MKV is a distribution container format which can contain various video, audio codecs and subtitle tracks. Many of the videos we download from websites, get from friends, ripped from Blu-rays, or record by screen capture software like OBS are MKV files. We can easily play MKV files on computer with many media players including VLC. However, editing MKV files has long been a headache for Premiere Pro users. When you try to import MKV file to Adobe Premiere Pro, the failure window will pop up with an error message "File format not supported" or "Unsupported format or damaged file".
"Is there any way to use .mkv files in Premiere without converting? The thing is, I want to use TV show clips, and those are only available to me in a .mkv format in HD. I don't really wanna convert ~12hrs of 1080p footage, so is there any sort of plugin that enables directly importing it?"
If you're facing MKV file import failure issues in Premiere Pro CC 2022, 2021, 2020, or other versions, you've come to the right place. Here we share you with 4 useful solutions to help you import MKV to Premiere Pro without errors. You'll also find the answers to "Does Adobe Premiere Pro support MKV?" and "Why you can't import MKV to Premiere Pre?"
Does Adobe Premiere Pro Support MKV Format?
Adobe added the import support of MKV files for Premiere Pro CC 2018 (12.1-12.1.2) and Premiere Pro CC 2019 (13.1.2). However, it discontinued that support since Premiere Pro CC 2019 (13.1.3).
In fact, till now, MKV has not been added to the official supported format list of Adobe Premiere Pro.
Our previous MKV file format was limited to decoding for playback. We have never offered support for encoding MKV, and overall usage of this format has been very low.
Users who need access to MKV files can consider third-party utilities. For rendering out video content for online platforms we encourage our users to take advantage of existing output options, such as H.264 and HEVC formats, which are widely used and supported.
Therefore, if you're using recent versions like Premiere Pro CC 2022 (22.0) or earlier versions like Premiere Pro CC 2017, you will not use the MKV files in Permiere Pro. What if we update or roll to the version that can support MKV natively when meeting MKV import failure in Premiere? Unfortunately, things might still doesn't work.
This is because MKV is just a container format which can hold various video and audio codecs. The Premiere Pro can recognize the MKV container, but things inside the MKV container might be encoded by codecs that are unsupported by the program, which will lead to file import failure.
3 Workable Ways to Import MKV File into Premiere Pro CC/CS without Error
Some people may suggest you to try installing the K-Lite Codec Pack to fix MKV import failure. However, we don't recommend this because this has been known to cause issues with the Adobe Suite, such as crashes, slowdowns and other issues.
Luckily, there are some simple and workable ways to successfully import MKV files to Premiere Pro without error. And below are 3 useful solutions to do that.
Method 1. Rename the File Extension
Sometimes, you just need to simply change the file extension from .mkv to .mp4 or other Premiere Pro supported container format to fix the MKV import failure. However, be sure the new container format is compatible with the codecs inside the MKV container, or you might damage the original footage.
Right click on your .mkv file, and choose Rename. Then, change the file extension from mkv to mp4, avi, or something that Premiere Pro can recognize. Then click Yes when a warning pops up. Once done, put the file into Premiere Pro and see if it can be imported without error now.
Method 2. Convert MKV to Premiere Pro Supported Format (100% Working)
If rename doesn't work, it probably means that Premiere Pro doesn't support the video and audio codecs in your MKV video. If you need a 100% working solution to fix the file import error, you'll need to convert MKV to a more industry standard format that Premiere Pro supports. To do this, you can adopt EaseFab Video Converter (or EaseFab Video Converter for Mac) for help.
EaseFab Video Converter - Easily Convert MKV Files for Importing to Premiere Pro
● Accept all HD/4K MKV files with differnet encoded video/audio codecs.
● Convert MKV to MP4, MOV, AVI, H.264, ProRes and more Permiere-friendly formats. Batch conversion is supported.
● Finish conversion at 3 steps at fast encoding speed without causing the quality loss
● Easy editing experience: cut, crop, merge and more
[Tutorial] How to Convert MKV to Adobe Premiere Pro Friendly Format
PS: The process is almost the same on PC and Mac. Here we will take EaseFab Video Converter for Windows as the example to show the MKV to Premiere conversion process.
Step 1. Load the MKV files.
After downloading, install and run EaseFab Video Converter on your PC or Mac, simply drag and drop your MKV files to the program. You can also click Add Video button to load your source files. (Note: batch conversion is supported, so you can load more than one file to save time.)
Step 2. Choose an Adobe editing-friendly format.
Based on our test, VC-1 is not supported by Premiere Pro. So here we take converting MKV VC-1 to MP4 H.264 as an example. Click "Profile" bar and move mouse cursor to "Common Video" and then select "MP4 (codec: h.264+aac)". MP4 is not the only option that can import to Premiere Pro. Converting MKV to ProRes, DNxHD, MOV, etc works too. There is a long list of output video formats available for you to choose.
Kindly Note: The high-quality codecs DNxHD and ProRes profiles can be found in Editing Software category. If you're short on drive space, it's recommended to convert MKV to DNxHD for Premiere Pro on Windows, or ProRes on Mac.
Tips: You can cut, crop, merge, rotate to make some easy video edits before conversion with EaseFab Video Converter.
Step 3. Start the conversion.
Hit "Convert" button and it will begin fast video decoding, conversion and processing your MKV video at one go. Hardware acceleration can be enabled to speed up the processing, only if your computer has supported graphics cards.
Once done, you can easily import the encoded MKV file to Adobe Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements, DaVinci Resolve and any other NLE without any trouble.
Method 3. Change File Extension from MKV to MP4 for Premiere Pro Using FFmpeg
The aim of forums and Q&A sites is to let users help each other. These sites indeed play their roles in troubleshooting. On Quora, users share their solutions, among which using FFmpeg is a practical way to have a try.
Step 1. Install FFmpeg on your computer.
Step 2. Locate to your MKV file in terminal/cmd and do as follows:
ffmpeg -i "original file name.mkv" -codec copy newname.mp4
Note: access to the address bar of explorer and enter "CMD" if you're unable to access to CMD via the directory.
Step 3. Now import the MP4 file to Premiere Pro CC for further editing.