How To Edit Videos on Your iPhone

In movies and TV shows, video editors are often depicted as being glued to bright screens in dark rooms, but how often are they shown working from their phones? Editing videos on your iPhone can simplify your post-production process, letting you work from almost anywhere. However, most mobile editing apps have limitations you need to be aware of before you start. Read on to learn how to edit videos on your iPhone that your viewers will love. 

How To Prepare Your iPhone for Video Editing

Before you can edit any videos, you'll first need to film them on your iPhone or camera.

Review Your Video Quality Settings

For any production or photoshoot, it's critical to check your camera settings first. Fortunately, most iPhone camera settings are preset and can be easily adjusted from the Camera app. For DSLR cameras, check your ISO, shutter speed, and frame rate for slo-mo videos. Always ensure you have enough memory storage before filming to avoid interruptions.

Adjust the Color Balance for Better Video Quality

For DSLR cameras, check the ISO levels and white balance in your filming location. These settings affect how much light your camera senses and should be adjusted for different venues and times of the day. If you're filming on your iPhone, double-check and adjust the photographic style settings from the Camera app using the arrow at the top of the screen. Current models' photographic styles include rich contrast, cool, warm, and vibrant. 

Start Shooting Videos

Once your camera settings are up to your standards, start filming videos. Take your time with the filming process. Ensure lighting, audio, and what's on-screen are on par with other videos you'd find on social media. Your video needs to grab people's attention, but it might not if the background is cluttered or the audio is hard to hear. 

Film more than one take of clips whenever possible, especially moments with movement or action. Even if there was nothing wrong with the original version, that second take might end up looking slightly better during the editing process. 

Tips for Getting Started with Video Editing on Your Phone

Once you've compiled your footage, it's time for post-production. With modern technology, this entire process can now be completed from your phone. 

Choose a Video Editing Tool for Your Platform of Choice

Before you start video editing on your iPhone, you'll need to decide on an editing app. Most apps are only basic video editing tools compared to Mac and PC-based software, and some require in-app purchases to export or use all of their features. Therefore, it's crucial to know each video editor's abilities and limitations before you start. 

If you're making social media videos, you should consider what video editing apps work best for each platform. For example, CapCut Video Editor was established by a TikTok content creator and has many tools specific to TikTok. Other great apps for iPhone video editing include:

  • Adobe Premiere Rush
  • Canva
  • GoPro Quik
  • iMovie
  • InShot Video Editor
  • Splice
  • Vimeo Create

Use the Crop Tool To Trim and Organize Your Videos

Each video editing app has different specifications for editing content, but most at least give you options to trim, crop, splice, and change the order of clips. This is where the true art of video editing lies — just don't forget to save video projects regularly. 

Take your time building your timeline using all available video clips. Pay close attention when deciding which parts of videos to keep. Don't let any continuity errors slip into your final cut, and be prepared to reshoot or remove certain moments when necessary. It's almost always better to have a shorter final cut of your video than a longer one, especially for social media where attention spans are short. 

Trim clips on moments with action when creating transitions and cuts. For example, if you have two shots of someone standing up and walking, cut between the shots at the exact moment the person stands. This will keep the transitions seamless by putting viewers' focus on the action. 

Add Background Music, Sound Effects, or a Voice-Over

Once your video timeline is to your liking, the next step is to add sound. While your footage may already have audio, you should add sounds and effects to smooth the timeline and make the video more exciting. Only using royalty-free music and sounds will keep your videos protected, as copywritten music may get your video demonetized or removed from online platforms. 

Sound effects can improve action, transitions, VFX sequences, and dips in audio quality. Likewise, background music and sounds will make your video more immersive and further define its tone. Adding atmospheric noises, such as distant bugs or vehicles, can make cuts feel seamless, especially if certain video clips already have lots of background noise. 

Finally, recording and adding voice-over to your timeline can add narration, exposition, calls-to-action, and more. Consider re-recording dialogue through automated dialogue replacement (ADR) for footage with poor audio quality.

Apply Transitions and Text for a Professional Feel

Transitions, text, and other graphics can make your video pop. While preset transitions like wipes, fades, and dissolves feel cheesy when overused, when used effectively and in moderation they go a long way in maintaining visual activity in your video. Switching up transitions is particularly useful for videos with still photos. 

Many video editing apps include presets for text and graphics, allowing you to complement your clips without having to craft your own illustrations. Graphics are particularly handy for ending your video with an eye-catching call to action. Many platform-specific editing programs even include graphics that meet certain social media styles, such as YouTube "subscribe" buttons and textboxes similar to those on TikTok. 

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How To Export Your Final Video Edit

Once your edited video is up to your standards, it's time to share it with the world. 

Save a Draft Version of Your Work

First, you'll need to export a basic draft of your video. Most video editing apps include a "Render," "Export," or "Share" button for exporting videos, though specific export methods vary by app. Some apps only allow you to export videos to your iPhone photo album, while others let you export directly to social media. 

No matter the available options, you should always export videos directly to your phone to start. Some video editing apps or specific video clips may run into issues during the rendering process, which can ruin or distract from your exported file, even if the video preview played fine. Once the video is fully exported to your photos, carefully review it for any rendering issues before continuing. 

Optimize Video Formats for Social Media Platforms

After you've exported and double-checked the original version of your video, the next step is to export it for different social media platforms. Nearly every social media site has different preferred aspect ratios and video settings. While you can technically share a three-minute TikTok video directly to your Twitter, the Twitter version will automatically be trimmed and cropped to meet that website's standards.

If you want as many eyes on your video as possible, take time to personalize your original video to meet different social media formats. Don't just crop videos to meet aspect ratios — actually adjust and reframe the video clips to ensure subjects are centered correctly. Additionally, shorten or lengthen the video for different websites as needed to keep your message from being cut off. 

Below are a few specifications for different platforms:

  • Facebook: 16:9 or 9:16 aspect ratio for standard videos and reels. Reels cannot exceed 60 seconds.
  • Instagram: 16:9, 4:5, or 1:1 aspect ratio for standard videos. 9:16 or anywhere between 0.01:1 and 10:1 aspect ratio for reels. 9:16 aspect ratio for stories. Standard videos and reels cannot exceed 60 seconds, and organic stories cannot exceed 15 seconds. 
  • LinkedIn: 1:2.4 or 2.4:1 aspect ratio for standard videos. Videos cannot exceed 10 minutes. 
  • Pinterest: 9:16, 4:5, 2:3, or 1:1 aspect ratio for standard videos. Videos cannot exceed 60 seconds.
  • Snapchat: 9:16 aspect ratio for standard videos. Most videos cannot exceed 60 seconds, though some ads can be 180 seconds.
  • TikTok: 9:16 aspect ratio for standard videos or 1:1 aspect ratio with letterboxing. Videos cannot exceed three minutes. 
  • Twitter: 16:9 or 1:1 aspect ratio for standard videos. Videos cannot exceed 140 seconds. 
  • YouTube: 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio for standard videos. Videos cannot exceed 12 hours. 

Take Your Video Editing to the Next Level

The rule of thumb for editing is that every minute of edited footage should take at least one hour to piece together — even for editing videos on your iPhone. If you finish early, it may be because your video is still incomplete. Take extra time reviewing your project and see where there's still room for graphics, trimming, music, and sound effects. 

At, we have an extensive collection of audio tools ready to be dropped into your timeline. Check out our royalty-free music for YouTube to get started.


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