How to Install the QuickTime H.264 Codec

by J.S. Copper

H.264 is a type of MPEG-4 video compression, offering higher quality video in a smaller file size than MPEG-2 (standard DVD video format) or MPEG-4 ASP (DivX format). It is the default file format of Apple's QuickTime, and there is a petition to make it a standard video format for the next generation of the HTML Web programming language (HTML5). Windows 7 includes native support for H.264-encoded videos, but early versions will need a proper codec to play the video back correctly.

Step 1

Download a video codec pack. You can download a pack of codecs that will provide support for H.264 videos, as well as many other video formats, or you can download an open-source H.264 video codec by itself. (See Resources.)

Step 2

Save the codec installer to your desktop. Double-click the downloaded file.

Step 3

Follow the on-screen instructions to progress through the installation. If installing a multi-codec pack, be sure to enable H.264 in the installation options.

Restart the computer. When the computer boots back up, you will be able to play back the video in your default video player without any trouble.


  • Optionally, you can simply download the latest version of QuickTime from Apple to enable H.264 video playback on your computer. The downside to this is that you will only be able to play back those videos with the QuickTime video player.

Items you will need

  • H.264 codec installer

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