How to Crop and Rotate Photos and Videos in iMovie

Sometimes you shoot videos or take photos only to find it's vertically oriented. When you are editing those photos and videos in iMovie, you want to rotate photos and movies in iMovie. And there are also many times when you want just a certain part of a photo or video either to focus on a certain part or to remove the imperfect part, and you need to crop photos and videos in iMovie. If your PC is Windows rather than Mac, you can check this tutorial about how to crop videos on Windows.

Fortunately, iMovie gives you lots of functions to edit your photos and videos so as to make them look better. You can rotate and crop photos and videos as you like. Just follow the steps to simply crop and rotate photos and videos in iMovie.

Part 1: How to crop and rotate photos and videos in iMovie

Step 1. Open the tools

Open your iMovie project first and open the cropping and rotating tools. Hit the Crop button on the iMovie toolbar to open the Cropping Tools in the viewer.

crop photos in imovie

Step 2. Crop photos and videos

In the cropping tools viewer, simply drag to resize and reposition the green area to focus on a certain part. Then move the pointer to a corner of it until the pointer turns into a plus sign, and then drag to make it bigger or smaller so as to change the size.

Tip: You can hit Allow Black to maintain a black border around your still photo. This function applied only to still photos.

crop video in imovie

Step 3. Rotate photos and videos

Hit the Rotate button to rotate your videos and photos to the left or right. Each click turns your image 90 degrees.

Note: With the new orientation, the image might no longer fit the project’s aspect ratio, and black bars might appear at the top and bottom of the image (letterbox) or on its left and right sides (pillarbox).

rotate video

Step 4. Preview and Save

Click the Play button in the viewer to preview the photo and video. When you're satisfied result, simply click Done to finish rotating photos and videos or cropping photos and videos in iMovie.

rotate videos in imovie

Part 2: An easier way to rotate and crop photos and videos

wondershare video editor for mac

When editing videos or photos with iMovie, chances are that the format isn't supported by the software. Thus you should convert them first. So to help you crop or rotate photos and videos in an easier way, I recommend another video editing tool –Wondershare Video Editor for Mac. It's an easy-to-use yet power-packed Mac video editing tool that supports almost all the popular video and audio formats! Now let's see how to use to crop and rotate videos as well as photos. Learn more >>

Step 1. Import your media files

Go to File > Import Media or just drag and drop photos, videos to the program. To help you easy get files, a media browser is provides to let you import from iTunes library, Photo Booth, etc. You can also record videos using a video capture device or with the built-in iSight.

crop and rotate video in mac

Step 2. Crop videos and photos

Click the "Crop" button on the tool bar. In the pop up window, choose "16:9" or "4:3" option to crop automatically, or choose “Manually” and customize the size window to crop manually.

crop video in mac

Step 3. Rotate videos and photos

Click the “rotate" button on the toolbar to rotate the videos as you like. Alternatively, you can also right click the file and choose the "rotate" option. Rotating 90 degrees clockwise or anti-clockwise, flipping horizontally and vertically are all available.

crop and rotate videos using iMovie alternative

Step 4. Save your files

After cropping or rotating your videos or photos, click “Export” to save the file to new format or upload to YouTube and even burn to DVD.

Product-related questions? Speak directly to our Support Team >>

thank u for tutorial
Hi, Shea, you can try Video Editor for Mac. This app has the rotating function.
Is there anything I can do to rotate my video in the middle of it? I see some apps that have rotating effects, but none of the ones that I seen support Mac
Hi, Liesje, you can use the ken burns effects to correct the orientation. Check more details from here: How to Use iMovie Ken Burns Effect.
I am having the same problem. I get a video all cropped and press "done" and it does not do anything.
I need to straighten a video - someone tapped the leg of my tripod and the angle is too obvious.
Hi, Art Di Segna. In this case, you can try our video editor for Mac, it has no size limitation. Hope it works for you. Best regards,
Art Di Segna
Hi Liza, Thanks for the tip on resizing the videos. I have a YouTube video that was recorded using iMovie and it captured the whole screen and not the video only. Is there a size limitation on how small I can resize the video. The green box will not resize as small as I would like. Is there a size limitation to iMovie 9 and if so will the newer version correct this. Thank you in advance.
Hi, derezzed, as per Apple, the change is only reflected in any future project to which you add the altered video, not the source video. That's why you see no changes at all. Best regards,
This isn't working for me, I'm choosing the crop size, hitting done but end up with no changes to the project video at all..
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