What if someone only wants a certain section of their video? For example, they might want to cut out something distracting happening in the background, or put emphasis on one area of the screen. Social media publishers also might want to crop a video to make it the correct aspect ratio for a post.

In this article, I’ll explain how to crop a video using a free online video editor called Kapwing. This tool works for images, GIFs, and videos and is designed for beginners, so people don’t need any video editing expertise to crop their videos with it. Kapwing works on phones, tablets, and computers as long as you have an internet connection.

Note: This article is about cropping the area of a video, not cutting the timeline of a video. If you’re looking to make a video shorter, use Kapwing’s Trim Video tool instead.

Step 1: Open Kapwing’s Studio

Start by navigating to the Kapwing homepage and clicking “Get Started.” Kapwing’s Studio lets you adjust the visual layout of a video, image, or GIF.

Kapwing Video Studio

Step 2: Upload or Import Video

Once you click the “Get Started” button, you’ll see an option to either upload your video, import from a URL, or start with a blank canvas. To crop a video, upload or import the video that you want to crop. Alternatively, creators can import videos directly from YouTube, Instagram, and other websites — just paste the video’s URL.

Upload screen creator
Upload something to the Kapwing Studio

Step 3: Crop

To crop your video, click on the video layer in the editor and find “Crop” in the video toolbar. It’s the last option in the toolbar; look for the traditional square crop icon. Click “Crop” to adjust the area you want to crop to.

Use the sliders on the corners to adjust the area to crop out and the area you want to include. You an also use the preset buttons below the video’s timeline to adjust the crop area to a common aspect ratio like 1:1 for an Instagram post.

Watch the video preview to make sure your cropped video looks good from beginning to end. Then, click “Done Cropping” to return to the Studio.

Now, your cropped video appears on top of the video canvas. To remove the white background, click “Resize” from the main menu and “Remove extra padding.” The video will shrink down to the cropped layer.

Creators can explore the other tools available in the Studio: adding text or stickers, changing the speed of a video, overlaying a filter or blur, making a video collage, etc.

Step 4: Publish

Now your video has been cropped! After the preview looks right, click “Publish” to process the new version of the MP4. Kapwing will process your edits and return the video back to you. You can download the cropped MP4 to publish on social media, save it on your phone, share the URL with your friends, or go back and re-edit the video.

In my example, I uploaded a video from my phone and cropped it to the left half. Here’s the output video of my friend eating Cheetos:

Kapwing is free to use, but in the free version there is a small watermark in the bottom corner. You can pay to remove the Kapwing watermark or subscribe to the platform for unlimited access to all of the Kapwing editing tools.

That’s all! I hope that this article helps you crop your videos perfectly to the area you like. This same technique works for images and GIFs also so that you can use Kapwing for all of your multimedia editing needs. We recently launched this Crop tools, so please contact us if you have any other feedback or questions.

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