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How to Convert 4K & HD MOV to MP4 with Handbrake

After you shoot a video with your Nikon, Canon, JVC cameras, DJI drones, or even iPhones, you may find it's hard to import the recorded MOV file to Premiere, HitFilm, Devinci, open the MOV video on Windows, upload them to YouTube, etc. Therefore, it's common that users want to convert MOV into a more compatible format, the MP4. Speaking of video converting, Handbrake is users' hand-down favorite. In this post, we'll show you how to convert MOV to MP4 with Handbrake, the settings, possible issues, and how-to fixes.

Convert MOV to MP4 with Handbrake, you may be interested in:

How Use Handbrake to Convert MOV to MP4?

If you haven't got Handbrake installed on your computer, go to https://handbrake.fr/ to download the version according to your computer. Then follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: Run Handbrake and click Source > Video File. Select the MOV files on your drive and click Open to import them.
  • Step 2: Click Browse to select an output folder and name the output MP4 file.
  • Step 3: Click the Output Setting drop-down list and select MP4 as the target format.
convert mov to MP4 Handbrake
Handbrake 4K MOV to MP4

You can leave the settings as the default, or adjust them based on your needs.

Click Video > Video Codec and select H.264 (X264) for better compatibility. To let Handbrake convert MOV to MP4 faster, select H.264 (Nvidia NVEnc) or H.264 (Intel QSV) to apply hardware acceleration. If you do know the target platform supports H.265 codec, select it for smaller file size, especially when you convert HD/4K MOV to MP4 with Handbrake.

n Framerate (FPS), let Handbrake choose. But if you're processing MOV videos from devices iPhone, Panasonic GH4, DJI Mavic Air, etc., the variable frame rate will cause problems in editors, most commonly A/V out of sync errors. So in the Framerate option, select the Constant Framerate button manually.

About the Quality, if you want Handbrake to convert MOV to MP4 with better quality, select 2-pass encoding. To speed up the converting, select Turbo first pass. In the Average Bitrate, enter a number between 5,000-10,000. Check this Handbrake quality settings for more details.

Handbrake mov to MP4
Handbrake MOV to MP4 settings

You can adjust the resolution, crop the picture, change the audio codec, and etc. After all the steps, click the green button Start Encode on the top bar to let Handbrake convert MOV to MP4. (Also check full Handbrake user guide)

Issues with Handbrake MOV to MP4 Conversion

In fact, Handbrake is a complicated tool, so is MOV. Confusing Handbrake MOV transcoding settings aside, the source MOV videos can pose big challenge. Today, most HD DSLR cameras, 4K drones, latest iPhones record videos in MOV. For example, JVC cameras use MOV Apple ProRes 422, H.264 (HD/SD), MPEG-2 with LPCM audio in 4K 60fps; DJI records MOV in HEVC/H.264 @4K or 2.7K; iPhone shots not only 4K MOV videos, but also 1080p at 120fps or 240fps. Anyway, due to the complicated factors in MOV, there is a good chance that you will get an error converting MOV to MP4 with Handbrake. Below are the most complained errors:

1. Handbrake MOV no valid source found - "I was trying to convert MOV files to mp4 files coming from Final Cut Pro exported using Apple Prores 422 format. HB would throw the "No Valid Source Found" error on the Prores files but it was ok with .mov files encoded in the HDV format which is a MPEG-2 derivative." This can be caused by a MOV codec that Handbrake is not familiar with, for example,

2. Handbrake MOV to MP4 no sound - "I have videos recorded with my Canon EOS 80D camcorder and I transferred the MOV footages to HDD. I loaded them into Handbrake and everything seems fine. I run the MOV to MP4 conversion and the video looks great but there is no sound." The problem can be caused by 1: the LPCM audio (used in MOV files from Nikon, Canon, JVC, other DLSRs), which Handbrake is not good at; 2: the audio is DRM protected, and again, Handbrake won't support DRM; 3: Mp4 allows h.264 with AAC, so check your settings.

3. Handbrake fails using QSV - It's nothing new that Handbrake randomly fails when using QSV. When using Handbrake to encode H.264 (Intel QSV) fails, it may drop an Error code -17/21, hb_qsv_wait_on_sync 602 or you may see the CPU usage of 100%. If the MOV file is a large and long 4K recording, it can be a pain to wait for Handbrake MOV to MP4 conversion, not to mention MOV with 4K HEVC codec. Try another version to see if it helps.

How to Convert 4K & Large MOV to MP4 with Intact Quality

First, try Handbrake to convert MOV to MP4. But if any problem occurs, there is another option for you. It's faster and easier and it's more advanced to convert MOV files with modern specs like 4K, 60FPS, HEVC, etc. - WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe.

  • Built-in HEVC/H.265, Prores, VP9, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, AVCHD, and other advanced and standard codecs.
  • Keep updated with SD, HD, FHD, 4K, and even 8K videos @60fps, 120fps from DJI, DSLR, iPhone, etc.
  • Convert MOV to MP4 H.264, MP4 MPEG4, MP4 H.265, WMV, AVI, MKV, FLV, 370+ other formats.
  • Unique Level-3 Hardware Acceleration speeds up 4K/HD MOV to MP4 converting by 5x faster.
  • Auto Copy option allows MOV to MP4 conversion with untouched quality.

Convert 4K & Large MOV to MP4 with 3 Steps

Free download Handbrake MOV to MP4 alternative software and run it:
Free download the Windows version
Free download the macOS version

Step 1. Convert MOV into MP4

Click the +Video button and select the MOV files from your local computer. Freely import 4K/8K MOV file in any codec and it has no problem deal with Prores, HEVC, VP9, any codec. Once loaded, the "Output Profile" window will pop up. Scroll down the profile list and find MP4. You can convert MOV to MP4 in HEVC, H.264, and MPEG4 as you need. Check the full guide to convert MOV to MP4 >>

4K/HD MOV to MP4 with Handbrake alternative
Convert 4K MOV to MP4 using Handbrake alternative

Step 2 [Optional]. Adjust MOV converting settings

Unless you want to change the output MP4 file to a specific setting, leave the output settings as the default. To adjust the MP4 parameters, click the button with a gear icon. Then you can adjust the resolution, frame rate, bit rate, video/audio codecs, etc.

If you want to cut a long MOV recording, also click the Edit button and enter into the editing page where you can trim long MOV videos into shorter MP4, crop the picture, add subtitles, edit MOV videos, etc.

Handbrake alternative MOV to MP4
Handbrake alternative MOV to MP4

Step 3. Start to convert MOV to MP4

Now you can click the Run button to start the MOV to MP4 conversion. Before that, there are a few tips:

Do remember to check the Hardware Encoder box, it will apply Intel QSV, Nvidia Cuda/Nevenc (if possible) to speed up the converting, about 5x faster than Handbrake MOV to MP4 conversion.

If the source MOV and targe MP4 both come in H.264 codec, check the Auto Copy box. It will convert MOV to MP4 without changing the inside data, which delivers intact output MP4 quality yet superfast speed.


author - Kaley Torres

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Kaley Torres is a self-motivated, creative editor with eight years of marketing and SEO experience, specializing in writing on DVD, video, audio, images, new digital contents etc. With a partiality DVD collection, Kaley also enjoys digitizing DVD and is keen to share her DVD video conversion solutions as well as video sharing tips on social media.

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