April 12, 2024

How to clip and trim YouTube videos: A beginner’s guide

Want to save a piece of that video? Discover how to clip a YouTube video in just a few steps.
April 12, 2024

How to clip and trim YouTube videos: A beginner’s guide

Want to save a piece of that video? Discover how to clip a YouTube video in just a few steps.
April 12, 2024
Elise Dopson
In this article
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Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
Sign up

What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

YouTube is a hub of great content—but it doesn’t have to live on the platform exclusively. The video sharing site allows creators to clip their content and share the video clip elsewhere, be that TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook. It’s a great way to maximize the mileage of your original video and get more views from a single piece of content. 

Whether it’s a funny moment that you want to capture from a livestream or an insight that’d perform great on TikTok, there are multiple ways to clip a YouTube video on PC or mobile. This guide shares two easy step-by-step tutorials on how to clip YouTube videos, complete with tips on how to protect your own content against clipping. 

Can you clip or trim YouTube videos?

YouTube allows anyone to clip content on the platform—provided the original creator hasn’t turned off clipping permissions. 

The YouTube clip feature works by saving a specific portion of a full video, such as an interesting tip the creator has shared. Anyone who’s made the clip can share the link with their friends. Clips can be up to 60 seconds long and are saved to your own clip library, which you can find under the Your Clips tab in the YouTube sidebar. They’re played on a loop, similar to YouTube Shorts.

💥 Start with a bang: 21 inspiring YouTube Intros to learn from 


Image of showing Your clips dashboard in YouTube

How to clip YouTube videos on PC

Step 1. Find the YouTube video you want to clip

First, head to the YouTube website and sign into your account. Find the video that you want to clip either by searching your channel page or filtering videos in your YouTube Studio

Step 2. Start a new clip

YouTube’s clipping feature is automatically turned on for all channels, so once you’ve found the full video you want to clip, go to Menu (which appears as three vertical dots) and choose Clip. Give your snippet a new name—one that’s easy to find when searching your video clip library. 

Image showing the Clip tool in YouTube

Step 3. Drag the sliders

Use the sliders to confirm which part of the video you want to create clips from. There’s a minimum length of 5 seconds and a maximum of 60 seconds. Play around with these timestamps to make sure you don’t cut the video off unintentionally. 

Step 4. Save the YouTube clip 

Confirm the timing settings and press the Share clip button. You’ve got a few options to choose from here:

  • Share the YouTube clip via email 
  • Get a shareable link to share the clip anywhere
  • Embed the YouTube video clip on your website or blog
  • Promote the YouTube clip on other social media platforms (note that this won’t share the actual video—it’ll share a link to divert people back to your YouTube channel)

The Share panel on YouTube media player

Bonus: Create longer clips with Descript

YouTube’s clipping feature allows you to save video clips up to 5-60 seconds in length. If you want to create snippets that are longer than this (like a clip of you live streaming a game, for example), you’ll need a professional video editor like Descript. 

Descript is also the better option if you want to share YouTube clips elsewhere, such as TikTok or Instagram Reels, rather than simply sharing a link to your channel. 

‎How to clip YouTube videos on mobile

Step 1. Use your device’s screen recorder

Unfortunately, YouTube’s clipping tool doesn’t work on mobile. You’ll need an external trimming tool to clip YouTube videos from your smartphone. Luckily, most devices have built-in screen recording features to help you do so. 

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll do this demonstration on an Apple iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Go to Control Center
  3. Drag Screen Recording up to the Included Controls section

If you’re recording on any other device (like a Google Phone or Android device), follow this quickstart guide to enable screen recording

Annotated image showing the process to screen record on iPhone

Step 2. Open the video you want to clip

Next, open the YouTube video you want to clip. It’s easier to do this through the YouTube app, but you can open YouTube in your browser and record from there. 

Step 3. Start screen recording

It’s now time to start clipping. Scrub to the section of the video you want to record, then drag down from the bottom of your screen to find the screen recording button. Remember to turn on Do Not Disturb so that your video clip isn’t interrupted by notifications.

Annotated image of user turning on Microphone on iPhone

Once you’ve finished recording your clip, press the End recording button. This will look different on every device, but on iPhone, it’s the red timing button in the top right corner. 

Step 4. Rewatch the YouTube video clip 

Most smartphone operating systems save screen recordings to the device’s Photos app. To find yours, go to Photos and filter by videos (though it should be the most recent file). From here, you can watch it later, edit, or share your clipped YouTube video. 

--poster_start--

👀 Get more views: How I got 10x YouTube subscribers by adding video to my podcast

--poster_end--


How to trim or clip a YouTube video that is not yours

Step 1. Check whether the creator allows clipping

On YouTube, creators can decide whether they give permission to have their videos clipped. If the original creator has this setting turned on, open the video and go to Menu and select Clip. Drag the sliders to choose which portion of the video you want to clip, give the video a name, then press Share clip.

