How To Edit Videos on iPhone: Your Step-By-Step Guide

29 September 2022
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They say the best camera is the one that’s with you. With an iPhone in your pocket, you can video capture anything, anywhere, any time. It allows for creative spontaneity and on-the-go capturing of life’s most endearing moments.

But what do you do with the raw video footage? Do you leave it in its basic state? How do you edit a video on an iPhone? The notion can seem daunting — but it doesn’t have to be. There are a great number of benefits to learning how to edit videos on an iPhone. From being able to duplicate and trim your videos to insider video editing skills, learning how to edit iPhone videos gives you the ability to show your creative insight, craft video projects and presentations and share what you can do with the world online.

At Ideal Insight, we live and breathe video and video editing. As one of London’s top video production agencies, we’ve witnessed the birth of mobile video editing and watched its growth as technology and the apps used to edit get better and better. And in this article, we’re going to share some expert insider tips, how-tos and show you why video editing on an iPhone with its built-in editing is incredibly accessible and easier to master than you might think.

First, ensure your iPhone runs on iOS 13 or later.

Learning how to edit a video on an iPhone begins here. Before getting stuck into the fun stuff, first, ensure your iPhone runs on iOS 13 or later.

While iPhones have had cameras for a long time, it’s only been in recent years that Apple have made photography one of the main focuses. As mobile camera technology continues to improve, so does the software capable of taking the footage and making magic from it.

Just as you’ve been able to edit your photos in the Photos app on iPhone, since iOS 13, you’ll now find similar editing tools in there for your videos, too. You can now trim, crop, straighten and more. You can make your raw footage more beautiful by adjusting the brightness and colour on the go. You can even turn videos black and white.

To make sure your iPhone is up-to-date, so you can take advantage of the new editing features, go into your iPhone settings, click on General, then click on Software Update. Download and install the latest and greatest version.

Then, learn to duplicate a video.

Learning how to edit videos on your iPhone begins with the all important first step of duplicating a video. While the Photos app, which is where you’ll be editing, will allow you to revert the video back to its original during or after editing, you may want to preserve the original alongside the edited for safe keeping or for comparison. Therefore, duplicating it and creating a second original to fall back on is simple, smart, safe practice.

To duplicate a video, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Tap Share in the bottom-left.

  3. Scroll down and select Duplicate.

Now your duplicate video will be at the bottom of your photo library. You can now rest assured that you can edit one of the videos as much as you like because you have an original preserved.

Trim, crop, straighten.

Getting the basics down and realising how simple yet powerful it is to trim, crop and straighten your videos is a great foundation for how to edit videos on an iPhone. You’ll soon see there’s nothing to it. Mastering the basics will give you the confidence to go into more in-depth video editing, which we’ll soon cover.

Here’s how to begin to edit iPhone videos to trim, crop and straighten a video.

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Find the video you want to edit.

  3. Tap Edit in the top-right.

You’ll see four icons at the bottom of your screen. These icons are: Video, Adjust, Filters and Crop.

First, how to trim a video.

  1. Tap the first icon, Video.

  2. To trim the side of the video nearest to the beginning, tap the left arrow and drag it to the right.

  3. A yellow box will appear, indicating where the trimmed video will start and stop.

  4. To trim the side of the video nearest to the end, tap the right arrow and drag it to the left.

  5. Tap the play button to preview the trimmed video.

If you’re happy with the trimmed result, you can then press done. If not, you can continue to edit by dragging the arrows to indicate where you want your video to start and end.

Second, how to crop a video.

  1. Tap the fourth icon, Crop.

  2. Use your fingers to drag the pronounced corners into the position you wish.

  3. When happy, tap Done.

Keep in mind that the entire video will be cropped, not just the frame you were cropping on.

Third, how to straighten a video.

  1. Tap the fourth icon, Crop.

  2. Tap the first icon, straighten.

  3. Drag the slider left and right to change the angle and straighten the video.

It’s difficult to snap a video perfectly straight, which is why this tool in particular is handy.

Learning how to edit videos on an iPhone begins with these basic techniques. It’s inevitable that almost all videos you shoot will need to be either trimmed, cropped or straightened. Follow these steps a few times and you’ll set yourself up to know how to edit iPhone videos like a professional in no time.

How to apply filters to your videos.

Filters continue to be popular ways to edit and enhance videos. Filters instantly change the look and feel of a video. Applied properly and filters can provide a creative and enhancing effect on any video.

The iPhone operating system has built-in filter presets. From black and white to vivid colours to warm and cold tones, you can add any filter to any video for a complete change. And as it turns out, applying such a powerful layered effect is quick and easy.

