How to Rotate Videos in iMovie on Mac

In iMovie, rotating a video clip is very simple with the help of the two rotation buttons found within the Cropping tool. This feature allows you to switch a video between landscape and portrait modes effortlessly.

Hi, my name is Nancy, and I’ve been using iMovie to make videos for several years. In this article, I will guide you through the steps to rotate your video using iMovie, as well as suggest alternative programs that you can use to rotate videos.

How to Rotate Video Clips in iMovie on Mac

Suppose you have imported a video into your computer, but it’s in the incorrect orientation. In that case, you can easily rotate the video clip in iMovie with just a few clicks.

First, select the clip you want to edit in the media browser or timeline. Then, locate the Cropping tool in the editing toolbar. Here is where you will find the two rotating buttons that allow you to rotate the clip clockwise or counterclockwise. 

Keep clicking on the rotating button until your video clip is in the desired orientation. Once you’ve achieved the desired result, select the Apply button to finalize the changes. That’s it!

How Do I Manually Rotate a Video?

Unfortunately, you cannot manually rotate a video clip in iMovie. Instead, iMovie’s rotating tool only enables you to rotate the clip in 90-degree increments, either clockwise or counterclockwise. If you need to rotate the video slightly, you will have to use a different video editing program to achieve the desired result. 

It’s important to note that iMovie’s clip rotation tool does not change the aspect ratio of the entire movie upon export, as the default aspect ratio in iMovie is 16:9 or landscape mode.

2 Free iMovie Alternatives to Rotate Videos

When it comes to rotating a video, iMovie has very few features available. However, if you’re using a Mac, you can use the following two free alternative methods to rotate your videos:

QuickTime Player

The primary media player on macOS is QuickTime Player, which comes pre-installed on the operating system. It is designed to play various media file formats, including video, audio, and images. It’s possible that QuickTime Player is already set as the default multimedia player on your Mac.

To rotate your video clip using QuickTime Player, simply double-click on the video file to open it. Then, navigate to the Edit menu and select either Rotate Left or Rotate Right to rotate the video. This is a simple process and it saves you time since you don’t have to use iMovie, especially if you only need to rotate the video and don’t require any additional editing.


Canva is a visual content creation platform that provides users with the ability to create and edit videos. Its video editor is equipped with a range of editing tools, including the ability to rotate, resize, and crop videos. Canva’s rotating tool allows you to easily change the orientation of your video by rotating it to any angle. This is especially useful if you want to just rotate your video slightly to a degree. 

To rotate your video using Canva, simply upload the video to a new project, and then locate the rotate handle (which is a curved arrow icon) at either the bottom or side of the video. Drag the rotate handle to rotate the video to your desired angle. Canva will display the exact degree of rotation as you adjust the video angle.

Final Thoughts

Rotating a video in iMovie is quick and simple. While iMovie’s rotating feature is limited, it can be useful for making simple adjustments to your video. However, if you require a more precise rotating tool, Canva is likely your best option. 

I hope this guide has been helpful for you. If you have any other questions about iMovie, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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