Creating and sharing a Clip on YouTube

Step 2. Choose a clipping tool

If the creator hasn’t given permission to clip their YouTube video, there is a workaround—but we want to preface this with one thing: only use the video clip for personal use (like saving it to reference in the future). It’s unethical to create clips from a YouTuber who doesn’t want their content to be clipped.

If you’re clipping the video for personal use, find a screen recording tool like Descript. Open a new video project, press the Record button, and start recording your screen as the YouTube video plays.

Image of Descript screen recording dashboard

Step 3. Trim your clipped video

Descript will automatically save your screen recording footage in the dashboard, ready for you to start video editing. Play around with the different features here, such as:

  • Trimming tools to cut down the video 
  • Studio Sound to improve audio quality
  • Captions or subtitles to make the video easier to reference
  • Automated transcript to turn the video into written text 
  • AI Summarizer to condense the content into a simple summary 

How to stop people from clipping your YouTube videos

What happens if you’re on the other side and you’re a content creator who’s posting video content to your own YouTube channel? You can stop from clipping your video, which is useful if you don’t want your content to be repurposed or manipulated by anyone else. 

To prevent people from clipping your own YouTube videos:

  1. Go to your YouTube Studio
  2. Choose Settings from the left-hand sidebar 
  3. Go to Channel
  4. Click Advanced settings
  5. Untick the Allow viewers to clip my content box

User settings in YouTube for clipping permissions

An AI-powered tool to clip YouTube videos effortlessly

YouTube has a wealth of features that make it easier for creators to produce video content. If you want to take your content to the next level and repurpose YouTube videos into shorter clips you can share online, you need Descript.

Descript is the best video editor for modern content creators because it offers:

Thousands of creators are already using Descript’s AI-powered video editor. Join them today by signing up for your free plan.

‎How to clip a YouTube video FAQs

Why can't I trim a YouTube video?

YouTube gives creators control over who can clip their video. If the clipping feature is unavailable, there’s a good chance that the creator disabled others from clipping their video. 

How can I cut a part of a YouTube video?

  1. Go to your YouTube Studio
  2. Select Content from the sidebar 
  3. Choose the video you want to cut
  4. Select Editor
  5. Choose Trim & cut
  6. Drag the timestamps to cut your YouTube video

How do you snip a video?

  1. Download the Descript app 
  2. Start a new video project
  3. Import your footage
  4. Drag the sliders in the project toolbar
  5. Add stickers, transitions, or music
  6. Preview your snipped video
  7. Export and share the video file 

Is there an app to clip YouTube videos?

The Descript app for Mac and Windows allows you to clip YouTube videos. Import your file to start trimming, or use its screen recording features to record a video and edit it in Descript.

Elise Dopson
Elise Dopson is a freelance writer, creator, and fierce Descript user. She's also the co-founder of Peak Freelance.
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How to clip and trim YouTube videos: A beginner’s guide

YouTube is a hub of great content—but it doesn’t have to live on the platform exclusively. The video sharing site allows creators to clip their content and share the video clip elsewhere, be that TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook. It’s a great way to maximize the mileage of your original video and get more views from a single piece of content. 

Whether it’s a funny moment that you want to capture from a livestream or an insight that’d perform great on TikTok, there are multiple ways to clip a YouTube video on PC or mobile. This guide shares two easy step-by-step tutorials on how to clip YouTube videos, complete with tips on how to protect your own content against clipping. 

Can you clip or trim YouTube videos?

YouTube allows anyone to clip content on the platform—provided the original creator hasn’t turned off clipping permissions. 

The YouTube clip feature works by saving a specific portion of a full video, such as an interesting tip the creator has shared. Anyone who’s made the clip can share the link with their friends. Clips can be up to 60 seconds long and are saved to your own clip library, which you can find under the Your Clips tab in the YouTube sidebar. They’re played on a loop, similar to YouTube Shorts.

💥 Start with a bang: 21 inspiring YouTube Intros to learn from 


Image of showing Your clips dashboard in YouTube

How to clip YouTube videos on PC

Step 1. Find the YouTube video you want to clip

First, head to the YouTube website and sign into your account. Find the video that you want to clip either by searching your channel page or filtering videos in your YouTube Studio

Step 2. Start a new clip

YouTube’s clipping feature is automatically turned on for all channels, so once you’ve found the full video you want to clip, go to Menu (which appears as three vertical dots) and choose Clip. Give your snippet a new name—one that’s easy to find when searching your video clip library. 

Image showing the Clip tool in YouTube

Step 3. Drag the sliders

Use the sliders to confirm which part of the video you want to create clips from. There’s a minimum length of 5 seconds and a maximum of 60 seconds. Play around with these timestamps to make sure you don’t cut the video off unintentionally. 

Step 4. Save the YouTube clip 

Confirm the timing settings and press the Share clip button. You’ve got a few options to choose from here:

  • Share the YouTube clip via email 
  • Get a shareable link to share the clip anywhere
  • Embed the YouTube video clip on your website or blog
  • Promote the YouTube clip on other social media platforms (note that this won’t share the actual video—it’ll share a link to divert people back to your YouTube channel)

The Share panel on YouTube media player

Bonus: Create longer clips with Descript

YouTube’s clipping feature allows you to save video clips up to 5-60 seconds in length. If you want to create snippets that are longer than this (like a clip of you live streaming a game, for example), you’ll need a professional video editor like Descript. 

