Are MOV files compatible with Windows?

I have video shot on an iPhone that I need to send to a Windows user. The file is a MOV video file but I understand that Windows will not deal with this file format. Does anyone know how I can either transcode to a Windows acceptable format or give my Windows friend instructions on how to make this file play on her system?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Check out the vlc player. It can play the newer h.264 mov files, but not ones encoded with QuickTime. It’s free

MOV is not a format. It’s just the file extension. The actual “format” is the used encoding (MPEG4, XVid, h.264). If you rename the file to .mp4 or .avi, it stays the same. Because of QuickTime in the Apple realm .mov is used, in the Windows realm .avi is preferred.

I just sent a .mov (video from my iPhone) to my Windows laptop (Windows 10, no additional codecs installed). The file is encoded as: H.264+AAC. The vanilla Windows Media Player had no trouble playing it. If a weirder codec is used, WMP might have some trouble. VLC, as pointed out, plays almost everything.

So, a Windows 10 computer seems to have no problem with iPhone .mov files right out of the box. I don’t have a Windows 7 installation available right now to test it.

Be escpecially careful when embedding videos into presentations which will run on a different computer. That led to trouble often enough.

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Thanks Lars, this is very helpful.