Video Compression

Getting videos off your phone and into Clipchamp

Posted April 1, 2015
Written by Tobi Raub
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Clipchamp Utilities and video compression has been discontinued in 2021. But no worries. Our free video editor is still fully equipped with professional and easy editing features you could use to take your videos to the next level. It lets you trim, cut, control speed, add captions and titles, create and insert GIFs, add stock media, voiceovers, green screen effects, and more. Try Clipchamp free online video editor now.

Some of our users have asked us how to convert or compress videos they’ve taken with their phones to share them or make them smaller for easier storing.

At the moment, the best way to use Clipchamp for this purpose is in Google Chrome on your laptop or desktop as it gives you the fastest processing performance and the most options of what to do with your file afterwards – save locally, save to Google Drive or share on YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook.

Getting video files from your phone to your computer is pretty straightforward and here are some options of how to do it.

Use iTunes (or your Android or Windows Phone equivalent)

Depending on how you’ve set things up, iTunes automatically syncs all media on your phone or other iOS device whenever your computer is on, iTunes is running and your iPhone is connected to the same WiFi network. This includes the syncing of photos and video files. If you haven’t enabled syncing over Wifi, you have to connect your device to your computer via USB to copy videos and all other files.


Use the Google Drive app on your iPhone/iPad


In its most recent version, Google Drive for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch offers an auto-backup feature that automatically syncs your photos and videos from the camera roll on your iOS device with your Google Drive and its client on your desktop or laptop if you have it installed.


Use Dropbox for Android or iOS.

This is the way I do it personally and it’s worked great for me.

Similar to Google Drive, Dropbox also offers automatic uploads of videos (and photos) you take on your smartphone. If you set it up following the instructions as described here and also install the Dropbox client on your desktop/laptop, this is an easy way to make sure that all your videos don’t just live on your phone. If you don’t like Dropbox, just use one of the many handy alternatives to Dropbox.


Use Google+ on your Android or iOS device.

The same can be achieved with Google+ on Android or iOS where your videos (and photos) get backed up in your Google+ account, making use of your Google Drive storage quota. Please note that there are some limitations with regards to file resolution and length when it comes to how your free Google Drive quota is affected. And you might have to specifically download videos backed up this way to your computer first before you can process them.

Use an app like Photo Transfer App.

The concept is the same as with the previous examples and there are actually quite a few of these types of apps in the various app stores (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), some are free and some cost a few $ though might come with additional features that free apps are missing.

From personal experience, an app like Dropbox or Google Drive does the trick perfectly fine.

Your choice – Wireless or USB

Lastly, one aspect to keep in mind is that you can choose if you want to automatically background sync your videos from your phone over WiFi if your smart device is connected to a network. This can take quite some time depending on network speeds. It will also eat into your device’s battery life. So it is a convenient option that you can set up once and then forget but it comes at a cost.


Alternatively – and that’s what I prefer to do except in rare occasions where I use WiFi -, you can connect your phone to your computer via USB cable. At least under current circumstances, transfer speeds are much higher than over the air and seeing that most video files are quite large, this is a big time saver.


The Dropbox desktop client for instance automatically takes over photo & video syncing as soon as it recognises a connected phone. This works even if you use iTunes (or your Android or Windows Phone equivalent) to sync everything else.

Once your videos are on your computer, you can convert & compress them using clipchamp the way you’re used to and either save the finished file back to your computer, to your Google Drive or upload a compressed version to YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo.

Please note that the exact way of how syncing via WiFi or USB works with your smartphone depends on the brand of phone and its operating system.

If none of the options described here work for you, I’d recommend searching for your phone model combined with a phrase like “sync videos” or “copy video files to computer” on Google or Bing.

If you experience any issues, please have a look at our Help Centre.

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