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Reversing your videos to make them play backward isn’t just a novelty. When the technique is done right, it can take your videos to a whole new level.
For the most part, we’re not talking about publishing an entire video backward. Instead, we’re suggesting that you get creative and apply reversed clips when it makes sense for your content.
Your imagination is your only limitation when it comes to ways to use this feature, but here are some fun ideas to inspire you:
Lately, there’s been an increasing interest in learning how to put TikToks in reverse, but as you’ll see, that’s just one application. The possibilities are endless!
The best tool to reverse video is going to depend on your budget, skill level, and your device. Whether you’ve got a PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android, we’ll give you the best options to try at every price.
For a quick and easy solution, Kapwing’s online video reverser gets the job done in seconds flat.
Step 1: Upload an existing video or paste a URL from an external source like YouTube.
Step 2: Select whether you’d like to slow down the video, speed it up, or leave the speed as is. You also have the option to mute the sound.
Step 3: Trim the video if you’d only like to reverse a section instead of the entire clip. Otherwise, skip this step.
Step 4: Click the Create button at the bottom left of the screen and wait for your reverse video to be processed.
Kapwing has a free version of the tool if you’re a lite user, but if you use the free version, all of your content is public.
If you’ve got a PC and looking for a more professional-grade tool that’s fast and easy to use, then PowerDirector Essential is going to be your new best friend.
Step 1: Left click on the clip you’d like to reverse to make sure it is active.
Step 2: Select Tools > Video in Reverse.
iMovie is Mac’s answer to a free video editing program, and, fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to use. The biggest challenge is knowing where all the features are hidden, and it’s not obvious where the option to reverse video is, so we’ll show you.
Step 1: Select the clip you’d like to use in your editing timeline. If you haven’t added the clip yet, you’ll want to drag it from your project workspace.
Step 2: Click on the icon above your clip that looks like a speedometer.
Step 3: Select the Reverse option.
Whether you’re a professional, enthusiast, or casual hobbyist, CyberLink’s PowerDirector offers high-end performance and video editing precision at an accessible price point. Unlike some of the other tools we share, PowerDirector gives you complete control and lets you adjust playback speed, audio, and more.
Because PowerDirector is so powerful (as the name suggests), there’s an alternate way to reverse video that opens up some new features that most users aren’t familiar with.
Here’s another way to reverse videos in PowerDirector:
Step 1: Select the clip that you’d like to reverse in your timeline.
Step 2: Select Tools > Action Camera Center.
Step 3: Click Create Time Shift.
Step 4: Check to see that the yellow outline is covering the area you’d like to reverse. If it’s not, simply drag the border to the edge of the clip.
Step 5: Select Apply Replay and Reverse.
Step 6: Select Add Reverse Effect.
This method gives you the fun effect of playing the video in its original order, and then it plays in reverse immediately after. That is one of the several ways you can play with the reverse effect in PowerDirector.
If you’re editing video on the go, then being able to access features without being in front of a Mac or PC is useful.
Unfortunately, the iMovie app that’s native to iOS devices doesn’t have a reverse video feature built-in, so you’ll have to download a third-party app.
There are several apps to choose from, but the simplest and most streamlined for mobile device use is the PowerDirector App, which is available for free in the app store.
Unlike other smartphone video editing apps, PowerDirector for iOS doesn’t skimp on features and functionality. Included with the reverse function, video editors also have access to other speed and control features that you’d find in premium software for desktop workstations.
Step 1: Start a new project.
Step 2: Select a clip from your library that you’d like to edit.
Step 3: You can shorten the clip if you’d like to select only the portion you’d like to reverse. Then, click the pencil icon to the left and select Reverse.
It’s literally that easy!
Having the option to edit everything on your phone is pretty powerful, and CyberLink’s PowerDirector does the same on Android, too!
To put your videos in reverse on your Android phone, you can grab the PowerDirector App for free from the app store and follow the same steps as the iOS version listed above!
Reverse your videos on Android, iOS and much more! Put the complete power of editing in the palm of your hand, regardless of what device you use.
If you’re looking to get a little more control over your reverse video playback, you can do a lot more with PowerDirector’s speed controls and keyframes. Check out some of the other ways you can adjust your playback speed in the videos below and be sure to check out our article on slow-motion and speed ramping.
Across each of the video editing platforms we shared, the process of putting clips in reverse in order to be able to play video backward is surprisingly straightforward. We encourage you to experiment, play, and utilize this sometimes hidden feature to its fullest. Happy editing!
If you're an aspiring editor looking to create cool videos, head on over to our complete guide on video editing effects. We've also got other great articles in our blog that'll introduce you to all the tools you need to enhance your portfolio.