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3 Ways to Convert MP4 to MOV on Mac

"how do I convert mp4 files to mov files for quicktime?" – from Apple Community

Why convert MP4 to MOV on Mac?

In short, MOV file format is fully supported by Mac, while part of MP4 files can’t be opened by QuickTime natively on Mac because of codec incompatibility.

  • According to Apple, QuickTime can play most of MP4 videos with MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.264 video codec and MP3, AAC codec. However, MP4 is a container format which can include HEVC/MPEG-H Part 2/H.265, MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, MPEG-4 Part 10 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263, VC-1, Dirac, audio (MP3, AAC, SLS, TTSI, and ALAC) and subtitles (MPEG-4 timed text). So, if there is any incompatible coding format in your MP4 video, QuickTime will fail to play it.
  • MP4 can also include still images and links that can’t be handled by QuickTime.

You see MP4 is quite a complex video container format which has diverse codec combination. That’s why sometimes QuickTime Player can play MP4 files while sometimes doesn’t. That’s why you need to convert MP4 to MOV that’s fully supported by QuickTime, iMovie or iTunes on Mac.

Here we highlight 6 familiar tools to most of you Mac users so that you can make use of your existing tool without any downloading. Of course, if you prefer any good options listed here, you can try them as well.

Way 1. macXvideo – Losslessly Convert MP4 to MOV Format on Mac

Digiarty macXvideo is a 100% clean and free desktop MP4 to MOV converter to convert videos from MP4 to MOV on macOS at blazing fast speed, and also lets you repair corrupted MP4 video files with highest possible quality restored. This freeware empowers you to free encode between any video for playback on mobile devices or upload to YouTube/FB SNS sites without trouble.

  • 200+ most popular formats supported: convert from/to MP4, MOV, MKV, HEVC, H.264, AVI, FLV, MP3, etc. up to 4K.
  • Hardware acceleration supported: Intel QSV, Nvidia Cuda, AMD GPU decoding offers 5x faster conversion speed.
  • Auto Copy feature enables you to convert MP4 to MOV with intact video quality when both formats use H.264 codec.
  • Extra bonuses: trimming, cropping, compressing, upscaling, and parameter adjustment.

How to convert MP4 to MOV on Mac with macXvideo?

Step 1. Click on the Donwload button above, install and run it on your Mac.

Step 2. Import the MP4 file you want to convert by clicking the "Add File" button.

Step 3. Select MOV as the output format. The optimized default settings ensure the best output quality. If you need MOV videos for editing in iMovie or playing on QuickTime, iTunes, iPhone, etc, you can select the specific presets from the list directly.

Step 4. Click on the "Browse" button to choose where you want to save the converter video.

How to Convert MP4 to MOV
Convert MP4 to MOV with macXvideo
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  1. On the interface, please don't forget to check the Hardware acceleration engine and Auto Copy boxes. As mentioned above, the two features will help accelerate the whole mp4 to mov conversion when possible.
  2. Here you can see the editing features below the video information. Click any button on the bar to enter into the editing window, where you can cut, crop, add subtitles, add effects, rotate videos and etc.
  3. The gear icon stands for the parameters settings where you can adjust the bit rate, resolutions, frame rate, codecs etc.

Step 4. Press the "RUN" button to start the conversion process.

Note: Other Mac MP4 to MOV converters out the market also include AnyMP4 Studio Free MP4 Converter, Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate, FonePaw Video Converter Ultimate, Aiseesoft Video Converter for Mac, Acethinker Video Master, Freemake, to just name a few.

Way 2. cloudconvert – Online MP4 to MOV video Converter

Online video converter can be used directly on any platforms in theory. Here, cloudconvert online video converter is chosen to help you convert MP4 to MOV on Mac easily. It is quite a powerful online file converter which is capable of converting videos, audio, vectors, spreadsheets, presentations, images, fonts, ebooks, documents, CAD and archives.

  • Convert MP4 to MOV, AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, WebM and WMV at will.
  • Freely choose the output resolutions, aspect ratios, quality, video audio codec, fps and bitrate.

How to convert MP4 to MOV on Mac with cloudconvert?

Step 1. Open https://cloudconvert.com/mp4-to-mov with your Safari browser on Mac.

Step 2. Click “Select File” to choose your video from your computer.

Step 3. Choose MOV as the output format.

Step 4. Click on “Convert” button.

Step 5. After converting, just download the converted file to your Mac.

However, you should note that most of the conversion process will reduce the video quality especially when transcoding 4K MP4 videos. Besides, you have to upload your videos first and then download the converted ones, but most of the online converters will keep your videos in their cloud service for about 24 hours. So, if your video is quite private, this way is not that safe to your personal privacy.

Note: Other online MP4 video converters also include Zamzar, Wondershare Online UniConverter, online-convert.com, Convertio, etc.

Way 3. Apple QuickTime Player – Export MP4 as MOV

Not just a video player, QuickTime can also help convert MP4 to MOV on Mac for iTunes, iMovie, Web, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. And your video will be exported as a QuickTime movie (.mov) using H.264 or HEVC codec.

Step 1. Launch QuickTime Player on your Mac.

Step 2. Open your MP4 file you want to convert with QuickTime Player.

Step 3. Choose "File" and then click “Export As”.

Step 4. Choose an option from the drop-down menu like 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, Audio Only.

Step 5. Rename your file and choose a location to save the converted file.

Step 6. Click "Save" and then QuickTime Player will start changing your MP4 video into MOV video.

Note: Actually, this only change the file extension and is not a real conversion as the data is not transcoded. If you want to convert your MP4 files to MOV with different coding formats, you have to use one of the above two ways. Besides, QuickTime Player only supports converting videos to MOV but doesn’t export movies as MP4 videos.

About MP4 and MOV

MP4 is nowadays an industry standard format which is the extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 in essence. It is a media container that contains digital video, audio streams, subtitles, still images and other data. It will also store advanced data like 3D graphics and UHD videos. This format has a very efficient compression method that makes it easier to be distribute among web and different devices.

MOV is a QuicTime file that applies proprietary compression algorithm developed by Apple. It's also a media container that uses tracks to hold data like video, audio, text, etc. Generally, MOV is a high-quality file format and the MOV videos will be larger than MP4. Check MOV VS MP4 for more detailed info about the two formats.

Formats

MOV

MP4

Type

Video Container

Video Container

File extension

.mov

.mp4

Developed by

Apple

International Organization for Standardization

Video Codecs

MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later),
MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264, H.263, H.261, Apple ProRes, Apple Pixlet, Cinepak, Component Video, DV, DVC Pro 50, Graphics, Motion JPEG, Photo JPEG, QuickTime Animation, Sorenson Video 2, Sorenson Video 3

HEVC/MPEG-H Part 2/H.265, MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, MPEG-4 Part 10 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263, VC-1, Dirac, other, audio (MP3, AAC, SLS, TTSI, and ALAC), and subtitles (MPEG-4 timed text).

Compatibility

Mac-based programs and iDevices

Web, Mac and Windows, Android and iDevices

Quality

High quality

High quality

File Size

Large

Smaller