How To Trim Videos in iMovie: Trimming Videos in iMovie

iMovie is a popular video editing software included for free on Mac computers and iOS devices. It provides easy-to-use tools to trim your video clips to remove unwanted sections. Here is a comprehensive guide on the various ways to trim videos in iMovie.

Trimming Videos on Mac

Trimming videos on the Mac version of iMovie is easy with the precision editor timeline. Here are the steps:

Open Your iMovie Project

Launch iMovie on your Mac and open the project containing the video clip you want to trim.

Select the Video Clip

Click the video clip in the timeline that you want to trim to select it.

Show the Clip Trimmer

Go to Window > Show Clip Trimmer. The selected clip will open in the clip trimmer above the timeline.

Trim the Clip

In the clip trimmer, you can:

  • Drag the edges of the clip inward to shorten it.
  • Drag the edges outward to extend it (if extra footage is available).
  • Drag the playhead to change which part of the clip appears in the movie.

Close the Clip Trimmer

When done, close the clip trimmer. Your trimmed clip will appear trimmed in the timeline.

Trimming Videos on iPhone/iPad

Trimming videos on the iOS app is also very straightforward. Follow these instructions:

Open Your iMovie Project

Launch the iMovie app and open the project with the clip you want to trim.

Select the Clip

Tap the clip in the timeline to select it. A yellow border will appear around the selected clip.

Trim the Clip

Drag the yellow handles on either edge of the clip inward to shorten or outward to extend the clip.

Finish Trimming

Lift your finger once the clip is trimmed to the desired length.

Tips for Trimming Videos

Here are some useful tips when trimming video clips in iMovie:

  • Use the spacebar to play and pause the video when deciding what to trim.
  • Trimmed clips can be as short as 0.1 seconds (Mac) or 0.3 seconds (iOS).
  • If there’s no extra footage available, you won’t be able to extend a clip.
  • You can split a clip first before trimming each section individually.
  • Apply transitions between trimmed clips so the edits flow smoothly.

Other Ways to Trim in iMovie

Aside from the clip trimmer, there are a couple other ways to trim videos in iMovie:

1. Drag Clip Boundaries

You can simply drag the beginning or end of a clip inwards in the timeline to trim it. This is quicker but less precise than the clip trimmer.

2. Range Selection

Click and drag across the middle of a clip to select a range, then press delete to remove that section. The two remaining parts of the clip will be joined automatically.


Learning how to quickly and precisely trim video clips is an essential iMovie editing skill. With the clip trimmer, drag handles, range selection and other tools, you can fine-tune the start and end points of clips in your movie project. This allows you to include only the best moments and remove unwanted footage. Keep the tips above in mind and you’ll soon be trimming videos in iMovie like a pro!