Have you received a file with the extension mkv from your friend and do not know which program to use to open this file? No problem, I’ll explain right away, without getting too lost in chatting what it is and how to open MKV files . Know that opening this file is really a breeze and with the right software you won’t have that kind of doubt in the future. Enough preambles and let’s get straight to the point.
- What is mkv
- How to open MKV
- Other programs for free mkv files
What is mkv
First of all I’ll explain what the mkv file is to understand what we are talking about. The mkv extension indicates Matroska Video files, that is a sort of high quality compressed video containers (they are conceptually similar to AVI files). They are very used files to contain within them long high quality videos related by their subtitles and various audio tracks.
Now that you finally know what mkv file is let’s see how to open it and in particular which is the best program for mkv files.
How to open MKV
Let’s see immediately how to open MKV files. There are many free video players that manage mkv files available for PC and Mac however I would recommend VLC which I believe is the best program for mkv files but also for other video formats. The VLC player (once called Videolan) is a completely free software installed and used by many people for its ease of use but at the same time completeness. The VLC program is available for Windows (also in portable version), Linux, Mac OS X and even Android; the peculiarity that makes it great is that it contains all the codecs you need to view the main audio and video formats.
To download VLC go to the official Videolan website and click on the button on the right Download VLC , if you want the portable version (ie that does not require installation and therefore can also be run from a very common pen drive) click on the download button from the official website of portableapp from portableapp.com . Wait for the download to finish and at the end click on the installation file to install VLC (this step is not necessary if you have downloaded the portable version of the program).
The portable version is very convenient because you can put it on a USB key and run on any PC but it is slightly slower to open than the normal version; so I recommend installing the normal version on your PC and having a portable version to carry around.
Once downloaded and installed, start the vlc program and drag the icon of the mkv file you want to open into them (or alternatively click on the open file item from the media menu and choose the mkv file you want to start); by doing so you will be able to open any mkv.
Below the movie screen are the main playback controls (such as volume, pause button, etc.); double clicking on the video screen puts the video in full screen (you return to normal mode by double clicking on the video).
VLC offers many features that deserve to be seen in detail in a separate guide that I will write shortly (by way of example streamind video from url, possibility to crop, format conversion). In the meantime, I warn you that this player is also available for smartphones in the reduced but still free version that can be downloaded from the official store of your iOS device or directly from here for iOS and from here for Android.
Other programs for free mkv files
Although I invite everyone to use vlc as a video player, for the sake of completeness, I also carry other programs to open obviously free mkv files.
GOMPlayer is a good alternative to VLC. It is a free player that allows you to open mkv and is available for Windows, Mac and even Android devices. To use this player just download it from the official download page and install it on your PC. One of the strengths of this player is the support of 360 VR video formats.
Another good player that allows you to open mkv is KMPlayer ; among the many functions it has it is also able to capture audio, video and screenshots. KMPlayer is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS and can be downloaded directly from here .
Finally, I want to point out DivX Plus Player , a video player born for Divx but which also allows you to open MKV files without any problem. This player is available for PC and Mac and can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s home page .