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Easy Guide: How To Open MP4 File


How To Open MP4 File – As long as you are using a cell phone or a computer, you might probably have come across an MP4 file. Even the layman with no computer education might have probably come into contact with such files. Most videos and audios on our internet and social media sites are in this file format or the extension, MP4.

However, most people get confused with MP3 and MP4. Whilst MP3 files are an audio only file format used primarily for music or audiobooks, MP4’s act as a multimedia container that can store audio in addition to video, images, and text.

MP4 or MPEG-4 Part 14 is a multimedia container format used to store audio and video files, and it can be used to store other data like still images and subtitles. In brief, any file with the MP4 file extension is an abbreviation for an MPEG-4 Video file, a compressed file format that can contain video and audio and subtitles.

Files with these extensions are usually seen when you download a video from the internet or use a DVD ripping program to save a DVD to your computer. If you see a file with .M4A extension, it has only audio.

Despite common misconceptions, MP4 is just a container for metadata, video, closed captioning/ overlays and audio. The popular video format for MPEG-4 is the H.264 encoding, sometimes known as MPEG-4 Part 10. However, video files can also be MPEG-1, MPEG-2 Part 2, or even the new H.265. On the other hand, the audio stream can be a wild array, but AAC is the most common.

This article thoroughly explains how to play and edit an MP4 file and convert one to other video formats like MOV (Apple QuickTime files that store video, audio, and text) and AVI that might work a little better on your device.

MP4 files are supported by default on many mobile devices, like Apple’s iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, and Android devices. This means you do not need to install an app to play MP4 videos.

How To Open MP4 File

If your device does not support MP4 files by default, kindly follow the steps below to help you open such files.

Launch Google Play Store.

On your phone’s menu, locate the icon for the Play Store application. Tap on it to open the software.

Use The Search Portal.

Type VLC in the search portal. Tap on “VLC” when you see the search results. Next, tap on install to download and install the software on your device.

Launch VLC For Android.

The VLC application has a white and orange cone as the icon. Kindly tap on this icon to open the application. The software will be on your home screen or menu. VLC can handle most file types. Kindly note that you must allow the VLC application to gain full access to the phone’s storage.

Tap The Menu Icon.

The menu icon is the three horizontal lines in the top left corner of VLC. A menu will show up from the left when you tap on it.

Open Directories.

Tap on Directories to access folders for Android’s internal storage and folders containing MP4 files.

Locate The MP4 File And Tap On It.

The MP4 file will start playing once you do this.

How To Open An MP4 File Via Computer

The easiest way is to double-click on the MP4 file and let your computer decide which default application should open it. Since most people already have Windows Media Player or Quicktime installed, the MP4 should open automatically.

However, if no program opens the MP4 file, you probably do not have a program installed to view the MP4 file. VLC is an excellent MP4 file player that supports video and audio formats, and MPlayer is another free MP4 player. We recommend installing any of these programs.

If you realize that your preferred video player fails to open MP4 files, you may have to install an MPEG-4 codec. This codec is a small piece of software that aids your computer to recognize MP4 files and to have them play properly in whatever player you use.

X Codec Pack, for instance, works in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. After installation, you will be able to play MP4 and almost all other popular video formats on your favourite player.

If you find that an application on your computer try to open an MP4 file, but it is the wrong application, or if you would rather have another installed program open MP4 files, you can change the default program for a specific file extension in Windows.

Why Can’t My Mp4 File Open?

The most likely reason you see a “can’t open file,” “unsupported audio codec,” or “unsupported video format” error is because your current media player does not support the codec of your video file. Another possible reason is that the audio codec is unsupported.

With this, you need to convert your MP4 file. One of the easier ways is to use FreemakeVideo Converter. This supports saving MP4 files to formats like MKV, FLV, AVI, 3GP, and others, including converting the MP4 directly to a DVD, ISO file, or MP3 (for audio only)

To convert MP4 to MOV, MPG, WEBM, OGG, FLAC or AC3, you have to use Zamzar. These are websites, and as such, you have to upload the MP4 file to the site and then download the converted file before using it.

Zamzar also supports the conversion of MP4 to GIF. Below are the steps to convert an MP4 file

  • Launch the specific software converter on your device (e.g. Android Video Converter)
  • Import the video files in MP4 format
  • Choose the target video format(e.g. MKV)
  • Convert
  • Upon tapping “convert”, the app will start converting the files, and it will only take a couple of seconds to complete. Open the file to play when done.
  • Transfer the converted video to your Android and enjoy the playback.

Apps That Support Mp4 Files To Play

  • VLC for Android-Apps on Google Play
  • Simple MP4 Video Player-Apps on Google Play
  • MX Player
  • Video Player All Format-X Player
  • Quicktime Player- for Apple devices
  • Fone-Phone Manager
  • Android Video Converter

Programs That Allow Editing Of MP4 Files 

  • VSDC Free Video Editor
  • Lightworks
  • MAGIX Movie Edit Pro
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Pinnacle Studio

You can watch the video below to know more.

Video Source: SAMHSA On Youtube


Opening MP4 files should not be difficult after reading this article. You are encouraged to follow our guide above.

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