How to remove the metadata title from MKV files

mkvYou may have come across the need to remove the metadata, or extended title information from an mkv file downloaded from the internet.

Not all files are equal – in the case of regular files, for example .jpg and .mp4 files, you can simply right click in Windows, select Properties, and happily click away at the Details Tab, then “Remove Properties and Personal Information” – provided you have the right permissions, it’ll all work fine. MKV files will give you a permissions error, which is a lie, a dirty stinking filthy lie – don’t believe the lie.

Windows just doesn’t know how to deal with an MKV file title.

You need a 3rd party tool, and a small amount of knowledge.

The tool you need is MKVToolNix (Backup link to 64 bit installer, since their site seems to be down a lot). Go download and install. It’s free, and doesn’t nag.

Then you need to understand how to use the command line.

The basic command you need is: “C:\Program Files\MKVToolNix\mkvpropedit.exe” *mkv file name* -d title

When run, it will simply empty the metadata title from the file, no fuss, and it’ll only take a second.

Update: A number of people have asked me how to automate this to make it recursive, i.e. start at the top of a specified directory (Folder), and go through all sub-directories, processing all files.

This is how:

​@echo off
c:
cd \users\USERNAME\downloads\*.mkv
for /r %%i in (*.mkv) do (
echo processing "%%i"
"C:\Program Files\MKVToolNix\mkvpropedit.exe" "%%i" -d title
)

The For loop goes through every file in the folder structure (Given the *.mkv spec), and executes the mkvpropedit command on every file found in the list. Simples.

Feel free to nick the code above, and use it for your own purposes, but remember to change the relevant path names to those on your own system.

If you would like to know more about batch files, and how they (Plus the command line) work in Windows, please visit the excellent Wikibook: Windows Batch Scripting which should get you started, or go Google it 🙂

Batch scripting (Or otherwise known as Batch Files) enable simple yet powerful processing of almost anything in the DOS or Windows environments, however the batch-language is largely superseded by the more powerful Windows Powershell; but in my opinion it is still very much a valid and ultimately useful tool, for it’s ease of use and simplicity.

This article (Click here) shows you how to add this to the right click context menu in Windows – even easier!”

8 thoughts on “How to remove the metadata title from MKV files

  1. Sean

    I’m attempting to use your scripts but appears that cannot see into nested folders. When I run the command line works like a charm but would like to scan against all MKV as don’t recall which files have titles and which do not. Files would be two layers deep of folders.

    Thanks for any help or ideas.

    Reply
    1. Spabbit Post author

      Hi Sean,

      The article has been amended with a method for using sub-folders as well 🙂

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Adding a batch script to the Windows Context Menu | @Spabbit

  3. User

    This information is great and very useful, thank you! However do you know how to remove ALL metadata from .mkv files? Your method posted will remove the title information from a file, but when viewing the file in VLC Media Player and selecting “Tools > Codec Information > Metadata” there are stiil several remaining categories of information. Any way to clear out all of this information?

    Reply
    1. Spabbit Post author

      Hihi…

      Sorry, your comment went into spam, as you didn’t use a real e-mail address – never mind though… If you run (From the command line) “C:\Program Files\MKVToolNix>mkvpropedit.exe –help”, then it will list the help for the MKVToolNix program, which allows removals – just adjust your command line in the batch file for what you need.

      🙂

      Reply

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