GIFs are ideal for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, email, Twitter, and Docs. But how do you convert an exact segment of a YouTube video a GIF?

In this post, I’ll describe to you the fastest way to make a GIF from a YouTube video. It works on any computer, phone or tablet. It’s free, and you don’t need to install any app or software. It just works:

  1. Paste URL to YouTube video
  2. Convert a section of video to GIF
  3. Download and share GIF

To make a GIF from a YouTube video, use Kapwing’s Convert Video tool. Here is a step by step tutorial:

Step 1: Paste URL to YouTube Video

Open Kapwing’s Convert Video tool and paste the URL of your YouTube video that you want to convert to GIF. Kapwing supports all videos shorter than 30 mins and smaller than 500 MB, and there's no watermark.

A screenshot from Kapwing, showing the Convert Video homepage.

In this example, I’m converting a scene from a David Dobrik vlog, so I copied and pasted this URL into Kapwing.

Note that Kapwing also accepts other types of URLs like links from Vimeo, Google Drive, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and more. You can also choose to upload an MP4 file, MOV file, or a video taken on your phone.

Step 2: Convert a section of video to GIF

Once your video loads in the convert editor, choose the GIF option in the left panel.

A screenshot from the Kapwing video converter, showing the available file types.
Select "GIF from the menu on the left. 

Then, click the Trim Video button to cut out the section you want to convert to a GIF. It’s possible to convert any length of video into a GIF, but you should aim to convert a clip that is less than 10 seconds long. If your segment is more than 10 seconds long, your GIF may come out pixelated or with low resolution.

A screenshot from the Trimmer tool in the Kapwing video converter.
Try to trim your video to a short section – under 10 seconds is best. 

Once you’ve trimmed your video, click Done Trimming to return to the Converter. You will see the number of seconds your GIF will last (in my case, 3.6 seconds) and adjust your trim with with sliders underneath the GIF preview.

A screenshot from the Kapwing video converter tool.
Screenshot of Kapwing's Convert Video Tool

To make sure that the GIF comes out at a reasonable frame rate, I recommend clipping your video to <10 seconds before converting to a GIF. Note that GIFs files do not have any audio, so the output will be muted. If you want to add music to your GIF, you'll need to make it an MP4.

If you're using an iPad, iPhone or Android phone, you can also convert a YouTube video clip to a GIF using Kapwing. Because Kapwing is a website, you can make the GIF without needing to install an app that takes up space on your phone. To make a YouTube GIF on an iPhone, open Safari and head to Kapwing's Convert Tool, then paste the URL of the YouTube video.

Screenshots of Steps 1-3 from a mobile device.
Here's how to convert videos to GIFs on mobile devices. 

After pasting the URL, Kapwing will import the video from YouTube. Choose the "GIF" option from the convert menu. Then, use the white sliders below the video preview to select the part the video you want to make into a GIF. If it helps, rotate your phone to get a larger screen area to select the section of the video.

A screenshot from the Kapwing video converter, taken from a mobile device rotated to a landscape configuration
Rotate your mobile device to scrub with more precision. 

Step 3: Download and Share GIF

Once you’ve selected the section you want, click “CREATE” to process your converted GIF.

After the GIF is processed, save the GIF by clicking the Download button or long-pressing if you're on a phone or tablet. If you're not signed into a Kapwing account, sign in or sign up using your Google or Facebook account – once you've signed into a Kapwing account, the watermark in the lower left corner will be removed from your final image.

The final GIF made as an example.
The final product!

Remember that GIFs are not supported on Instagram! If you're trying to share a GIF on Instagram, download it as a MP4 file instead.

To get an extra like or follow, tag #Kapwing when you share on social media. And if you're interested in this style of digital media tutorial, subscribe to this Resources library to get updates on our materials or check out our YouTube channel. We’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.

Video tutorial for converting videos to GIFs

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