How to save a movie for playing on a PC

The safest way to save a movie from a Macintosh computer that you want to transfer to a PC is to save it as an AVI file. The problem is (as pointed out in the comments below!) is that the latest version of Quicktime cannot save AVI’s. To save an AVI file you’ll need to use Quicktime 7, AND you’ll need to upgrade it to quicktime pro which unfortunately is no longer available.

The older Windows movie maker (the one that came with Windows XP and Vista) only imports .asf, .avi and .wmv files. So if you want to export movies from your Mac that someone in the PC world is to be able to read, and better yet, edit, it will need to be in one of these three formats. QuickTime can export an AVI movie, but not the other two formats.

For newer PC’s, the latest Windows Live movie maker (included with Windows 7) can read QuickTime movies which is great. It cannot however save AVI files! (Only WMV). I assume this means that Microsoft is phasing out AVI files?

Anyway, for the present time AVI seems to be the best way to transfer files to a PC. It doesn’t where the file was created, iMovie, iDVD, digital camera footage or whatever. This is irrelevant. If you export it as AVI then a Windows computer can read it.

To export a QuickTime movie as an AVI movie:

1. In QuickTime 7 Pro select File > Export.

2. On the Export: list select AVI

Lastly, click the save button and it will save your movie as an AVI file that any PC computer can read.


5 responses to “How to save a movie for playing on a PC”

  1. Bryson

    Thanks for this wayne. A related factor which I’ve discovered is that Quicktime 10 in Snow Leopard lacks most of the export options which are listed in the above screen shot. There’s been a lot of discussion in forums about this lack of functionality in Quicktime 10. To export to AVI you’ll have to use Quick 7, which should have been saved to applications (in the Utilities folder) when you update to Snow Leopard.

  2. Andrew

    Even in Leopard, I think that Export is available only in QuickTime Pro.

  3. Boyto

    I have two installations of Snow Leopard, one an upgrade (I think), one a fresh install, and neither have an export feature in Quicktime X.

    Also, what do you mean by AVI? AVI is a container format which can contain many different codecs (much to the bane of many a Windows user — was a saviour for working out what codecs an AVI file contained). I assume Apple means a particular codec included by default on Windows when they say AVI.

  4. Yes Andrew and Bryson you are right and I have updated the article thanks!

    @Boyto yes AVI is just a container. You can change the format of the movie inside the AVI by clicking on ‘options’ in the export dialog box. The Apple default is Cinepack Video, with uncompressed audio – so they are large files! I’m not sure what is the best format to put in an AVI for PC. Anyone PC users out there know?

  5. windows 10 support

    The safest way to save a movie from a Macintosh computer that you want to transfer to a PC is to save it as an AVI file.

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