How to Compress A Video on Windows, Mac, Android & iOS

In the digital age, video compression plays a pivotal role in sharing and storing content without losing significant quality. If we were uploading untouched recordings from our phones, everything would take ages to load. That is what a world without compression looks like. Every digital file you encounter has been compressed in some way or form, and the most obvious ones are videos.

This guide will teach you how to compress a video file easily, showing different platforms and tools. Use the table of contents below to jump to your specific section.

Table of Contents

  • What is Compression?
  • Ways to Compress a Video
    • Universal Method for Windows & Mac
    • Compress a Video on Windows
    • Compress a Video on Mac
    • Compress a Video on Mobile
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs
Different video file formats | Archival Works

What is Compression?

Before we dive in, it’s also important to understand what exactly compression is and how does it work. In essence, compression simply refers to reducing the size of a file through complex algorithms. In case of video compression, there are two different ways this can happen:

  • Lossless compression: As the name suggests, no quality is lost during the compression process and the end-result is of the highest quality possible. The downside here is that lossless compression often leads to higher file sizes and is often only seen in professional workflows where preserving detail is imperative.
  • Lossy compression: This is the opposite of lossless, where the compression process does reduce the overall quality of the video to achieve a much lower file size that is more accessible. Lossy compression is everywhere around you, including on social media and messaging apps.
Want to learn more about video compression? Check out our article on H.265 vs H.264 where we break down the science of video codecs and how they play a part in the overall compression equation.

Ways to Compress a Video

There are multiple ways how to compress a video across different platforms. We will first take a look at a universal solution for computers, then jump into a mobile option at the end.

How to Compress a Video on Windows & MacOS

For users looking for a universal solution that works across Windows and macOS, these are the best tools available to compress videos.


Online platforms like VEED provide a hassle-free experience without software installation.

  1. Login to VEED and upload your video.
    VEED New Project Page
    VEED New Project Page
  2. Press on “Done” in the top right corner.
    VEED Pre-Export
    VEED Pre-Export
  3. Press on “Export Settings.”
  4. Select “Advanced Settings” here, you can change the “Quality” of the video as well as “Compression.” 

    VEED Export Settings
    VEED Export Settings
  5. Press on “Export Video” and VEED will start rendering your video.
    VEED Export Button
    VEED Export Button

Choosing “Faster Render” in the “Compression” tab will compress the video to a smaller file so that you can export it faster as compared to “Higher Quality.”

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

If you are a professional or an enthusiast, you might lean towards Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro delivers comprehensive video editing and compression capabilities, ensuring high-quality results tailored to specific needs. Premiere Pro is available on both Mac and Windows, so the steps are the same:

  1. Launch Premiere Pro.
  2. Press on “New Project” in the left menu or click on “File” > “New Project.”
    Premiere Pro New Project
    Premiere Pro New Project
  3. Import” your video to compress it.
  4. Select your preferred “format/codec.”
    Premiere Pro Codec Settings
    Premiere Pro Codec Settings
  5. Change the “bitrate encoding” to “VBR 2.”
  6. Lower the “bitrate” to “2000.”
    Premiere Pro Bitrate Settings
    Premiere Pro Bitrate Settings
  7. Finally, press on “Export” and select a file name and location to export your file.
    Premiere Pro Export Button
    Premiere Pro Export Button

    Compress a Video on Windows

    Windows comes with its own built-in video editing software called Clipchamp, previously known as “Video Editor.” Similar to iMovie on Mac, you can easily import a video in Clipchamp and export it with a lower quality/resolution to reduce its file size:

    1. Clipchamp

    Microsoft’s in-house software Clipchamp is a solution with an intuitive interface for those seeking more advanced features along with video compression. 

    1. Launch Clipchamp and click “Create your first video” under “Your videos.”
      Clipchamp New Project Page
      Clipchamp New Project Page
    2. Import your video in order to compress it.
    3. Select “Export” in the top right corner.
      Clipchamp Export Button
      Clipchamp Export Button
    4. Choose your desired resolution to compress the file, and Clipchamp will start processing it.
      Clipchamp Export Settings
      Clipchamp Export Settings
    5. Once rendered, either click “Create a video link” to share online or “Save to your computer” for local storage.

      Clipchamp Export Options

    Compress a Video on MacOS

    If you want an easy, built-in solution for compressing videos on Mac, you can use iMovie. The process is similar in concept to what you’d do on Premiere Pro, or any other NLE for that matter, but the difference is that iMovie comes pre-installed on all Macs.

    Learn more about the creative ways you can use your Mac by checking out our in-depth Screenshotting in Mac guide!

    1. iMovie

    Apple’s native software, iMovie, integrates seamlessly into the MacOS environment, allowing users to edit and compress videos easily.

    1. Launch iMovie and press on “File” then “Import Media” to upload your video or drag and drop your video into the “Import Media” section.
      iMovie homepage
      iMovie homepage
    2. Click on the “Share” button in the top right corner to export the video.
      iMovie Share Menu
      iMovie Share Menu
    3. Here you can change the export settings, such as “resolution,” “quality” and “compression.”
      iMovie Export Settings
      iMovie Export Settings
    4. Press on “Next” and hit the “Save” button.

    Compress a Video on Mobile

    Compressing videos directly from smartphones or tablets is necessary in today’s mobile-centric world. Here are the steps and the platform required to compress a video on Android and iOS.

    1. Clideo

    We suggest using an online video compression tool on mobile devices and Clideo is a great option that works on both Android and iOS. Clideo is optimized for touch interfaces, ensuring a smooth experience even on smaller screens.

    1. Open Clideo’s website.
    2. Touch on “Choose File” and upload your video.
      Clideo Import Page
      Clideo Import Page
    3. Choose your compression setting from “Basic,” “Strong” and “Superb
      Clideo Compression Settings
      Clideo Compression Settings
    4. Press on “Compress” and Clideo will start processing your video.
    5. Press on “Download” or share it directly to your Dropbox or Google Drive
      Clideo Download Options
      Clideo Download Options


    Clideo also has an iOS app that you can download if you’re compressing videos regularly and need a more concrete, offline solution. 

    Clideo on the App Store


    With technological advancements on the horizon, video compression will soon be even faster and flawless. Make sure to use only specialized tools to compress videos and not resort to archiving video files into a ZIP. That also reduces file size overall but not nearly as much as proper video compression, even if it is lossy.

    Read More: How to compress a PDF File

    How to Compress a Video - FAQs

    What are the most common video compression formats?

    Common formats include MP4 (H.264), MOV, and AVI.

    Can compressing a video reduce its quality?

    Yes, compressing a video using lossy compression methods can lead to a reduction in quality. Lossless compression, on the other hand, retains the same quality.

    What tools can I use to compress videos?

    Tools like Premiere Pro, or online services like can compress videos.

    How long does it take to compress a video?

    Compression time depends on factors such as video length, resolution, and the tool used.

    Does compression affect the compatibility of the video with different devices?

    It may, depending on the compression format used. Some devices may not support certain compressed formats.


    Kamil Anwar

    Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.