How to Watch a MKV File

By Joshua Laud

Matroska (MKV) is an open-source multimedia container format. Many videophiles consider MKV to be far superior to earlier equivalents such as AVI or MP4, due to the format's wider support for streaming video and better technology. To play MKV files with any multimedia library or player, download a Matroska codec so that software can play and decode the files. The Combined Community Codec Pack adds support for MKV to common media players.

Step 1

Download the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP) (see Resources).

Step 2

Close any multimedia players that are open. Then double-click the downloaded installer to set up the codec pack.

Step 3

Follow the onscreen instructions to setup support for Matroska. Click "Finish" at the end of the installation process.

Step 4

Double-click your Matroska files to launch them in the default media player. If they do not open with an application, right-click and click "Open With…" and then locate your preferred media player to watch the videos.

Tips & Warnings

  • Certain multimedia players such as Windows Media Player are restrictive in the file formats that they can play. Media players such as VLC Media Player (see Resources) include codec libraries, which means they can play a wide variety of formats out of the box.