The highlight, buzzer beater, catchphrase, or memorable quote: there’s often moments in a video you want to save and savor forever. And now you can! With today’s free websites, you can clip a YouTube video without downloading any professional video editing software or having prior expertise.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to clip a YouTube video and download a part of the video clip using an online video trimmer called Kapwing.
Step 1: Paste the YouTube Link
Get started by going to Kapwing’s Studio, a free online video editor designed for casual tasks. I recommend it because it's free and doesn't have any spammy ads.
With Kapwing, you don’t need to download the whole YouTube video before getting the clip. Instead, just copy the URL of the YouTube video and paste it into Kapwing’s Studio. Kapwing will import the video directly into the editor.
Step 2: Trim or Cut
When your video loads in the Studio, click on it and find the “Trim” button in the right-hand panel. In my example, I'm clipping a Kahn Academy YouTube video to use for studying.
If you're using a phone, find the Trim button by first clicking the "Edit Layer" button below your video.
Then, use the sliders to define what you want to cut to in the video. If you want to remove the introduction or cut out a certain scene, move the sliders to exclude that scene. For precise edits, click on the time input boxes and use the arrow keys to adjust leave time in small increments.
Creators can use the "+ Add Cut" to remove a middle section of the video. Known as a jump cut, this technique allows you to cut from one clip of the YouTube video to another seamlessly. In my example, I cut the video down to 2:34, even though it started out as a five minute video.
If you want to download the whole video, go ahead and click “Done” without trimming to process it as an MP4.
Step 3: Process and share
After you’ve defined the section of the video you want to clip, click “Done Trimming” to return to the Studio. Notice that the Trimmed button will update with the duration of your YouTube clip. You can explore other edits like adding text, resizing, adding music, and more, or you can click “Publish” to process the video.
Kapwing will load the video in the cloud and return an MP4. Now you have a YouTube clip! Since the video clip is stored online, users can return to their Kapwing workspace to edit and share the video. You can download the file, share the URL to your new clip with your friends, or publish it to social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can also “Edit” your clip if you realize that you made a mistake or want to make it longer or shorter.
Kapwing is free to use, but there will be a small watermark on the corner of your video. You can sign in to remove the watermark for free.
That’s all! Kapwing works on any internet-connected device, including Mac, Windows, Chromebooks, Android, and iOS. You can clip YouTube videos on your phone or tablet without needing to install an app.