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How to Crop a Video for Free [Windows, Mac, App & Online]

Last Updated on Mar. 3, 2022 – by David Morgan
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How to Crop a Video for Free

Realizing you shoot a perfect video for Instagram Reels, but the aspect ratio is landscape, not portrait, can be frustrating. Just as annoying is having unwanted things in the corner of your video frame or wishing your subject could take up more of the frame. 

Luckily, these problems can be solved by cropping - an editing technique where you move or adjust the video frame. This article will teach you the best and quickest ways to crop videos on every device.   

If you're in a hurry, the easiest way to crop a video on your mobile or desktop is with PowerDirector. Download it for free and follow the step-by-step guides below. 


How to Crop a Video on Windows and Mac the Easiest Way

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

Download for it free 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 video and click Done.
  5. PowerDirector - Crop Video

There are 3 options for cropping a 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 new Aspect Ratio from the drop-down list.

How to Crop a Video on iOS and Android the Easiest Way

The simplest way to crop a video on your smartphone is by using the PowerDirector app. 

Download for free below and follow along:  


  1. Add the video you wish to crop to the editing timeline.
  2. Tap on the timeline to bring up the Edit icon.
  3. PowerDirector App - Edit
  4. Scroll through the bottom menu and tap on Crop.
  5. Use your fingers to change the size and location of the crop box.
  6. PowerDirector App - Crop
  7. Tap the Download icon in the top right to save your video when you are done.

How to Crop a Video Online

If you would like to use an online tool to crop a video, go to https://ezgif.com/crop-video to use EZ Gif and follow these steps:

  1. Click Choose File.
  2. Select the video you would like to crop and click Open.
  3. Click Upload Video.
  4. Choose Crop Video from the menu along the top.
  5. EZ Gif - Crop Video
  6. Crop Video and click Crop video!

There are 3 options to crop a video using this online tool.

EZ Gif - Crop Video Options

Option 1: Use your cursor to make a cropping box on the video. 

Option 2: Fill in numbers next to Left, Top, Width, and Height.

Option 3: Choose an Aspect Ratio from the list.  

How to Crop a Video on iPhone using the Photos App

If you would like to crop a video using the Photos app on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the Photos App.
  2. Find and select the video you wish to crop.
  3. Tap Edit in the top right corner.
  4. Tap the Crop icon on the bottom menu.
  5. Photos iPhone - Edit
  6. Place your finger in one of the corners of the video and adjust the crop box.
  7. Tap Done in the bottom right corner.

How to Crop a Video on Mac using Photos

If you would like to crop a video using the Photos App on your Mac device, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Photos App to open.
  2. Double click on the video you wish to crop.
  3. Click Edit in the top right corner.
  4. Click on Crop from the top menu.
  5. Photos Mac - Crop Video
  6. Place your cursor on one of the four corners of the video and adjust the crop box.
  7. Click Done in the top right corner.

How to Crop a Video on Android using Google Photos

If you would like to crop a video using Google Photos on your Android device, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Photos App.
  2. Go to Albums and tap on Videos.
  3. Find the video you wish to crop and tap it.
  4. Tap on the Edit icon at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Google Photos Android - Crop Video
  6. Use the corners of the video to move the cropping box to the desired location.
  7. You can also crop your video by tapping the Ratio Button. Choose the Aspect Ratio you want from Free, Original, Square, 5:4, 16:9, 4:3, and 3:2. 

    Google Photos Android - Crop Video Aspect Ratios
  8. When you are done, tap Save Copy on the bottom of the screen.

This will save an edited version of your video and leave the original intact. 

3 Best Practices for Cropping a Video

1: Remember composition rules.

Cropping a video is no different than 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.  

2: Don't crop too much. 

Obviously, getting the video close to perfect the first time is the goal. The more you have to crop, the worse the video quality. The video will look grainy if you have to zoom in a lot on a small object. 

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 a video and 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 you only have to click on the ratio you need, and your video will automatically be cropped. 

Best Video Cropping App [Free Download]

The next time you have an issue with video size for Instagram Reels, you can use a predetermined aspect ratio for cropping. Or when you need to crop out unwanted content from a video, you can do it with a few quick steps using PowerDirector 

PowerDirector is the best choice for cropping videos. 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 Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android devices for free today.

Video Cropping 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: 

Mac and Windows

  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. 

Check out How to Rotate Video on Mac and Windows for more information.

iOS and Android

To rotate a video using the PowerDirector app on your phone, follow these steps: 

  1. Tap the video you would like to rotate to add it to the Editing Timeline.
  2. Tap the video on the timeline to bring up the Edit icon(looks like a pencil).
  3. Tap the Edit icon and scroll through the tools in the bottom menu until you find Rotate.
  4. Tap Rotate.
    Your video will rotate clockwise 45 degrees. Continue to tap Rotate until the video is where you want it.
  5. Continue editing, or tap the Download icon in the upper right corner to save the video.

Check out How to Rotate a Video on iOS and Android for more information.

2. How Do I Trim a Video?

Cut a video to the desired length by using PowerDirector's video trimmer.

Mac and Windows

  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 is a double arrow.
  4. Click OK when you are done.

iOS and Android

  1. Tap the video you would like to trim to add it to the Editing Timeline.
  2. Tap the clip so that a white rectangle appears around it.
  3. Move the rectangle towards the middle from either the beginning or end of the video to trim with your finger.
  4. Tap the Download icon in the top right to save your video when you are done.

For more information, check out How to Trim a Video for Free [Windows, Mac, iOS, Android & Online].

3. How Do I Crop a Photo?

Download PhotoDirector for free and follow these steps: 

Mac and Windows

  1. Find the photo you wish to crop open the Edit tab.
  2. Click the Crop icon in the left-hand menu.
  3. Place your Cursor on the corners until it becomes a two-sided arrow, then move in and out to adjust.

iOS and Android

  1. Tap Edit and choose the photo you want to crop.
  2. Choose Tools from the bottom menu.
  3. Tap Crop & Rotate.
  4. Crop your photo.

For more information, check out How to Crop an Image (App, Windows, Mac & Online).

4. What Tools Should I Look For in Image Cropping Software?

1: Variety of ways to crop an image 

A good image cropping software will have more than one option for croppings, 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. 

2: Automatic crops for popular aspect ratios

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.).

3: Undo/Redo buttons.

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.

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