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Whether it is a planned shoot or spur-of-the-moment recording, a degree of effort goes into filming Instagrammable content. But all that effort can be a waste if the video is badly cropped.
If you don’t, Instagram will do it automatically. The result is rarely perfect though and we are talking fewer views and engagement on your video.
This is why it is worth the extra effort to resize the video.
In this blog, we will show you to do just that on different devices.
How to Crop a Video for Instagram
If you are not new to filming on your device, you know video editing apps are the best bet for cropping a video for Instagram.
But depending on the content, you may not need these apps knowing Instagram allows you to do some cropping during the uploading process. Pretty neat, right?
Here is how to use it.
STEP 1 - Select your Video
You should know this part. Choose the video you want to share on Instagram by tapping the + icon at the bottom center of the homepage.
When the gallery opens, select the video you want to upload.
STEP 2 - Crop it
At this junction, there will be a little preview of the selected video. Feel free to watch, but what you need is at the bottom left corner.
It is a small circular icon with two opposing arrows. Tapping it will undo the edit from the cropped square shape to its original rectangular shape with black bars.
What happens here is Instagram automatically zooms into the video you selected to fit its standard square (1:1) shape for feed posts.
Naturally, it zooms in on the main focus in the video, cutting out other parts. Sometimes, it is enough, and you don’t lose important subjects in the frame.
When this is the case, hit the Next button to complete the uploading process.
When Instagram crops too much off, return the video to its rectangular shape. Yes, those black bars will be present, but it will look better, and in a vertical form, more people will likely watch.
If you mind the black bars, you will need to use a third-party app.
Video Crop App for Instagram (PC & Mac)
We always recommend editing videos on a computer because the screen is bigger and can handle heavier renders. It doesn’t have to be a high-level video editing tool like Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro either.
Whether you are a social media marketer or a regular Instagram user, a simple web app like EZGIF is good enough to crop videos.
This means it doesn’t matter if you use a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer. It is accessible.
It is not hard to use either. Here is how to use it to crop videos for Instagram.
STEP 1 - Upload your Video
First, click here to visit the EZGIF website. The app has multiple features, but the link will take you directly to the cropping page.
When you are on the page, click Choose File to select the video you want to crop from the computer.
If the video is already on the internet, perhaps on YouTube, upload the video by pasting the link in the URL text box.
Click Upload Video when you finish.
STEP 2 - Resize or Crop the Video
Unlike the Instagram solution, this app offers more flexibility when choosing how to crop your video.
You could enter the dimensions manually by entering each value, as seen below.
Alternatively, use the graphical tool to select the part you want to keep, and EZGIF will crop out the rest.
This method is handy because it happens during the video preview. You get to see the parts that will get cropped out in real-time.
When you’ve selected the right area, click on the Crop Video button.
STEP 3 - Save and Upload the Video
When EZGIF returns with the result, preview the clip by clicking play on the video below the Crop Video button to confirm if everything is fine.
If it is, click the Save button on the extreme right of the action buttons below to download the cropped video to your computer.
From there, you can upload the video directly to Instagram or first transfer it to your phone.
Don’t like this method? Let’s have a look at another, this time exclusively for Mac devices.
How to Crop a Video for Instagram on Mac with iMovie
Unless you are a professional editor who needs advanced features unavailable in iMovie, Mac users don’t need to download a video editing application to crop videos for Instagram.
The native Apple video editor is simple to use and works for practically all kinds of videos.
Let’s learn how to crop videos with it.
STEP 1 - Upload the Video
Launch iMovie and click on the Create New button with the + icon.
You should see two options in a dropdown menu, Movie and Trailer. Select Movie.
Next, click the Import Media button.
Clicking Import Media opens your gallery folder, allowing you to select the video you want to crop.
Done? Nice. Let’s get cropping.
STEP 2 - Crop the Video
Once the video is in the timeline, click the Crop button in the toolbar above the video player. It is the icon that looks like a mismatched rectangle.
A button titled Crop will appear below. Click it to start the selection process.
You should see a rectangle with dotted lines over the video, with handlebars to select the parts you want to crop.
First, place the rectangle over the area. Then use the handlebars to stretch the sides until the rectangle fits the needed portion.
Reminder: The app will delete every part outside the rectangle.
When you are sure you’ve selected the right part, click the blue checkmark button in the top right corner to finish the crop.
