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How to Crop a Video on Windows 10 & 11 PC for Beginners

Last Updated on Sep. 23, 2022 – by David Morgan
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How to Crop a Video for Free

You’ve just shot the perfect video for Instagram Reels, that is sure to go viral. But when you try to post it, you realize the aspect ratio is landscape, not portrait. Instagram keeps automatically cropping your video to fit, but the best part of the video has been cut away! If only you knew how to crop a video yourself, you could save that important footage.

Or maybe you have another perfect video - except for one tiny thing in the corner of the shot that ruins the whole thing. Like the time you filmed your baby’s first steps and only noticed later all your undergarments were drying on a hanger above his head.

Luckily, these problems can be solved by learning how to crop a video - an editing technique where you move or adjust the video frame. This article will teach you how to crop a video on your Windows 10 or 11 PC with a beginner-friendly video cropper.


What is the Difference Between Crop, Trim, and Split?

Before you can learn how to crop a video, you need to understand what cropping a video means and how it differs from trimming or splitting a video. While cropping a video simply changes the shape of what the viewer sees on screen, trimming and splitting actually change the content of the video. Here’s a detailed look at all three:

Crop

Cropping changes the orientation, framing, and/or aspect ratio of the video. Maybe you filmed from too far away and your subject looks small. Or maybe you filmed an interview and left too much headroom above the speaker. These issues can be fixed by cropping out the excess, allowing your subject to better fill the shot.

Aesthetics are not the only reason to learn how to crop a video. If you have ever tried posting a video to social media, you’ll know that every site has a specific aspect ratio and orientation for videos. If you post your video as-is, the site will crop your video automatically, and you might lose important visual information. Cropping your video to the correct size before posting it to the site will give you more control over the end result.

Trim

Trimming a video means shortening the video length by cutting off parts of the clip’s beginning or ending. For example, if your dog is doing something hilarious in his sleep, he will inevitably stop the second you hit record and try to capture it. You leave the video recording hoping he’ll do it again, and he finally does after 2 minutes. You aren’t going to post 2 full minutes of your dog simply sleeping, so you trim 1 minute and 57 seconds off the beginning.

Split

While trimming happens at the beginning and end of a clip, splitting happens in the middle. Splitting turns one video clip into 2 so you can cut out a chunk in the middle, or so you can insert another clip in between. For instance, if you filmed 3 minutes of a doctor explaining a diagnosis to a patient, you would split that video at least 2 or three times to put in reaction shots of the person receiving the news.

Best Video Cropper

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PowerDirector

PowerDirector is a beginner-friendly video cropper and full video editing suite. It is the best way to learn how to crop a video because it offers multiple ways to crop. So whether you are a novice editor who likes a one-click fix, or a more seasoned pro who likes to make precise manual adjustments, PowerDirector has you covered.

Click the button below to download PowerDirector for free today and learn the basics of video editing from an easy-to-use and feature-packed program.

How to Crop a Video on Windows 10 & 11 PC for Beginners

The simplest way to learn how to crop a video on your desktop is by using the PowerDirector video editor.

Download it for free by clicking below and follow along:


  1. Add the video you would like to crop onto the editing timeline.
  2. Click on Tools, then Crop/Zoom/Pan from the drop-down menu.
  3. PowerDirector - crop tools
  4. Crop the video using one of the options outlined below and click Done.
  5. PowerDirector - Crop Video

There are 3 different ways to crop video with PowerDirector.

Option 1: Place the cursor on a corner of the video and move the cropping box in or out, then click in the middle to move the box to the desired location on the screen.

Option 2: Use the slider or up and down buttons next to Height and Width to change the size of the cropping box. Then use the up and down buttons next to X and Y to change the location of the cropping box.

Option 3: Choose a pre-determined Aspect Ratio from the drop-down list.

How to Crop a Video on Mac

Mac users can also crop videos using the PowerDirector video cropper. Download PowerDirector for Mac below and follow these steps to learn how to crop a video:

  1. Add the video you would like to crop onto the editing timeline.
  2. Click on Tools, then Crop/Zoom/Pan from the drop-down menu.
  3. Crop the video using one of the options outlined above and click Done.

