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How To Edit iPhone Videos with the Built-In Editor


Editing iPhone Videos

The iPhone Video Editor in Action

Having an iPhone in your pocket means you can capture great-looking video at practically any time (and if you've got a 5S, you can also record cool-looking slow-motion video). Once you've recorded the video, you can use the iPhone's built-in video-editing tool to snip out the parts of you don't want and leave a perfect clip that's ready to be shared via email, text messaging, YouTube, or Vimeo.

Because the iPhone isn't a professional-level editing suite, don't expect a full-featured video editor. Video editing tools that include intensive features like effects and sound editing require complex, and often expensive, desktop video-editing programs. That's just not possible on a phone with a touch interface. What the editing app will let you do is trim and snip videos, so you can save the best part of a recording.

NOTE: The video editing feature is available on the iPhone 3GS and newer.


Difficulty: Average

Time Required: A few minutes

Here's How:

  1. To edit a video, you'll of course need to have recorded video on your iPhone. Once you've done that, you'll need to go to your Camera Roll to edit. If you just took the video, simply tap the box in the lower left corner. If you're looking to edit a video taken earlier, tap on the Photos app, then Camera Roll (in iOS 6 and lower) or Videos (in iOS 7 and higher), and find the video you want to edit.
  2. At the top of the window, you'll see a timeline bar showing frames from throughout your video. A small white (iOS 7) or silver (iOS 6) bar rests on top of the timeline bar at the left (it's a bit subtle in iOS 7, but it looks like a progress indicator). You can tap and drag the silver bar to move forward and backward throughout the video. This lets you quickly get to the part of the video you want to edit.
  3. To edit the video - which, remember, means just trimming footage off one end or the other - tap and hold either end of the timeline bar (there are two little lines/arrows at each end of the bar). At this point, the bar will turn yellow and a button labeled Trim will appear above the timeline bar.

    Drag either end of the yellow bar to cut out the parts of the video you don't want to save. The section of the video shown within the yellow bar is what you'll be saving.

  4. When you're happy with your selection, tap the Trim button at the top right. You'll be given two options: Trim Original or Save as New Clip. If you choose Trim Original, you cut from the original video and will permanently delete the sections you remove. If you choose this, be sure you're making the right decision: there's no undoing it; the video will be gone.

    For more flexibility, choose Save as New Clip. This will save the trimmed version of the video as a new file on your iPhone, allowing you to view the new clip, but also leave the original untouched so you can return to it to make other edits later.

  5. Once you've created and saved the clip as you want it, you've got a number of options for what to do with it. You can simply save it and then sync it to your computer as normal. But, if you tap the arrow button at the bottom left of the screen, you'll have the following options options: Message (to text the clip to someone), Mail (to email it), and to share to it online services such as YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.

    Choosing email will email the video to any address from your phone. Choosing Message will send the video as a text message. Send to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo will automatically format the video for those sites and post it to your account (this requires an account with whatever site you're sharing to) for all the world to see.

Related Video
Beginner iPhone Tips and Tricks
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