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  • Custom aspect ratio: original, free, 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, letterbox, etc.
  • Crop and edit 4K and large videos with GPU acceleration
  • Cut the unwanted parts or split the video into short clips
  • Extra features: convert, compress, download, record, fix
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How to Crop a Video on Mac | iMovie, QuickTime, Final Cut Pro

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Summary: This is a well-rounded tutorial on how to crop a video on Mac. We wrap up the top 4 ways to crop and reframe videos with video editors for Mac. If you want to keep the best quality of your footage and finish cropping within 3 steps, try VideoProc Converter.

Bet you have been upset when the crowds got into your scenery footage, downloaded a movie with black bars that didn't fit the screen, or made mistakes while shooting and wanted to delete certain segments in the final product. Any of these problems can be solved easily by cropping the video with the assistance of the best free video cropping software on Mac. Now, let's head over to the tutorials.

  1. How to Crop a Video in Mac Photos App [The Latest macOS Only]
  2. How to Crop a Video in VideoProc Converter [Fast and Easy]
  3. How to Crop a Video in iMovie [Only for 16:9 Videos]
  4. How to Crop a Video in QuickTime [Collaborating with Photoshop]
  5. How to Crop a Video in Final Cut Pro [Pro-level Method]

How to Crop a Video on Mac Using Photos App

Can I crop a video in the Photos app on Mac? In the previous version of Photos, you could only preview and trim videos. Now, Apple makes big updates in macOS Big Sur/Monterey (aka macOS 11/12). Editing capabilities of the Photos app are largely expanded, including cropping, filtering, and color adjusting powered by machine learning. If you know how to crop a video on iPhone using the Photos app, it is easy for you to do the same thing on Mac.

Note: Photos with excellent cropping features is only available on Big Sur and later versions. However, if your Mac is too old to upgrade to Big Sur, for example, MacBook released in 2014 or earlier, MacBook Air released in 2012 or earlier, you have to turn to third-party video cropping software.

Step 1. Open your video in Photos.

Make sure that you have updated your Mac to Big Sur or Monterey. Then open one video in this app.

Step 2. Go to the video editing interface.

Click "Edit" in the right upper corner. Then you'll be navigated to the brand-new video editing interface.

Step 3. Crop the video in Mac Photos.

Hit "Crop" on the upper side of the preview window. Choose an aspect ratio. You're allowed to reframe the video at both a freeform and a certain aspect ratio. Then drag each corner of the box to crop out a certain area.

Mac Photos App Crop Video
Mac Photos App Crop Video

Step 4. Save the video.

Hit the Done button in the upper right corner to save the cropped clip to your Mac.

How to Crop a Video on Mac in the Easiest Way

We have to admit that there is no perfect native video cropper for Mac. iMovie is free and easy but has limited aspect ratio. FCP X is powerful but expensive. As for QuickTime Player, it doesn't feature any cropping tool in its editing toolkit.

So here comes VideoProc Converter AI (former name VideoProc) to make your video fit all devices and social media platforms. With an intuitive cropping UI, you can easily drag and resize the crop window to remove annoying edges or redundant parts in your video at any aspect ratio and preview it in real time. Moreover, it offers complete solutions to convert, fix, and edit 4K, HD 1080p, HDR, high FPS, Apple ProRes videos, and more.

VideoProc Converter AI Box

VideoProc Converter AI - Best Video Cropper for Mac (All Versions)

  • Crop 8K, 4K, 1080p videos while maintaining the best image quality.
  • Fast and smooth video cropping on Mac with its special full GPU acceleration tech.
  • 7 smart cropping modes that support 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, letterbox, freeform, etc.
  • Compatible with more than 370 video formats, MOV, MP4, WebM, MKV, HEVC, VP9, etc.
  • All-in-one toolkit: convert, compress, rip DVDs, record screen, and download videos.


Free Download For macOS 10.13 or later
Free Download For Win 7 or later

Note: The Windows version now supports AI-powered Super Resolution, Frame Interpolation, and Stabilization to enhance video and image quality. These AI features are not yet available in the Mac version but will be coming soon.

