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How to Convert MP4 (h.264/mpeg-4) to MOV

David James
Updated on Aug 29, 2023

Anyone who is a fan of watching videos would know that MP4 is actually an international standard and is compatible with almost anything you play it on. But at some stage you probably need to convert the MP4 video to another format such as .mp4 to .mov file on a Mac or a PC machine.

Although both MOV and MP4 can use the mpeg-4 codec to encoding video, since the MP4 is a final delivery file format which lacks the ability to comprise abstract data references in it, as well as the capability of extracting media data from the media offsets and the track edit lists, you shouldn't be using it in a video editing program like Final Cut Pro for further editing on a Mac. Therefore you first have to convert the MP4 to an editing-friendly format such as ProRes .mov, a format natively used for QuickTime framework and particularly suited for editing.

So, whether it's to make that your MP4 (mpeg-4, h.264) video editable in Final Cut Pro, or to stream on a MOV-only device. This will be involving video converting between formats. Fortunately, converting a video file from MP4 to MOV or vice verse is made extremely easy with the help of media converting software.

There's a slew of utilities that tackle this sort of thing good enough, but as a lover of easy-to-use utility, Video Converter is always my first choice.

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for Windows | for Mac

Apart from converting an mp4 to an MOV format on Mac/PC easily, the program can accepts pretty much other movie files as input and will be able to output a digital file in a variety of modern formats such as WMV, AVI, MPEG-2, MKV, FLV, MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC. Another bonus feature of the program is the ability to offer a boatload of customizable options to control over the quality of output result; you can even edit the video prior to the conversion.

In this guide I will be using an iMac to explain how to convert the MP4 file to a QuickTime MOV format for Mac OS X. There is no difference to do that in a PC machine if you happen to have.

How to Convert video from MP4 to a MOV file format on Mac (or PC)

Stage 1 – Install the Video Converter

Click the link beneath the green "Download Now" button above, and follow the wizard to download and install the software on your computer.

Launch the program, you will be presented with a clean interface where all key buttons are designed on the top sections. For your convenience, I have labelled the most used three buttons with 1, 2, 3 you required to convert video.

Stage 2 – Import the .mp4 files

Either drag your MP4 digital files from local folder into this window, or access your file by using the "Add File" (1) button at the top left side of this window.

If you want to convert a bunch of mp4 files to mov, you can click the arrow icon next to "Add File" and then hit "Add Folder" option to load full folder of MP4 collections.

Stage 3 – Choose an output file

For output format, choose MOV from Format panel.

Click the "Profile" (2) button at the lower left-hand side to access to Format panel like this:

When it opens, you will find that there is a large list of conversion profiles available. For our purpose, you select General Video > MOV video.

Here is another tutorial for burning MP4 video files onto Blu-ray disc - It's simple!

Stage 3.1 – Configure the quality of output (optional)

In "Settings" field (near "Profile), the MP4 to MOV converter for Mac features a nice selection of encoding options to control over the every detail of output result. It is optional. For advanced user who knows more about format, container and codec, you can customize those settings to suit your requirements.

Stage 3.2 – Pick preset

If you want make things simple, you may be interested in looking at preset profiles on the panel. The Mac app comes with a library of pre-configured profiles suitable for popular players like PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire.

If you want to convert your video files into an iPhone 6, for example, just choose "iPhone 6" profile from Apple iPhone category and everything will be adjusted automatically.

Stage 4 – Video editing (optional)

This Mac MP4 to MOV converter also offers Handy editing options such as trimming, cropping, merging and even adding special effects to your video. One of the most common issue you may come across is maybe there are black bars on the side of a video, "Crop" is just your choice, it works beautifully to resolve that.

Stage 5 – Start the MP4 conversion

Finally, hit the blue "Convert" (3) button on the lower right corner, and wait for the process to finish.

Check our detailed walkthrough on how to download videos from YouTute and convert to .wmv.

A progress bar will let you know how long the MP4 to MOV conversion are going to be on your Mac.

Please note that converting MP4 on Mac to a QuickTime .mov format can take some time to complete, depending on the length of your MP4s, your Mac hardware, and the encoding settings you set in Stage 3.1.

About David James
Transfer music, photos and videos to and from iPhone/ iPad without using iTunes.