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.MKV File Extension

File TypeMatroska Video File

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CategoryVideo Files

What is an MKV file?

An MKV file is a video file saved in the Matroska multimedia container format. It supports several types of audio and video codecs and may include .SRT, .SSA, .USF (Universal Subtitle Format), or VobSub subtitles. MKV files are typically used for storing short video clips, TV shows, and movies.

More Information
Screenshot of a .mkv file in Microsoft Movies & TV
MKV file open in Microsoft Movies & TV

The Matroska multimedia container format is open source and was originally released in December 2002. It is similar to the .AVI, .ASF, and .MOV formats and can contain any number of video, audio, image, and subtitle tracks. Multimedia files that utilize the Matroska container format and store one or more video tracks are known as Matroska Video files, and are distinguished by the .mkv file extension.

While the MKV format is often used to store short video clips, TV shows, and movies, it has become popular in the anime fan-subbing community. Many of these users create subtitles and the MKV format is especially useful since it supports multiple audio and subtitle tracks in the same file.

NOTE: The Matroska name comes from the Russian Matryoshka doll that contains numerous smaller, nested dolls of the same shape.

How do I open an MKV file?

While the MKV video format is not as common as the .MP4, MOV, and AVI formats, many media players still support opening and playing MKV files, including:

Additionally, you can convert MKV videos to other, more common video formats using HandBrake (cross-platform).

Open and view .MKV files with File Viewer Plus.

Programs that open MKV files

Updated 11/2/2020

About MKV Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.mkv suffix is and how to open it.

The Matroska Video file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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