How to Use Apple's Clips App

Make a short video from new or existing videos and photos

With the Clips app from Apple, a free download for iOS and iPadOS in the Apple App Store, you can create short video projects from photos and videos in the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad. You can also record a new video and take photos from the Clips app. Overlay graphics and add effects to make the video fun and give it a polished look. We show you how.

The instructions in this article apply to iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, although the basics are the same in Clips on iOS 12 and iOS 11.

How to Record Video in the Clips App

When you open Clips, you see what the front-facing camera on your iPhone or iPad sees: your smiling face, which is perfect for selfies. If you want to record a video using the rear-facing camera, tap the icon that looks like two arrows forming a circle at the top of the screen (on an iPad) or above the Record icon (on an iPhone).

To record a video in Clips, complete the following steps:

Each compilation of videos and photos in Clips is called a project. You can have only one project open at a time. As you add content to a project, the list of clips grows in a timeline at the bottom of the screen. If you stop working on a project, you can open it later when you're ready.

  1. Open the Clips app.

  2. To start a new project, tap the Folder icon, and then tap Create New.

    To open an existing project, tap the Folder icon, tap the project's thumbnail image, and then tap Open.

  3. To record a video, tap and hold the red Record icon. Release Record to stop recording. As you record video clips, a thumbnail image (called a clip) appears for each recording session on the timeline at the bottom of the screen.

    The Clips app for iPhone
  4. Add video clips by tapping and holding Record.

  5. Watch a recorded clip by tapping the clip in the timeline, and then tapping Play.

How to Take Photos for Your Clips Project

You can take a photo within the Clips app and add it to your project. To do so, complete these steps:

  1. Tap and hold the white Shutter icon until a clip of the image appears in the timeline.

    The Shutter icon is above the Record icon on an iPhone and in the lower-right corner of the image on an iPad.

  2. Add another photo by tapping Redo twice: once to frame the image and a second time to take the picture.

    The Clips app for iPhone

How to Add Photos From the Photos Library to Clips

You can also add photos or videos from the Photos app to a project. To do so, complete the following steps:

  1. In Clips, tap the Library tab.

    Library is one of four tabs above the Record icon: Scenes, Camera, Library, and Posters.

  2. Scroll to the image or video you want to add to the Clips project, and then tap it.

  3. Tap and hold Record until the thumbnail of the photo appears in the timeline.

    The Clips app for iPhone

How to Play and Manipulate Clips

You can play, move, duplicate, split, and delete clips in the Clips app. Here's how.

To Play a Clip

The most recent clip you added or recorded appears on the right side of the timeline. To play the clips in sequence, tap Play. If there are too many clips to fit on the screen, swipe left or right to view all the clips.

To Move a Clip

To move a clip, tap and hold the clip, and then move it to the left or right. As you move the clip, other clips move aside so that you can place your clip in the desired location. When you move the clip to the left, the clip appears earlier in the project video; a clip moved to the right appears later in the video.

To Duplicate a Clip

If you want to use the same clip more than once in a video, use the Duplicate feature. Duplicate enables you to make a copy of a clip in your timeline—with all its effects. To make a copy of a clip, tap the clip in the timeline, and then tap Duplicate.

To Split a Clip

If you want to apply more than one effect to a single clip (for example, text that appears at the beginning of the clip and disappears by the end), split the clip in two. To do so, tap the clip in the timeline, and then tap Split.

To Trim a Clip

The Trim feature enables you to reduce the length of a video. To trim a clip, tap it in the timeline, tap Trim, and then adjust the vertical Trim control to cut frames from the beginning or end of the video. When you're done, tap Trim.

To Delete a Clip

To delete a clip, tap the clip to select it. Tap the Trash can icon, and then tap Delete Clip. If you decide against deleting the clip, tap Cancel to close the clip editing area.

The Clips app for iPhone

How to Add Effects to Clips

Tap any clip in the timeline and select the Effects icon, which looks like a multicolored star. Now, you can edit clips in your project. Listed below the viewer are five categories of effects:

  • Animoji: To add an Animoji, select Effects while taking a video or photo of yourself. (Animoji works only with the front-facing camera.)
  • Filters: Add one of the many filters to a clip.
  • Text: Add an editable text image to a photo or video.
  • Stickers: Add a cartoon image or shape (such as a star or Minnie Mouse) on top of a photo or video.
  • Emoji: Select an emoji to add on top of a photo or video.
The Clips app for iPhone

When you're finished adding effects, tap X to save the effects to the clip.

How to Share a Clips Project

Your Clips video is saved in the Clips app, and you have many options for sharing it.

To share a project in Clips, open the project you want to share, and then tap the Share icon at the bottom of the screen (it resembles a box with an up arrow). Then, scroll down to review the sharing options:

  • Share your project by using AirDrop, in a text message, or as an email attachment to anyone on the top row of options.
  • In the second row of options, swipe to the left or right to view all the icons, and then tap the app icon to send the video to that app. If you don't see the app you want to use, such as Facebook, tap More to view additional sharing options.
  • From the list, select an option to export the project, save the video, add the video to a shared album, or save it to your device's Files folder. For example, if you select Save Video, the video is saved to the Photos library.
The Clips app for iPhone

Additional Features in Clips

Other features in the Clips app include applying Live Titles or selecting posters to include in your timelines. Selfie scenes are available on iPhone X and later and iPad Pro 2018 and later. Each scene is a 360-degree background graphic of animated landscapes, famous movie scenes, and abstract art.

Posters and Selfie Scenes in Clips app

Starting with iPadOS 13.4, Clips 2.1.1 and later also supports peripheral devices on iPad, such as Bluetooth keyboards and trackpads.