Summary: In this tutorial, we covered easy guides on how to crop a video on Windows 10/11 and older systems.
Some of the listed tools are also available on the macOS system, you can check a dedicated guide on how to crop a video on Mac if you are not running a Windows PC.
Disambiguation: By cropping a video, here it means removing the surrounding parts of the video. For instance, you can crop the edges to remove black bars or objects that you don't want to be shown in the video. Also, you can crop a horizontal video to a vertical one, crop a video into a square shape, or from 16:9 to 4:3, or any free shapes.
I know some of you use the term "cut, trim, and crop" interchangeably. Still, for the sake of clarity, if you only want to change the duration of a video, cutting off beginning, ending or middle part, please refer to this guide to cut and trim a video instead.
Quick Fact: Does the default Video Editor on Windows supports cropping a video?
The short answer is no. As of 2023, the Video Editor (or the Photos App) still doesn't allow you to crop a video flexibly. Though, it does have a feature to remove black bars, or convert 16:9 to 4:3. You cannot drag and drop a cropping frame to flexibly decide which part to remove or keep.
VideoProc Converter is a light-weight and simple video editor to crop a video in 1-click. You don't need to create projects or mess up with timeline-based interfaces such as Premiere or DaVinci Resolve. All you have to do is to drag-n-drop the video > hit the Cropping Tool > visually crop the footage, and export.
1. How to Crop a Video in VideoProc Converter
How to crop a video? Don't worry if you have zero editing skills. Using VideoProc Converter, you can crop a video clip as easy as cropping a picture.
Follow the detailed steps below:
Step 1. Install this video cropping software on your computer.
VideoProc Converter - Crop a Video Easily (and In Batch)
- 16:9, 1:1, 4:3, 9:16... for IG, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
- Crop at a fixed aspect ratio or crop freely. It's up to you.
- See the video frame size in real time when cropping.
- Adjust color, trim, cut, split, merge, rotate, flip videos easily.
- Bonus tools to edit, trim, record, download, and convert videos.
Step 2. Add the video.
- From the main screen, click Video icon, and hit the + Video icon to add a video. Choose an output format, such as MP4, MOV, MKV, etc.
- VideoProc Converter supports 370+ input formats, you can crop MP4 videos, MKV, MOV, AVI, rare formats and demanding codec such as H265/HEVC videos.
Step 3. Use the Crop tool from the toolbar.
- Click the Crop icon to call out the editing window and tick the Enable Crop box to crop videos.
- Use Free Preset to drag the cropping box flexibly.
- You can also click the Preset icon and crop video at a fixed aspect ratio, such as 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, etc.
Step 4. Export the cropped video.
Once you are happy with the result, click Done to save the editing.
On the right-side panel, you can click Browse to indicate the export path, tick the box to use High Quality Engine, and hit Run to export the video.
Video Tutorial on How to Crop a Video:
Can I use VideoProc Converter on a Slow PC?
Yes. VideoProc Converter only requires the minimum 1GB RAM and 200MB hard disk space. Even an old notebook can effortlessly run it without a glitch.
Click the buttons below to download VideoProc Converter, and start to crop a video easily.
2. How to Crop a Video in VideoProc Vlogger
We are very familiar with cropping a video on mobile phones, so here is an analogy.
- Using VideoProc Converter (the method above) is like cropping a video on iPhone/Android using Photos app.
- Using VideoProc Vlogger to crop a video on Windows is like doing so on mobile using CapCut, InShot, iMovie.. or on PC using Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, etc.
Now that we are going down the road of Video Editing Software, why VideoProc Vlogger is a better choice than Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, TechSmith Camtasia, Filmora and other editors in terms of video cropping?
The short answer is, VideoProc Vlogger is truly free without watermark or any other restrictions, and it is lightweight for slow PC.
Step 1. Go to the official Download Center to download and install VideoProc Vlogger.
Step 2. Launch it, select a folder for this project, and hit + New Project.
Leave out all the rest to default settings, you don't need to worry about them.
Step 3. Add video to the project timeline.
- Drag and drop video to the media library (Section 1 in the screenshot).
- Drag and drop the newly added video to the timeline (Section 2 in the screenshot).
Step 4. Click the Crop button from the toolbar.
Step 5. Drag the frame to freely crop the video, or select a fixed aspect ratio to crop the video.
Tips: You can see the resolution of the cropping video on the top of the current interface.
Step 6 (optional). Set the output resolution to make it the same as the resolution of the cropped video (the resolution in the screenshot in step 5).
Why do we need to do so?
Because that's how timeline-based video editing software works. The project resolution is pre-defined when we create the new project (1920x1080 in this case). If we skip step 6, and directly export the video, you will get a 1920x1080 video. The footage is cropped, but since the footage only takes up 734x949 pixels on the canvas of 1920x1080 pixels, the rest of the area will be black bars.
In what scenarios shall we skip Step 6?
If we prefer the export video to have a resolution the same as the project when we create it (in step 2), or we want the video to be surrounded by black bars or other colors – i.e. let the cropped footage to stay on top of a background. See screenshots below:
To better explain my point, I changed the background color from black to yellow, so that you can see it more clearly.
Step 7. Hit the Export button, leave all the settings as-is, and click the Start button to export the cropped video.
3. How to Crop a Video on Windows with Online Tools
Sometimes you only want to crop a video on Windows quickly, without installing the software, and that's when the online video croppers come into your aid. Ezgif is one of those online croppers that we have tested.
It offers both a graphic crop tool and a pixel crop tool for those who prefer entering specific parameters manually to crop. Users can also lock the aspect ratio to one of the presets to make the video square, 4:3, 16:9, 3:2 and many more. Upon cropping, you can also choose to encode the file in MP4 H264/AAC.
