Did you find an MP4 file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an MP4 file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the MP4 file but Windows told you that it could not open it.
Before you can open an MP4 file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .MP4 file extension refers to.
Other types of files may also use the MP4 file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .MP4 extension, please let me know so I can update this information.
How To Open an MP4 File:
The easiest way to open an MP4 file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the MP4 file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit MP4 files.
Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.
MP4 files can be opened with Windows Media Player, and likely many other multi-format media players. If you know of any other program that can open or edit MP4 files, or you know anything else useful about MP4 files, please let me know so I can update this page.
Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the MP4 file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents. This won't be the case if your MP4 file is an MPEG-4 Video file but if you think it might be another format then it's worth a try.
If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the MP4 file but it's the wrong application, or if you would rather have another installed program open MP4 files, see How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension for instructions on making that change in Windows.
How To Convert an MP4 File:
There are two main ways to attempt to convert an MP4 file to another file type:
- Open the MP4 file in its default program and choose to save the open file as another file format.
- Use a File Conversion Online Service or Software Program to convert the MP4 file to another file format.
The first option involving opening the MP4 file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens MP4 files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.
Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the MP4 file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.
Still Having Problems Opening or Using an MP4 File?
Let a community of computer support enthusiasts help out! Post in the PC Support Forum about what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the MP4 file and we'll see what we can do to help.