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How to crop a video on an iPhone

Creating beautiful, funny, or captivating videos on an iPhone is made possible because of the amazing 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

You can find a variety of great non-Apple apps that offer video-cropping capabilities for your iPhone if you’re ready to step away from the Apple world for a little while. One of the most commonly-used video cropping apps is Video Crop – Crop and Resize video, and it’s available for download in the App Store.

After you’ve successfully installed the app on your device from the App Store, you can begin using it to crop your selected videos. All you need to do is follow these simple steps that we’ve laid out for your convenience:
Step 1: Open Video Crop and tap OK when asked whether you want the app to access your photos. Tap the video you’d like to crop.

Step 2: Click the white checkmark in the top-right corner of the page. Press down and hold one of the four corners of the selected image before dragging it according to how you want to crop it. Do the same with other corners, if necessary. 

Step 3: Once you’re done cropping the video, click the Download symbol in the top-right corner of the screen. Hit Save to store the freshly cropped video in your Photo Gallery. Click More if you want to share the cropped video on your social media pages, for instance.

Cropping isn’t the same as trimming … or rotating

There’s really not much to it. Separate from manual cropping, Video Crop can be helpful if you want to crop your videos to specific aspect ratios. Certain apps like Instagram have varying aspect ratios. Video Crop lets you edit freely, while some talented people have even used it to edit movie-quality short films.

We wanted to make note of the distinction between the process of cropping and trimming a video. When you’re trimming a video, you’re managing the amount of time your video is playing. You can easily adjust this by tapping the screen and sliding your finger from left to right. This, of course, depends on where you want to trim the video (the starting point, endpoint, or middle). You can even remove the external frames entirely if necessary. On the other hand, when you start cropping a video, you select a designated area that you want to hold onto and then delete everything outside of that area. If you’re still stumped on how all this works, know that cropping is also different from rotating. To help you out, we’ve developed a convenient guide on how to rotate an iPhone video, which is done by shifting the entire video based on the angles you want to accomplish.

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Simon Chandler
Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London, UK. He covers technology and finance, contributing to such titles as Digital…
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