Creating beautiful, funny, or captivating videos on an iPhone is made possible because of the superior Apple camera. If you are an avid video maker, it is simple just to pull out your phone and shoot.
If you make a lot of videos, you likely also edit a lot, which requires learning how to do specific editing tasks, such as cropping. We will run you through several methods for cropping your videos, including using a third-party app.
How to crop a video on an iPhone
Unfortunately, you can’t use the Camera app on your iPhone to ‘pre-crop’ videos as you’re filming them. However, once they’ve been filmed you can crop them using the Photos app, so long as you’re running iOS 13 or later (see below if you aren’t). Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Open Photos and select the video you’d like to crop.
Step 2: After having opened the desired video, tap Edit in the top-right corner of the screen.
Step 3: Tap the Crop-Rotate icon at the bottom of the Edit screen. Once in Crop mode, touch and hold one of the video’s corners. Then begin dragging the border inwards, to the desired point. Repeat with any other corner until you’ve finished cropping.
Step 4: Tap Done in the bottom-right corner. This saves the crop. However, if you’ve made a mistake or want to restore the original video, you can tap Edit again and then tap Revert in the bottom-right corner of the Edit screen.
Cropping iPhone videos using iMovie
If you aren’t using iOS 13 or later, one first-party alternative to Photos is iMovie. You’ll usually find this pre-downloaded on your iPhone. If not, you can download it via the App Store.
Once downloaded, here’s how you crop videos using iMovie:
Step 1: Open iMovie and create a New Project.
Step 2: Tap Movie and then select the video you’d like to crop. Next, tap Create Movie at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: Tap your video as it appears on the timeline in the bottom half of the screen. Then tap the small Zoom icon (displayed as a magnifying glass) in the top-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Pinch the video in or out, in order to zoom in and out of the video (this effectively crops it). Tap Done in the top-left corner of the screen once you’re finished.
Step 5: Tap the Action (Share) icon at the bottom of the screen (it looks like a square with an arrow pointing vertically out of it). Lastly, tap Save Video, which saves the newly cropped video to your Camera Roll.
Also, it’s worth noting that, compared to Photos, iMovie has the advantage of retaining the original aspect ratio of your video.
How to crop a video on iPhone using Video Crop
If for whatever reason, you have a prejudice against Apple apps, you can crop videos on iPhone using any number of third-party apps. The most-downloaded and well-known of these is called Video Crop – Trim & Cut Videos. Like every other downloadable iPhone app, it’s available on the App Store.
Once you’ve downloaded it via the App Store, you can use it to crop videos by completing the following steps:
Step 1: Open Video Crop and tap OK when asked whether you want the app to access your photos. After skipping the Crop Video Pro ad, tap the video you’d like to crop.
Step 2: Tap Crop, in the bottom-left of the screen. Next, begin dragging one of the video’s corners, moving the border inwards until you’ve cropped the desired portion of the video. Repeat with any other corner until you’ve finished cropping.
Step 3: Tap Done in the top-right corner of the screen. If you don’t like the crop, you can undo by tapping the Undo symbol in the top menu bar, and then by tapping OK.
It’s as simple as that. And aside from manual cropping, Video Crop is useful if you want to crop your iPhone videos to particular aspect ratios, such as the ratio used on Instagram. The app also lets you perform a number of other edit functions, while some talented people have even used it to edit movie-quality short films.
Cropping isn’t the same as trimming… or rotating
And just to clarify, cropping isn’t the same thing as “trimming.” When you trim a video on an iPhone, you shorten its length by cutting whole frames out (usually the beginning or the end). By contrast, cropping involves selecting an area within the frame of your video and deleting everything outside it. And just in case you weren’t sure, cropping isn’t the same as rotating either — we have a separate guide on how to rotate an iPhone video, which involves turning the video around at varying angles.
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