Did you shoot a video only to realize later you captured some parts you don’t need? This is often irritating, especially since the unwanted shots can ruin the entire clip. But did you know you can use a video editor to cut out the bad parts by cropping your video?
If you are wondering how or which tool you should use, don’t worry. In this video guide, I will demonstrate how to trim a video using a Mac, Windows, iPhone, or Android device. Let’s dive in.
Can You Crop a Video?
Yes, you can. With the right video cropper, anyone can snip a video, even if you don’t have any prior experience in video editing.
What is a Video Cropper?
This is a video editing software that lets you move or adjust the edges of a clip. Video croppers allow you to trim a video to your desired size, but they also offer preset sizes to make your work easier. These premade aspect ratios include square, landscape, and portrait crops. A video cropper effectively removes unnecessary or distracting parts of a clip, such as watermarks or lines on the video’s edges.
Benefits of Video Cropping
Video cropping is a great function that has multiple advantages. These include:
- Eliminating undesired elements in your video frame.
- Shifting the focus of the entire clip to a specific area.
- Enabling you to crop a video into an aspect ratio that suits the video-sharing standards of a particular social media platform.
How to Crop a Video on Windows 11/10/8/7
Initially, Windows users relied on Windows Movie Maker, a video editing software by Microsoft, to edit their videos. Years later, Windows discontinued Movie Maker and replaced it with Microsoft Photos.
Unfortunately, both editors lack the essential video cropping feature.
Hence, to crop your videos on Windows, I recommend you use Vegas Movie Studio or Vegas Pro. Both video editors are developed by Magix Software.
Via Vegas Movie Studio
Vegas Movie Studio is a powerful video editing tool that was formerly owned by Sony before Magix acquired it. It is designed for PC and has immense editing power, including the ability to crop clips and films. It is, however, a scaled-down version of Vegas Pro.
- Upload your video to Vegas Movie Studio.
- To access the crop effect, go to the end of your video timeline and click on the Effects button. Alternatively, go to the upper left side of the interface and click the Video Effects tab, then select Section.
- You will be asked to choose between preset crops or a Default crop.
- Select one and drag it down onto your clip.
- If you select the Default crop, you will see a video event panel. Click on Crop.
- Go to the preview window and use the control handles to trim your video. You can also use the X-Crop and Y-Crop sliders on the video event panel to resize the clip.
- Best for beginners.
- Intuitive interface.
- Has multiple preset sizes.
- Supports numerous video formats such as MP4, AVI, FLV, WMV, and MPEG.
- Its pro audio editing feature is limited.
Via Vegas Pro
Vegas Pro also runs on Windows and Mac and offers professional video editing features. It has an advanced cropping tool that lets you effectively cut your videos down to size.
- Import your video to Vegas Pro.
- Click Crop icon on the video timeline.
- Go to the preview Window and use the control handles to crop the selected area or move the crop window anywhere on your clip to position it correctly.
- You can also right click and select a video cropping mode to cut out to a different shape.
- Preview the cropped video in Vegas Pro and save it to your computer.
How to Freehand Crop a Video in Vegas Pro (Picture and Picture Video Editing)
- Upload your video.
- On your editing window, right-click on Properties, then click Disable Resample.
- Click the Event Pan/Crop button.
- Tick the mask layer at the bottom of the Pan/Crop window.
- Click on the first frame, then enable the sync cursor in the mask layer.
- Click on the normal edit tool icon and zoom in on the area you want to crop.
- Press the anchor creation tool icon on the left upper side of the Pan/Crop window.
- Use your cursor to draw a free-hand line around the area you intend to crop. If you make a mistake and want to redraw part of your line, press CTRL on your keyboard, click on the last anchor (tiny white boxes on the line you have drawn), and adjust your line. Then, click on the last anchor again to continue drawing the existing line.
- Ensure you connect the beginning and the end of your line. Once you do, the area you have drawn around will be highlighted, and the anchor points will turn yellow.
