A well-edited video can multiply the number of views many times over. Knowing how to at least trim a video to fit the platform’s video size requirements is one of the most basic things you can do for your audience. Even if you only intend to show the video to your friends and family, getting rid of unnecessary bits in the frame with a simple crop is more than just an aesthetic choice – it shows your professionalism.
Luckily, Windows offers some basic video editing tools that can do the job for free. If you need more than basic setup, there are third-party apps, both free and paid. In this article, we’ll go through all of these methods and clarify some points regarding video cropping in general.
What is the difference between cropping and cropping?
Cropping and cropping are two terms that beginners often misunderstand. But there is a huge difference between them.
Cropping is a technique in which parts of a video are removed from a frame. Currently, most cropping tools will be able to do much more, such as changing orientation (landscape or portrait) and cropping (aspect ratio). But cropping only means removing unwanted parts of the video.
On the other hand, cropping shortens the video by reducing the length of the clip. It helps to save only the important parts of the video and cut out the unwanted parts.
Essentially, both cropping and cropping will trim the video. But cropping cuts out everything in the frame, and cropping shortens the length of the video.
When should a video be trimmed?
Even with professional videographers, it is very rare that the videos they shoot are perfect as they are. A little touch-up here and there is almost inevitable. Whether you need to zoom in on a subject, cut out excess space in a frame, or make sure your video is perfect for social media viewing, you’ll need a crop tool.
Let’s say you shot a subject but ended up with a lot of space on one side where there was a lot of clutter. Or you shot too far and need to get a little closer to the subject. All this can be fixed with a simple video trim.
But as mentioned earlier, aesthetics aren’t the only reason for cropping videos. Sometimes it’s a matter of meeting the video requirements of the platform you’re posting on.
Different social media platforms have different video size requirements. Some prefer portrait videos, others prefer landscapes, and even within these limits, the exact dimensions may vary by platform.
Here are the aspect ratios for various social media channels:
- Instagram – for videos with square feed – 1:1; for vertical feed video – 4:5; for landscape video, 16:9. For videos and stories on Instagram – 9:16.
- Youtube – The standard aspect ratio for horizontal videos is 16:9. For YouTube shorts, it’s 9:16.
- TikTok – Vertical aspect ratio 9:16. Horizontal (16:9) and square (1:1) video is also acceptable.
- Facebook – 16:9 landscape aspect ratio. In-feed portraits 4:5 and 1:1 (square).
This is important to know because if your videos don’t match the aspect ratio that the platform requires, you risk cropping your video for you. This can happen if you have a widescreen video that you want to post in portrait mode, such as a movie. So make sure you stick to the framing requirements set by the platform.
How to trim video in Windows 11
Now that you know why you should crop your videos and the aspect ratio requirements for different platforms, let’s see how to crop your videos in Windows 11.
Method 1: Use the Windows Video Editor (legacy Photos app)
Starting with Windows’ native choice, Windows Video Editor is a fast and easy-to-use editor that can trim your videos in the blink of an eye. Here’s how:
Click Start and type video editor . You may see “Clipchamp” as the best matching option. This is because Microsoft is actively promoting Clpchamp as the default video editing tool on Windows. And although this is quite useful, we will return to this later.
Click “Video Editor” to open it.
You will notice that the Photos app will open. This is because the video editor used to be a part of it. We say “before” because now it is not so. You won’t find a video editor tool in the Photos app anymore, at least not by default.
So, in order to use the Windows video editor, we need to download the legacy Photos app. Once the Photos app opens, you’ll see an option to Get Legacy Photos App . Press here.
If you don’t see this popup, open the Microsoft Store and search for the Photos Legacy app.
Click “Get “.
Once installed, click Open .
Now click Video Editor in the toolbar above.
If you see a pop-up message asking you to switch to Clipchamp, just click ” Maybe Later “.
Now click New Video Project .
Give the video project a name and click OK (or click Ignore to skip the title).
Click on the + Add button .
Select From this PC .
Select your video and click Open .
Now drag the video from the project library to the storyline at the bottom.
Here you can remove the black bars that are sometimes applied by default when the video is automatically adjusted by the video editor. To do this, click on the three-dot menu in the lower right corner.
Then select Remove black bars .
Now about pruning. The video editor tool lets you crop videos in four different aspect ratios – 16:9 and 4:3 (landscapes) and 9:16 and 3:4 (portraits).
Here’s how to cut them. Click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner.
Hover over the current aspect ratio, and then select a different aspect ratio in the same orientation. In our case, we are already at 16:9 and choose 4:3.
To change the orientation, click on the three-dot icon again, hover over your current aspect ratio, and select the last option – Take Portrait .
If you’re already in portrait orientation, you’ll see the “Make Landscape” option.
To select a different aspect ratio, follow the same steps as above and select the desired aspect ratio.
When you’re satisfied, click Finish Video.
Then click Export .
Select a location to export the video to and click ” Export “.
Method 2: Using PowerPoint
Surprise Surprise! Even Microsoft Office applications such as PowerPoint can also be used to trim videos. Since slides can be converted and exported as a video, any video inside it will also become part of it. And PowerPoint also provides the option to trim this video. Here is how you can use it:
Click Start, type PowerPoint and open it.
Click Blank Presentation .
Click the Insert tab.
Select Video on my PC…
Find your video and click “Insert “.
Once your video is pasted, click ” Crop ” in the top right corner.
This will highlight your video and present crop markers on all sides. Use them to trim the video as you like.
After that, click “Crop” again to confirm.
Now stretch the video to cover the entire slide.
The reason for this, as mentioned earlier, is that it is the slide that will be exported as a video, not the video itself. So, you will have to make sure that this presentation has only one slide, no more, and that the cropped video covers it.
