This article provides an overview of 5 different online tools that let you convert files from various formats to other various formats – for free.
Converting files from one format to another can often be a hassle. Sometimes you need to install new software, which may or may not be reasonably priced, and it’s time consuming to learn. It’s also possible (perhaps probable) that you only need to do this once, and buying an app to do something once may not be in your budget. That’s where these free tools come in handy. Whether it’s an audio file, video file, image file or document – one of these tools will help you convert it.
Even though this document was initially published way back in 2010, it has been updated to be current in 2021.
Zamzar is an excellent online multi-purpose converter which enables users to convert almost all the common file types, up to 50MB in size. I uploaded a 9MB MP3 file and converted it to an OGG and it took less than a minute in total. It’s easy to use, no sign-up required, no super-annoying ads – it’s a winner.
YouConvertit converts files from a zillion formats to a zillion other formats (they’re all listed on the front page), with a maximum file size of 100MB. One thing that sets YouCovertIt a bit apart from the others in this list is that they put a heavy emphasis on the quality of the converted files. I uploaded a 12MB .MP4 file and converted it to an .AVI in under a minute – the resulting file looked great.
3. Convert Files
Convert Files is an excellent online convert which enable users to convert archives, documents, spreadsheets, audio and video files of up to 250MB in size. You can even send a link to the converted file to your friends or your own email address. As a test I uploaded a 128MB .MOV video file and converted it to an .MP4. The upload took less than a minute, the conversion took about 90 seconds, and downloading the resulting file took a few seconds. The quality of the converted .MP4 file was outstanding.
4. Free File Converter
Free File Converter lets you convert all the common document, audio, video and image file types. One of the interesting features of Free File Converter is that you can upload up to 5 files at a time, for a total of no more than 300MB. I tried converting several files, two .MOV files to .MPG and one .MOV to .MP4. Converting MOV -> MPG did not go well – the resulting files didn’t play properly in Quicktime and while they did play in VLC, the quality was terrible. So I tested again, using one of the same .MOV files but this time converted to an .MP4. The resulting file looked great, and it was compressed very well. Every time I uploaded a file it appeared to stall during the upload process, but waiting patiently paid off.
cloudconvert is the most modern of the five outlined in this article. The maximum file size is 1GB (for free) and you can do 25 conversions per day (for free). One of the best features of cloudconvert is that depending on the file type, you may actually get to configure how you want the file converted. For example, when I converted a .MOV to an .MP4, I was able to choose between all kinds of options – from codecs used to the quality of the resulting file. If it’s video conversion you’re after, I’d suggestion trying this one first.