- Click on the cropped part. It will appear in the preview window.
- Go back to the mask layer, and select the next frame.
- After you switch frames, the mask area (line and anchor points) of the previous frame you cropped will still be visible. Click on any anchor, then click Delete to remove the mask area.
- Click on the normal edit tool icon and crop the desired area around the new frame. Do this for each frame on your footage.
- Once you are done, select the whole footage from the mask layer timeline, then hit Shift + B on your keyboard. This will render the footage frame by frame and allow you to play the cropped footage smoothly.
- Press the play button beneath the preview window to check out your cropped clip.
- Once you are done, save your video.
Or simply follow the steps in the tutorial video below:
- Cropping with advanced editing.
- Supports almost all video formats, such as MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, and MPEG.
- Advanced editing features, making it one of the best pro video editors.
- Multiple tutorials online.
- Complex interface.
- Long learning curve.
Tip: How to Crop a Video from a Particular Shape?
The crop function allows you to select between preset sizes (16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 9:16) or a custom size. You can then quickly move and adjust the area you intend to crop.
Note: If you only want to crop one part of the entire clip, maintain the same aspect ratio throughout your video. Else, it will leave black parts in the video to fit and suit the project. Fortunately, you can blur these black parts or create overlays to cover them.
How to Crop Your Video on Mac
There are various tools you can leverage to crop videos on a Mac. These include Moviva and iMovie.
Via Movavi Video Editor
If you want to use a Mac to do professional video cropping on an unlimited but paid video editor, Movavi Video Editor is the ideal choice. This program is robust and offers square, widescreen, portrait and other cropping dimensions.
- Download and install Movavi on your Mac, then launch the program.
- Upload your video to the timeline.
- Click on the imported clip and press the Crop button.
- A cropping frame will show up in the player.
- Drag the corners of the frame to crop and leave out the parts you don’t want. Alternatively, you can select a cropping aspect ratio amongst 16:9, 4:3, 1:1 and 9:16 or use the x:y settings to resize your video.
- Click Export to save the cropped video.
- It is friendly to beginners.
- Supports cropping with further editing.
- It has cropping presets to support any aspect ratio.
- Supports MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV and MPEG formats.
- Available for Windows and Mac.
- 7-day free trial.
iMovie is a free video editor preinstalled on Mac. It features various video editing features, including cropping. However, iMovie always maintains the original aspect ratio.
- Open iMovie, then drag and drop your clip to the timeline.
- Locate the Cropping button.
- Choose Crop to Fill.
- Move and resize the frame to snip your video.
- Once satisfied with the result, press the Reset button to save the changes. The black bars will be eliminated.
- To save the cropped video, click File > Share > File.
- Free to use.
- Basic editing.
- Only crops with the original aspect ratio.
- Limited video editing functions and effects.
How to Crop a Video on iPhone
There are various apps you can use to crop videos on your iPhone. If your iPhone runs on iOS 13 or later, use the Photos app or iMovie to resize your clip. However, if you are running on an older version of iOS, you will have to use iMovie.
Via in-built Photo/ Video Editor
iPhone’s inbuilt Photos app is the easiest way to crop videos on iOS devices.
- Launch the Photos app and select the clip you intend to crop.
- Tap Edit in your iPhone’s top right corner.
- Press the Crop-Rotate icon at the bottom.
- Tap the Aspect-Ratio button and select an aspect ratio to resize your video automatically. Alternatively, drag any of the corners of your video inwards to the desired point.
- Tap Done to save the cropped video.
- It’s free.
- You don’t have to download another app.
- It’s ideal for simple video cropping.
- The cropped clip takes up more storage space.
- You cannot merge your cropped video with other clips.
- Limited video effects.
- It’s hard to edit the clip further.
iMovie is likely pre-installed on your iPhone, so you may not need to download it. But, if it isn’t, you can get it on the App Store. iMovie is slightly better than the Photos app because it retains the original aspect ratio of your clip after cropping.
