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Is there a way I can remove subtitle data from an .mkv?

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1 Answer 1

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Use MkvToolNix. The mkvmerge tool can do exactly what you want. It's a very capable Matroska manipulator and should be able to remove any kind of stream from an MKV without recoding all the other streams.

  • On Windows, download the latest version from here. Just run the installer.
  • On Linux, you can find the package mkvtoolnix in your repository, or alternatively download them from the homepage.
  • On OS X, the easiest way would be to install mkvtoolnix through Homebrew.

I think one of these commands will do what you want:

# assume input.mkv has 3 subtitle tracks
# remove subtitle track 2 (copy 1&3) from input.mkv & save to output.mkv
mkvmerge -o output.mkv --subtitle-tracks 1,3 input.mkv

# remove all subtitles (copy none)
mkvmerge -o output.mkv --no-subtitles input.mkv
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  • I have found the output files from MkvToolNix (mkvmerge) to be unusable by some players & converter (ArcSoft VideoConverter in particular - I was trying to strip the subtitles prior to converting them for viewing on my iPhone). Mar 4, 2013 at 2:48
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    Usage note: The track numbers supplied to --stracks are not 1 (first subtitle), 2 (second), 3 (third), etc. Use mkvinfo input.mkv to enumerate the tracks in the .mkv first (e.g. track 0 may be video; 1,2,3 may be audio; 4,5,6 may be subtitles) then use the 0-based track number with the --stracks switch. In quack's example above this might be --stracks 4,6 Jan 4, 2015 at 11:01
  • To confirm, does the GUI version of the program also remove subtitles without re-encoding? Sep 3, 2018 at 3:27
  • @HashimAziz yes, mkvtoolnix is incapable of re-encoding. all operations on the stream level are copying.
    – MCO
    Apr 25, 2023 at 10:21

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