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.

Step 4

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.