable storage medium to keep them safe and easily accessible.

7.1 External Hard Drive

If you have a large number of MOV files or want to keep them offline, consider using an external hard drive for backup. Connect the external hard drive to your Mac, create a folder for the backup, and copy the original MOV files into that folder. Make sure to safely eject the external hard drive after the backup process to avoid data loss.

7.2 Cloud Storage

Cloud storage services offer convenient and secure options for backing up your MOV files. Sign up for a reliable cloud storage provider like Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud, and upload the original MOV files to your cloud storage account. Once uploaded, the files will be accessible from any device with an internet connection, providing you with peace of mind knowing your files are safely stored.

8. Additional Conversion Options

Besides converting MOV to MP4, video converter software often offer additional conversion options to enhance your video experience. These options allow you to customize the output settings, perform basic editing tasks, or even extract audio from videos. Explore the features of your chosen video converter software to discover the additional options available.

8.1 Custom Output Settings

Many video converter software allow you to fine-tune the output settings according to your preferences. You can adjust parameters such as video resolution, frame rate, bitrate, and audio quality to achieve the desired result. Customizing the output settings gives you more control over the final video output.

8.2 Basic Video Editing

Some video converter software provide basic video editing functionalities, such as trimming, cropping, or adding watermarks to your videos. These editing tools allow you to remove unwanted portions, adjust the video frame, or personalize your
videos with text or image overlays. Explore the editing features of your software to make further modifications to your videos before conversion.

9. Convert Videos to Other Formats

While converting MOV files to MP4 is the focus of this article, video converter software often support a wide range of input and output formats. If you have videos in other formats, you can utilize the same software to convert them to your desired format. Whether it’s AVI, WMV, FLV, or any other format, the video converter software can handle the conversion process efficiently.

9.1 Input Formats

Check the supported input formats of your video converter software. You’ll find a list of formats that the software can recognize and convert. This allows you to convert not only MOV files but also videos in different formats to MP4 or any other desired output format.

9.2 Output Formats

Similarly, explore the output format options offered by your video converter software. You may find a wide range of formats to choose from, including popular ones like AVI, WMV, MKV, or even formats optimized for specific devices like iPhone or Android. This versatility ensures that your videos can be converted to the format best suited for your needs.

10. Automatic Conversion and Folder Monitoring

Some video converter software provide the option for automatic conversion and folder monitoring. This means that you can set up the software to continuously monitor a specific folder and automatically convert any new MOV files added to that folder. This feature saves you time and effort, as you don’t have to manually add each file for conversion.

10.1 Set Folder Monitoring

To enable folder monitoring, access the settings or preferences of your video converter software. Look for options related to folder monitoring or automatic conversion. Select the folder you want to monitor, and configure the software to start the conversion process whenever new files are added to that folder. This feature is particularly useful if you frequently receive or download MOV files that need to be converted to MP4.

10.2 Convert Files Automatically

In addition to folder monitoring, some software allow you to schedule automatic conversions. This means you can set specific times or intervals for the software to convert the files in the designated folder automatically. Whether it’s overnight, during idle times, or at regular intervals, this feature ensures that your MOV files are consistently converted to MP4 without manual intervention.

11. Preserve Video Quality

When converting MOV files to MP4 or any other format, it’s important to preserve the video quality as much as possible. Some video converter software offer options for selecting the desired video quality or using advanced compression algorithms to maintain the original video resolution, clarity, and colors.

11.1 Select High-Quality Output

While configuring the output settings, prioritize the video quality. Choose the highest possible resolution, bitrate, and other settings supported by your software to ensure the converted MP4 files maintain the original quality. Keep in mind that higher quality settings may result in larger file sizes.

11.2 Use Advanced Compression Techniques

Some video converter software employ advanced compression techniques to reduce file size without significant loss in quality. These techniques utilize modern video codecs like H.265 (HEVC) or VP9 to optimize the video compression process. By using these codecs, you can achieve smaller file sizes while retaining excellent video quality.

12. Convert Videos in Batches

If you have a large number
of MOV files that need to be converted to MP4, batch conversion is a valuable feature provided by many video converter software. With batch conversion, you can add multiple MOV files to the conversion queue and convert them all at once, saving you time and effort.

12.1 Add Multiple Files

To use batch conversion, simply select and add multiple MOV files to the conversion queue. You can either use the drag-and-drop method or the software’s file browsing feature to add multiple files simultaneously. Once added, the software will process each file sequentially and convert them to MP4.

12.2 Customize Output Settings

When using batch conversion, you have the option to apply the same output settings to all the files or customize the settings for each file individually. This flexibility allows you to tailor the conversion process according to your specific requirements for each video.

13. Utilize Hardware Acceleration

Video conversion can be a resource-intensive process, especially when dealing with high-resolution or large-sized videos. To speed up the conversion process, some video converter software support hardware acceleration. This utilizes the processing power of your computer’s GPU to offload some of the conversion tasks, resulting in faster conversion times.

13.1 Enable Hardware Acceleration

To take advantage of hardware acceleration, check if your video converter software supports this feature. Look for options or settings related to hardware acceleration, and enable it if available. This may require specific GPU drivers or configurations, so ensure that your system meets the requirements for hardware acceleration.

13.2 Faster Conversion Times

By utilizing hardware acceleration, you can significantly reduce the conversion time for your MOV to MP4 conversion. The GPU’s parallel processing capabilities can handle the conversion tasks more efficiently, resulting in faster and smoother conversions, especially for large files or high-quality videos.

14. Explore Advanced Editing Features

While video converter software primarily focus on the conversion process, some advanced options provide additional video editing features. These features allow you to enhance your videos by applying effects, adjusting colors, adding subtitles, or even merging multiple videos into a single file.

14.1 Apply Effects and Filters

Some video converter software offer a range of effects and filters that you can apply to your videos. These effects can enhance the visual appeal of your videos or help you achieve a specific artistic style. Experiment with different effects and filters to personalize your videos during the conversion process.

14.2 Add Subtitles and Watermarks

If you want to add subtitles or watermarks to your videos, look for video converter software that supports these features. You can import subtitle files in popular formats like SRT or ASS and customize their appearance and positioning. Similarly, you can add text or image watermarks to protect your videos or add branding elements.

15. Stay Updated with Software Versions

Video converter software, like any other software, regularly release updates to improve performance, add new features, or address any compatibility issues. It’s important to stay updated with the latest version of your chosen video converter software to ensure you have access to the latest enhancements and bug fixes.

15.1 Check for Updates

Periodically check for updates for your video converter software. Most applications have a built-in update checker that can automatically detect and download the latest version. Alternatively, you can visit the software’s official website to see if any updates are available for download.

15.2 Benefits of Updating

Updating your video converter software ensures that you have access to the latest features and improvements. It can also enhance the stability and performance of the software, ensuring a smoother and more efficient conversion process. Additionally, updating your software may address any compatibility issues with new operating system updates or video formats.


Converting MOV files to MP4 on your Mac is a straightforward process that allows you to overcome compatibility issues and enjoy your videos on various devices and platforms. By following the steps outlined in this article, installing a video converter software, importing your MOV files, selecting MP4 as the output format, and starting the conversion process, you can effortlessly convert your MOV files to MP4. Additionally, explore the various features and options offered by the software, such as customization settings, batch conversion, hardware acceleration, advanced editing, and staying updated with software versions, to optimize your video conversion experience. Now, go ahead and convert your MOV files to MP4 on your Mac with ease!

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