.MKV File Extension

Matroska Video

Developer Matroska
4.1  |  1912 Votes
Category Video Files
Format Binary

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 Eltima Elmedia Player 8.4
MKV file open in Eltima Elmedia Player 8.4

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 to 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:

How to convert an MKV file

Many video conversion tools, including VideoLAN VLC media player, HandBrake, and Wondershare Video Converter Pro, can convert MKV files to other video formats. For example, VLC can convert MKV videos to:

  • .MP4 - MPEG-4 Video
  • .WEBM - WebM Video
  • .TS - Video Transport Stream
  • .ASF - Advanced Systems Format
Open and view .MKV files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open or reference MKV files

Updated May 20, 2022

Verified by FileInfo.com

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