How to edit videos

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Judit Llordés

With so much video content available, you may want to start editing your videos. While it may seem like a pretty complex thing to do, it really isn't - not if you're using the right set of tools.

Depending on the device you are using to edit your videos, you will have different apps that can help you with the task. Of course, video editing isn't just for computers. Nowadays, smartphones are powerful enough to help you play your videos.

  • The best Windows video editing programs
  • Best free video editing apps

How to edit videos on iPhone

Editing the videos you capture on your iPhone is easy on iOS. Thanks to the built-in Photos app, you can trim videos with just a few taps.

  1. Launch the "Photos" app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the video you want to edit.
  3. When you open the video, tap "Edit".
  4. In the main part of the screen you will see your video. Below it should be the timeline of the video.
  5. Use the sliders at both ends of the timeline to choose the start and end point of the video.
  6. Once you are happy with the change, tap "Done" in the upper right corner of the screen.
  7. The next screen allows you to save the new version of the video. You have two options. “Save Video” will save the edited version of the file, without keeping the original. If you want to keep both the original and the edited one, tap “Save video as new clip”.

If you accidentally used the “Save video” option, you can restore the original length of the video.

  1. Open the edited version of the video in the Photos app.
  2. Tap "Edit".
  3. Tap "Restore".
  4. Tap "Restore Original" and that's it.

How to edit videos on Mac

Fortunately, Apple's Photos app is also available for Mac OS X computers. The process of editing a video in this way is quite similar to the iOS version.

  1. Launch the “Photos” app on your Mac. If you don't have it in the dock, use Finder and search for it in the Applications menu.
  2. You should now see the list of your photos and videos. Double-click the video you want to edit. If the video you want to edit isn't on this list, simply use the in-app navigation option to locate it.
  3. Using the mouse or trackpad, hover the pointer over the video file.
  4. The action button should appear at the top of the video - that's what a cog looks like. Click it.
  5. Click "Cut" from the menu that appears.
  6. Now the editing window will appear, along with the timeline of the video.
  7. Use the yellow sliders to set the start and end time.
  8. Once you've done that, you can preview the new version of your video by clicking the play button.
  9. If you are happy with the change, click the "Cut" button to save the changes.

If you want to undo the cut you made, please follow the steps below:

  1. Open the edited version of the video in the Photos app.
  2. Click on "Edit".
  3. Click the action button, what looks like a gear.
  4. Click on "Redo Trim".

How to edit videos on an Android device

When it comes to Android devices, the Google Photos app is capable enough for basic video editing. It allows you to play any video you have on your Android smartphone or tablet. If you don't already have it on your device, you can download it from Google Play.

  1. Launch the Google Photos app on your device.
  2. Using the in-app navigation feature, navigate to the location of the video you want to edit.
  3. When you find it, tap the video to open it.
  4. The video will start playing in Google Photos. Tap the screen once to see the pause button in the center of the screen.
  5. Now tap the pause button to stop the video.
  6. Tap the "Edit" icon: it is the central one at the bottom of the screen.
  7. Below the video, you should see its timeline. Use the sliders on both sides of the timeline to adjust the start and end position.
  8. Once set, tap "Save Copy" in the upper right corner of the screen.
  9. Wait a couple of seconds for your device to save the new version of the video and that's it.

Since Google Photos automatically saves the edited video as a new file, you don't have to worry about overwriting the original video.

How to edit videos on a Chromebook

If you need some basic editing options on your Chromebook, the Google Photos app will be an ideal candidate. To know how to trim your videos this way, check out the previous section which covers video editing on Android.

For anyone who wants to do more than just crop, they will need to use a third-party video editing app. Two of the most popular apps for Chromebooks are PowerDirector and Kinemaster. 

Unfortunately, you will have to pay to get the full suite of features these apps provide. Of course, both apps also have a free version, which gives you more features than Google Photos.

