Compress video on an iPhone or Android device

The video quality on smartphones is getting better with each new model. This is of course 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 flagship 512GB model, shooting a lot of HD video will eat up those gigabytes before you know it. Here’s how to compress video on your phone to optimize storage space or send it to other people.

Read more: The best video compressor apps for Android


To compress a video on iPhone, go to the camera settings and change the video recording presets. You can also change the file format. Enable to Compress a Video on Android Storage saver or open your video camera settings to adjust the settings on a video-by-video basis. On both iPhone and Android, you also have the option to use third-party apps to compress video files.


Compress a video on iPhone

There are currently two options on an iOS device. You can change the recording settings for videos you haven’t shot yet, or you can install a third-party video compression app for already existing videos on your camera roll. Apple does not currently offer a built-in video compression tool.

Change the video recording settings

To change the recording settings for future videos, go to Settings–>Camera

ios camera settings

The settings you should 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 the file size, select High efficiency

ios camera formats

Now let’s take a look at the Record video section. Apple conveniently indicates how much space a minute of video would take up at the different resolutions. As you can see, 720p HD at 30 fps is the best option for saving space, and unless you’re Steven Spielberg, that’s probably enough for your home movies.

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 will help with future videos you make, but what about videos already on your camera roll? How do you compress them for sending to people and save space on your device?

Using a third-party compression app

For videos already on your phone, you need to use a third-party video compression app. Apple may eventually decide to introduce this feature itself, but until that happens, the best tool for the job is something like: Video Compression (Although, of course, there are many other similar apps on the App Store.) The only thing to be warned about is that Video Compress has rather intrusive video ads. So if you plan on using the app a lot, consider paying to remove the ads or else they’ll get annoying very quickly.

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

compress video add video

Once you’ve selected the video, you’ll see the file size of the original (this video is only 5.4MB, though, so it might not be the best example.) You should now tap Choose Preset to choose HD and the screen resolution. Then adjust the Adjust bit rate slider to get the size you need.

If you move it further to the left, the Approximate size upon completion will go down, which is your goal. But obviously the more you lower the bitrate, the more the picture quality will deteriorate. So you have to play with it a bit to get the best result.

compress video adjust bitrate

To see what your video would look like with your chosen bit rate, tap the Example knob. You can then view the first ten seconds of the original file and ten seconds of the modified file to compare the two.

video compression sample file

If you are satisfied, click on the Get on button, and the app will make the necessary changes to your video file. It will then place it in your camera roll and also give you the option to delete the original. When everything is ready, tap Finish

video compression completed

Compress a video on Android

On the Android front, you can also: use Video Compress to reduce the size of videos already on your phone. But to compress future videos, you have to dive into the settings. The following screenshots were taken on a Google Pixel 4, so if you have a different phone model with non-stock Android, the settings may vary slightly.

go in you Camera settings and scroll down to Device storage† Touch that.

android camera settings

Switch on Storage saver† Then tap Settings that will change

android device storage

The screen will then give 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 Storage Saving Options

On the other hand, if you prefer to change the settings on a per-video basis, leave Storage Saver turned off and fire up your camera instead. Select Video at the bottom of the screen and open the settings there. You can use the Solution and the Frames/sec† However, if you have Storage Saver turned on at that time, these settings will be locked.

Android camera video settings

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