Step 1. Drag and drop a video to the processing panel and click upload. Or you can click "upload" to select video file directly.
Step 2. Select an area for cropping in the graphical crop tool or input pixels in the corresponding dimensions.
Step 3. Click to confirm and download the video by hitting Save button.
Cons of Ezgif.com:
- No progress bar – you cannot pause, fast-forward, backward, or pinpoint to a single frame for cropping.
- No voice control – you cannot mute the video during cropping.
1. Where Is the Video Cropping Tool in Windows Video Editor?
There isn't a dedicated cropping tool in the Microsoft Video Editor. It doesn't allow you to freely adjust a cropping box to crop the video frame on Windows 10. Though you can use it to remove black bars, convert 16:9 to 4:3, and change a horizontal video to a vertical one.
Therefore, strictly speaking, you can't really crop a video in Windows Video Editor. It only works under very restricted situations.
Step 1. Open Windows Video Editor on Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system.
Here are several ways to launch the Windows Video Editor on Windows 11/10.
- You can click the Windows Start menu, and type in Video Editor to launch it.
- Alternatively, you can open the Windows Photos App, go to more, and click Video Editor.
- You can also directly right-click on the video > Open with > Photos. Then Click Add to in the photos app, and choose to add to new video or existing video, then click View to launch the project.
Step 2. Create a New Project, and import video clips that you want to crop.
Step 3. Drag the newly added clips to the storyboard at the bottom.
- If you only want to crop one video, drag it to the first storyboard.
- If you add multiple clips to the storyboard (the cards at the bottom), these videos will be merged into one upon exporting.
Step 4. Use Windows Video Editor to remove black bars or change aspect ratio.
- If you want to crop the black bars, click the frame-shaped icon on the right side of the speed icon.
- If you want to crop the video to a different aspect ratio, click the three-dot icon in the top right corner, and change 16:9 to 4:3. Under the same menu, you can also make a landscape video vertical.
Step 5. Click the Share icon to save the video.
Note: Based on our tests, videos processed by the Windows Video Editor will end up large in file size. This is probably because this default editor doesn't apply an efficient compression algorithm to reduce unnecessary data. Plus, if you want to crop videos in bulk, you need to create a project for each video manually.
2. Can I Crop a Video Using Windows Movie Maker?
Many tutorials claim that Windows Movie Maker can help you to crop a video on Windows 10, but when you follow the guide step by step, you will find that they are actually talking about trimming, or cutting out a section to shorten the video.
In fact, Windows Movie Maker does not have a cropping tool. You can circumvent it to some degree, still it is not as flexible as using dedicated video croppers. The workaround is to zoom in on the clip.
Step 1. Install Windows Movie Maker and launch it.
Step 2. Drag your footage into the working area, and click Animations tab from the menu bar.
Step 3. Crop video frame by selecting the first effects from the section featuring "Zoom in" effects.
Step 4. Set the Duration time. Make sure it lasts long enough to cover the entire footage.
Step 5. Playback and check if the unwanted areas are cropped by zooming in.
Tips: Since the zoom-in is a process, the beginning part of the video will still stay not cropped.
3. How to Crop a Video in PowerPoint?
Although many users already know that we can crop a video in Windows 10 using PowerPoint, how to export the cropped video with PowerPoint is unmentioned in many tutorials. In fact, it is tricky to export and save the cropped video, since there isn't a direct option.
Follow the steps below to check how the trick is completed when cropping a video in PowerPoint.
Step 1. Launch PowerPoint in Windows 10 (Windows 11) to insert the video.
Click Insert > Video > Video on PC, browser and find the video you need to crop, and insert it into the PowerPoint slide.
Make sure you only have one and only slide in PowerPoint, instead of multiple slides.
Tips: There are chances when PowerPoint won't insert a video, saying "PowerPoint cannot insert a video from the selected file. Verify that the necessary codec for this media format is installed, and then try again." It means the codec of the source video is not supported by your PowerPoint version. For instance, PowerPoint 2013 or 2010 cannot insert and playback MPEG-2 encoded videos.
H264 MP4 video (AAC audio) has the best compatibility with PowerPoint. If you have other video formats, refer to method 1 which supports all the popular and rare codecs, way more than PowerPoint.
Step 2. Crop the video in PowerPoint.
- To do so, you need to click on the video clip to make sure it is selected, and click Crop under the Format tab.
- You shall see a cropping frame appearing around the edges of the video. Drag and resize it to decide the areas to crop.
- Click Crop again to confirm removing the unwanted parts.
Step 3. Adjust the size of the video to fill the full slide.
Step 4. Export the cropped video.
Click the File > Export > Create a Video, and choose the video specification. Depending on your PowerPoint version, the available resolutions can be different. For instance, PowerPoint 2013 only supports up to 720p, while higher versions have 1080p and even 4K videos.
Tips: PowerPoint can be slow when exporting the video. If you see the video file in the destination folder, but are prompted with a notice "This file is locked by another app at the moment", it means the video conversion is still in process, and the MP4 video you are seeing now is merely a temporary file. Wait patiently for the PowerPoint to finish cropping and exporting the video. Then you shall be able to playback the cropped video.
As you may already notice, this PowerPoint Cropping trick works because it is turning the slideshow into a video, and the inserted video happens to be part of that slide. For that reason, if you want to crop a video into a square format, you may find PowerPoint's function limited. Because it depends on the shape of the slide page instead of depending on the embedded video.
4. How to Crop a Video in VLC?
You can crop a video in VLC using the Video cropping filter (also known as Video scaling filter in some VLC versions). The filter need to be enabled in Tools > Preferences > All Settings > Video - Filters. For detailed steps with screenshots, check this tutorial.