If you are not satisfied with the final look, click the Reset button to start again.
When you are, the only thing left is previewing the clip and exporting the video.
STEP 3 - Export and Share to Instagram
The final step starts with clicking the button in the right corner of the editor.
Ideally, it should be possible to share directly to Instagram from here, but the option is not available.
Instead, you first have to save it to your computer by clicking the File icon.
Another way to get here is going to Share under the File menu then select File.
Complete the save by choosing the output settings as seen below.
Since you want to share on Instagram, the file size should be as small as possible but still be high quality. So, the above combination of settings works.
With this, when Instagram compresses the video again during upload, it will still be watchable.
Finally, click Next, and hit Save to complete the export and save to your computer.
When it is complete, transfer it to your iPhone or share directly from your Mac.
Crop Video for Instagram Android App (InShot)
For Android users, InShot is currently one of the best solutions. Most, if not all, of its features are free.
It is also easy to use, and if the video you want to edit is on an Android device, you can use it to crop for Instagram.
Here is how.
STEP 1 - Install and Launch the App
Download and install InShot from the play store if you don’t have it. Then open it to start the cropping process.
Tap the Video button and select the video from the gallery. Tap the green arrow button when you are ready.
The app typically opens to the Recent folder in the gallery. If you can’t find the video you need here, tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen to open the correct folder.
STEP 2 - Crop the Video
Once the video is in the editor, slide the action bar in the bottom screen to the left to locate the Crop tool.
Tap it to open the cropping functions.
Within the Crop tool are different cropping dimensions named after the corresponding social media platform. Since you want to crop the video for Instagram, select the aspect ratio with the tiny Instagram icons.
Once you set the dimension, drag the rectangle over the area you want to crop out.
If you want a bit more freedom over the area, select the freehand option. It is the first option on the list.
For additional dimensions, slide the selection bar to the left to find more.
Once you’ve set the dimension and area, play the video to see what will be left after the crop.
If you like what you see, tap the arrow button.
STEP 3 - Save and Share the Video
InShot lets you do a lot more, so feel free to stick around and see what other buttons do. But if you are ready to leave, tap Save at the top right corner once you are back in the main editor screen.
Choose your output settings in the dialog box.
Go with a good balance between size and high quality. In this case, 720p and 60fps.
Tap Save again to begin rendering the video. When it is complete, the app will automatically store it in a folder on your device.
Finally, share. At the top of the screen is a standard list of sharing destinations. Select Instagram from the options to post the cropped video to your feed.
How to Crop Video for Instagram on iPhone
There is an iOS version of InShot, so the above mentioned steps would work on your iPhone. But if you don’t feel like installing another app on your device, there is iMovie for iPhone/iPad.
Feature-wise, it is limited compared to its desktop version. Still, there is enough to crop a presentable video for Instagram on the go.
Here is how to use it.
STEP 1 - Import the Video
Following the same path as uploading video in iMovie for Mac, import the video you want to crop into the iMovie editor.
Here is a recap of the steps:
- Open the app and tap the Projects tab
- Tap the big + icon to start a new project and select Movie
- Select your video from the gallery
If you follow these steps, you should land somewhere like this,
When you are, tap Create Movie to import the video into the timeline.
STEP 2 - Crop the Video
Tap the video at the bottom of the screen to bring up the editor’s on-screen controls. One of them is a button that says Pinch to Zoom Video with a magnifying glass icon beside it. Tap it.
Unlike InShot and desktop iMovie, there is no button for defining the area you want to crop. Instead, you have to zoom in and out with your fingers.
To zoom, spread or pinch two fingers on zoom in or out. Then move the fingers in different directions to reposition the video. Lastly, use the play button to preview your work.
Repeat this process again and again until the crop is perfect.
When you finish, tap the Done text button to complete the edit.
STEP 3 - Save and Share
After Done, tap the Export/Sharing button in the middle, as seen below.
Then follow the prompt to choose the output settings and save the video.
Once the save is complete, share your work on Instagram.
So this is how to crop video for Instagram on any device. Each solution comes with its advantages. The best often comes down to where the video is and your preferred workflow.
Alternatively, try Keevi Video Editor. You can crop in a few clicks and share directly to Instagram.
For more tutorials on video editing for social media, visit our learning page.