How to Compress a Video File Using IMovie

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Intro: How to Compress a Video File Using IMovie

If you have a Mac computer, here is a quick, free, and easy way to compress a video file with iMovie, which should come installed on your Mac computer(Laptop or Desktop). This should take your video file and make it about one half it's original size or smaller depending on what options you choose later. In this tutorial, I'm using iMovie 10.1 but it does work with some older versions as well.

Step 1: Check the Original File Size (Optional)

Begin by right-clicking the icon of your video. This should pull open a menu. Click "Get Info", and a window will pop up with a bunch of different information about your file. This particular video is about 37.2 MB.

Step 2: Set Up IMovie

NOTE: This step may be slightly different for different versions of iMovie

1. Open iMovie

2. Find the "Projects" ("Library" for some, older versions) menu, and hit the "+" button in the upper left hand corner.

3. Select the "Movie" option.

4. Choose a theme or "No Theme".

5. Choose what you want the file to be named.

Step 3: Import Your Video File

NOTE: This step may be slightly different for different versions of iMovie

1.a. In the upper left-hand corner of the iMovie window hit the button with the downward facing arrow.

OR

1.b. Click the "Import Media" button.

2. Either double-click the file you want, or click it once and then hit "Import All".

3. Click and drag anywhere on the video strip until a yellow box appears.

4. Adjust the size of the box until it covers the section of video you want.

5. Drag the selected section of video into the large gray area at the bottom of the window.

Step 4: Edit Your Video (Optional)

Note: Editing your video may affect the final file size.

Step 5: Export Your Video

NOTE: This step may be slightly different for different versions of iMovie

1.a. In the upper right-hand corner of the window click the button with a box with and arrow sticking out of it and then click "File".

OR

1.b. In the menu bar of your computer click File > Share > File...

2. In the menu, choose the settings you want. Lower Resolution and Quality make a smaller sized file, while higher Resolution and Quality make for a larger sized file.

3. Click "Next...".

4. Give the file the name you want.

5. Change where you want to save the file.

6. Click "Save".

Step 6: Find Your File Where Ever You Saved It

Find your file where ever you saved it. You can check the file size the way you did in step one, and see that, the lower Quality and Resolution you picked when Sharing your file, the smaller the size of the file. Your file should now be anywhere from one half the size to even smaller! As you can see, this same video is now only 1.2 MB in size! That's over 30 times smaller!

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16 Discussions

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CharlotteW66

26 days ago

Thanks to your clear tutorial. I love it. It seems really clear and simple.But I am not a mac user, i have already tried a windows software - WonderFox HD Video Converter to compress my files and it works. But i also wondered whether IMovie is also available to Windows users too?

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DanT134

2 months ago

im confused because in order to achieve the smaller file you reduced the quality and resolution, right?

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Ben ParkerDanT134

Reply 7 weeks ago

That's correct! Compressions typically fall short into two categories: lossless and lossy. With lossless compression, you keep all the file quality via an algorithm that removes redundancies in the files information(that should obviously a simplification) but usually won't be able to compress the file a WHOLE lot. With lossy compression, you will lose video quality, but also gain the ability to compress the file a lot more, saving much more space. This is an example of lossy compression.

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ardwork11DanT134

Reply 2 months ago

In general, higher video quality means a larger video size. For example, a 30-minute video. It has a video size of 800MB at 4k resolution, but it might be 100MB at 480P resolution. In addition, the size of the video is also closely related to the video encoding, frame rate, bit rate and other parameters. For Mac users, iMovie will be a good video compressor. For Windows users, the Wonderfox HD video converter factory is worth trying.

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TroyT34

11 months ago

I hope to use this guide tonight. ThanX

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Lois1234

1 year ago

I have ever used Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate compressed my video size. It can keep the perfect video output quality when ouputing small file size.

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LinK24

1 year ago

Complete clarity guide, but I'd like use Pavtube video converter, it's more easier to compress video for any device or editing software.

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ifastimeclub

1 year ago

Nice guide, it's really detail but still a little hard for me, just take time. I still want to get a easy way to compress the video.

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IshaanP4

1 year ago

Thank you Uncle Ben! This was great.

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BenP126

1 year ago

Best tutorial on this entire site.

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Ben Parkercartwrig

Reply 2 years ago

Probably won't be very useful though as most people don't have Mac. But thanks anyway.