One of the best apps you can use to change a video file’s aspect ratio is iMovie, a video editing app designed for macOS and iOS devices. Once you use iMovie to change a video’s aspect ratio, you can upload it to various social media platforms. This is key because if you don’t change a video’s aspect ratio, the platform where you post the video might automatically crop or stretch it improperly.
In this article, we’ll show you how to change the aspect ratio using iMovie on different devices. We’ll also go over which aspect ratio works best for particular social media platforms.
Aspect Ratio and Social Media
For instance, TikTok requires videos with a 9:16 aspect ratio, and for YouTube, it’s 16:9. In fact, the standard aspect ratio for videos is actually 16:9, also known as the widescreen aspect ratio. Most video content you see on TV, as well as computers and mobile devices, is displayed in this aspect ratio.
The aspect ratio depends on the default settings of your recording device, whether it’s your phone, tablet, laptop camera, or digital camera. While some mobile devices give you the option to change the aspect ratio before you take a picture, you can also use a video editing app to change it afterward.
While social media apps impose certain limitations in terms of dimensions, they will allow you to upload your content without resizing it. However, not only will this automatically crop your video in all the wrong places, but it might also reduce the video’s quality. Skipping this step might also cause the platform to stretch your video to fit the entire screen, thus distorting it.
That’s why to control the end product, it’s best to change the video’s aspect ratio before it is uploaded. And while there are various programs and apps you can use to edit your video, iPhone, a Mac, or iPad users will find the best software to use is iMovie.
How to Change Aspect Ratio in iMovie on the iPhone
Due to its small screen, using iMovie on your iPhone might be more challenging than on other devices. Nonetheless, the process of adjusting your video’s aspect ratio in iMovie on your iPhone only requires a few steps.
If you don’t have the app installed on your iPhone already, you can download it from the App Store.
The only problem with using iMovie to change the aspect ratio of a video is that there aren’t any automatically suggested options for you to choose from. Instead, you’ll have to change the aspect ratio manually by cropping the video.
To change a video’s aspect ratio in iMovie on your iPhone, follow the steps below:
- Open iMovie on your iPhone.
- Tap on Create Project option on your home page.
- Select Movie from the New Project window.
- Import a video file from your device.
- Tap on your video in the timeline.
- Navigate to the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of your screen.
- Zoom your video by pinching the timeline. To make the video’s dimensions smaller, pinch towards the center of the screen. To enlarge the video, drag your fingers to the outer edges of your screen.
- When you’ve finished, select Done in the upper-left corner of your screen.
- Proceed to the Share button.
- Choose Save Video.
The video will be saved in your iPhone’s camera roll. You can share the video to iCloud Drive, Mail, and Messages directly from the app. You can also use the AirDrop feature to share it with other devices.
When it comes to the aspect ratio you choose, it depends on the platform where you plan to share the video. It might be challenging to crop the video precisely with your fingers, and you might have to go back to the app to adjust the dimensions again. That’s why it might be easier to make the change on a Mac and work on a larger screen.
How to Change the Aspect Ratio in iMovie on a Mac
If you don’t have iMovie on your Mac, you can download it here. To change the aspect ratio of a video on iMovie on your Mac, follow the steps below:
- Open the iMovie program on your Mac.
- Click on the Create New button in the upper-left corner of your screen.
- Select Movie from the drop-down menu.
- Click on Import Media to upload a video from your Mac.
Note: You can also drag and drop video clips from the browser directly to the iMovie timeline.
- Click on the Crop icon on the top toolbar.
- Drag the edges of the cropped window across your video.
- When you’re done, click on the blue tick icon in the upper-right corner of your video.
- Select the Share icon in the upper-right corner.
- Save the video to your device.
The iMovie app only lets you choose between the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio for HD videos and the standard 4:3 aspect ratio for SD videos. To adjust which part of your video will remain within the frame, click on its edge and move it across the screen.
Another way to choose the video’s aspect ratio is by uploading your video, and then clicking on the File > Project Properties. You’ll be able to choose between the widescreen and standard aspect ratio.
However, this method might not work for all versions of iMovie, but it’s worth a try.
How to Change Aspect Ratio in iMovie on an iPad
The process of changing a video’s aspect ratio in iMovie on your iPad is similar to how you’d do it on your iPhone. Since you’re working on a bigger screen, it might be even easier. You can download the app from the App Store and start editing right away. Here’s what you need to do:
- Launch iMovie on your iPad.
- Select the Create Project option.
- Tap on the Movie button on the new window.
- Upload the video from your iPad’s camera roll.
- Tap on the video’s timeline.
- Select the magnifying glass icon in the upper-right corner of your screen.
- Pinch the video to zoom in. To zoom out, use your fingers to drag the frame of the video to the outer edges of the screen.
- Select Done.
- Go to the Share button to save your video.
That’s all there is to it. You’ll find the edited video in your iPad’s camera roll.
How to Change Aspect Ratio in iMovie for IGTV?
If you want to create an Instagram IGTV video, it needs to have dimensions of 1080 x 1920 pixels or an aspect ratio of 9:16. This is the same aspect ratio required for Instagram stories and TikTok videos. It’s basically intended to cover the entire screen of your smartphone.
Before you post an IGTV, you’ll get a preview. This preview video has a 4:5 aspect ratio, so don’t be confused when you see it. The dimensions will be adjusted once you post it on Instagram.
If you want to use iMovie to change your video’s aspect ratio, you should choose the 16:9 aspect ratio. Since it’s the opposite of 9:16, a common practice is to use the opposite aspect ratio to upload the video horizontally. Viewers might have to rotate their phones to see the video more clearly, but the quality will be worth it.
You can use the iMovie app on your Mac to create an IGTV video, and then send it to your iPhone. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open iMovie on your Mac.
- Click on the Create New icon in the upper-left corner of your screen.
- Select Movie.
- Upload your IGTV video to iMovie.
- Click on the File tab on the top menu.
- Select Project Properties from the drop-down menu.
- Select the widescreen aspect ratio.
- Choose the Share button in the upper-right corner of your screen.
- Send the video to your iPhone.
You can either use iCloud to transfer the video or send it with the AirDrop feature. Once the video is on your phone, you can upload it to Instagram right away. IGTV will automatically adjust the video to fit your phone’s screen.
This method is much better than rotating the video, which would make it smaller and difficult to see.
Alter Your Video’s Dimensions to Your Liking
Although it isn’t mandatory, changing your video’s aspect ratio will make it fit any device or app you use to upload it. While iMovie doesn’t offer specific aspect ratio options, you can use it to change the dimensions manually. Doing this will allow you to crop your video the way you want to.
Have you ever changed a video’s aspect ratio with iMovie? Did you use the same methods outlined in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.