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Reducing Video Free: When Size Does Matter

video camera
Reducing Video Free: When Size Does Matter

Video files especially HD ones are mostly large and occupy much space. And even if you are not running out of blank disks sooner or later you’ll need to reduce your video files size. That’s what you need to reduce video file size:

You might believe that quality loss is inevitable, but that’s not true. This article provides several FREE ways to reduce video file size maintaining its original quality at the same time.
resizer button

Reduce Video File Size on Windows & Mac [FREE]

There are two programs you may use to make your video lighter: Freemake Video Converter and HandBrake. The easiest 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 and Paid Ways of Compressing Any Audio File [TEST RESULTS]

6 Ways to shrink video file size with Freemake Resizer

Freemake Video Converter allows its users to shrink video size both automatically and manually. Each procedure is extremely simple. Check them below and choose the one you like more.

Way 1: Automatically

Follow these steps to resize your video automatically:

  1. install and run Freemake Video Resizer;
  2. add a video;
  3. choose an output format;
  4. set a desirable file size as shown on the image;limit output file size with Freemake
  5. convert the video.

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

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

This solution suits well if you need a concrete output video size and don’t want to dig in video parameters. The software will automatically adjust them all to the specified size.  However, if you feel strong into video encoding aspects, you may also try the following methods to shrink video file size. Thus, you may easily change the output file size of any HD video, for example convert MTS files from moderm camcorders.

Way 2: Change video resolution

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 resolution suitable for a smartphone.

Here is a way to change a resolution with Freemake Video Converter:

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

frame size

Way 3: Change video codec

There exist lots of various video codecs and naturally they vary in parameters. A proper codec can reduce video file 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 video file. Although if you don’t have a modern graphic card you’d better lower the frame size (resolution) as well, otherwise your video may freeze up. So download free Freemake tool and change codec as shown on the screenshot below.


SEE ALSO: How to Convert Video to H.264
SEE ALSO: What is a Video Codec and How to Identify It?

Way 4: Lower frame rate

Frame rate is a number of frames displayed per second. It generally varies between 24-30 fps. By lowering the frame rate using Free Video Reducer (available for free download here), you can significantly decrease video file size. However, this method is not highly recommended because it affects video smoothness.

frame rate

Way 5: Get rid of unnecessary parts

When you rip DVD to MP4 or converting 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 them out (see the guide). Choose a custom preset and then the tab “Zoom & crop” to get rid of black edges.

zoom and crop

Way 6: Lower video bitrate

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


Reduce video file size with HandBrake (for Mac users)

Handbrake is one more nice 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 MP4 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.

Reduce 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 use iMovie. The latter usually comes pre-installed. To  resize video with iMovie you should:

  1. launch the software;
  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 Export Movie;
  5. click Options and set framerate, 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 ways do you use? Please share them with us in comments.