Step 1. Import your video to VideoProc Converter AI.

Download and install VideoProc Converter AI. Open it and choose "Video" in the main UI. Click "+Video" and choose one or multiple videos you want to crop from your Mac. Also, you can simply drag the video file into this software.

Load Video to VideoProc on Mac
Load Video to VideoProc

Step 2. Enable its crop tool and drag to reframe the video in different aspect ratios.

Select an output format in the Video tab at the bottom.

Click "Crop" in the editing toolbar, and then tick the box before "Enable Crop".

It presets 17 cropping modes for you, square, letterbox, 16:9, 9:16, 1:1, and so forth. You are also allowed to resize the frame at a free form, just to drag the cropping window as you like. After cropping, click "Done" to save changes.

VideoProc Crop Video on Mac
Crop a Video on Mac Using VideoProc Converter AI

Step 3. Export the cropped video from VideoProc to your Mac.

Select a folder to save the video. Hit the "RUN" button to export the cropped video clip.

How to Crop a Video with QuickTime Player

As the name suggested, it is a media player. But it can also record, edit and share audio/video files. Many Mac users are wondering whether they can crop movies in QuickTime Player or not. In fact, its editing features are limited to trimming and rotating. QuickTime cannot crop videos like VideoProc Converter AI.

If you desire to get rid of the edges of a video, upgrade your QuickTime Player to QuickTime Pro, and install Photoshop on your Mac. By associating with a Photoshop mask, it achieves cropping a video with the following steps.

Note: This method is complicated. And you should not have invested so much energy in such a simple feature. Moreover, Apple stops selling QuickTime Pro since 2017.

Step 1. Create a JPEG image of the video.

Take an image from the video that you want to crop a video in QuickTime Pro on your Mac. And export it as an Image Sequence in .jpg format.

Step 2. Create a Mask in Photoshop for your QuickTime video.

Open Photoshop. Go to "Edit" > "Copy", and paste the image to Photoshop. Select the area that you want to keep by the Photoshop Rectangular Marquee tool, and fill it with black. And then invert to the rest area and fill it with white as a mask. Then save the file as a GIF or TIFF file.

Step 3. Apply the mask to the video in QuickTime Pro.

Open the video and the mask in QuickTime Pro. Go to "Window" > "Show Movie Properties" > "Visual Settings", and add the mask file.

QuickTime Pro Visual Settings
QuickTime Pro Visual Settings

Step 4. Save the cropped video.

By applying the mask file, the extra area will be hidden. Finally, go to "File" > "Export" to output the cropped video on Mac.

How to Crop a Video in iMovie on Mac

Apple proprietary video editor iMovie crops video frames on Mac intuitively and quickly. It easily helps you crop a vertical/square video for social media sharing, remove undesirable parts, or highlight a frame to draw your audience's attention.

Note: You are not allowed to crop videos into freeform or other regular aspect ratios except 16:9.

You can find it in "Finder" > "File" > "Application". If not, download and upgrade iMovie in the App Store manually.

Step 1. Start a new project and import a video/videos to iMovie.

Open iMovie, and click the + icon in Projects to create a new project or open an existed one. Then load a video from a camera or a folder on your Mac after clicking the import icon.

Import Video to iMovie to Crop
Import Video to iMovie to Crop

Step 2. Cut out the clip that you want to crop in iMovie.

Right-click on the start and end points of the clip, then hit "Cut" to trim out the footage that you want to crop.

Step 3. Crop the video clip.

Hit the crop icon on the upper side of the preview window. Choose "Crop to Fill", and drag the crop windows or grab the handle of any corner to crop the footage.

Crop to Fill - iMovie
Crop to Fill - iMovie

Note: Crop in iMovie just changes the size and center of the frame. The aspect ratio of the cropped video is always at 16:9.

Optional - Use Ken Burns in iMovie to Crop a Video on Mac

Ken Burns is named after an American documentarian. It is an effect of panning and zooming. In Ken Burns mode, you need to crop out a start and an end frame, then it will zoom in or out between these two areas.

If you want to undo any cropping, click Fit to restore the original video.

