How to Edit GIFs on Your Computer or Smartphone

GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are a popular way to share short, looping, animated images and clips. With the rise of social media, GIFs have seen a resurgence in popularity for sharing reactions, memes, and moments.

Whether you want to add text, crop, resize, or otherwise edit an existing GIF or create your own from scratch, there are many user-friendly apps and software options available. In this guide, we’ll walk through the best GIF editing tools for desktop and mobile.

Editing GIFs on Desktop

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the premium photo and image editing software for creative professionals. While it has a learning curve, Photoshop provides unparalleled control over editing GIFs.

To edit a GIF in Photoshop:

  1. Open the GIF file
  2. Each frame appears as a layer in the Layers panel
  3. Make edits to individual frames as needed
  4. Use the Animation panel to control animation settings like frame delay
  5. Export using Save for Web to retain GIF format

You can also create a GIF from scratch in Photoshop by importing a video clip or sequence of images and saving as GIF through Save for Web.


GIMP is a free, open-source image editing alternative similar to Photoshop. It provides many of the same GIF editing capabilities through its Video menu.

To edit a GIF in GIMP:

  1. Open the GIF file
  2. Use the Video menu options to extract frames or edit frame properties
  3. Make image edits as needed
  4. Re-assemble edited frames into an animated GIF

GIMP makes it easy to customize frame delay, apply filters and effects, add text, crop, and more when editing GIFs.


ScreenToGif is a lightweight, open-source program dedicated specifically to screen recording and GIF creation/editing.

To edit a GIF with ScreenToGif:

  1. Import the GIF file
  2. Preview and select frames to remove or re-order as needed
  3. Use editing tools like crop, resize, rotate, text, filters and more
  4. Export as an optimized GIF

ScreenToGif excels at quick editing sessions for basic GIF modifications.

Editing GIFs on Mobile

Popular mobile apps like GIPHY and IMGPLAY make editing GIFs easy on both iOS and Android smartphones.


GIPHY is the internet’s largest GIF search engine and sharing community. The GIPHY mobile app lets you access this entire library as well as edit existing GIFs.

To edit a GIF on mobile using GIPHY:

  1. Upload a GIF or search the GIPHY library
  2. Tap the GIF to open the editor
  3. Modify speed, crop, add text, filters, stickers, and more
  4. Save and export your edited GIF

GIPHY also makes it easy to create a GIF from video clips in your camera roll or record natively in the app.


IMGPLAY markets itself as the “ultimate GIF maker and editor” app for iOS and Android. It provides professional-level editing tools optimized for mobile.

To edit a GIF on mobile using IMGPLAY:

  1. Import a GIF from your camera roll
  2. Use the timeline editor to trim, split, duplicate or reverse frames
  3. Add filters, text, emojis, stickers, drawing tools, and more
  4. Export your edited GIF optimized for sharing

IMGPLAY features a template library to easily create your own GIFs from scratch as well.

Online GIF Editors

Don’t want to download any specialized software for casual GIF editing? Consider using a free online editor through your web browser.


Ezgif provides an array of basic tools for editing GIFs right within your browser window:

  • Upload or retrieve GIFs from a URL
  • Cut/trim unwanted frames
  • Alter frame speed/duration
  • Crop, resize, rotate
  • Add text captions
  • Apply filters and visual effects

It’s easy to use with no login required, making Ezgif a handy bookmark for quick GIF modifications on the fly.


Kapwing bills itself as an “online media editor” suited for social content creators. It provides professional-grade editing tools for GIFs and videos without needing to install anything.

Kapwing’s suite of GIF editing features includes:

  • Trim, cut, and rearrange frames
  • Resize canvas and scale layers
  • Alter play speed
  • Text tools like fonts, colors, position
  • Filters, overlays, emojis, stickers
  • Animated text and graphics
  • Transition effects between frames

While Kapwing offers more advanced functionality than other online editors, some features require free registration.

GIF Editing Tips

  • When editing existing GIFs, maintain backups of the original files before making permanent changes
  • If uploading large GIFs, check that your editing platform supports the file size
  • Enable transparency in graphics where appropriate so the background shows through
  • Carefully control frame timing/duration to keep GIFs short and impactful
  • Always preview your edited GIF before exporting and sharing to check quality


Whether you want to add captions, crop, combine clips, or create a GIF from scratch, there is user-friendly software available to unlock your creativity both on desktop and mobile.

Leverage the power of tools like Photoshop, GIPHY, and Kapwing to take your GIF game to the next level. Just remember to keep file sizes small and frame counts low for shareable social media animations.

With the right editing tools, you’ll be able to customize existing GIFs or develop your own signature style that friends and followers will instantly recognize. Get started editing your first GIF today!