- Launch iMovie app on your iPhone.
- Tap Create Project to create a new project.
- Press Movie mode to edit your iPhone video.
- Select the clip you want to cut and tap Create Movie.
- Press the video timeline, then tap the small Zoom icon in the top-right corner.
- Pinch the clip in or out to zoom in or zoom out. This is how you crop it.
- Once you are finished, tap Done.
- Tap the Share icon > Save Video.
- Free to use.
- Retains your video’s original aspect ratio.
- Lets you merge multiple videos.
- Can’t crop from other shapes.
- Limited features.
How to Crop a Video on Android & iPhone
The advantage of cropping videos on the phone, whether Android or iOS, is that there are many free third-party apps you can use. Often, these apps offer more video cropping and editing features than native Android or iOS editing apps.
CapCut is developed by the same company that owns TikTok. Since TikTok doesn’t let you crop videos from within the app, it lets you use CapCut on Android and iPhone to trim your video. Hence, I recommend CapCut, especially for TikTok users. The advantage of this video editor is it’s free and allows you to remove the watermark.
- Download and install CapCut, then launch it and create a new project.
- Select the clip you want to crop and tap Add.
- Before editing, tap the delete icon to remove the CapCut watermark.
- Tap Edit or press your video timeline to open the edit menu.
- Tap Edit again to open the second menu.
- Press Crop.
- Select an aspect ratio to crop your video.
- Drag the white lines around the preview frame to crop your video.
- Press the tick button to apply your edits.
- The cropped area of your video will leave a black color on the screen. You can blur it if you like.
- Tap the Upload icon.
- Tap Export to save your video.
- You can also share your cropped video directly from Capcut app to your TikTok.
- Free to use.
- Integrated with TikTok and has multiple trending features.
- You can easily share the cropped clip on social media.
- It’s less stable than desktop software.
- Limited editing features for pro videos.
- Has a watermark, although you can delete it.
Blur Face – Video Crop
Blur Face – Video Crop app is one of the best free and dependable apps you can use to crop a video.
- Install the Blur Face – Video Crop app and launch it.
- Tap Video Crop mode to crop your video.
- Select the video you want to crop.
- Select an aspect ratio at the bottom of the screen. Drag the edges of the grid to resize your clip.
- Tap Save button at the upper right corner and choose whether to share the clip or save it to your gallery.
- Suitable for beginners.
- Support multiple preset sizes.
- Basic editing.
- Limited video effects.
How to Crop Video Online
You can edit your video online if you want to avoid downloading third-party apps on your device or don’t have the extra storage needed to install the app. There are many free and premium platforms you can use.
Best for Small Videos
Online video cropping is ideal for small clips since uploading them only takes a short while. This cropping method is effective if you don’t need much further editing on your clip. But, if you intend to make extra edits, use desktop software because it is more stable and professional.
How Do Online Video Croppers Work?
Generally, with online video croppers, you just need to make three easy steps. These are:
- Upload the video: Open the online platform, then select the video you intend to crop and upload it.
- Crop: Select an aspect ratio or use the crop handles to adjust the video’s size manually.
- Download: Save your clip on your device.
Best Video Croppers Online
Below is a list of effective browser-based video croppers:
Adobe Express is a professional video editing tool that allows you to crop your videos and create stunning graphics. It is one of the few pro editors with a forever free version. However, this version is considerably limited compared to the premium version, whose subscription costs $9.99 per month. Fortunately, the crop effect is available on the free version.
Ezgif Online Video Crop Tool (Free)
Unlike Adobe Express, which has a downloadable app, Ezgif is purely online-based. Ezgif is a simple editor that has a fully functional video cropping tool.
It lets you crop MP4, WebM, AVI, MOV, FLV, 3GP, and other file formats. With this tool, you can either crop manually or select an aspect ratio. Ezgif is entirely free.
