Crop videos on iPhone or iPad with iMovie and Photos app

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  • There are three simple ways to crop a video on your iPhone or iPad.
  • You can use the Photos app if your iPhone is running iOS 13 or later, or use iMovie if you aren’t running iOS 13. You can also use a third-party app to crop videos on your iPhone.
  • To restore a cropped video back to its original version, use the Revert tool in the Photos app.

Cropping is the process of choosing a section within an image or video and deleting every other part of it. One thing to note is that cropping is not the same as trimming; we’ll explain the difference later in this article.

The process of cropping will always result in modifying the original image or video, such as changing the size or aspect ratio.

Some practical uses of cropping include removing yourself or a friend from a group selfie or removing an unwanted portion from a video, such as an object in the background that ruins the video. Other reasons are optimizing for social media before sharing on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, but whatever the reason may be — cropping a video using an iPhone is very easy to do because of the fantastic Apple camera.

If you are a fervent video maker or content creator, that means you make a lot of videos. That also means you crop and edit videos a lot — which demands knowing how to do some editing tasks, including cropping.

This article will guide you through multiple methods you can use to crop your videos, including a simple third-party app.

Photos app (iOS 13 or later)

Note that you can’t use the Camera app on the iPhone to crop videos as you’re filming them. However, if you are running iOS 13 or later, you can crop them after they’ve been filmed using the Photos app. If you aren’t running iOS 13 on your iPhone or iPad, see below how to crop using iMovie.

In iOS 13, Apple implemented built-in video cropping capabilities on the iPhone and iPad. The process is the same as cropping photos using the Photos app. If you’ve used the Photos app on your iPhone to crop a picture before, then the steps below will be familiar and quick to understand.

  1. Launch the Photos app.
  2. On the “Albums tab,” scroll down to the “Media Types” section and tap Videos.
  3. Select the video you wish to crop.
  4. Tap Edit in the top-right corner of the screen.
  5. Tap the Crop button at the bottom of the Edit screen. It’s shaped like a square with two arrows encircling it.
  6. Tap and hold the ‘border handles’ on the edges of the video. Then begin to remove the unwanted areas of the video or drag inwards from any corner to your desired point.
  7. Tap Done in the bottom right to save your changes. Your cropped video is now saved. However, if you later found out you made some mistakes or you want to restore the original video for whatever reason. No worries, because saving a cropped video does not replace the original. Simply tap Edit and tap Revert in the bottom-right of the Edit screen — the original video before it was cropped will be restored.


You can easily use the Photos app method above to crop your videos on iPhone, but if you aren’t running iOS 13 or later, you’ll need to use one of the best alternatives to the Photos app, which is iMovie.

iMovie is a native iOS app that makes it easy to crop and edit videos on any Apple device, including the iPhone and iPad. It’s usually pre-installed. If it’s not on your iPhone, you can download it from the App store.

Once iMovie is downloaded, here’s how to crop a video using it:

  1. Launch iMovie on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Projects and tap the plus sign.
  3. Tap Movie.
  4. Select the video you wish to crop, and then tap Create Movie at the bottom of the screen. Your screen will be divided into three sections.
  5. Tap the video that appears on the timeline section in the bottom-left of the screen.
  6. Tap on the Zoom icon (displaying as a small magnifying glass) in the top-right of the screen.
  7. You can now use your thumb to pinch-zoom in and out of the video (you’re effectively cropping the video by doing this).
  8. Press the play button to preview the video.
  9. When you’re satisfied with the results, tap Done in the top-left of your screen.
  10. To save your newly cropped video, tap the ‘Action’ (Share) icon at the bottom of your screen (it’s shaped like a square with an arrow icon pointing vertically out of it).
  11. Finally, tap Save Video, to save the video to your Camera Roll.
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One advantage iMovie has over the Photos app is that it still retains the original aspect ratio of your video even after cropping the video.

Free Video Crop app

There is yet another way to crop a video on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, by using third-party apps. But the most downloaded and popular, also reputed to be the best video cropping app for iPhone is Video Crop; it’s easy to use and above all free.

You can download Video Crop from the App Store. Here’s how to crop a video using it:

  1. Launch Video Crop on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Tap the crop icon in the middle of the screen. You will be presented with video files you’ve recorded on your iPhone.
  3. Tap the video you wish to crop to play it, then tap the white checkmark in the top-right of the screen.
  4. Tap and hold one of the corners edges of the video and drag it to begin cropping according to how you want it. Do the same to the other corner edge of the video, if desired. You can also tap the center of the video box to move it, if necessary.
  5. Once you finished cropping the video, tap the Download symbol located in the top-right of the screen. Watch the cropped video within the app.
  6. If you are satisfied with your cropped video, tap Save to save it to your iPhone. Tap More if you wish to share the cropped video to other platforms such as social media.
  7. When you’re done, tap the Home icon in the top-right of the screen. You’ll be returned to Video Crop welcome page.

The Video Crop app is also handy if you need a particular size for the video. You can preset specific aspect ratios, such as the ratio accepted for uploading to Instagram. The app lets you perform editing tasks using the functions available at the bottom of the screen.

Cropping is different from trimming

Although often used interchangeably, cropping and trimming are two different tasks. Cropping on iPhone or any device involves selecting a section within a video and removing everything outside it. While trimming involves editing or shortening a video runtime or length, usually at the beginning or the end.

In summary, cropping changes what’s in a video from its original file, while trimming makes a video shorter.

How to crop video on iPhone FAQs

Answer to related questions people also ask:

How do you edit iPhone videos?

Apple’s free iMovie app lets you combine multiple videos on your iPhone into a single video file. With iMovie, you can add transitions to the file and export your final video all on your iPhone.

Can you resize a video on iPhone?

iPhone users can easily adjust and resize videos by using the Photos app or a third-party app like Video Crop.

How can I send a 5, 10, 20-minute video from my iPhone?

You can send a large video from iPhone by using two main methods: iCloud and AirDrop.

To use iCloud: Open the Photos app and tap the video you want to send > tap the share icon > tap Mail > you’ll be taken to a Mail compose page with your video attached automatically and added to the bottom of the message > tap Send.

To use AirDrop: Tap Settings > General > AirDrop > Contacts only or Everyone > locate video and tap recipient to send.

Is iMovie free on iPhone?

iMovie is free and easy to use on iPhone. Just click to download and install on your iOS device or Mac.

What is the best free video editing app for iPhone?

Apple’s iMovie is easily the best free video editing app for iPhone, without a doubt. It has an easy-to-use interface and delivers impressive performance for creating quality videos.

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