With the advancement of 4K and UHD video technologies, video storage and sharing is becoming increasingly difficult. Large video clips can be difficult to manage and more difficult to transfer if your Mac is running out of space.
If you frequently have problems storing or sending large videos, you should learn how to compress video files on Mac. There are many apps and tools to help you with this.
How to compress a video on a Mac
Your Mac comes with built-in tools that you can use to compress videos. For example iMovie or QuickTime Player. While they may be somewhat limited in functionality, there is an obvious advantage here as you don’t need to download or pay for them.
If you need more features, try one of the third-party options from our list. Some of them you will need to download, such as Handbrake or Movavi, while others can be used on the Internet through a browser.
iMovie is a popular built-in tool on Mac that can be used not only for compressing videos, but for editing videos in general. This software makes the video compression process free and easy. To reduce video using iMovie, follow these steps.
- Open the iMovie app on your Mac.
- Click the Create New icon to create a new project.
- Use the File menu to import media, or drag and drop files directly into the application.
- To compress the video, go to the File menu and choose Share.
- Depending on your purpose, select one of the available options. You can compress the video specifically for sending by email, or select the File option to set the desired quality and resolution yourself. In the same window, you will also see the size of the exported video.
- After completing the video settings, click Next to save the clip. Choose a location for the file on your Mac and click Save.
QuickTime Player is considered one of the best media players and one of the best Mac apps in general. It’s also a great built-in feature to compress videos on Mac. To compress video using QuickTime Player, follow these steps.
- Open the QuickTimePlayer app on your Mac.
- Navigate to the video you want to compress and open it.
- From the application ribbon menu, select File Export As. There are many options to choose from, such as exporting a 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p file or exporting audio only.
- Once you have selected the quality you want, enter a title for the video in the Export As section, select a destination and click Save.
You can then compare the sizes of the imported and exported videos by right-clicking and choosing Get Info to see how much the original video has shrunk.
HandBrake is an open source video converter that you can use to convert your video clips from almost any format to widely supported codecs Alternatively, you can use the app to compress your video files. All you need to get started is to download the program for free. Then, to compress your video using HandBrake, follow these steps.
- After downloading and installing the application, launch HandBrake on your Mac.
- In the upper-left corner of the application, select Open Source to open the video.
- Select “Presets” in the upper right corner of the application. Then select the desired output video quality.
- Be sure to select a new name in the Save As section and a destination in the Browse section for the output video.
- Click the start button at the top of the window to begin compressing.
When this is complete, the application will display the “Encoding complete” message. You will find your compressed video in the location you selected earlier.
Movavi is another useful video editor that you can use for free to compress videos on Mac. It is beginner friendly and has an intuitive interface. So if you don’t have any video editing experience, this is a great tool.
The biggest drawback here is that the free version of the app will add a watermark to your compressed video. If you want to uninstall this, you’ll have to pay for the full Movavi version, which costs $ 39.95.
Follow these steps to compress video using Movavi.
- Download, install and open the application on your Mac.
- Drag the video clip into the application, or click the plus sign to add it.
- Click Video and select the desired video quality for the output file. You will also see the size of the output video here.
- You can save your video in the same folder as the original, or choose a different location in the “Save to” section.
- When all settings are satisfied, click “Convert” to compress the video.
Clipchamp video compression tool
If you don’t want to waste time downloading and installing new software, you can use one of the online video editors to shrink your video files. Clipchamp offers a video compressor that you can use to compress videos up to 20GB for free. To compress video using Clipchamp, follow these steps.
- Open Clipchamp Video Compressor in your web browser.
- Select “Compress Video Now”.
- Sign in with Google, Facebook or your email.
- Drag the video you want to shrink or click Convert My Video to add it.
- Select the desired resolution, format and quality.
- Click Start to start compressing.
- When the video is ready, you can immediately select it: save or download and share.
YouCompress is a free online file compressor for anyone who wants to compress video on Mac without any problems. There is no need to set up any configurations here, the application will choose the appropriate parameters to achieve the best result. So, if you want to quickly compress one or two videos without losing quality, here’s how to do it with YouCompress.
- Open YouCompress in your browser.
- Click Select File to add a video.
- Click Download File and Compress.
- All that’s left is to download the compressed video file.
On the same screen, you can select Remove file from server after downloading it.
Free up some space on your Mac by compressing your videos
If you notice that your Mac often runs out of space, it could be due to the large video files that you store on it. Compressing videos can help you free up space on your Mac for other important files and applications.
Have you ever had to scale down your videos? What software do you use to compress videos on Mac? Share your video compression experience in the comments below.