PowerDirector is a capable editing app, optimized to work flawlessly with Chromebooks. In addition to basic editing, it allows you to add music, effects, slow motion, and many other options. 

Compared to this, Kinemaster is a much more powerful video editor, but also more complex to learn how to use it. One of the greatest features is frame-by-frame editing, which provides professional-grade, high-precision editing.

How to edit videos on a Windows 10 PC

Windows 10 comes with a built-in Photos app, which includes many useful video editing features. If you want to trim a video that is too long, this app makes it super easy.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your computer.
  2. Search for the video you want to edit.
  3. Click the "Edit and Create" button in the upper right corner.
  4. Click "Cut".
  5. You will see white dots on both ends of the video timeline. Move them left and right until you cut the video to the length you like.
  6. When done, click "Save a copy" in the top right corner.
  7. Wait for the app to finish processing the video and that's it.

Apart from this, there are numerous other video editors you can use, some free, some not. It all depends on how much editing you plan to do and at what level. 

For example, Movie Maker is a free app that provides some basic editing features. But if you are planning to edit a lot of movies with various clips, image inserts, audio mixes, effects, transitions and whatnot, then you will need a professional tool for that. One of the best professional apps in the business is Adobe Premiere, which sadly isn't cheap at all.

How to edit videos via an online web service

If you need to trim a video or two from time to time, perhaps the best solutions are online video editors. These websites allow you to do basic video editing for free. It's a pretty decent solution compared to the apps you need to install.

Some of the most popular websites are Clipchamp, WeVideo, and Adobe Spark. All of them provide some decent video editing options for free. So be sure to check each of them to find the one that best suits your needs.

How to edit videos for YouTube

As the largest video platform on the internet, YouTube has realized how important it is to allow its users to edit videos. While it doesn't provide advanced editing features, it's enough to trim your videos and delete some sections from the center.

Of course, the first step is to upload your video to YouTube using your Google account. Once done, go to your video list and click "Editor" from the menu on the left. You will now see your video and the timeline below. 

Use the “Trim” option to change the start and end positions of your video. To remove the central part of your video, use the “Split” option.

When you're done, you can save the changes to your original video or create a new video based on the change you just made.

How to edit videos for Instagram

If you need to edit videos for Instagram, there are many editing apps you can use. In the list below, you can find four pretty popular apps with a decent feature set.

  1. InShot: trim, trim and split your videos. It includes filters and effects, as well as slow-motion and fast-motion. You can also add stickers, text and music.
  2. Quik: Created by GoPro, Quik allows you to import videos from any source and in various formats. You can add text, music, overlays, emojis and many other bells and whistles to your video.
  3. Magisto: This uses the power of artificial intelligence to help you make really pop videos. Like other apps on this list, it can add animation, text, music, and filters to your videos.
  4. Adobe Premiere Rush: One of the main features of Adobe's app is that it syncs everything you do to its dedicated cloud storage. What's great about this is that it allows you to edit the same video from any device you use.

It is worth pointing out that InShot, Quik and Magisto require a subscription payment to use the full set of their features. On the other hand, Adobe Premiere Rush is completely free, but it has a 2GB limit for your cloud storage. If you need more than that, you will have to pay for it.

How to edit TikTok videos

TikTok is the second most popular video sharing platform today, right behind YouTube. Although TikTok has a built-in video editor, you will need an app to create videos that really stand out. Here are some of the popular apps you should try.

  1. zoomerang
  2. InShot
  3. Funimate
  4. Stamps

Easy video editing

Now that you know how to edit videos no matter what platform you use, it's time to get creative. Whether you want to cut down on your home video or prepare an enticing social media presentation, you have the tools to do it.

Were you able to edit the video you wanted? Which app do you find most convenient for video editing? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Further Reading:

  • How to change video speed online
  • How to edit videos with iPhone
  • How to delete your videos from YouTube
  • How to speed up or slow down videos on Android
  • How to speed up a video on iPhone with iMovie or the Photos app
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