MKV File Extension

MKV file icon
Matroska Video Format
  • Developer
    Matroska
  • Popularity
    4.1 (16 votes)

What is MKV file?

Files with the .MKV extension contain video images, sounds or subtitles collected in a singular multimedia container. This format provides open specification, established in Russia, in the year 2002, in the Matroska project, led by Steve Lhomme. It is based on a previous format – the MCF multimedia container.

Stored multimedia data may use various (according to the specification: any) codecs, among which, the most popular are:

  • H.264 - AVC Advanced Video Coding,
  • H.265 - HEVC High Efficiency Video Coding

MKV format is popular amongst enthusiasts of movies; finding software supporting it is rather easy, and since 2014, it is supported by Microsoft Windows. MKV files are highly capable of restoring damaged data, and also streaming in HTTP and RTP protocols. The Google’s WebM (2010) is based on MKV, however – it uses only VP8 and VP9 for encoding.

Programs which support MKV file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 5 operating systems that support MKV files. Files with MKV suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

How to open file with MKV extension?

Being unable to open files with MKV extension can be have various origins. What is important, all common issues related to files with MKV extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Get the PowerDVD

The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening MKV files is that no program that can handle MKV files is installed on user’s system. This one is an easy one. Select PowerDVD or one of the recommended programs (for example, Winamp, DivX, Nero Multimedia Suite) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit PowerDVD website and download the installer.

Step 2. Update PowerDVD to the latest version

You still cannot access MKV files although PowerDVD is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. The reason that PowerDVD cannot handle files with MKV may be that the software is outdated. The most recent version of PowerDVD is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate Matroska Video Format files with PowerDVD

After installing PowerDVD (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open MKV files. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Change the default application in Windows

  • Clicking the MKV with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the PowerDVD installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open MKV files box and clicking OK button.

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the MKV file and select Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with MKV extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Ensure that the MKV file is complete and free of errors

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the MKV file is valid. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

1. Check the MKV file for viruses or malware

If the MKV is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Scan the MKV file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. MKV file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Verify that the MKV file’s structure is intact

If you obtained the problematic MKV file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. It could happen the the download process of file with MKV extension was interrupted and the file data is defective. Download the file again from the same source.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Check whether your system can handle PowerDVD

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support MKV files. Close all running programs and try opening the MKV file.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Matroska Video Format file. It may be the case that the MKV files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the MKV file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on MKV file.

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