How to Download and Save MP4s to an iPhone

MP4 files end up in your Downloads or in the file for the browser you used

What to Know

  • MP4 is most often used as a video file format and is a format accessible with an iPhone.
  • When you download an MP4 file to your iPhone, where it goes depends on where you download it from and how you download it.
  • MP4 files save to your Downloads file or Files > On My iPhone > in the file for the browser you used to download the MP4.

This article walks you through downloading and saving MP4 videos on your iPhone and transferring videos from your computer to your iPhone. Plus, we help you find where those videos are stored.

How Do I Save an MP4 to My iPhone Camera Roll?

How you save an MP4 to your iPhone will be determined by the site offering the download. If you're downloading it from a cloud storage app, like Google Drive or DropBox, there should be controls on the video file page that include an option to Download or Download to your device.

However, note your MP4 file may not always go directly to your iPhone Camera Roll or the Photos app. You may need to move the file from its download location once the download is complete.

You can move the file to your Camera Roll or Photos app once downloaded. To do so, however, you first need to locate the file.

Where Do MP4 Files Save on iPhone?

So, where do MP4 files go when you download them to your iPhone. The answer is complicated.

When you download a video directly to your iPhone, it does not automatically go to your Camera Roll or Photos. Instead, the iPhone will save the file elsewhere. Depending on where you download the file from, it may be in your Downloads file or a browser file in Files > On My iPhone.

The easiest way to find a file is to use Spotlight search on your iPhone. Just swipe down from the center of your Home screen with one finger, and type the name of the file you downloaded into the search bar. When you see the file, you can select it to open it.

Screenshots showing how to search for a file on an iPhone.

The file will automatically open in iMovie. You can make any edits you choose in iMovie and then tap Done. On the movie project page, tap the Share icon, and then scroll down and tap Save Video, which will save the video to your Photos app.

You don't have to make any edits to your MP4 file if you don't want to; open the file and then save it again using the instructions above to save a copy of it into your Camera Roll or Photos app.

Screenshots showing how to save an MP4 file from iMovie to the Photos App on iPhone.

How Do I Transfer MP4 From Computer to iPhone?

An even easier way to get an MP4 file onto the Camera Roll or Photos app on your iPhone is to move it from the hard drive of your Windows or Mac computer. This is accomplished by dragging the file from its location on your hard drive into the Photos app.

To drag a file from your Windows computer to your Photos app (or so you can access the file on your iPhone), you'll need first to install iCloud for Windows. Then, you can use iCloud for Windows to transfer files between your Windows computer and iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices.

On a Windows PC, locate the MP4 file in File Explorer and drag it into your Photos app. On a Mac computer, use Finder to find the file and drag it into the Photos app.

  • How do I download an MP4 to my iPhone from Google Drive?

    Find the MP4 from the Google Drive app on your device > select More (three ellipses) beside the file name > Open in > and choose from the available apps and locations for the file. Select Save to download it. 

  • How do I download an MP4 from Dropbox to an iPhone?

    Make sure you have the Dropbox mobile app downloaded to your iPhone. Launch it and tap the MP4 file to download and select the three ellipses next to the file name. Choose Share > Export file and select a specific app or Save video to download it to your camera roll.

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