Have a YouTube video you want to clip? Or a video you filmed on your phone you want to shorten? If you need to trim off a few seconds from the beginning or end of your video, you can use a free online tool called Kapwing to trim your video instead of installing heavyweight desktop software. In this article, I’ll show you how to make your video shorter online.

Once you make your video shorter, it's easier to share a specific section of a video with friends or on social media.

How to shorten your video

Step 1: Upload your video

Open Kapwing’s Video Trimmer and upload your video. You can load your video from your phone or computer, or you can paste a URL from YouTube to import it directly. It should take a few seconds for your video preview to load.

Video Trimmer home page

Step 2: Choose the section you want to trim to

Move the start and end time sliders to take time off the beginning and end of your video. Your video will be trimmed down to the highlighted section.

How to Trim Your Video with Kapwing

You can also choose to add a cut, meaning a section to remove from your video. Cuts are marked in red to remind creators that this section will be deleted.

Adding cuts in Kapwing
Adding cuts in Kapwing

You can preview what your shortened video will look like in the Kapwing editor and adjust to capture the exact clip you want. Once it looks right, click the “Done Trimming” button.

Kapwing will take a few moments to process your cut video in the cloud. Because you've changed the start and the end time, the output MP4 will be shorter than the video you started with.

Step 3: Download and share

After your shortened video is processed, you can download it to share the MP4 with friends or publish on social media. The video file is hosted on Kapwing, so you can also share the URL of the trimmed video page instead of downloading the file.

For example, I cut a 24 second clip out of a longer 4min YouTube video below. Kapwing's trimmer helped me share one specific highlight from the NBA finals instead of sharing a whole compilation of videos.

About Kapwing: Benefits and limitations

Kapwing is an online video editor, meaning it works on any device (phone, tablet, and computer; iOS and Android) and doesn’t require any app installs.

  • Cost: Kapwing is free to use! There will be a small Kapwing watermark in the corner of your video, but you can sign in to remove the watermark for free.
  • Upload size limit: Right now, Kapwing only supports videos that are up to 500 MB in size for free users or 1GB for Kapwing Pro.
  • File types: The Kapwing trimmer supports all major video types (MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, etc). Kapwing’s other features – like the add text and meme maker tools – support images and GIFs too. Once you trim your video, the output will be an MP4 file.


I hope this article helps you trim down your video to emphasize the best content! Clip out the best, funniest, most interesting and informative parts to share with others. In the future, we want to make it possible to trim “out” a section of the video by merging trimmed pieces together, enter a precise time stamp, and collaborate with colleagues on the video length.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions and ideas for improvement! Happy shortening.

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