Tips on How to Crop a Video

Tip 1: Remember composition rules.

Learning how to crop a video is no different from cropping an image, so remember the rules of composition and allow things like headspace and negative space. If you want to crop out a person or object but doing so is ruining the look of your video, you'll have to decide if cropping is worth it.

Tip 2: Don't crop too much.

The more you have to crop, the worse the video quality. The video will look grainy if you have to zoom in on a small object. Don’t shoot a video without a thought for proper framing, assuming you will fix it later. Instead, try to get the video close to perfect the first time.

Tip 3: Know your Aspect Ratio and Orientation before you crop.

If you plan to post your video on a social media site, make sure you know the accepted aspect ratio for videos before you crop. You want as much room around your subject as possible before you have to change the orientation or aspect ratio of a video. So don't crop video only to find out you need to crop again, or you might not have enough video left.

It also helps to know what aspect ratio you need to make cropping easier. PowerDirector has all the popular social media aspect ratios in a drop-down menu, so your video will be cropped to the correct size with the click of a button.

Download the Best Video Cropper for Free

The next time you have an issue with video size for Instagram Reels, you can use a predetermined aspect ratio from PowerDirector.

PowerDirector is the best way to crop video. It is quick and easy to use and has several video cropping options based on your needs and expertise. And PowerDirector does more than just crop videos. Cut, refine, add effects, and publish your videos with PowerDirector's user-friendly interface and editing tools.

Download PowerDirector on your Windows or Mac device by clicking the link below, and never worry about the correct video size again.

How to Crop a Video FAQ

1. How Do I Rotate a Video?

To Rotate a video means to change from portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) or vice versa.

Open PowerDirector on your desktop and follow these steps:

  1. Add the video you would like to rotate to the Editing Timeline.
  2. Click on Tools, then Crop/Zoom/Pan from the drop-down menu.
  3. Use the arrow keys under Rotation to gradually rotate your video, or type in 90 to switch the orientation by 90 degrees.
  4. Click OK when done.

For more information, check out How to Rotate a Video on Windows and Mac for Free.

2. How do I trim a video?

Cut a video to the desired length by using PowerDirector's video trimmer. Open PowerDirector on your desktop and follow the steps below:

  1. Add the video you would like to trim to the editing timeline.
  2. Click on the Trim icon (looks like scissors) in the menu above the timeline.
  3. Put your cursor on the front of the trim slider to trim the beginning of the video or the back of the slider to trim the end.
    You can move the slider to the left or right to trim when your cursor becomes a double arrow.
  4. Click OK when you are done.

For more information, check out How to Trim a Video for Free.

3. How do I crop a photo?

You can easily crop a photo using PhotoDirector. Download PhotoDirector on your desktop and follow along:


  1. Click Import and find the photo you want to crop, then click Open.
  2. Click Edit along the top menu, then click the Crop/Straighten icon along the right-hand menu.
  3. Place your cursor on the corners until it becomes a two-sided arrow, then move in and out to adjust.

For more information, check out How to Crop an Image for Free.

4. What tools should I look for in a video cropper?

  1. Variety of ways to crop video
  2. A good image cropping software will have more than one option to crop video, such as a cropping box over the image you can move manually, input buttons for an exact length and width, or a drop-down menu of different aspect ratios to choose from.

  3. Automatic crops for popular aspect ratios
  4. It can be hard to remember all the different aspect ratios used by popular social media sites. Therefore, it is beneficial when your image cropping software has aspect ratios labeled for you (Instagram Reel, YouTube, Facebook Video, etc.).

  5. Undo/Redo buttons
  6. Once you have the crop box in place, the rest of the image magically disappears. It is good to have the option to bring back the eliminated part of your image and try again in case you don't like the result or accidentally cut out something that you shouldn't have.

    If you’re looking for a video cropper that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PowerDirector.

5. What are the best video croppers for iOS and Android?

The best video cropper apps for mobile are:

  1. PowerDirector
  2. Apple Photos
  3. Google Photos
  4. iMovie
  5. AndroVid

For more information about how to crop a video on a mobile device, check out 5 Best Free Apps to Crop Videos in 2022.

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