This post will give the whole picture of MOV files. It introduces 5 basic aspects, including what is a MOV file and how can we open it. Check out the details below!

What Is a MOV File

With the file extension of .mov, a MOV file is a video file saved in the QuickTime file format (QTFF). It is a multimedia container storing audio, video, TV shows, text and other data with high resolution. Besides, this video format allows editing videos without rewriting the original data after editing. Due to its support for high-quality video and easy-to-use editing features, a MOV file has become one of the most common video file types.

The QTFF format is native to QuickTime, a multimedia framework developed by Apple. It is the default format of Apple devices such as MacBooks and iPads. Along with the rising popularity of MOV files, this format has grown into a frequently used video file format.


MP4 is another common multimedia file format compatible with various programs and devices. What are the differences between an MOV file and an MP4 file? The largest difference is that the former has a higher resolution and larger file size than those of the latter. Though they both use a lossy video compression method to handle video files, an MP4 file is highly compressed, while the other has little or no compression.

Another difference is the compatibility. MOV files are not as compatible as MP4 files. The MP4 format supports all operating systems and software.

How to Open a MOV File

A number of video players can open MOV files. If you work on Mac, iTunes and QuickTime Player are your top seeds.

To open a MOV file on Windows, you can use Microsoft Windows Media Player. This Windows-based application supports many formats, such as MOV, WAV, and MIDI.

For users of other systems, a multi-platform MOV viewer is necessary. VLC is a popular player running on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS systems. You can utilize this program to play MOV files on a PC and mobile phone.

How to Compress a MOV File

As we mentioned above, the size of a MOV file is large and sending it to others is time-consuming. So, you might need to reduce its file size. Here we introduce two methods to make a MOV file smaller.

To compress a MOV file in QuickTime: Open your file in QuickTime > hit “File” in the top taskbar > select “Export As” > choose the resolution you prefer > name your file and click “Save”.

To reduce the file size in Clideo online: Visit its website > press “Choose file” > tap “Download” after the conversion is done.

How to Convert a MOV File to MP4

Not all players can open MOV files. In these cases, you can convert MOV to MP4. The following are some free MOV converters:

  • Adobe Express video editor: a professional online MOV to MP4 converter to complete the conversion task swiftly via web browsers;
  • Any Video Converter: a free video converter available for Windows and Mac;
  • Elmedia Player: a media player and converter designed for Mac users.

Take Any Video Converter as an example: Open the file in this application > click “Convert Videos” > choose “Add File(s)” to upload the file > go to “Profile” to select “Customized MP4 Video” > hit “Output Location” to set the output path > press “Convert Now”.

With these MOV converters, you can change an MOV file to an MP4 file easily and watch it on more programs.

The human brain is inclined to obtain and interpret visual elements. Hence, PDF and PPT files often add videos to enrich their content. If you want to embed videos like MOV files in a PDF as hyperlinks, you can use SwifDoo PDF. It is available for any video-sharing platform, and you can directly open the video with one click without downloading it.

Lydia is an English columnist for AWZware. She is familiar with different technology products such as office software, location changers, and video software applications. Focused on tech blog writing, she is willing to solve your problems with up-to-date information.