QuickTime Converter: How to Convert MP4 to MOV on Mac

by Emily Watson, Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Can I play MP4 files on my Mac? QuickTime won't open an MP4 from iMovie and prompted me to download additional codec. How to play MP4 on Mac with QuickTime?"

You can play MP4 on Mac. QuickTime supports most of MP4 videos with MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.264 video codec and MP3, AAC codec. However, since MP4 is only a container rather than an encoding process, it can hold videos with different encodings, which is what trips up QuickTime. For example, MPEG-4 Part 10 (known as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) and MPEG-4 Part 2 could cause a codec problem which make QuickTime unable to play the MP4 file.

If you want to play any MP4 videos on QuickTime, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, etc, you'd better convert MP4 to MOV first because MOV is the default format of macOS/Mac OS X and performs optimum compatibility with Apple devices.


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How to Convert QuickTime Videos to MP4 (opens new window)

How to Convert MP4 to QuickTime/MOV?

Works as a professional MP4 to MOV converter, FonePaw Video Converter Ultimate (opens new window) can helps you convert MP4 videos and movies to QuickTime supported MOV, MP4 formats for playback. Also, this program can convert AVI to MP4, WMV to MOV, M4V to MP4 so that any video can successfully play on QuickTime, iPhone, iPad and iPod.

The QuickTime converter is available on both Mac and Windows so to convert MP4 to MOV on Windows, you should download the Win version.

1. Import MP4 files into the Converter

After running the MOV converter on your computer, simply click "Add Files" to import the MP4 videos to the converter.

Import MP4 Files into the Program

2. Choose MOV as Output Format

Click "Profile" drop-down list on the bottom of the converter, and then select *.mov as the output format from "QuickTime Movie Format" category.

Choose MOV as Output Format


  • If you want to convert HD MP4 to MOV, choose "HD MOV Video (*.mov)" as the output format from "HD Video" category.

  • To play any MP4 files on iPhone, iPad and iPod, you can directly choose the default preset from the list.

  • This program also supports converting MP4 to AVI, MKV, FLV, 3GP, etc.

3. Select the Output Folder

Click the "Browse" button to select the location where you want to save the output files.

Choose Output Folder

4. Change MP4 to MOV

Click "Convert" button to start MP4 to MOV (QuickTime) conversion. You can choose to shut down your computer after conversion so you don't have to sit before your computer waiting for the conversion to finish.

Start MP4 to MOV Conversion on Mac

Tips on How to Play MP4 on Mac

Normally, you have no problem in playing MP4 on Mac. But if sometimes, QuickTime or other player cannot play MP4 on your Mac, you have three options.

  1. Convert MP4 to MOV as suggested above.

  2. Download an MP4 player. When an MP4 video doesn't play on Mac, you can search Mac App Store for a compatible MP4 player for Mac. You should search the right player with the name of the media format and filename extention (.mp4).

  • To get the format, select the file and press Command + I to open an Info window.

  • The format should be preceded by the label Kind.

  1. Download an MP4 codec for Mac. An MP4 codec can enable players like QuickTime to play MP4 files with unsupported codecs on Mac. However, downloading a supplementary codec pack has risks, such as bring adware or malware to the Mac.

It is too much trouble to download an extra player for MP4. A video converter should be a better option, which can help you convert any incompatible videos into the format that you need.

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