How to compress videos on an iPhone or Android device

Video quality on smartphones keeps getting better with every new model. Of course, this is good for those who want the best possible picture and audio quality. But it’s bad if you have limited storage space on your phone. Even if you have the higher-end 512GB model, making lots of HD video recordings will eat up those gigabytes before you know it. Here’s how to compress videos on your phone to either optimize storage space or send them to someone else.

Continue reading: The best video compression apps for Android


To compress a video on iPhone, go to the camera settings and change the video recording preferences. You can also change the file format. Turn on to compress a video on Android memory saver or open the settings of your video camera to adjust the settings video by video. Both iPhone and Android also give you the option to use third-party apps to compress video files.


How to compress a video on iPhone

On an iOS device, there are currently two options. You can either change the recording settings for videos you haven’t made yet, or you can install a third-party video compression app for videos that already exist on your camera roll. Apple doesn’t currently offer a built-in video compression tool.

Change the video recording settings

To change recording settings for future videos, go to Settings -> Camera.

ios settings camera

The settings you need to look at are the first three. Let’s tap first formats.

iOS camera settings

The two options on this screen are high efficiency and Most compatible. As Apple says on this screen, to reduce file size, choose high efficiency.

iOS camera formats

Now let’s look at those Record a video Section. Apple very helpfully lists how much space one minute of video would take up at the various resolutions. As you can see, 720p HD at 30 fps is the best option to save space, and unless you’re Steven Spielberg, that’s probably enough for your home videos.

As a rule of thumb, always choose HD instead of 4K and 30 fps instead of 60 fps if you want to save space.

iOS camera video formats

That helps with future videos you record, but what about videos that are already on your camera roll? How do you compress them to send to people and save space on your device?

Use a third-party compression app

For videos already on your phone, you’ll need to use a third-party video compression app. Apple may decide to introduce this feature itself, but until then, the best tool for the job is something like Video Compress (although there are obviously many other similar apps on the App Store). The only thing you need to be warned about is that Video Compress has quite intrusive video ads. So, if you intend to use the app frequently then you should pay to remove the ads otherwise they will become very irritating very quickly.

After installing Video Compress on your phone, tap + to go to your camera roll and select the video. You must give the app access to your entire camera roll.

Compress Video Add Video

After selecting the video, you’ll see the file size of the original (however, this video is only 5.4MB, so maybe not the best example). You must now type Choose Preset to choose HD and the screen resolution. Then adjust those Adjust bit rate Slider to get the size you want.

If you move it further to the left, the Estimated size after completion will go down what your aim is. But of course, the more you reduce the bitrate, the more the picture quality degrades. So you have to play around with it to get the best possible result.

Adjust video compression bit rate

You can tap to see what your video would look like at the selected bitrate preview Button. You can then view the first 10 seconds of the original file and 10 seconds of the modified file to compare the two.

Video compression preview file

When you are satisfied, click Continue and the app will make the necessary changes to your video file. It will then put it in your camera roll and also give you the option to delete the original. When everything is ready, tap Finished.

Video compression finished

How to compress a video on Android

On the Android front, you can also use Video Compress to reduce the size of any videos that are already on your phone. But to compress future videos, you need to dive into the settings. The screenshots below were taken on a Google Pixel 4. So if you have another phone model with non-stock Android, the settings may be slightly different.

go into yours camera settings and scroll down to device memory. Tap on it.

Android camera settings

Switch memory saver. Then tap Settings that will change.

Storage for Android devices

The screen will then show you a list of what is being optimized by Storage Saver. Among them will be three video improvements – a more optimized file format, HD 1080p video resolution and 30 frames per second.

Android memory saving options

However, if you prefer to change settings per video, leave memory saver disabled and launch your camera instead. Choose Video at the bottom of the screen and open Settings from there. You can change those resolution and the frames/sec. However, if you have enabled memory saver mode at this time, these settings will be locked.

Android camera video settings

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