VEED is also free and purely online-based, and you don’t need to create an account to use it. Since it’s browser-based, you can crop your clip on Android, iOS, Windows, or Mac.
It offers multiple preset aspect ratios suitable for social media and other media outlets. This platform is easy to use and has an intuitive interface.
To use more rending effects and features, check VEED’s paid plans: a Basic plan of $12 per editor/month, a Pro plan of $24 per editor/month, and a Business plan of $59 per editor/month.
- No need to download apps or software.
- You can crop on any device.
- Multiple preset sizes.
- Easy to use.
- It takes a long time to upload large videos.
- Limited video and sound effects.
- May not support multiple videos.
5 Creative Ideas to Crop Your Video
Video cropping is super effective for vlogging, especially if you shoot your vlogs from home. Occasionally, you may not have cleaned up the house before beginning the shoot, or other people in the house may appear within your video frame. In such scenarios, simply crop out the unwanted parts.
Beauty & Product Reviews
These reviews often need to focus on the product at some point in the review to highlight the details. They may also zoom in on a particular body part to demonstrate how effective the product is when applied. This is where cropping comes in. You can cut your video to drive focus toward the product itself or to highlight its effect.
Cropping helps to make entertainment clips more captivating. For example, since the cropped screen is often smaller, you can create a strong contrast with the frames before and after by only showing your head and face. You may add funny sound effects during that scene to create a strong dramatic effect.
YouTube to TikTok Video
Here’s how to convert a YouTube video to fit on TikTok:
- Go to Vegas Movie Studio and select a 9:16 aspect ratio project.
- Import the YouTube video from the media library.
- Drag and drop the video to the timeline. The clip is placed in the center with black borders above and below.
- Add an image or overlay to cover the black borders.
- You may also add some text or favorite effects.
- Hit Export to save the TikTok clip.
The cropped clip looks more impressive and engaging. If you use TikTok, this is a popular editing trick that you should know.
K-pop Idol Video
If you love a particular Kpop idol, you can use cropping to cut out her solo singing and dancing scene. Their performances are often on stage with other performers or dancers whom you may not want in your clip. Fortunately, cropping can help you remove the others. Usually, you will need to use a horizontal-to-vertical cropping trick.
Can I Crop a Video for Free?
Yes. There are many free video croppers pre-installed on your phone, such as iMovie, which you can use on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. CapCut is also free and available for iOS, Android, and PC, and you can directly share the cropped clip on TikTok.
How Do I Crop a Video without Losing the Quality?
- Begin by filming with a higher frame rate. Keep the frame rate above 30 FPS.
- Don’t crop into a size that’s too small. If you do, it looks like a pixelated disaster after cropping.
- Use desktop software rather than a mobile app. Vegas Movie Studio and Vegas Pro are available for Mac and Windows and support 4K editing.
Which Video Aspect Ratio Should I Choose for Social Media?
- YouTube: 16:9
- TikTok: 9:16
- Stories – 9:16
- Posts – square (1:1), landscape (16:9), or portrait (9:16).
- IGTV – 9:16.
- Twitter: 1:1
- Facebook: square (1:1) or vertical (4:5, 9:16, and 16:9).
What is the Difference between Trim, Crop, and Split?
- Cropping: This entails eliminating elements at your video’s top, bottom, right and left sides.
- Trimming: Trimming lets you remove unwanted content at the beginning or end of your video. This tends to reduce your video length.
- Splitting: Splitting entails dividing your clip into several sections. It doesn’t eliminate any parts of the video. Instead, it lets you split the video into fragments that you can edit individually.
Video cropping is a simple yet essential procedure. With this guide, you should be able to cut and resize videos on any device.
However, as we have seen, a desktop is preferable for professional video editing compared to a mobile phone. It is also important that you use an advanced tool for the best cropping capabilities. Hence, you should use Vegas Movie Studio, Vegas Pro, and Movavi.