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How to edit videos on iPhone or iPad: The ultimate guide

How to edit videos on iPhone

The iPhone camera has long been the leader in smartphone videography. And thanks to its powerful Apple-designed A-series processor, the iPhone handles video editing well. In this detailed guide, let me show you how to edit videos on your iPhone. I have covered everything from cropping and merging the videos to removing sound and beyond.

Before you begin: Ensure you update your iPhone to iOS 14 as the Photos app in this version has several editing tools, which we will be using in this guide.

How to trim a video on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Photos app and open a video.
  2. Tap Edit at the top right. You will see a trimming strip. If not, tap the camera icon next to Cancel.
  3. Drag either or both ends (< >) to trim the video. Tap the triangle play button to ensure you have made the suitable trims.
  4. Tap Done and choose to save as a new video or edit the original file.
    I often go with Save Video as New Clip. And after playing the trimmed video, I delete the original file if it is up to perfection.

    How to trim a video on iPhone or iPad

Crop a video on iPhone or iPad

While trimming, you remove the start or end segments of the video. For example, you turn a 50-second video into 40 seconds. With the crop tool, you can adjust the four edges of the full video. See the steps and screenshots below to learn more.

  1. Launch a video in the Photos app and tap Edit at the top right.
  2. Tap the square-like icon at the bottom row of the editing screen.
  3. Drag either one of the four edges to crop the video. You may also drag from the corners.
  4. If needed, use two fingers to zoom in and out.

    How to crop a video on iPhone or iPad
  5. You can also use pre-built crop options like square, rectangle, 9:16, 16:9, 3:4, etc. For this, tap the rectangle-icon at the top right and choose the desired option.
  6. Finally, tap Done to save the video.

    How to make a video square or use custom crop tools

How to flip a video on iPhone or iPad

When you flip a video, the left becomes right, and the right becomes left. This is helpful to rectify the mirrored image. See the steps and screenshot for a better understanding.

  1. Open a video inside the Photos app and tap Edit.
  2. Tap the square-like icon at the bottom right.
  3. Tap the two triangle icon at the top left.
  4. At last, tap Done to save the video.

    How to flip a video on iPhone or iPad

How to rotate a video on iPhone

  1. Open a video inside the Photos app and tap Edit.
  2. Tap the square-like icon from the bottom row.
  3. At the top left, tap the square icon with an arrow.
  4. Tap the same icon several times to get the desired rotation.
  5. Tap Done to save the video.

    How to rotate a video on iPhone

Do you not want to rotate the video in multiples of 90 degrees (as shown above) and wish to have a free hand? Tap the two semi-circles icon and drag the slider left or right to rotate the video the way you want.

Note: This tool may significantly crop out the corners of the video.

How to rotate a video freely on iPhone

Rotate a video on iPhone using iMovie

  1. Inside iMovie, tap the plus icon and choose Movie.
  2. Select the video you wish to rotate and tap Create Movie.
  3. On the top preview section, put two fingers and rotate the video clockwise or counterclockwise.
    How to rotate a video on iPhone using iMovie

Pro Tip: Working with vertical video? On the iMovie timeline, tap the video to select it (it will have a yellow border). Now from the top right, tap the tiny search icon with a plus sign inside. Next, pinch to see the uncropped vertical video.

Stretch a video on iPhone or iPad

  1. From the Photos app, open a video and tap Edit.
  2. Hit the square-like icon at the bottom row.
  3. Tap the left icon and drag the slider to the left or right to stretch the video horizontally.

    How to stretch a video horizontally on iPhone or iPad
  4. Tap the middle icon and drag the slider to the left or right to stretch the video vertically.

    How to stretch a video vertically on iPhone or iPad

How to remove sound from a video

  1. Open a video in the iOS Photos app and tap Edit.
  2. Tap the yellow speaker icon at the top left. It will turn gray.
  3. Tap Done to save the video without audio.

    How to remove sound from a video

If you later decide to get the audio, tap EditRevertRevert to Original.

How to add Apple filter to video

Just like applying filters to images, you can do the same with videos. Here’s how:

  1. Open a video in the iPhone Photos app and tap Edit.
  2. Tap the three overlapping circles icon at the bottom.
  3. Choose one of the desired filters.
  4. Drag the slider to change the filter’s intensity.
  5. Finally, tap Done to save the edited video.

