Top 7 Methods for Converting MP4 to MOV

MP4 and MOV are two of the most widely used video formats. While MP4 reigns supreme in online compatibility, MOV, being the native format of macOS's QuickTime Player, offers superior editing advantages. Sometimes, you might need to convert MP4 to MOV for compatibility with specific software or devices. This guide dives deep into 7 different methods for converting MP4 to MOV, catering to both online and offline needs, device limitations, and budget constraints.

Convert MP4 to MOV

Part 1. Why Convert MP4 to MOV

Before describing the converting methods, let's discuss the main reasons why someone might need to convert MP4 to MOV.

Software Compatibility: While MP4 is widely compatible with almost every device and platform, some software, especially professional editing applications like Final Cut Pro or iMovie on Mac, prefer MOV files for smoother workflows and optimal performance. MOV files can also be more readily edited and manipulated within the QuickTime ecosystem.

Device Compatibility: Some older devices might not recognize the MP4 format while readily playing MOV files.

Better Video Quality: Although both formats use compression, MOV tends to offer slightly better video and audio quality, particularly for editing purposes, as it suffers less from generation loss during editing and re-rendering.

Smaller File Size: Depending on the codec used, MOV files can sometimes be smaller than MP4 files for the same video quality.

Specific Features: MOV files can handle alpha channels for transparency effects, which MP4s typically cannot, making them a better choice for projects with graphics overlays or animations. MOVs also support greater flexibility in storing subtitles and metadata in the file, simplifying organization and distribution.

Part 2. Best Way to Convert MP4 to MOV on Mac and Windows PC

Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate is a fantastic choice for converting MP4 to MOV. It uses advanced video and audio codecs to ensure high-quality conversions without significant loss of detail. It supports conversion between over 1000 video and audio formats, including various MP4 and MOV variations.

New Add Files

You can adjust bitrate, resolution, frame rate, and other parameters for precise control over the output file. Moreover, this MP4 to MOV converter utilizes hardware acceleration to speed up the conversion process, especially for large video files. It lets you edit videos by trimming, cropping, adding effects, and more. Aiseesoft also offers batch conversion and other functionalities.

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Step 1.
Launch Video Converter Ultimate and add your MP4 video. Click Output Format at the bottom and select MOV from the list. You can further customize the format by clicking Custom Profile and adjusting settings like resolution and bitrate.
Select a Target Format
Step 2.
Click Edit next to your video to access editing tools. You are allowed to trim, crop, add effects, and perform other modifications.
Trim Video New
Step 3.
Click Convert All to confirm the conversion. Once the conversion is complete, the converted MOV file will be saved in the chosen output folder.
Click to Convert Video

Part 3. Export Your MP4 Video as MOV Using QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player is the simplest option for Mac users to transform MP4 to MOV. Locate QuickTime Player in your Applications folder or use Spotlight search to find it quickly.

Step 1.
Open QuickTime Player, click File in the menu bar and choose Open File to import the MP4 file you want to convert.
Step 2.
Click File again and select Export As. In the Export window, you will see several options for exporting the video. Choose 4K, 1080p, 720p, or 480p, depending on your desired resolution. These options will export the video as a QuickTime movie (.mov) file.
QuickTime MP4 to MOV Mac

If your video has transparency, enable the Preserve Transparency checkbox. This option is only available for 1080p exports that use the HEVC codec.

Step 3.
Enter a name for your exported MOV file in the Save As field. Choose the destination folder where you want to save the file. Click Save, and QuickTime will begin the conversion process.

Part 4. Native Mac Solution to Convert MP4 to MOV in iMovie

While iMovie doesn't have a dedicated convert function, you can actually export your edited MP4 project as an MOV file, essentially achieving the same conversion. Similar to QuickTime, iMovie is the Mac-exclusive method to transform MP4 to MOV.

Step 1.
Launch iMovie on your Mac, click Import Media, and navigate to your MP4 project file. If you made edits to the MP4 before importing it, skip this step. Otherwise, use iMovie's tools to trim clips, add titles and transitions, or make other adjustments as needed.
Step 2.
Click File in the menu bar, choose Share, and then select the File option. In the File window, customize various settings to output your video.
Convert MP4 to MOV in iMovie
Step 3.
You can modify video resolution, frame rate, and other parameters based on your needs. Click Next to proceed.
Export MP4 as MOV Using iMovie
Step 4.
Enter a filename for your exported MOV in the Save As field. Choose the destination folder where you want to save the file. Click Save and wait for the export to be completed. This method allows for additional customization but takes longer than QuickTime Player.

