How to Crop Videos on iPhone

Make movies like a pro on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

A woman on a balcony cropping a video on her iPhone smartphone.

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Crop videos on iOS devices for before sharing them on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media apps.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices running iOS 11 and 12.

What Does Cropping Mean?

Cropping refers to the process of selecting an area within an image or video and deleting everything outside of it. This process almost always results in the changing of the size of the source media, and it can sometimes also affect the aspect ratio. Practical uses for cropping include removing other people from selfies or making a widescreen video square-shaped.

What's the Best Video Cropping App on iPhone?

Several video editors for iOS devices support cropping, but the best is Video Crop because it's free and user-friendly.

How to Crop a Video on iPhone With Video Crop

To crop videos on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Download Video Crop from the App Store.

  2. Open Video Crop on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

  3. Tap the crop icon in the middle of the screen. You'll be presented with a list of all of the video files you've recorded on your iPhone.

  4. Tap the video you want to crop to play it, then tap the checkmark in the top-right corner.

    Selecting a video in Video Crop on an iPhone
  5. Tap and drag one of the corners of the box to begin cropping your video, and tap the center of the box to move it.

    Preset aspect ratios are available along the bottom of the screen if you need a specific size for your video.

  6. Tap the button in the top-right corner to render your cropped video.

  7. Watch your cropped video within the app. If you're happy with it, tap Save to store it to your iPhone, or tap More to share it.

    Saving a cropped video will not overwrite the original.

    Cropping and saving a video in Video Crop for iOS
  8. When you're finished, tap the Home icon in the top-right corner to return to the app's welcome screen.

Is Cropping the Same as Trimming?

The terms cropping and trimming are frequently used interchangeably, but they are technically very different. While cropping changes what you see when looking at a video file, trimming edits the video's length or runtime.

For example, you would trim a video from one minute to 30 seconds, but you would crop a video to make it fill the entire screen when used as an Instagram Story. Trimming makes a video shorter; cropping changes how much of the video you can see at any one time.

Why Should I Crop a Video?

There are several reasons you may want to consider cropping a video on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad:

  • To remove an object or person. If you've filmed an amazing video, but there's someone in the background who's ruining the shot, you can simply crop them out as you would with a photo.
  • To optimize the video for social media feeds. Many people choose to crop their widescreen videos into a square aspect ratio before sharing on social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook. That's because square videos appear larger in social media feeds and are therefore more visible on small screens.
  • To optimize for Instagram Stories. Widescreen videos either appear very small in Instagram Stories or focus exclusively on the middle of the screen when zoomed in. Cropping a video before uploading it to Instagram can ensure the video focuses on what you want it to.

Why Should I Crop a Video on iPhone?

Assuming you've recorded and saved the video on your iPhone, cropping a video on an iPhone is much more convenient and time efficient than transferring it to a computer for editing. Video editing apps on iOS devices are also easier to use, and they feature significantly streamlined export options that require very little technical know-how.

While it's easier to edit an iPhone video on an iPhone, you can always send it to another device and edit it there. Most video editing apps support iPhone videos.