Descript is also the better option if you want to share YouTube clips elsewhere, such as TikTok or Instagram Reels, rather than simply sharing a link to your channel. 

‎How to clip YouTube videos on mobile

Step 1. Use your device’s screen recorder

Unfortunately, YouTube’s clipping tool doesn’t work on mobile. You’ll need an external trimming tool to clip YouTube videos from your smartphone. Luckily, most devices have built-in screen recording features to help you do so. 

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll do this demonstration on an Apple iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Go to Control Center
  3. Drag Screen Recording up to the Included Controls section

If you’re recording on any other device (like a Google Phone or Android device), follow this quickstart guide to enable screen recording

Annotated image showing the process to screen record on iPhone

Step 2. Open the video you want to clip

Next, open the YouTube video you want to clip. It’s easier to do this through the YouTube app, but you can open YouTube in your browser and record from there. 

Step 3. Start screen recording

It’s now time to start clipping. Scrub to the section of the video you want to record, then drag down from the bottom of your screen to find the screen recording button. Remember to turn on Do Not Disturb so that your video clip isn’t interrupted by notifications.

Annotated image of user turning on Microphone on iPhone

Once you’ve finished recording your clip, press the End recording button. This will look different on every device, but on iPhone, it’s the red timing button in the top right corner. 

Step 4. Rewatch the YouTube video clip 

Most smartphone operating systems save screen recordings to the device’s Photos app. To find yours, go to Photos and filter by videos (though it should be the most recent file). From here, you can watch it later, edit, or share your clipped YouTube video. 

--poster_start--

👀 Get more views: How I got 10x YouTube subscribers by adding video to my podcast

--poster_end--


How to trim or clip a YouTube video that is not yours

Step 1. Check whether the creator allows clipping

On YouTube, creators can decide whether they give permission to have their videos clipped. If the original creator has this setting turned on, open the video and go to Menu and select Clip. Drag the sliders to choose which portion of the video you want to clip, give the video a name, then press Share clip.

Creating and sharing a Clip on YouTube

Step 2. Choose a clipping tool

If the creator hasn’t given permission to clip their YouTube video, there is a workaround—but we want to preface this with one thing: only use the video clip for personal use (like saving it to reference in the future). It’s unethical to create clips from a YouTuber who doesn’t want their content to be clipped.

If you’re clipping the video for personal use, find a screen recording tool like Descript. Open a new video project, press the Record button, and start recording your screen as the YouTube video plays.

Image of Descript screen recording dashboard

Step 3. Trim your clipped video

Descript will automatically save your screen recording footage in the dashboard, ready for you to start video editing. Play around with the different features here, such as:

  • Trimming tools to cut down the video 
  • Studio Sound to improve audio quality
  • Captions or subtitles to make the video easier to reference
  • Automated transcript to turn the video into written text 
  • AI Summarizer to condense the content into a simple summary 

How to stop people from clipping your YouTube videos

What happens if you’re on the other side and you’re a content creator who’s posting video content to your own YouTube channel? You can stop from clipping your video, which is useful if you don’t want your content to be repurposed or manipulated by anyone else. 

To prevent people from clipping your own YouTube videos:

  1. Go to your YouTube Studio
  2. Choose Settings from the left-hand sidebar 
  3. Go to Channel
  4. Click Advanced settings
  5. Untick the Allow viewers to clip my content box

User settings in YouTube for clipping permissions

An AI-powered tool to clip YouTube videos effortlessly

YouTube has a wealth of features that make it easier for creators to produce video content. If you want to take your content to the next level and repurpose YouTube videos into shorter clips you can share online, you need Descript.

Descript is the best video editor for modern content creators because it offers:

Thousands of creators are already using Descript’s AI-powered video editor. Join them today by signing up for your free plan.

‎How to clip a YouTube video FAQs

Why can't I trim a YouTube video?

YouTube gives creators control over who can clip their video. If the clipping feature is unavailable, there’s a good chance that the creator disabled others from clipping their video. 

How can I cut a part of a YouTube video?

  1. Go to your YouTube Studio
  2. Select Content from the sidebar 
  3. Choose the video you want to cut
  4. Select Editor
  5. Choose Trim & cut
  6. Drag the timestamps to cut your YouTube video

How do you snip a video?

  1. Download the Descript app 
  2. Start a new video project
  3. Import your footage
  4. Drag the sliders in the project toolbar
  5. Add stickers, transitions, or music
  6. Preview your snipped video
  7. Export and share the video file 

Is there an app to clip YouTube videos?

The Descript app for Mac and Windows allows you to clip YouTube videos. Import your file to start trimming, or use its screen recording features to record a video and edit it in Descript.

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