Ken Burns - iMovie
Ken Burns - iMovie

Step 4. Export and save the cropped video to your Mac.

When you complete the cropping task, hit the output icon in the right upper corner. And choose a file to save it to your Mac.

Export Video - iMovie
Export Video - iMovie

How to Crop a Video on Mac Using Final Cut Pro

Another video cropping software for Mac is Final Cut Pro X (now dropped the X in 10.5) which is more professional and ships with versatile and precise cropping tools. Even you crop a video exaggeratedly, you can fix the distortion in this professional video editor.

Note: Final Cut Pro is expensive ($299.99) and has a steep leaning curve for users who just need a simple crop.

Step 1. Import a video to Final Cut Pro X on your Mac.

Launch FCP X, and click New Project to create a new project. Go to "File" > "Import" > "Media" to select a video to crop. Then drag the video to the timeline to crop.

Import Video to FCP X
Import Video to FCP X

Step 2. Crop the video in Final Cut Pro X.

Click the crop icon in the lower-left corner of the viewer, and choose "Crop" (or press Shift+C). A crop window will pop up, then just drag edges to choose which area to display, then hit "Done".

Crop Video on Mac with FCP X
Crop Video on Mac with FCP X

Note: There are 3 different modes of crop in Final Cut Pro X on Mac.

  • Trim mode keeps the original aspect ratio, and it will auto add black borders to fit the project.
  • Crop expands the cropped clip to the entire frame. But you need to correct the distortion manually when the cropped clip obviously does not fit the frame.
  • Ken Burns is also available in Final Cut Pro X. you just need to set a start and an end frame, it will zoom in or out between these two clips like in iMovie.

Step 3. Save the cropped video in FCP X.

Navigate to "File" > "Share" > "Master File". Choose a destination for it. Then finish the export settings. Hit Next to export.

Export the Cropped Video on Mac - FCP X
Export the Cropped Video on Mac - FCP X

FAQ about Cropping Video on Mac

How do I crop a square/vertical video using iMovie?

iMovie can't make any square (1:1) or vertical (9:16, 5:7, 3:5, etc.) video. It only capable of cropping videos into horizontal (or you can say landscape) at 16:9.

Why does iMovie crop my video?

Because iMovie forces every video you imported to it to 16:9. If you don't want to lose any part of the frame, select "Fit" in the cropping style settings. But note that it will add black bars so to keep your video at 16:9 automatically.

How do you crop multiple clips in Final Cut Pro X?

It's a hassle to crop video clips one by one. FCP X has a lifesaving setting to apply the crop to multiple clips selectively. First, crop one of these clips, and press Command+C and right-click on the clip. Next, go to Edit > Paste Attributes > Tick Crop, then press Command and click on the clip that you want to paste the Crop. Done!

Can you crop a video in iPhoto?

iPhoto is a built-in app to organize videos and photos on Mac OS X exclusively. It is capable of trimming videos, but can't crop videos on Mac. What's more, it has been discontinued since 2015. Now iPhoto users have to migrate to Photos app on Mac.


In fact, among these Mac video cropping tools, only some of them can crop the footage for you, iMovie and Photos for free use, and Final Cut Pro X for advanced cropping. As for QuickTime Player, I have to say, it is a good media viewer and video trimmer, but not video cropper on Mac.

To crop a video on your Mac quickly and intuitively, try VideoProc Converter AI. Another reason for its popularity among Mac users is its versatility. You can use it to edit videos simply, convert videos and audio files, download videos from 1000+ sites, record desktop screen, and rip DVDs. Now free download it to explore more features!

Free Download For macOS 10.13 or later
Free Download For Win 7 or later

Note: The Windows version now supports AI-powered Super Resolution, Frame Interpolation, and Stabilization to enhance video and image quality. These AI features are not yet available in the Mac version but will be coming soon.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the editor-in-chief of Digiarty VideoProc. With over a decade of experience, she specializes in delivering insightful content on AI trends, video/audio editing, conversion, troubleshooting, and software reviews. Her expertise makes her a trusted ally in enhancing users' digital experiences.

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