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How to Compress MKV Video Size without Losing Quality

A growing assortment of videos are seen in .MKV extension, particularly for high-definition sources (1080p HD and 4K UHD). MKV packs multiple types of files like audio tracks, subtitle streams and video tracks into one file. This means your MKV file is always very huge, which may cause troubles for storage, playback and sharing. That's why you may need to compress MKV. Below are top 5 ways to compress large MKV video files using Handbrake, VLC, FFmpeg, Online, WinX, without losing quality for free. Pick up the way you prefer and get started.

Way 1. Compress MKV Video Files with WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

Being a top-rated MKV compressor, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is equipped to shrink MKV file size easily, fast without quality loss.

  • It accepts any MKV files, no matter they're shot by camcoders, ripped from DVD/Blu-ray, saved from online or exported from video editors.
  • By utilizing intraframe and interframe coding algorithms, along with advanced entropy encoding, WinX Video Converter is able to compress MKV up to 90% reduction, via transcoding MKV format, adjusting resolution, frame rate, bit rate etc., trimming/cropping etc.
  • It reserves the highest quality as possible, almost without losing quality, with the support of high quality engine and de-interlacing engine.
  • This video compressor runs 47x real-time faster for MKV compression, with fully Intel/Nvidia/AMD GPU acceleration enabled.

How to Compress MKV to Smaller Size Without Losing Quality

Before everything, free download WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe on your computer (Mac version is also available) and launch it.

Step 1: Add oversized MKV source video to the program.

Click the "+Video" button on the top and select the target MKV video to load.

Step 2: Compress MKV to MP4

After your video loaded, an Output Profile window pops up automatically. You're first adviced to go "General Profiles" -> "MP4 Video (h264+aac)" -> "OK" to convert MKV to MP4 for better compatibility and smaller file size. Of cource, you can also continue the MKV format by going to "PC General Video" -> "Matroska Video" -> "OK".

Convert MKV to MP4 for smaller video size
Convert MKV to MP4 for smaller video size

Optionally: Further compress MKV video size if needed.

Generally, the configured MP4 output option can compress video to a large extent. But it may not be enough for advanced users. More options are allowed to compress MP4 even smaller.

  1. Click "Settings" button to adjust video audio parameters, for example, downscale 4K resolution to 1920×1080 pixels, lower video frame rate, bit rate, or change aspect ratio and so on.
  2. Click "Edit" button to enable Trim option so as to cut out the unwanted parts of your video, or split video into several clips.
  3. Also tap "Edit" button and enable Crop option to crop the video frame size, such as remove the black bars and so on.
Adjust parameters to futher compress MKV

Step 3: Compress your MKV file now!

Back to the main interface, tick on "Use High-Quality Engine", "Deinterlacing", and "Intel" or "nVIDIA" Hardware Accelertor options. These options will ensure lossless output video quality and up to 47x faster compression speed (on condition that your computer is configured with GPU accelerated graphics).

Then tap "RUN" button to start compressing MKV video size right now.

Way 2. Reduce Large MKV Video File Size using Handbrake

Handbrake is a popular open-source video transcoding program that can be used to compress large (HD/4K) MKV video files on Windows (10) and Mac. Check how to use Handbrake to compress MKV video file size.

  • Compress MKV to MP4 H.264 for smaller file size without noticeable quality loss.
  • Compress 4K MKV videos to 1080p to reduce large video file size.
  • Adjust video framerate, Avg bitrate, lower down constant quality to make MKV video files smaller.
compress MKV with Handbrake

Some users are confused by the complicated steps to compress MKV videos with Handbrake. I'm wondering if there is a program that allows me import MKV, choose the preset compression profile and done. I was totally confused by the resolution, frame rate, bit rate, B-frames and GOP options. Some complain that Handbrake makes MKV video bigger instead of compressing it. I've ripped a DVD disc and get a 600MB MKV file. I want to compress the file to as small as possible. Then I search a program to compress large MKV files, and then there is Handbrake. But instead of compressing it, the file was bigger, it made my 600MB MKV file to a 1.3GB file. Check quick fix for Handbrake output file size larger than input.

Way 3. Compress MKV Videos using VLC Media Player

Video compression ability is a hidden feature offered by VLC Media Player. If you have VLC Media Player installed on your computer, you can try VLC to compress your large MKV video movies. Look at its main compression ability and follow the guide to reduce video file size with VLC.

  • Compress MKV video file size by downscaling (lowering down video resolution).
  • Convert and compress MKV videos to MP4 H.264 format.
  • Reduce video bit rate and frame rate in settings to make MKV videos movies smaller.
  • Cut out unwanted parts of your MKV video by recording a portion of MKV videos during playback.
compress MKV with VLC

VLC is not designed for compressing videos. It might take hours long to compress large 4K MKV files. Here is the case - The MKV compression has been in progress for more than 1 hour, however the progress bar is stuck at 67%...

Way 4. Compress MKV Video Files Free Online With VEED.IO

Here we pick VEED.IO, a no.1 ranked free but limited online MKV video compressor. It's quite easy to process MKV video compression.

  • Step 1. Open MKV compressor page on VEED.IO. Choose the MKV video file you'd like to compress.
  • Step 2. Adjust video compression settings, such as video resolution and quality.
  • Step 3. Click Export and save the compressed MKV videos to your device.
compress MKV free online with VEED.IO

Large MKV videos (>500MB usually) can't be compressed by online MKV video compressors. When you are trying to compress a MKV file (1.3GB) on an online video compressor, it may tell you that your video is too large and can't be imported. Free version of VEED.IO allows to compress MKV videos under 50MB and shorter than 10 minutes. The output compressed videos have VEED.IO watermark.

Way 5. Compress MKV (to MP4) without Losing Quality with FFmpeg

FFmpeg, open source free video transcoder, can compress MKV video size free without visually quality loss. FFmpeg compresses MKV video file size by converting video codec format, changing video bitrate, audio bitrate, lowering down video resolution. However, it's more difficult to get to know how to use FFmpeg for video compression. For more detailed guide, check for our post "how to use FFmpeg to compress (MKV) video size".

  • Compress MKV video to MP4 without losing much quality.
  • Lower down video bitrate and audio bitrate for smaller MKV video size.
  • Compress 4K MKV to 1080p, 720p, or lower.
compress MKV to MP4 with FFmpeg

Final words: Many users are complaining that they have ever been trapped in the above embarrassing situations while compressing MKV. For example, your MKV videos too large, the uploading speed is too slow, output MKV videos are too large, and more. But if you've selected a right free video compression software, such as WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe. you can easily get out of these embarrassing situations.

Part 5. FAQs on Compressing Large MKV Video Files

1. How do I make a MKV file smaller?

Step 1. Load your big MKV video file you want to compress. Step 2. Compress MKV to MP4 H.264 format, lower down video bitrate and frame rate, shorten video length, or lower down video quality. Step 3. Click RUN to start compressing MKV video file. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe can compress large MKV video files from GB to MB.

2. How can I compress MKV files without losing quality?

To compress MKV video file size without much quality loss, use a more efficient video codec format, and cut out unwanted video clips to shorten video length. Lower down video bit rate and video resolution will result in smaller file size but quality decrease.

3. Why is MKV so big?

MKV video files are always big because MKV support multiple audio tracks and subtitle tracks. And MKV container format is always used to store high-quality 1080p HD/4K UHD video data.


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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