December 14, 2023

How to crop a video on iPhone: A complete guide

Learn how to crop a video on your iPhone so you can remove distractions and package your video for specific social media platforms.
December 14, 2023

How to crop a video on iPhone: A complete guide

Learn how to crop a video on your iPhone so you can remove distractions and package your video for specific social media platforms.
December 14, 2023
Elsier Otachi
In this article
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Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
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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
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

You just recorded an Instagram story at the park and you’re ready to publish it. 

Not so fast. Upon review, you notice a guy doing pilates in the far background. That’s distracting, and might tempt you to shoot your footage all over again. Fortunately, with video editing tools, you don't need to. 

Cropping a video zooms in on a segment of the video frame you want viewers to focus on. You can also use a cropped video as part of a scene transition to craft the perfect story. 

There are a few ways to crop iPhone videos: two involve free apps already installed on your device. The other involves a third-party app (surprise, it's Descript!) to get the job done.

Two ways to crop videos on an iPhone

Multiple options come baked into the Photos app, depending on how you want to crop your video. While they won't match the power of the best video editing software out there, they’re still great for adjusting your clips on the fly. 

The following sections will walk you through how to crop videos on an iPhone using the Photos app and iMovie with just a few taps.  

How to crop a video on iPhone with the Photos app

Apple Photos app is a native tool found on iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices designed for finding and viewing your photos and videos. You can trim, slow-mo, rotate, and crop a video in the Photos app (iOS 13 or later) in a few easy steps. Here’s how.

Step 1. Open the Photos app and tap the “Edit” button

Tap the Photos app to open it, then navigate to and select the thumbnail of the video file you want to crop.

Image of an iPhone Photos album with video selected

Next, tap Edit at the top right corner of the screen. 

Image of Photos screen with Edit button selected

Step 2. Click on the crop icon

Tap the Crop tool at the bottom of the screen. 

Image of user cropping video on iPhone

There are two video cropping options on an iPhone:

  • Crop manually: Selecting this option allows you to drag the edges of the video to enclose the area you want to focus on in your video. Alternatively, you can pinch the video open or closed.
  • Crop to a preset ratio: You can also crop your video to a particular aspect ratio using standard preset options, like square, 5:4, or 16:9. 

If you want to revert to the original video dimensions at any point, just tap More > Revert to Original

Step 3. Adjust rotation and crop your video

Use the rotate or flip icons to make further adjustments and crop your video. For example, you can rotate your video 90 degrees, or flip it horizontally or vertically. 

Image of user highlighting different rotation options for video

Step 4. Apply filters and save

With the desired area in focus, it’s time to add some magic to your video. Photos app comes with a variety of filters, like dramatic, vivid, silvertone, or mono. 

Tap the Filters icon, then use the slider bars to adjust the filter’s intensity.

Selecting filters options for video in Photos app

Tap Done in the bottom right corner to save your edits. You’ll find the cropped video in your iPhone’s camera roll.

Image of final cropped video in Photos app

If you don’t like the result, tap Cancel > Discard Changes.

Choosing the discard changes option in Photos app

How to crop a video on iPhone with iMovie

iMovie is a free video editing app for Apple devices designed for creating memorable, cinema-quality videos that will impress and engage your audience. You can easily edit videos on the fly to crop the portion you want, then add music, titles, captions, transitions, and other effects for stunning results. 

Step 1. Install the iMovie app

Download iMovie from the App Store and install it on your iPhone. 

Step 2. Create a new project

Tap iMovie to open it, then tap Start new project

Starting a new project in iMovie app on iPhone

Select Movie to create a new project. 

Selecting the new movie option in iMovie

Tap the checkbox next to the video clip you want to crop, and tap Create movie to upload it to the iMovie editor.

Step 3. Position, resize, and crop your video

Technically, there’s no cropping feature in iMovie. Instead, you’ll need to pinch and zoom to get your desired result. Tap the video in the iMovie timeline. A yellow highlight will appear around the clip indicating it’s in editing mode. 

Next, tap the Zoom tool (looks like a magnifying glass) at the top right side of the screen. Then, pinch-zoom in or out to crop the video to your desired result.

Cropping a video on iMovie

Step 4. Export your cropped video

Tap Done and preview your cropped video. If you like the result, save your video or tap Share to export it to your preferred destination.

How to crop an iPhone video with Descript

Descript is an all-in-one audio and video editing hub that offers a simple, user-friendly editor with a wide range of features for creating, editing, and cropping videos in seconds. 

You can easily upload a video recorded on your iPhone and crop it with Descript. Then, edit with features like green screen, color balance, transitions, and overlays to spruce up your video for social media.

Here’s how to crop a video in Descript.

Step 1. Upload or record a video.

Download and install Descript on your Windows or Mac computer — or just use the browser version. Launch the app then select New > Video project

Creating a new video project in Descript

You can record a new video or upload a pre-recorded one by dragging it into the editor. If you use iCloud, you can find all of the photos on your device by heading to iCloud.com and signing in.