With your video slide covered, click File .
Select Export .
Select the video quality.
Then click Create Video .
Besides providing very limited cropping options, PowerPoint is also the slowest of all the methods in this guide when it comes to exporting cropped files. However, if this proves useful to you, please continue.
Method 3: Using Clipchamp
Now let’s talk about Climchamp, the latest video editing tool from Microsoft. After a failed launch with Windows Movie Maker and a video editor in the (now deprecated) Photos app, Clipchamp is now Windows’ native video editing tool. Here’s how to use it to trim videos:
Open Clipchamp from the start menu.
Click “Create a new video “.
Click Import Media .
Select your video and click Open .
Once it’s imported, drag it onto the history timeline.
With the video selected, click the crop icon in the toolbar (to the left of the video preview).
Use the handles at the corners and sides to trim the video.
Then click on the checkmark in the toolbar.
Then stretch the cropped video to fit the frame size and drag it to center align.
You can also choose different aspect ratios. Click on the current aspect ratio in the upper right corner of the preview video to open more options.
Choose the one that matches the bill.
A little tip: if borders appear in the selected frame, you can use corner handles to hide them, or expand the video to go beyond the frame, thereby cropping the video even more.
When you’re done, click Export .
Select the video quality.
Then wait for the video to save.
You can also share this video with a link by clicking the “Copy ” link and then sharing it with others.
Or save or upload directly to one of the sites (you will need to connect to this service first).
Method 4: Using VLC
Now we have used all the native video cropping methods. From now on, all the methods mentioned in this guide are done through third party apps. Some of them are online, some are paid programs, and the rest, like VLC, are free.
Click the following link to open the VLC website, then click Download .
Install it using the on-screen prompts and then run it.
VLC provides several options for cropping video – temporary or permanent. The former can come in handy if you only want to trim the video for the current viewing purposes. But if you want to crop permanently, this option is also there.
Trim video with VLC (view only)
Click ” Media “, then select ” Open File “.
Select your file and click “Open” .
Once imported, click on Tools .
Then select “Effects and Filters” .
Click the Video Effects tab.
Click “Crop “.
Here, enter how many pixels you want to crop from the sides of the video.
The video will be cropped in real time, so you can experiment with how many pixels you get.
You can also make sure top-bottom and/or left-right sides are in sync.
By checking these boxes, you will only need to enter once for horizontal and vertical cropping.
After that, click ” Close ” and continue browsing.
Crop video with VLC (permanently)
If you want to permanently trim a video and save it, here’s what to do:
Click “Tools “, then select “Settings “.
Now at the very bottom, in the Show Settings section, click on All .
Scroll down on the left and in the Video section, click on the Filters branch to expand it.
Then click on Croppadd .
Here you will be able to crop pixels by entering a number in the fields.
After that click on Save .
Method 5: Using Adobe Premiere Pro
We are now entering paid third-party app territory. They are quite advanced in the sense that the cropping feature is just one of the many editing options they provide.
The first one we cover in this guide is the world famous Adobe Premiere Pro. It costs about $21/month for individuals, so if you’re looking for a good overall video editing tool that’s chock-full of features, this is a good investment.
Open Adobe Premiere Pro and choose New > Project under New.
Give the project a name, keeping the default settings. Then click OK .
Then drag the file and copy it to the Source area on the Edit tab.
Now drag this file to the timeline.
Once your video has been added to the timeline, make sure it is selected. Then click on the Effects tab at the top.
On the left you will see another section called “Effects”. Below it, expand the Video Effects folder .
Then expand Transform .
Here you will see the clipping effect .
Drag it onto the video in the timeline.
After adding the clipping effect, click on the Effect Controls tab .
In it, you will see a “Crop” branch in which you can crop the areas on the left, top, right, and bottom.
All you have to do is expand the area branch and then use the slider to trim that part of the video.
Do the same if you want to crop the image from multiple sides.
If you’ve cropped it in such a way that the video doesn’t take center stage, here’s how you can reposition it. On the same Effect Controls tab, expand the Motion branch.
Next to the “Position” option, you will see two numbers. The first determines the position of the video along the horizontal axis, and the second determines the position along the vertical axis.
Click on the numbers to change them and change the position of the video.
Note. Play around with the numbers until you set the position to your liking.
Another optional thing you can do here is zoom in on the video. To do this, click on the number next to Scale .
Then increase its value.
After that, click on the video on the timeline to select it. Then click File on the very top toolbar.
Then select “Export” and then “Media” .
You can make changes in the Export Settings window. Or just click “Export ” to finish.
Your video is now trimmed and saved.
Method 6: Using Online Tools
There are a number of online video trimming tools that do not require a subscription or download. A simple Google search will return several results. For our guide, we use the aptly named Online Video Cropper .
Follow the link and click ” Open File “.
Select your file and click “Open” .
Use frame markers to trim your video.
If you want, you can also change the aspect ratio.
Otherwise, once you’re done, click Save .
Then click Save again.
Frequently asked Questions
While cropping a video is a pretty simple idea, there are a number of variables around it, especially on Windows. Here we answer a few frequently asked questions about it.
Does Windows 11 include a video editor?
Windows 11 has a new video editing tool called Clipchamp that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including video trimming.
How to trim MP4 video in Windows?
Most of the methods shown in this guide will allow you to trim an MP4 video on Windows. See the guide above for how to use them.
How to trim video in Windows Media Player?
Unfortunately, the old Windows Media Player cannot be used to trim videos on Windows 11. Instead, you can use the legacy Photos app or Clipchamp.
We hope this guide has helped you learn about all the different ways to trim videos in Windows 11. In most cases, native tools can do the job. But if you’re looking for the complete package, some third-party apps may be right for you. Happy pruning!