    How to add Apple filter to video

Change video color, brightness, and other visual effects

The pre-made filters are fun. But if you want manual granular control, you have that as well. Here is how.

  1. Open the iPhone Photos app, select a video, and tap Edit at the top right.
  2. Tap the icon with a circle and several dots around it.
  3. Here you have the following controls:
    • Auto
    • Exposure
    • Highlights
    • Shadows
    • Contrast
    • Brightness
    • Black Point
    • Saturation
    • Vibrance
    • Warmth
    • Tint
    • Sharpness
    • Definition
    • Noise Reduction and
    • Vignette
  4. Tap Auto to let iPhone do the magic.
  5. Tap other options and drag the slider left or right to adjust it. Experiment with multiple options to achieve the desired level of editing.
  6. Finally, tap Done to save the video.

    How to manually change video visual effects on iPhone

How to revert a video to its original state

  1. Open the iPhone Photos app, tap a video, and choose Edit at the top right.
  2. Hit Revert at the bottom right.
  3. Tap Revert to Original.
  4. Note: If you do not see Revert in step 2, that means you have not edited this video, or the edit is non-reversible.

    How to revert a video to its original state

How to combine two or more videos on iPhone

  1. Download and open iMovie.
  2. Next, tap the plus icon and choose Movie.
  3. Tap to select two or more videos.
    • Or, tap < from top left and hit Video to see all clips.
    • Tip: If you rotate your iPhone into landscape orientation, you will automatically see the media types like Video, Albums, etc. Next, tap a video and then tap the check box.
  4. After selecting the videos, tap Create Movie.

    Open iMovie to create a movie and select two or more videos
  5. The selected video will automatically be added to the timeline one after another. If you like the video order, jump to step 6. If you do not like the video order, touch and hold one of the videos and drag it all the way to the left or right to change the order.

    Dragging to change video position in iMovie timeline
  6. Transition effects: You will see a tiny icon made of two triangles between two videos. This symbolizes the transition effect.
    • Tap it and choose None if you want no effect when one video ends and the other one begins. You may choose one of the other transition effects like Theme, Dissolvem Slide, Wipe, Fade.
    • To turn off the transition sound, tap the speaker icon.
    • Use 0.5s, 1.0s, 1.5s, or 2.0s to set the length of the transition effect.

      Transition effects in iMovie
  7. Preview the combined video: Tap the triangle play button to preview the final video.
  8. Save: Once satisfied, tap Done at the top left. Now, tap the Share icon and tap Save Video to get the merged video in the iPhone Photos app. You may also share the merged video directly using AirDrop or other apps shown here.

    Save combined or merged video on iPhone

Add text to a video on iPhone

  1. Download and open iMovie.
  2. Tap the plus icon and choose Movie.
  3. Select a video and tap Create Movie.
  4. Hit the video from the timeline to select it.
  5. Tap T from the bottom row.
  6. Choose a text style like Slide, Split, Chromatic, etc.

    Tap video in iMovie timeline and tap T
  7. You will see TITLE TEXT HERE on the video. Tap it and choose Edit. Now, type the desired text.

     Tap TITLE TEXT HERE and choose Edit to add custom text in iMovie
  8. Customize text:
    • Tap Aa to choose another font.

      Tap Aa to change text font in iMovie
    • Tap the icon next to it to set the text color.

      Tap white color dot to change text color in iMovie
    • Hit the three-dots icon to style the text.
    • Enable Full Clip Duration if you want the text to stay on the video in its entirety.
    • You may also drag the text around.

      Tap three dots icon to style text in iMovie
  9. If needed: Tap the customized text from the video preview above and choose Reset to remove all styling.

    Reset all text edits if necessary
  10. Tap the triangle play button to preview the video.
  11. Once satisfied, tap DoneShare iconSave Video.

    Tap Done and share icon to save video with text on iPhone

How to add music to a video on iPhone

If you want to add external audio to the video, we have a separate guide for that. You can use iMovie or other third-party apps to add songs and other music.

This is how you can edit videos on your iPhone or iPad using the Photos app or iMovie. I hope this guide was helpful. Additionally, the App Store is full of several excellent video editing apps that you may check out.

Have additional questions? Please ask via the comments section below.

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