AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is a proprietary file format developed by Microsoft. Video files with the .avi file extension consist of both video and audio streams. Although introduced 20 years ago, it's widely used for storing movies these days for its less compression on the video quality. But for the same reason, large AVI files cause many inconveniences for sharing and archiving. So today, we are going to show you how to compress AVI using the best video compressors for Windows 10/11, Mac, and online.
Why are AVI file so large?
Because AVI videos are usually encoded with lossless codecs for professional post-production or inefficient codecs (DivX, Xvid, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4). Due to the codec, a 7-min AVI video might take up 30GB of storage space, while it's only 80MB for an MP4 video.
Can AVI files be compressed?
Yes. By transcoding an AVI file with HEVC, H.264, VP9, AV1, and other modern codecs, you'll see it compressed into a smaller size. On account of the compatibility and encoding efficiency, HEVC/H.265 could be your best option.
In the following part, we'll show you how to compress AVI files and extra tips to make AVI files smaller easily. Let's begin.
Method 1. Compress AVI with VideoProc Converter
VideoProc Converter is an all-in-one video processing software for Windows and Mac. With its simple yet powerful video compressor feature, you can compress AVI, MP4, MOV, MKV, and 420+ formats in no time. Benefiting from its unique Max-Quality Compression Engine and advanced encoding schemes, it achieves the balance between file size and image quality in practice, specifically, 90% video compression while keeping the maximum visual quality. Meanwhile, it can fully utilize GPUs on your computer to speed up the compression of large AVI videos over 10GB.
Apart from efficient video compression, VideoProc Converter can edit, convert, fix, download, and record screen in one stop.
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Step 1. Import AVI Files to VideoProc Converter
Download and install VideoProc Converter on your computer. Launch it, select Video in the main UI, and drag and drop AVI videos from your PC to it.
Step 2. Open the Compress Tool in VideoProc Converter
Click Toolbox at the bottom. Double-click on Compress to open its built-in compressor.
Step 3. Shrink AVI File Size
Now you can drag the slider to the left to reduce file size by percentage. If you have a specific target size, just input the number. Click Done.
Step 4. Start to Compress AVI and Export
Enable Hardware Acceleration Engine. Cancel Auto Copy. Select an output folder and hit RUN to export the video.
More Ways to Reduce AVI File Size in VideoProc Converter
In addition to the built-in compressor, VideoProc Converter provides more solutions to make video files smaller for easy uploading and transferring.
Trim off Redundant Footage
Click Cut in the video editing toolbar. Drag the knobs to exclude the unwanted parts, and hit Cut to remove.
Split a Long AVI Video into Smaller Clips
Unlike cut, splitting is to divide a long AV file into smaller clips evenly. So that you can send them separately to bypass the size limits on video platforms and apps. You can find this feature in Toolkit at the bottom.
Delete Extra Tracks
If your AVI video contains multiple tracks of video, audio, and subtitles, just keep the main one. You can remove tracks by unchecking them in the video panel.
Method 2. Compress AVI with HandBrake
HandBrake is an open-source and free video converter and transcoder for Windows, Mac, and Linux. With custom options for video encoding settings, e.g. codec, FPS, dimension, audio and subtitle tracks, it can be taken as an AVI compressor. But for the same reason, its interface is packed with too many professional settings and deters away many people who just want a quick and simple compression for AVI files.
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Anyway, here's how to compress AVI on Windows and Mac using HandBrake.
Step 1. Open HandBrake on your Mac or Windows PC. Drag an AVI video or file folder to it.
Step 2. Go to the Preset option and select a lower resolution and frame rate. To compress an HD 1080p AVI file, you can choose 720p30.
Step 3. Open the Video tab and choose H.265 (x265) in Video Encoder.
Step 4. Click the Browse button and choose a folder to save the video. Click Start Encode to compress the AVI video in HandBrake.
Disadvantages of This Method
- HandBrake does not offer a file size estimation. You won't get an ideal compression result until several tests.
- HandBrake does not support many format containers except MP4 and MKV.
- The latest HandBrake is not available on Windows 7, Windows 8, and older OS.
Method 3. Compress AVI with VLC Media Player
VLC is a versatile media player with video compression features. It plays, converts, and compresses many popular formats like AVI, MP4, MOV, MKV, and WebM. Like HandBrake, VLC re-encodes the AVI file with a more efficient codec H.265/HEVC together with other video codec settings, instead of reducing AVI file size with a compression button.
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Let's see how to compress AVI for free using VLC.
Step 1. Launch VLC media play on your computer. Navigate to Media > Convert/Save.
Step 2. Add your AVI file to it. Click Convert to open a sub-panel.
Step 3. Open the drop-down menu of Profile and choose Video – H.265 + MP3 (MP4). If you want more custom settings, click the wrench icon and open Video Codec where you can change the bitrate, frame rate, and quality.
Step 4. Choose a destination path. Hit Start and compress AVI with VLC on your computer.
Disadvantages of This Method
- AVI videos have no sound after being compressed by VLC on occasions.
- VLC is slower than other AVI compressors for desktop.
Method 4. Compress AVI Online Free
Free online compressors are capable of shrinking AVI file even though they are not as powerful as programs mentioned before. Anyway, if you are looking for an online solution to compress AVI for free, OnlineConvert is worth a shot. Most online video compressor only accepts videos under 100MB, but OnlineConvert allows AVI video up to 200MB. Here's how to compress an AVI file online for free.
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Step 1. Open the official website of OnlineConvert on your browser.
Step 2. Click Choose File to import a .avi file to it.
Step 3. Input your target file size and choose the audio quality.
Step 4. Hit the Compress button. Now your AVI video will be uploaded and compressed online. When it's done, you can save it to your computer.
Disadvantages of This Method
- The compression task will fail if you request a compression ratio over 70%.
- OnlineConvert is extremely slow to compress AVI and badly affected by the network connections.
Method 5. Compress AVI by Zipping
As of compressing videos for emails, creating a zip folder is a popular method. You don't have to install any third-part compressors. Mac and Windows PC come with this feature. Here's how to compress AVI by converting it to a zip file.
Step 1. Open the folder containing multiple AVI videos. Press Ctrl and click to select AVI files.
Step 2. Right-click and select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.
Step 3. When it completes, name the zipped file, and you'll see a .zip file with compressed AVI files on your PC.
Step 1. Find one or multiple AVI files on your Mac storage. And put them into a folder.
Step 2. Tap the folder with two fingers on the mouse, choose Compress in the shortcut menu.
Step 3. Wait for it to compress, and you will find a folder called Archived.zip which consists of your AVI videos.
Disadvantages of This Method
It does not make enough compression to shrink desired AVI file size.
Frequently Asked Questions About AVI Compression
Is AVI a compressed format?
AVI is a format container that holds various tracks of video, audio, subtitles, etc. And generally, it is compressed by the codecs used in it.
How much can AVI compress?
The compression efficiency is determined by the codec. A new codec can achieve 50% more compression than its predecessor. That is to say, your AVI H.264 can be half smaller after being compressed with H.265.
Which is the best format to compress AVI video to?
Generally speaking, AVI HEVC and MP4 HEVC are good options because they are formats widely-supported and come with an efficient compression scheme. If you don't want to change the video file container or transcode, you can lower its bitrate and resolution. As such, you can compress AVI without considering the best format.