Why Does iMovie Crop My Videos?

There are several reasons why iMovie may crop your videos. These reasons can include differences in aspect ratio between the video and the default iMovie settings, the “Ken Burns” effect being enabled, or a high zoom level that causes the video to appear pixelated or blurry.

Hello, I’m Nancy, and I love to express my passion for storytelling by creating videos using iMovie. However, I know how frustrating it can be to encounter the cropping issue while editing videos. 

In this article, I’ll highlight the best methods to fix this problem so that you can edit your videos seamlessly.

iMovie Doesn’t Show the Whole Video

When you import a video into iMovie, you may notice that certain parts of the video are not displayed. The reason for this is that the video you uploaded may have a different aspect ratio than iMovie’s default of 16:9 or in landscape mode. 

iMovie automatically crops videos to maintain a consistent aspect ratio because it helps to enhance the video playback quality across different devices. However, you can change the crop settings in iMovie so that you can see your whole video.

How to Fix Cropping in iMovie on Mac?

Here are the best ways to resolve the issue of cropped videos in iMovie.

Set the Cropping Mode to “Fit”

Under the cropping tool you will find 3 options. Choosing “Fit” will restore your video to its original size, but if the aspect ratio differs from 16:9, iMovie will automatically center the video and fill the background with black.

To keep this setting active every time you launch iMovie, go to the iMovie Preferences and in the “Photo Placement” settings, select “Fit”

Check If the Video is Zoomed In

There are two cropping effects that cause your video to zoom in. In this example, we will look at an uploaded video with an aspect ratio of 9:16 or in portrait mode.

The first one is “Crop to Fill”. When this effect is enabled, a portion of your video will be selected to fit the aspect ratio of 16:9. Your video will be focused on that section only. To turn off this effect, select the “Cropping” tool and click “Reset All”.

The second cropping effect is “Ken Burns”. This effect gives the video motion because it can zoom in or out on the focused area. You can see how it zooms in on the video and leaves behind the rest. Similar to the “Crop to Fill” effect, if you want to turn it off, select “Reset All”.

How to Stop iMovie from Cropping Videos on iPhone or iPad

In the iPhone or iPad version of iMovie, select the video clip on the bottom and then click on the magnifying glass icon. You will see the option “Pinch to Zoom” which allows you to zoom in or out with your fingers to adjust the video to its original size. 

At times, the “Ken Burns” effect may activate automatically when you add photos to an iMovie project. Simply click on the clip and choose to disable this effect in order to stop the images or videos from moving.


Here are some related questions about cropping videos on iMovie, I’ll answer them briefly below.

How to Properly Crop Your Video in iMovie?

To crop your video in iMovie click the “Cropping” tool and select “Crop to Fill”. Make your desired adjustments and then click on the “Apply” button.

How to Change the Aspect Ratio Setting in iMovie?

iMovie has a default aspect ratio of 16:9 and it cannot be modified. You can change a video’s aspect ratio by using other video editing apps or tools to optimize your video for different platforms.


The main reason why iMovie crops videos is due to the differences in aspect ratios, but it’s easy to fix. Although iMovie is a good choice for creating videos with a 16:9 aspect ratio, each social media platform has its own preferences for aspect ratios, resolutions, and file sizes. 

While iMovie may not support video editing for all types of content sizes, it’s relatively easy to learn how to use the cropping tool.

Let us know in the comments below if you need help understanding anything from the article.

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