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How to compress video files without losing quality?

Summary: Video files can be heavy and therefore, can become difficult to transfer. Finding an optimum solution for compressing video files without compromising their quality is always a tedious task. Let's explore some of the best video compressing tools in this article.


It’s a delight to create or watch ultra-high definition (UHD) videos. However, they are the hardest files to manage as any UHD 4K video would require high bandwidth to stream, and large storage space on drive. Due to their large file size, these videos are difficult to share on web platforms or transfer to mobile devices.

Such situations call for video compression. The technique helps to reduce the file size so that you can quickly share videos via email, upload online, or transfer them to PC, Mac, SD card, USB flash drive, iPhone, Android phone etc.

How to compress video files without losing quality?

There are various tools and software that can be used to compress large-sized videos, without losing their quality. Video compressor software let you reduce file size by changing codec, resolution, bitrate, etc. However, it’s recommended to compress video files by maintaining H.264 codec and high bitrate, preferably in MP4 format. Resolution settings should be based on the device or platform on which you want to play or share videos. Many video compressor software provide inbuilt options such as compress for Android mobile, compress for iPhone or Compress for YouTube and so on.

Appropriate video compression settings can result in good video quality- without grains, pixilation, or distortion in video movement.

Note: It is to remember that grains, blur or other distortion due to wrong compression settings is irreversible. You may try a video repair software to fix such compressed and damaged video files.

Video Repair Video Repair Mac

Best Tools to Reduce Video Size without Losing Quality

If you want to compress a video for YouTube without losing quality or to reduce video size so that it occupies less space on a media or is easily transferred to any device, try the below video compressing tools:

  1. VLC Media Player
  2. HandBrake
  3. Shotcut
  4. Online video compressors
  5. QuickTime Player

 1. VLC Media Player

One of the popular media players, VLC Media Player can be used to compress a video file by changing its format, bit rate or frame rate.

The free video compressor is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

Steps to compress video files by using VLC Media Player

  • Open VLC Media Player.
  • Click Media > Convert/Save.
  • Click Add and select one or more video files that you want to compress.
  • Click Convert/Save to open Convert box.
  • From Profile dropdown, select the required type of conversion. Note: VLC Media Player doesn’t show estimated file size after conversion. You have to pick the conversion type from the recommended options.
Convert Options-VLC Media Player
  • To further reduce video size, change other video parameters, click Edit icon next to Profile dropdown.
Edit Icon Settings-VLC Media Player
  • Select Video codec.
  • Go to Encoding parameters/ Resolution tabs and adjust Bitrate, Frame Rate and Scale.
Encoding Parameters-Resolution Tabs-VLC
  • Click Save.
  • Click Browse to name and specify file destination.
  • Click Start. The video file is compressed and saved at your chosen location.

 2. Compress Video by using HandBrake

HandBrake is an open source video transcoder that lets you change video resolution, frame rate, bit rate, codec, etc., thereby reducing video size without losing quality. The tool supports almost all types of video formats including MOV, MP4, WMV, etc. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can download HandBrake on your computer from http://www.handbrake.fr

Steps to compress videos using HandBrake

  • Launch HandBrake
  • Click Source >Open File to select your video
  • Click Browse to select location to save the compressed file. Also, provide a name for the compressed video file.
  • Under Output Settings, choose required file format.
  • Select Web Optimized.
  • Click Video tab. Across Video Codec select H.264(X264).
  • Click Start. Once the process is complete, view the compressed video.

    3. Video Compression by Shotcut

Shotcut is a free and open source video editing platform that lets you customize videos to get the desired compressed file. The software supports latest video and audio formats. It is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS systems.

Steps to compress video file with Shotcut:

  • Download Shotcut from https://www.shotcut.org/
  • Launch Shotcut on your computer.
  • Click Open File to open video.
  • Click Export on top-right corner.
  • From the list of options, choose H.264 Baseline Profile to reduce the size of your video.
  • You may choose to further reduce video size by changing Resolution or Aspect ratio.
  • Click Export File.
  • Select location to save the new file.
  • A menu called Jobs opens. Wait for the video file to say Done.
  • Close the program and view your compressed video.

 4. Online video compressors

You can compress videos online without downloading any application on your computer. There are several online video compressors available wherein you just have to upload a video file and they can compress it for you.

Based on free and paid services, these online video compressors provide various features such as batch conversion, support for multiple file formats, and more output format options such as Web, mobile, Windows, etc. to compress videos. Some popular online video compressors are Clipchamp, PS2PDF, and VideoSmaller. You can also compress videos directly from Google Drive or Dropbox.

5. Use QuickTime Player to compress videos on Mac

Use Apple’s default media player – QuickTime to compress videos on Mac computers. Although it’s easy to compress videos in QuickTime, the software doesn’t provide many video compression options.

Steps to compress videos using QuickTime Player:

  • Open QuickTime.
  • Click File> Open File to load video.
  • Click File > Export As. Choose the required resolution from the list.
  • Choose location to save the compressed video and select Save.

Wrapping Up

The common fear voiced against compression technique is that it would hamper video quality. However, video compression without quality loss is about striking balance between video size and quality parameters such as resolution, bitrate etc. Advanced video compression tools mentioned in this post would help you to reduce video size while maintaining optimum quality.

Comments(4)
  1. Emily Jones March 16, 2020
    • Sumona Chatterjee April 1, 2020
  2. Holly Morse February 12, 2020
    • Sumona Chatterjee February 13, 2020

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