How to Use Apple's Clips App

Make a short video from new or existing videos and photos

What to Know

  • Record videos: Projects > Create New. Take photos: Tap shutter > tap and hold Record to add to timeline, or X to discard. 
  • Add media to project: Tap Library icon > Tap image or video > Hold Record for as long as you want photo or video to appear.
  • Add effects: Tap Effects (star) > record selfie Scenes, add Music, Filters, Text, Stickers, Split screens, Emojis, and Live Titles.

This article explains how to use Apple's Clips app to create video projects using your device's camera or the Clips app.

Apple's free Clips app is a great tool for creating short-form videos, slideshows, school projects, and more. It uses photos and videos in your iPhone or iPad's Photos app or new videos and photos taken directly with Clips. Here's a look at how Clips works, its features, and what's new with Clips version 3.0.

Clips works with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices and requires iOS 14.0 or later. Some features require an iPhone X or later.

Record a video on your iPhone, then edit it with Clips
Getty Images

What Is Clips?

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, download Clips from the App Store and start creating shareable movies, called projects. Clips is easy to use, even for people with no video editing experience. It's a great way for kids to make creative or school projects.

It's easy to export Clips videos. There's no built-in social media integration, so parents can feel more in control about how the video is shared.

Record videos with the app's easy-to-use interface, and then add photos and videos from your library. Add filters and animations to your movie, and use your voice to create automatic captions. Add stickers, Memoji, emojis, music, and immersive camera effects. Then, export and send your video to friends and family, or share to Instagram or other social sites.

Selfie scenes are one of the app's most popular features, letting you place yourself in fun scenes and backgrounds.

Clips 3.0 added some long-sought-after features to the app, including the ability to record in different aspect ratios (16:9, 4:3, and square) and recording your video in landscape or portrait orientation. New pop-up special effects include arrows, shapes, stickers, and royalty-free music.

If you have an iPhone 12, record HDR video with the device's rear-facing camera.

How to Record Video in the Clips App

Here's how to record a video with Clips to create your first project.

  1. Open the Clips app on your iOS device.

  2. Tap Projects (looks like stacked folders) in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then tap Create New.

    Open Clips, open a new Project, and Create New
  3. Tap the Set Aspect Ratio icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, then choose either 16:9, 4:3, or Square.

    Tap the Set Aspect Ratio icon from the top right of the screen, choosing between 16:9, 4:3, and Square.
  4. Switch the camera-chooser button from selfie to outward, depending on what you're recording. Tap and hold the red Record button to record a video. Release Record to stop.

    Tap and hold the red Record button to record a video. Release Record to stop.

    If you don't want to hold the Record button, swipe up to lock it, and then tap to stop recording.

  5. To watch the clips you recorded for your project, tap the Play button in the timeline on the bottom of the screen. The clips play in the order you recorded the clips.

    tap the Play button in the timeline on the bottom of the screen

    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.

How to Take Photos for Your Clips Project

You can also take a photo from within the Clips app and add it to your project.

  1. Tap and hold the Shutter icon (white circle) until the image appears on the screen.

  2. Tap the X in the upper-left corner to discard the image, or tap and hold Record to add the selected photo to your timeline.

  3. Tap the X to exit photo mode.

    Take and add photos with the Clips app

How to Add Photos and Videos From Your Library

Continue to add videos and photos to your project with the Clips Record feature, or add photos or videos from the Photos app. New videos and photos appear in the timeline after the previous clip.

Here's how to add existing photos and videos from your library.

  1. Tap the Library icon (looks like two stacked images). You're taken to your photo and video library.

  2. Tap a photo or video.

  3. Tap and hold Record for as long as you want the photo or video to appear in your project. For example, hold for three seconds, and the photo will appear for three seconds in your project. Hold a video for five seconds, and the first five seconds of the video will appear.

  4. You'll see your photo or video in your timeline. Tap the X to exit.

    Add a photo from your Library to Clips

How to Add a Selfie Scene in Clips

Selfie Scenes are a fun feature that lets you immerse yourself in an animated background or scene from an iconic movie in a 360-degree experience. Here's how it works.

You'll need an iPhone X or later or an iPad Pro model from 2018 or later to use this feature because it takes advantage of the TrueDepth camera.

  1. Tap Effects (multicolored star) in the lower-right corner.

  2. Tap the Scenes icon (looks like a green mountain with a yellow dot).

  3. Scroll through the scenes until you find one you like. Tap to select it.

    Choose a Scene to make a Selfie Scene
  4. Position your iOS device in front of your face.

  5. Swipe down on the Scene options box to display the Record button. Tap and hold Record to record and add the Selfie Scene to your project timeline.

    Tap and hold Record to record and add the Selfie Scene to your project's timeline.

How to Add Effects to Clips

Clips has tons of fun effects to play with. Some effects can be added to any photo or video clip in your project, while others are for live video recording. Here's how to add effects to your clips:

Tap Music (musical note) in the upper-right corner of the screen to add music to your project.

  1. Tap to select a clip from your timeline.

  2. Tap Effects (multicolored star) from the bottom menu.

  3. Tap Filters (three colored circles) to add a filter. Scroll through the available filters and then tap a filter to select it.

    Scroll through the available filters and then tap a filter to select it.
  4. Tap Text (big A and little a) to choose from an array of colorful captions for your clip.

    Tap text to add a caption
  5. Tap Stickers (red square) to add a fun sticker. Use your finger to move and place it where you want.

    Tap Stickers to add a sticker to your clip

    To apply more than one effect to a single clip, split the clip in two. Tap the clip in the timeline, and then tap Split.

  6. Tap Emoji (smiley face) to add an emoji to a clip.

    Tap Emoji (smiley face) to add an emoji to a clip.

    If you change your mind, tap and hold the emoji and then select Delete.

  7. To use the Memoji feature when you record a video, tap Effects > Memoji. Tap a Memoji to choose it, and then frame your face in the viewer. Tap and hold Record to record and add your Memoji video to the project.

    Tap a Memoji to record with a fun face
  8. To add live titles to your recording, tap Live Titles (looks like a speech bubble), select a live title style, and then speak while recording to add the text caption to your video.

    To add live titles to your recording, tap Live Titles

How to Play and Manipulate Clips

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

  1. Tap Play to play the clips in sequence.

  2. To move a clip, tap and hold the clip, and then move it to the left or right.

  3. To duplicate a clip, tap the clip and then tap Duplicate (box with a plus sign).

    Play, Move, and Duplicate clips
  4. To delete a clip, tap it and then select Delete (trash can)

  5. To mute a video clip's audio, tap it and then select Mute (horn icon).

  6. To trim the video clip, tap Trim (film icon).

    Delete, mute, or trim any video clips
  7. To save or share the video, tap the Share icon, and then choose from options such as AirDrop, text, email, YouTube, and more, or share to a social media site. Optionally, save the video to your library.

    Share and save your Clips video
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