Part 5. How to Turn MP4 into MOV Using VLC

Turning an MP4 into an MOV using VLC is a simple and accessible option for basic conversions. Download and open VLC Media Player on your computer, and then follow the steps below to convert MP4 to MOV using it.

Step 1.
Click Media and choose Convert/Save from the dropdown menu. Click Add to load your MP4 file. You can also drag the video directly onto the Open Media window.
VLC Convert Save
Step 2.
Once you have added your MP4, click Convert/Save and select Convert. In the Profile section, select MOV as the output format. You can adjust additional settings like destination file location, video/audio codecs, and resolution if desired. Click the Settings icon next to the profile to access these options.
Convert MP4 to MOV with VLC Media Player
Step 3.
Click Start to begin the conversion process. A progress bar will tell you the remaining time. Conversion speed may vary depending on your computer's hardware and the size of your MP4 file.

Part 6. How to Transform MP4 to MOV with HandBrake

HandBrake is an open-source video transcoder popular for its powerful features and wide format compatibility. While it primarily outputs MKV and MP4 files, it can also convert your MP4s to MOVs with relative ease.

Step 1.
Head to HandBrake's official website and download the correct version for your system (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Launch HandBrake and click Open Source in the top left corner. Navigate to your MP4 file and click Open.
HandBrake Open Source MP4 to MOV Converter
Step 2.
Under the Output Settings section on the right, click the Container drop-down menu and select MKV. That might seem counterintuitive, but HandBrake currently uses MKV as the container format for its MOV presets.
Step 3.
Click the Preset drop-down menu and choose a suitable preset for your needs. While the preset handles most settings, you can further customize them according to your preferences. Adjust video and audio codecs, bitrate, resolution, frame rate, and other parameters from the various tabs and menus.
Step 4.
Click the Browse button to decide where you want to save the converted video. Finally, click the Start Encode button to encode your MP4 and save it as an MOV file.

Part 7. How to Change MP4 to MOV Online for Free

Numerous online converters offer a quick and easy way to convert MP4 to MOV right from your browser. This method is convenient for basic tasks and eliminates software installation. We recommend the easy-to-use Aiseesoft Free Video Converter Online for you to make the MP4 to MOV conversion. It converts various video and audio formats, including MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, FLV, MP3, WAV, and more. This online MP4 to MOV converter processes files quickly and efficiently. More importantly, it protects your files and privacy during the conversion process.

Step 1.
Visit the online MP4 to MOV conversion website and click Upload File to add your MP4 video. You can view the uploaded file before converting.
Aiseesoft Free MP4 to MOV Converter Online
Step 2.
Choose MOV as the output format. You can also customize the output video encoder, resolution, zoom mode, frame rate, quality, audio channel, and more. Then, click the Save button to initiate the video conversion process.
Convert MP4 to MOV Online Free Aiseesoft

Many other online converters can help you transform MP4 to MOV directly on your browser, such as Zamzar, CloudConvert, ConvertFiles, Online-Convert, Adobe Express, and more. When choosing an online MP4 to MOV converter, you should consider the maximum file size allowed for free users, paid options, and specific features. You can use this tool to convert FLV to MOV too.

Part 8. FAQs of How to Convert MP4 to MOV

Does converting MOV to MP4 lose quality?

Whether converting MOV to MP4 results in quality loss depends on various factors, such as the original MOV quality, conversion method, compression level, and editing and re-encoding.
Converting a high-quality MOV to MP4 with high compression will likely cause noticeable quality loss. Also, choosing a good conversion tool with quality settings and avoiding unnecessary edits helps minimize quality loss. In some cases, especially with low-quality MOVs or lower compression settings, the difference in quality may be negligible.

What is the main difference between MP4 and MOV?

MP4 is an international standard container format that can hold various video and audio codecs. Apple develops MOV for use with QuickTime. It's also a container format but more specific in the types of codecs it can hold. MP4 is widely compatible with almost all devices and media players. On the contrary, MOV is more common on Apple devices and software like Final Cut Pro. MOVs can offer slightly better quality due to less compression, especially for professional editing workflows. However, file sizes tend to be larger.

Should I use MP4 or MOV for iMovie?

MOV is native to QuickTime and iMovie, offering smoother editing, better quality preservation, and seamless integration with Apple's ecosystem. Plus, you benefit from features like transparency and embedded metadata. Choose MP4 only if you need broader device compatibility or smaller file sizes for sharing.


By understanding these methods and tips, you can confidently convert your MP4 files to MOV. Remember, the best method is the one that fits your specific needs and preferences.

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