How To Convert MKV Video Files to MP4 (H.264) Format

If you have a large collection of video files in MKV format, it’s hard to stream them throughout your home network to different devices. Use Handbrake to convert them to MP4.

If you have several video files in MKV format, many times you’ll need to convert them to a more standard format like MP4 or MV4 so you can watch them on devices other than a computer. Handbrake is my favorite free tool that makes converting them easy.

I usually convert DVDs and Blu-ray to MKV format. But my home theater system is integrated deeply in Microsoft products. Xbox Video player in Windows 8, and WMP in previous versions doesn’t natively support playback of MKV files. Even if you’re invested in an Apple ecosystem with Apple TV and Mac, MKV file formats aren’t easily supported.

Convert MKV to MP4 Using Handbrake

Handbrake is arguably the best and most popular free software for converting video file types. Launch Handbrake and click Source > Open File and browse to the MKV file you want to convert.

Handbrake Choose File

Select an output destination for the file as for the Output Settings, set the Container to MP4.

Handbrake Destination

Then you can tweak the quality and size of the final file too. To make it easy, just pick on of the presets from the right column.

Handbrake Presets

While the video conversion is taking place, you can monitor it on the lower left side of the Handbrake screen. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the size of the video, your computer hardware, and quality settings.

Job processing

After conversion is finished, go to the directory or the Output file and you’ll be able to watch it where you want. In this example, I am streaming it to my Xbox 360 to watch on my HDTV.

Play To Xbox 360

Download Handbrake for Windows, Mac, or Linux

There are workarounds that allow you to view and stream MKV files around your network. PLEX is a good solution and it works with Windows and Mac and has apps available on several devices.



  1. Julia Softorino

    August 3, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Sure, Handbrake is a good peice of free software))
    btw, we`re developing WALTR for Mac/PC and this is faster and easier alternative
    look it up

  2. Jamie

    December 26, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Maybe it has to do with the age of this article (it’s almost 5 years old now), but Handbrake for Linux only offers MKV format.

  3. David Young

    January 25, 2019 at 1:36 am

    I used to love Handbrake, now VideoProc is my new favorite to convert, edit, download, record video.

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