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Find the video you want to edit.

  3. Tap Edit in the top-right.

  4. Tap the third icon at the bottom, Filters.

  5. Swipe across the thumbnails to browse the filters.

  6. Slide the bar to change the intensity of the selected filter.

  7. Select the filter you want and tap Done.

The beauty of these filters is that such dramatic effects can quickly and easily be changed at any time. Just go back into these settings to try a different filter. You can also revert back to the original this way.

How to adjust the brightness and contrast.

Adjusting the brightness and contrast is likely going to be one of the first things you’ll want to do. Many times the playback of a video can turn out to be darker or brighter than desired. And the contrast, depending on the iPhone you have and the current software, might be too much or too little for your liking. How to edit videos on an iPhone like a professional requires being able to adjust the brightness and contrast to perfectly match the content.

To begin adjusting the brightness and contrast of any video, begin by:

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Find the video you want to edit.

  3. Tap Edit in the top-right.

  4. Tap on the dial at the bottom of the screen.

New icons will appear along the bottom of the video. These icons represent a plethora of different video editing options. Along this dimension you’ll find the brightness and contrast icons. When you click on either one, you’ll see a scale you can easily drag left or right with your finger to adjust them.

As an alternative, you can auto adjust. This tool intelligently adjusts the brightness and contrast for you, as well as other video editing options you can choose to also be adjusted. To do this, click the icon that looks like a magic wand — because it’s all done for you just like magic.

How to adjust the sharpness and definition.

While today’s iPhones can record 4K videos, there may be occasions where even that level of precision isn’t sharp enough. Increasing the sharpness of a video makes edges crisper, more defined. Adjusting the definition will increase the clarity and details of background objects.

Thankfully, iOS has a smart and simple tool to adjust the sharpness of any video and it’s as easy to adjust as adjusting brightness and contrast. Here’s how to edit videos on iPhone to enhance their level of sharpness.

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Find the video you want to edit.

  3. Tap Edit in the top-right.

  4. Tap on the dial at the bottom of the screen.

Along the bottom you’ll find the icons for sharpness and definition. Use the scales, just like when adjusting the brightness and contrast, to increase or decrease the level of sharpness and definition. Be careful not to overdo it, as it’s easy to make videos look too grainy or too blurred.

Set the slow-motion in motion exactly where you want it.

One of the more interesting aspects to how to edit iPhone videos is the slow-motion capabilities. Recent advances in technology have allowed Apple to implement intelligent slow-motion features for iPhone videos. This gives users a whole new dimension and fresh possibilities for capturing and editing video.

You can record videos in slow-motion at any time. When you do, the start and end will play at normal speed and the middle in slow-motion. But did you know you can use the built-in editor to change exactly where you want the slow-motion portion of the video to be?

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Find the video you want to edit.

  3. Tap Edit in the top-right.

  4. Tap the first icon, Video.

Beneath the frame viewer, you’ll see a row of vertical white bars. The bars that are close together represent the portions of the video that play at normal speed. The bars that are farther apart represent the portion of the video that plays in slow-motion. You can freely drag the two tall bars that separate the slow-motion portion from the normal speed portion to change where you want the slow-motion portion of the video to be and for how long.

How to save or remove any video editing.

We recommended, explained why and told you how to make a duplicate video. Having a duplicate video backed up is always a good idea before you begin editing. But part of good practice also includes knowing how to save and remove any editing on the fly.

First, how to save your editing.

Saving your edits is easy and can be done at any point in the process. All you do is simply press Done at the bottom-right. We recommend pressing Done to save your edits in between every one or two major edits you make, e.g., after editing the brightness and contrast. Doing this acts as save points. This allows you to reflect on your current edits before deciding if you need more, without doing too much at once and potentially ruining the video.

Second, how to remove any video editing.

Whether or not you have a duplicate video backed up, you should know how to remove any edits you’ve made. iPhone makes it simple and easy to remove any and all edits you’ve made to a video.

To remove a particular edit, simply go back into that portion of editing, e.g., brightness, and change the setting. To remove all edits, tap Revert, then tap Revert to Original.


We’ve just shown how to edit videos on iPhone is not as difficult as you might think. It’s so easy, anyone can learn. Learn these fundamental video editing tips that are useful for almost any type of video. However producing high quality and powerful new content can be a difficult and time consuming process. Our account management team fully manages your project from start to finish and provide a dedicated point of contact for you throughout your project. We’re here to help you, contact us today to find out more about how we can help you.

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