With the release of every new iPhone, Apple has continued to emphasize the strength of its camera app. As these features are released and cameras improve, the video sizes get larger. If you are not careful, you can run out of space. While you can easily transfer videos off the iPhone, another easy fix is to compress the videos to reduce their size. We show here how to compress videos on your iPhone.
No Default iOS Method
It should be clear from the start that any steps to compress video size on the iPhone will be done through third-party applications. There is no default method from Apple to do this. The only thing you can do on your iPhone is reduce the original video size.
Go to “Settings -> Camera” on your iPhone and find the option for “Record video.” Tap on it and find six different possible options for recording video. (You will see fewer options on a non-4K iPhone.) At the bottom of this screen, Apple included a note about how much storage space a video will take up with each setting. If you want to “compress” your video, choose one of the bottom two options.
Use Video Compress App
One of the most popular solutions to compress videos directly on your iPhone is to use an app called Video Compress. Available for free, the app has two paid options to remove ads and compress an unlimited number of videos. Beyond its cost, the app is one of the easiest solutions to save space on your iPhone.
1. Once you have Video Compress installed, open the it and tap on the giant “+” button.
2. After hitting the “+” button, the app will ask for permission to access your photos. Go ahead and say OK. The app will then show you the list of all your available videos. Choose the video you want to compress by tapping on it. You can select just one video or tap on multiple videos to compress them at the same time.
3. You must now select the level of compression you want for each video. There are multiple presets available enabling you to choose everything from Full HD (28.6 MB per minute) to 360p video quality (3.6 MB per minute). You can also adjust the bitrate with a higher bitrate equaling better quality and more space. When you have made your selection, you can either preview the video at the reduced size or hit “Continue” to move on.
4. Your next option is to select a Destination Album. If none of the listed options work, look at the bottom and tap on “Add new album” and move forward.
5. When the destination is selected, you can proceed with compression. Depending on the number of videos, the actual compress process should be relatively brief and done within 30 seconds or so.
6. Finally, you now have the choice of keeping the original video or deleting it and keeping only the newly-resized video. Tap on Finish if you want to lose the original and complete the entire process.
Looking at the resized video in the photo app shouldn’t show much of a change. Most people don’t know the difference between 4K/1080p and 1080p/720p. You are now free to share the video to your social channels, friends and family or just enjoy the freed up space on your iPhone.
Using Online Apps
If you don’t have problems with the Internet connection and data cap, you could use one of the online video compression services. As with the video compression apps, there are many available.
For example, VideoSmaller allows you to reduce video size either by uploading to their server or by pointing it to the video URL, as long as the size doesn’t exceed 500 MB. The service also allows you to resize the video and supports a wide range of video file formats.
Use QuickTime for Mac
While it’s easy to compress videos on your iPhone, it’s just as easy to do in macOS as well. First, you need to transfer your video to your Mac. You can quickly do this through the Photos app if you use iCloud, through Image Capture or by backing up through a third-party app like Google Photos, Dropbox, etc. Both QuickTime and iMovie can help can help as well, and best of all, both are free.
In QuickTime, all you need to do is open the app and add the video file. You can do that by clicking on “File -> Open File.” Now, when you want to export, click on “File -> Export As” and choose the next lowest resolution. When you export down from 4K to 1080p or 1080p to 720p, the file size of the video will be significantly smaller.
The same principle applies with Apple’s iMovie software. Just export the video at a lower resolution or drop the quality from High to low/medium and achieve the same result with a smaller file size.
Use VLC on Windows
Note: VLC is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. Technically, you can use the following method on any of the OS.
VLC is more than just a video player. Using its built-in conversion tool, you can export at a smaller file size.
Download and install VLC and open a video, go to “Media -> Convert/Save,” then choose an export option. Since VLC doesn’t explicitly tell you what the size will be for an exported video, it’s a little bit of a guess, so it may help to experiment to find a format that works best.
Other Compression Options
If the above methods don’t work for you to compress videos on your iPhone, there are dozens of other video compression apps on the App Store. All of them achieve the same goal and have mostly the same set of options. Just know that there are only a finite number of ways to shrink a video, specifically as it relates to what outputs you choose (1080p, 720p, 480p, etc.).
Image Credit: VLC