.MKV File Extension

Matroska Video

Developer Matroska
4.1  |  1917 Votes

What is an MKV file?

An MKV file is a video file saved in the Matroska multimedia container format that often stores short video clips, TV shows, and movies. It supports several types of audio and video codecs and may include .SRT, .SSA, .USF (Universal Subtitle Format), or VobSub subtitles. Many video players can open MKV files, including Microsoft Windows Media Player 2022 and VideoLAN VLC media player.

More Information

Screenshot of a .mkv file in Eltima Elmedia Player
MKV file open in Eltima Elmedia Player

The Matroska multimedia container format is open source and was initially 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.

In addition to storing short video clips, TV shows, and movies, it has become popular in the anime fan-subbing community for saving multimedia with subtitles. The MKV format is especially helpful since it supports multiple audio and subtitle tracks in the same file.

NOTE: The Matroska name comes from the Russian Matryoshka doll, which contains numerous more miniature, 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 MKV files

Verified by FileInfo.com

The FileInfo.com team has independently researched the Matroska Video file format and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS apps listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

If you would like to suggest any additions or updates to this page, please let us know.