Why Is iMovie Cropping My Video on iPhone?

"Why is iMovie cropping my video?" This is a question that many users may have when working with this popular iOS and macOS video editing software. Knowing the reason behind this cropping and how to fix it can prevent frustration and save time in the post-production process.

This article will answer the common inquiries associated with the iMovie cropping video on iPhone as well as provide possible solutions to avoid this problem.

Why does iMovie crop my videos on iPhone?

If you have this question, know that you're not alone. Many others have experienced the same issue. You can be frustrated, particularly if you've dedicated time to meticulously composing your shots. So what's the reason that iMovie crops users' videos?

The answer lies in the default settings. Even though you're using a mobile video editor, iMovie automatically adjusts the clip to fit the aspect ratio of a 16:9 widescreen format.

Why is iMovie cropping my video

This change does not happen though when working on footage with the desktop video editing software. However, vertically orientated clips will have the black bars on both sides of the video.

iMovie cuts off top of the video only on mobile Working with vertical videos in the desktop version of iMovie

How to make iMovie not crop my video on iPhone?

We offer you 3 possible solutions to the issues of iMovie cropping your videos.

Solution 1: rotate your video

One of the possible ways to prevent iMovie from cropping your video on iPhone is to rotate your footage prior to importing it into the program.

Since iMovie does not offer the rotating tool, you'll have to turn your clip using Photos or a video editor that offers this functionality.

Rotate clip to avoid iMovie cropping your video on iPhone

This solution is not the most convenient as you will have to adjust working with the video horizontally. However, it's the fastest way to prevent the application from cutting off the top and bottom of your clip.

Solution 2: work on the desktop

The iMovie app offers significantly less functionality compared to the desktop version. Therefore, if you want to produce quality content, consider editing the video on your computer instead.

For instance, the desktop version of this free video editing software will provide you with additional tools and some creative ways to work with vertical videos.

You can employ the following cropping options:


The Fit tool adjusts the clip to fill the entire frame without cropping. This means that iMovie will preserve the original aspect ratio but you will see black bars on the sides of the frame.

When to use. Employ if you want the entire video to be visible without any part being cut off, even if it means having black bars.

iMovie - fit tool

Crop to Fit

The Crop to Fit tool makes the video fill the project frame without any black bars. To achieve this, iMovie will crop parts of the clip that extend beyond the project’s frame. This can result in some parts of the video being cut off, but it ensures that the frame is fully filled.

  • When to use. When you want the entire frame to be filled with the video, and you are okay that some parts will be cropped out.
iMovie - crop to fit tool

Ken Burns

The Ken Burns tool creates a dynamic panning and zooming effect. This effect allows you to specify a starting and ending frame within the video. iMovie will smoothly pan and zoom from the start frame to the end frame over the duration of the clip.

  • When to use. When you want to add motion to still images or create a dynamic. This is especially useful for focusing on specific details within a video.
iMovie - Ken Burns tool

These tools offer different ways to present your videos, allowing you to choose the best fit based on your project’s needs and the visual effect you want to achieve.

Solution 3: use a different application

If you don't have access to a computer , consider avoiding the hassle to cope with the iMovie's limitations by using another free video editor.

Go to the App Store and find a video editor that would be specifically designed to work with vertically orientated footage.

For example, CapCut is quite popular. It processes the vertical videos without cropping them and offers a variety of tools for adding music, text, effects, applying filters, adjusting brightness, saturation, and much more.

CapCut application

Utilizing a different free video editor will help you get the job done without finding solutions of how to fit your video the aspect ratio limitations of the iMovie.


In conclusion, iMovie crops videos on iPhone primarily to fit the selected aspect ratio and frame dimensions, which can disrupt your intended composition. To address the issue, you can employ one of the three effective solutions that are discussed in this article.

You can rotate the video prior to working with it in iMovie, edit your clip in the desktop version of the program, or utilize a different third-party video editor that does not have the aspect ratio limitations.

By applying these strategies, you can maintain your video’s original integrity and achieve the desired visual presentation.

Paul Skidmore

Tech Writer and Photography Aficionado

Paul is a self-professed photography and tech nerd and has years of experience working with various editing software. He has a passion for travel and has taken his camera to destinations including Antarctica, Singapore, Indonesia, and Greenland.
3 min read
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