Step 2. Crop and adjust your video.

Select the Crop tool or right-click your video file and click Crop.

Adjusting Crop settings in Descript 

Click Done to save your changes.

Clicking the Done button in Descript to accept crop changes

Select the Aspect ratio icon and choose a setting from one of the preset options (Square, Portrait, or Landscape) or manually adjust the crop frame.

Adjusting aspect ratio in Descript dashboard

You can also select a custom dimension, video resolution, and frame rate for your cropped video under Advanced options. 

image

Step 3. Enhance your video with effects, transitions, or music.

Next, enhance your video content with the many video editing techniques available in Descript. For example, you can:

  • Trim out parts of the video to shorten it or focus on key elements. 
  • Rearrange the flow and adjust the color balance.
  • Add or change the background of your video. 
  • Add royalty free background music and text overlays
  • Use AI Voices to generate voiceovers or dubbing. 

Step 4. Save, export, or publish your video.

Click Publish to export the clip to your destination folder on your computer or publish the clip directly to YouTube or Wistia.

Exporting a cropped video from Descript

Take your video editing game to the next level

iMovie, Photos, and other third-party apps for iOS devices make decent video editors for beginners. However, if you want to crop and edit videos like a pro while maintaining quality, you'll need a dedicated video editing app.

There’s a lot more you can do in Descript, besides using its video cropper. The software also offers AI features, with which you can:

  • Generate human-like speech and edit audio.
  • Add chapter markers to your YouTube videos.
  • Get short promotional copy for social media posts.
  • Generate compelling YouTube descriptions or scripts and podcast show notes.

You can use Descript for free and enjoy its automatic transcription and text-based editing tools, making it useful for all your content creation needs. 

Take a free tour today and see why thousands of marketers rely on Descript to create world-class marketing videos.  

How to crop video on iPhone FAQs

How do I make a video smaller on my iPhone?

You can make a video smaller on an iPhone using a third-party app. For best results, use Descript’s online video compressor.

  1. Upload the video you want to compress
  2. Choose a compression method and file type
  3. Download the compressed video file

How to crop videos while maintaining quality?

To crop a video and still keep the same high quality, you’ll need a tool like Descript. The editing tool crops and resizes your video while maintaining the original video’s quality and aspect ratio.

What is the best app to trim and crop videos?

Descript is the best app to crop and trim videos. Simply upload your video or record a new clip, select the cropping tool, and adjust your video’s aspect ratio and dimensions in seconds. Then export or publish to YouTube or Wistia.

Elsier Otachi
Elsier is a freelance SaaS and eCommerce writer. When she’s not hard at work, she's reading, listening to music, or spending time with family.
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How to crop a video on iPhone: A complete guide

image of girl smiling on phone and light blue background

You just recorded an Instagram story at the park and you’re ready to publish it. 

Not so fast. Upon review, you notice a guy doing pilates in the far background. That’s distracting, and might tempt you to shoot your footage all over again. Fortunately, with video editing tools, you don't need to. 

Cropping a video zooms in on a segment of the video frame you want viewers to focus on. You can also use a cropped video as part of a scene transition to craft the perfect story. 

There are a few ways to crop iPhone videos: two involve free apps already installed on your device. The other involves a third-party app (surprise, it's Descript!) to get the job done.

An audio/video editor that includes transcription, screen recording, and publishing.
Check out our useful, powerful tools.

Two ways to crop videos on an iPhone

Multiple options come baked into the Photos app, depending on how you want to crop your video. While they won't match the power of the best video editing software out there, they’re still great for adjusting your clips on the fly. 

The following sections will walk you through how to crop videos on an iPhone using the Photos app and iMovie with just a few taps.  

How to crop a video on iPhone with the Photos app

Apple Photos app is a native tool found on iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices designed for finding and viewing your photos and videos. You can trim, slow-mo, rotate, and crop a video in the Photos app (iOS 13 or later) in a few easy steps. Here’s how.

Step 1. Open the Photos app and tap the “Edit” button

Tap the Photos app to open it, then navigate to and select the thumbnail of the video file you want to crop.

Image of an iPhone Photos album with video selected

Next, tap Edit at the top right corner of the screen. 

Image of Photos screen with Edit button selected

Step 2. Click on the crop icon

Tap the Crop tool at the bottom of the screen. 

Image of user cropping video on iPhone

There are two video cropping options on an iPhone:

  • Crop manually: Selecting this option allows you to drag the edges of the video to enclose the area you want to focus on in your video. Alternatively, you can pinch the video open or closed.
  • Crop to a preset ratio: You can also crop your video to a particular aspect ratio using standard preset options, like square, 5:4, or 16:9. 

If you want to revert to the original video dimensions at any point, just tap More > Revert to Original

Step 3. Adjust rotation and crop your video

Use the rotate or flip icons to make further adjustments and crop your video. For example, you can rotate your video 90 degrees, or flip it horizontally or vertically. 

