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How to Reduce Video File Size FREE [Windows & Mac]

how to reduce video file size
How to Reduce Video File Size FREE [Windows & Mac]

Video files especially 1080p & 720p HD ones are mostly large and occupy much space. And even if you are not running out of blank discs sooner or later you’ll need to reduce the size of your files, for example for sending clips via email.

That’s what you need to make media file size smaller:
video file reducer (click to download);
– your large video file;
– a bit of time.

You might believe that quality loss is inevitable, but that’s not true. This article provides several FREE ways to decrease video file size without loosing its original quality at the same time. Here is a one-stop solution to make large video files smaller. Download it for free:
resizer button

Reduce Video File Size on Windows & Mac [FREE]

Adjust video file sizes without losing quality easily with a free video compressor. There are two programs you may use to make your video smaller: Freemake and HandBrake. The easiest option is Freemake Movie Converter. You can either add your file and let the software make the job for you or choose custom settings. Let’s see how it works.

SEE ALSO: 12 Effective Free & Paid Ways of Compressing Any Audio File [TEST RESULTS]

6 Ways to Shrink Video File Size with Freemake

Freemake video compressor allows its users to shrink file sizes both automatically and manually. Both options extremely simple. Check them below and choose the one you like more.


  1. Automatic way [RECOMMENDED]
  2. Select a smaller resolution
  3. Use a more efficient video codec
  4. Lower frame rate
  5. Cut unnecessary parts
  6. Lower bitrate
  7. Shrink media in Handbrake & iMovie [Mac]

Way 1: Make video smaller automatically

Follow these steps to compress video automatically:

  1. Download, install, and run Free Video Resizer from Freemake;
  2. Add your video file (it can also be an online clip);
  3. Choose an output video format: MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV, etc.;
  4. Set a desirable file size as shown on the image;how to reduce video file size with freemake
  5. Choose a location for the output smaller file: it can be any desktop folder or cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive;
  6. Convert the video to save the changes. After that, you may upload the file to any portable device or share in social media.

SEE ALSO: How to Convert MKV to MP4 or Other Common Formats

Please note that you should not insert the size lower than the allowable one or the video quality may be spoiled. Watch the video showing

If you want to shrink the size of YouTube online videos, do the following:

  • copy the YouTube clip link in the browser line;
  • then press “Paste URL” in the compression tool;
  • select popular formats like MP4 or AVI;
  • repeat the last two steps from the above tutorial to make the file weigh less.

When the video is ready, you may export & upload it to a compatible device (iPhone, Android, game console, TV screen) or share on social media. The best quality is assured.

The solution above suits well if you need a concrete output video size and don’t want to dig into video editing and numerous parameters. The software will automatically adjust them all to the desired result.  However, if you feel strong into video encoding aspects, you may also try the following methods to shrink videos files. Thus, you may easily change the output file size of any HD video, for example convert MTS files from modern camcorders or Ultra HD MOV clips from top smartphones.

Way 2: Change video resolution to get a smaller file size

More likely you don’t need a 1280×720 or higher resolution video for purposes mentioned above. A resolution of 800×600 or 640×480 can be a good substitution for your HD video. Though you can even choose a 320×240 quality suitable for a smartphone.

Here is an easy way to change a 1080p or 720p resolution with Freemake Video Converter:

  1. Download for free & start the program;
  2. add your video;
  3. click on an output video format you need;
  4. choose a ready preset (640×480, 640×360, etc.);
  5. click Convert to create a file with a different dimension.

reduce video size with frame size (dimension)

Way 3: Change video codec to compress a video

There exist lots of various video codecs and naturally they vary in parameters. A proper codec can decrease clip size by 2-3 times. One of the most space efficient is H.264. Using H.264, you can keep the same resolution of an HD 1080p video file. Although if you don’t have a modern graphic card you’d better lower the frame size (width & height of the video) as well, otherwise your video may freeze up. So download free Freemake tool and change codec as shown on the screenshot below.

reduce video size with codec

SEE ALSO: How to Convert Video to H.264

Way 4: Lower frame rate to reduce the file

Frame rate is a number of frames displayed per second. It generally varies between 24-60 fps. By lowering the frame rate using Video Reducer Freeware (available for free download here), you can significantly decrease video file size. However, this method is not highly recommended because it affects video smoothness. You’d better not go lower than 24 fps for your large video files.

reduce video size with frame rate

Way 5: Get rid of unnecessary parts to make videos smaller

When you rip DVD to MP4 or convert an HD movie, avoid unnecessary extras like additional movie scenes, trailers, behind-the-scenes, interviews and commentaries, and audio tracks you don’t need. Black edges take up space as well so crop them out. Leave only the title track.


Click on the video to preview it, then use cut video tool to crop (see the guide). Choose a custom preset and then the tab “Zoom & crop” to get rid of black edges. Don’t forget to save the editing changes and convert the file for reducing its size.

zoom and crop

Way 6: Lower video bitrate for best video compression

The less bitrate value you select the smaller video you get. Just don’t lower it too much otherwise your videos may lose quality. Download free software and fine-tune the bitrate. It’s better to keep bitrate value between 1400-2000 kbps.

reduce video size with bitrate

How to reduce video file size with HandBrake (for Mac users)

Handbrake is one more easy tool that can help you get the job done. The software can be installed on Windows, Mac OS and even Linux based computers. If you want to use this tool, follow the guide:

  1. Download and install HandBrake;
  2. Run the software;
  3. Add your video by clicking the Source button;
  4. Choose a destination folder for a ready video;
  5. Select output settings. Better choose the MP4 option since this format is the most space-efficient and it’s also supported by almost all modern devices.
  6. Select Web Optimizer box.
  7. Click the green Start button to run the conversion process.


Please keep in mind that you can make your video size smaller if you delete all unnecessary audio and subtitles tracks in case your video has a lot of them. Go to Audio and Subtitles tabs and choose only what you need leaving the rest behind. You need to encode the file to save the changes.

Shrink Video File Size in iMovie on Mac

If you use Macbook Pro, Macbook Air or any other Apple computer, you can either use HandBrake for your goal or iMovie. The latter usually comes pre-installed, you don’t need to download it. To shrink a video with iMovie you should:

  1. launch the program;
  2. drag-n-drop your video into iMovie or use the Import button to add the video;import videos to imovie
  3. place the video on iMovie timeline;
  4. click the Share button and choose the Export Movie option;
  5. click Options and set resolution, bitrate, image size, file format and other parameters;imovie reduce video size
  6. type a title for your video and click Export.

Please be attentive while inserting new parameters to keep the video quality fine. In case you are not sure what to insert, you may google for bitrate calculators. There are a lot of them online. Just choose the one you like, add your original video length, bitrate, codec, and other data and you’ll be given the minimum settings.

Do you shrink the size of your videos? What other reducing ways do you use? Please share them with us in comments.