A smartphone with a video editor on it.

How to Crop a Video on an iPhone

Figuring out how to crop a video on an iPhone can be a little tricky if you've never tried to make a mobile movie clip before. Here's the easy way to do it.

Figuring out how to crop a video on an iPhone can be a little tricky. This is especially true if you’re not used to iOS.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can go about doing that. One of them uses the phone’s editing software, while other methods rely on external apps.

So, if you want to learn how to crop short clips from videos, you’ve come to the right place.

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In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about cropping on an iPhone.

I’ll also discuss how else you can edit your videos on an iPhone.

Cropping Videos on an iPhone

A person holding a phone with a picture of a woman on it.

Now that you know how useful cropping videos can be, I can move on to the process.

There are a few ways you can go about taking short snippets from a file on an iPhone.

In this section, I’ll walk you through each process and its advantages.

1. Cropping Using the Photo App

iPhones have incredibly sophisticated camera apps. The software comes with many features and tools that can help you transform videos.

Although, you won’t be able to make any changes while you’re filming. You have to wait until you’re done with the recording to edit.

Once you save the video file, you can alter it in a variety of ways. Although, you’ll need an iPhone with iOS 13 or later.

The first thing you want to do is launch the photo app on your iPhone. After that, take a minute to look through your gallery and find the video you want to crop.

Then, click on the file to open up the file. Next, turn your attention to the top right corner of the screen.

There, you’ll find the Edit button. Tap on it and you’re ready to start cropping.

Once that’s done, look for the Crop and Rotate button at the bottom of the screen. It should be in the far right corner.

Look for the icon that resembles a square with extra arms and arrows around it. When you click on the button, the phone will automatically switch to Crop mode.

That’s when the fun can start. Click and hold one of the video corners. This will allow you to drag your finger across the screen to resize your file.

Spend a little time finding the perfect video frame to crop. Remember, as long as you don’t tap on the save button, you’ll be free to edit to your heart’s content.

No changes are permanent while you’re still in Crop mode.

When you’re ready to wrap up, look to the bottom right of the screen. Find the Done button and tap it.

This should save the new version of the video. Although, if you notice a mistake, you can always go back and fix it.

All you have to do is go back to the Edit menu and tap on the Revert option.

The best aspect of this method is that you don’t need to download a new app.

2. Cropping Using iMovie

If you’re working with a software version that’s older than iOS 13, then the photo app won’t be much help. Instead, you’ll need to rely on iMovie.

This app should be pre-installed on your phone. Yet, if you can’t find it, you can download it from the app store in a few minutes.

After you install iMovie, you can start cropping your video.

Begin by launching the app and tapping on the New Project button. This will open up a list of a few options.

You should look for the one that says Movie. Then, navigate your gallery and find the video you wish to crop.

Once that’s done, tap the Create Movie button that’s at the bottom of the screen. As soon as you do that, your display will split in two, horizontally.

In the bottom half of the screen, you should see a full timeline of the video. Click on the timeline band to toggle additional video editing options.

Next, the Zoom button will appear in the top right corner. It should look like a miniature magnifying glass.

Then, all that’s left is resizing the video. You can do that by pinching the screen in and out. This will effectively crop the file.

When you’re happy with the video, find the Done button in the top left corner. After that, tap on the Action or Share button.

That should look like a square with an arrow pointing vertically outwards. Finally, click on the Save button to store the new file in your Camera Roll.

The best part about using iMovie is that your video will retain its original aspect ratio. This means none of the frames will look distorted in any way.

3. Cropping Using Third-Party Apps

If you’re not a huge fan of iMovie, there are plenty of other options you can choose from. You’ll find many apps that specialize in cropping videos.

For instance, one of the most popular tools people use is the PowerDirector app. The process will start with you downloading and installing the software.

Next, launch the video editing app and follow the setup wizard. It should only take a few seconds.

After that, tap on the New Project button in the middle of the screen. This will prompt you to name the video and choose your preferred aspect ratio.

If you’re not sure which option to pick, go for 16:9. That’s the default for most videos recorded on iPhones.

Then, you can browse your phone’s gallery to find the file you want to crop. Choose the video, then tap the add button that appears.

Once you do that, you’ll see a timeline band at the bottom of the screen. Clicking that will open up all the editing tools that are available.

Now, find the Pan and Zoom option at the bottom of the screen. It should look like two interlocking squares.

Next, you’ll be able to resize the file any way you like. Then, find the Export button, which is a square with a vertical arrow.

Finally, choose the Save to Device option.

The main selling point of this method is that you’ll have a lot more freedom when it comes to editing. With the PowerDirector app, there are countless tools to use and test out.

Preparing to Crop Videos on iPhone

A phone sitting on top of a backpack with the sun setting behind it.

Before you start cropping, there are a few tips that you should follow. For starters, it’s a good idea to fully charge your iPhone prior to any editing.

If your device runs out of charge halfway through the process, you may lose the video file altogether.

Moving on, it’s crucial that you ensure there’s at least some space in your internal storage. Otherwise, you won’t have anywhere to save the new video you create.

Finally, don’t forget to back up your videos before you start. That way, if you make a mistake, or run into any issue, you can save the day with a click of a button.

Cropping Videos as a Storage Solution

An iphone 11 is sitting on a desk next to a keyboard.

iPhones have some of the most advanced cameras in the world. That’s why most iOS users have galleries full of random pictures and video clips.

Although, after a while, they may notice that they’re running out of storage space on the phone. Sadly, videos are the worst culprit when it comes to this issue.

That’s because a few minutes of footage can be hundreds of Megabytes. So, you won’t be able to keep that many video files before storage becomes a problem.

Since you can’t add extra external storage space, this can be a real thorn in your side. You won’t be able to install new apps or snap more pictures.

Luckily, there’s a solution to this complication. If you crop videos, you’ll get to keep the most important parts, while still making the files smaller.

This, in turn, should allow you to hold a lot more data in your photo gallery.

While people are familiar with editing images, cropping videos is a whole other story.

Aside from making your videos smaller, there are a couple of other advantages to cropping. First up, you can remove unwanted elements.

For example, if there’s a stranger in the corner of your video, you can simply cut them out.

Besides that, cropping can help you change the aspect ratio of a video. This determines the relationship between the height and width of the file.

So, uploading this file to social media platforms can be a little tricky. Thankfully, with a cropping tool, the process will be much easier.

You can alter the aspect ratio to perfectly match any platform you want to upload it on.


Figuring out how to crop a video on an iPhone can be a little challenging. Luckily, there are a few ways you can tackle the issue.

First up, you can use the photo app that comes with your iPhone. Although, this will only work if you’re operating on iOS 13 or later.

With older software, you’ll need to use iMovie or a third-party app.

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Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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