Image of user highlighting different rotation options for video

Step 4. Apply filters and save

With the desired area in focus, it’s time to add some magic to your video. Photos app comes with a variety of filters, like dramatic, vivid, silvertone, or mono. 

Tap the Filters icon, then use the slider bars to adjust the filter’s intensity.

Selecting filters options for video in Photos app

Tap Done in the bottom right corner to save your edits. You’ll find the cropped video in your iPhone’s camera roll.

Image of final cropped video in Photos app

If you don’t like the result, tap Cancel > Discard Changes.

Choosing the discard changes option in Photos app

How to crop a video on iPhone with iMovie

iMovie is a free video editing app for Apple devices designed for creating memorable, cinema-quality videos that will impress and engage your audience. You can easily edit videos on the fly to crop the portion you want, then add music, titles, captions, transitions, and other effects for stunning results. 

Step 1. Install the iMovie app

Download iMovie from the App Store and install it on your iPhone. 

Step 2. Create a new project

Tap iMovie to open it, then tap Start new project

Starting a new project in iMovie app on iPhone

Select Movie to create a new project. 

Selecting the new movie option in iMovie

Tap the checkbox next to the video clip you want to crop, and tap Create movie to upload it to the iMovie editor.

Step 3. Position, resize, and crop your video

Technically, there’s no cropping feature in iMovie. Instead, you’ll need to pinch and zoom to get your desired result. Tap the video in the iMovie timeline. A yellow highlight will appear around the clip indicating it’s in editing mode. 

Next, tap the Zoom tool (looks like a magnifying glass) at the top right side of the screen. Then, pinch-zoom in or out to crop the video to your desired result.

Cropping a video on iMovie

Step 4. Export your cropped video

Tap Done and preview your cropped video. If you like the result, save your video or tap Share to export it to your preferred destination.

How to crop an iPhone video with Descript

Descript is an all-in-one audio and video editing hub that offers a simple, user-friendly editor with a wide range of features for creating, editing, and cropping videos in seconds. 

You can easily upload a video recorded on your iPhone and crop it with Descript. Then, edit with features like green screen, color balance, transitions, and overlays to spruce up your video for social media.

Here’s how to crop a video in Descript.

Step 1. Upload or record a video.

Download and install Descript on your Windows or Mac computer — or just use the browser version. Launch the app then select New > Video project

Creating a new video project in Descript

You can record a new video or upload a pre-recorded one by dragging it into the editor. If you use iCloud, you can find all of the photos on your device by heading to iCloud.com and signing in.

Step 2. Crop and adjust your video.

Select the Crop tool or right-click your video file and click Crop.

Adjusting Crop settings in Descript 

Click Done to save your changes.

Clicking the Done button in Descript to accept crop changes

Select the Aspect ratio icon and choose a setting from one of the preset options (Square, Portrait, or Landscape) or manually adjust the crop frame.

Adjusting aspect ratio in Descript dashboard

You can also select a custom dimension, video resolution, and frame rate for your cropped video under Advanced options. 

image

Step 3. Enhance your video with effects, transitions, or music.

Next, enhance your video content with the many video editing techniques available in Descript. For example, you can:

  • Trim out parts of the video to shorten it or focus on key elements. 
  • Rearrange the flow and adjust the color balance.
  • Add or change the background of your video. 
  • Add royalty free background music and text overlays
  • Use AI Voices to generate voiceovers or dubbing. 

Step 4. Save, export, or publish your video.

Click Publish to export the clip to your destination folder on your computer or publish the clip directly to YouTube or Wistia.

Exporting a cropped video from Descript

Take your video editing game to the next level

iMovie, Photos, and other third-party apps for iOS devices make decent video editors for beginners. However, if you want to crop and edit videos like a pro while maintaining quality, you'll need a dedicated video editing app.

There’s a lot more you can do in Descript, besides using its video cropper. The software also offers AI features, with which you can:

  • Generate human-like speech and edit audio.
  • Add chapter markers to your YouTube videos.
  • Get short promotional copy for social media posts.
  • Generate compelling YouTube descriptions or scripts and podcast show notes.

You can use Descript for free and enjoy its automatic transcription and text-based editing tools, making it useful for all your content creation needs. 

Take a free tour today and see why thousands of marketers rely on Descript to create world-class marketing videos.  

How to crop video on iPhone FAQs

How do I make a video smaller on my iPhone?

You can make a video smaller on an iPhone using a third-party app. For best results, use Descript’s online video compressor.

  1. Upload the video you want to compress
  2. Choose a compression method and file type
  3. Download the compressed video file

How to crop videos while maintaining quality?

To crop a video and still keep the same high quality, you’ll need a tool like Descript. The editing tool crops and resizes your video while maintaining the original video’s quality and aspect ratio.

What is the best app to trim and crop videos?

Descript is the best app to crop and trim videos. Simply upload your video or record a new clip, select the cropping tool, and adjust your video’s aspect ratio and dimensions in seconds. Then export or publish to YouTube or Wistia.

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