How to compress a video?

How to compress a video?

Sending, sharing or storing videos can be difficult if they are too large. It is then necessary to reduce their size, but without this affecting their quality. This is called video compression. Here’s a roundup of good reasons to compress video and five tools to do it effectively.

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Compressing a video, what is it?

Video compression involves reducing the size of a video while retaining essential data, such as audio clips and moving images.

Compressing a video is an encoding method that uses several techniques, algorithms and codecs to reduce the number of bits and thereby remove all obsolete data from a video file.

To do this, it is necessary to go through specific programs. Depending on the compression process and the chosen format, the quality of the video may be affected. However, this loss of quality is generally not perceptible to the naked eye, unless it is a compression of a very large file to a very small format.

There are two main methods of video compression:

  • lossless compression: this is a format that allows you to keep the original resolution of the video. No initial data is deleted, so the quality of the video is guaranteed. This is a technique that can be used when the file size can remain relatively large. For example, it is an ideal compression mode for transferring a file through an external hard drive, from one computer to another.
  • lossy compression: this is the most popular mode of compression, as it aims to significantly reduce file size. Data is deleted, which decreases the quality of the video. But these are not essential either, the difference is not necessarily visible to users. Files downloaded from the web use lossy compression, as do multiple DVDs.
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Finally, note that converting a video from one format to another will also change its size in most cases.

Why compress a video?

Videos are large files, even if they are short in duration. This is a direct consequence of the ever-increasing video quality of smartphones or cameras, which makes the files bigger and bigger. It should also be noted that the longer a video is, the greater its weight. It is therefore sometimes difficult to share, send, and store these video files.

In addition, you should know that the majority of sharing platforms are governed by a size limit. And this, whether by e-mail, on social networks or on the web pages.

For example, on YouTube, it is not possible to upload a video larger than 256 GB. On Instagram, the limit is 3.6 GB, on Facebook 4 GB and on TikTok 500 MB.

File sharing tools such as WeTransfer, Google Drive also have a maximum limit to send files for free. It is therefore necessary to compress the videos in order to be able to share them easily.

But it is not the only reason. Compressing a video saves storage space on the computer, external hard drives or smartphones. But also, to be read without difficulty by all generations of computers or mobiles. For example, playing an uncompressed 4K video can be complicated on an old computer, while once compressed it can be played without any inconvenience.

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Compressing a video also makes it possible to import it directly onto a site and host it, while reducing the loading time for Internet users. They are quick to download because they take up less space on the website’s hosting server.

5 Tools to Compress Video

Video compression is done using online tools or via compatible software depending on the operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux). These are designed to convert and reduce the weight of the videos as much as possible, maintaining the quality.

In general, video editing software offers video compression features. But it is possible to use dedicated software. Here is a selection of tools to help compress videos to smaller formats.


Clidéo is a secure online video tool that provides the facility to compress a video file up to 500MB. Just upload the video directly to the site and then choose your desired output format.

Once compressed, it is possible to preview the video to verify that the quality is satisfactory and that everything is correct. If so, all you have to do is download it, otherwise you have to go back to the editing step.

It is a simple tool, which does not require specific skills. The paid version is available from $9 per month.

Any Video Converter

Any Video Converter software can compress videos for free while maintaining high resolution. It is possible to compress videos from different formats like MP4, WMV, AVI, SWF, MOV, M4A.

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It is also possible to edit the videos thanks to the various functionalities of effects, trimming, clips.

The conversion is fast and offers a wide selection of output video file formats, compatible with different output devices.

This tool is available for all versions of Windows and macOS.


Handbrake is an open source video compressor that can be used with macOS, Windows 10 and Linux operating systems.

It helps to quickly compress a video thanks to its open source video transcoder. It integrates several presets allowing the optimization of videos according to the viewing devices.

It is also possible to compress videos simultaneously.

Freemake Video Converter

It is a software only available on PC. With this free tool, it is possible to compress a video by choosing to reduce the quality, lowering the resolution value, or adjusting other parameters. It supports 500 video file formats.

Freemake Video Converter can also be used to trim or crop videos. It also offers batch conversion features.


It is a free MP4 video compressor available online. By default, it reduces the size of a video by 35%, but the compression rate is adjustable.

XConvert (formerly PS2PDF) offers the option of choosing H.264 or H.265 encoders.

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