I have several video clips that are small files -- the videos are pretty low quality. I'm on a Windows computer. I just need to trim the videos and rotate them 180 degrees. You'd think that if I trim the videos, the files would be smaller than they started, but for some reason when I do it on Windows Moviemaker it makes them bigger. I'm not willing to pay for a legit movie editor to do something this simple. Does anybody know how I can do this? I just need to trim, rotate, and potentially combine clips without changing the resolution and without increasing the files sizes. Thanks so much!

5 Answers 5


The file gets bigger because the encoder struggles to keep the quality of the resulting file as close to the same as the original as possible. AviDemux allows you to cut out parts of a video file without re-encoding.


Why size increased? Because used different methods to compress frames, with different ratios. And every re-compression takes away some quality.

Why you need to recompress file? When you change something, even single pixel, you must recompress whole image. So, rotation of image will cause image recompression.

How to do even smaller file? Increase ratio of compression and lost some quality.

Yes, it possible in some cases do lossless recompression, for example, for mjpeg. But this method very limited and I don't know tools to end-users what can do this.

If you want just strip-out some segments of video and NOT touch frame content, I can suggest to use VirtualDub, where exist cool mode "direct stream copy".

  • This is not what I'm asking though. I don't see why it should have to recompress. Isn't there some software that doesn't mess with the compression rates and just gives it back to you with the same compression ratio that you inputted the video in the first place?
    – ejn
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 23:48
  • Yes there are, most Adobe programs can do this but there is no guarantee it will guess your codec correctly. Either way your settings have to be correct. Try ffmpeg
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 22:03
  • No, there aren't. As Bukojot said, if you change even a single pixel, the video will need to be recompressed. You have to wind down the quality of the recompression until the compromise between file size and quality is where you want it. Windows Movie Maker is probably not the best tool for this
    – stib
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 22:39

When you use a professional editing software, you don't just save the video and let the software pick the render settings, you chose exactly how you want the output to be.
Unlike Movie Maker, it does it for you.
What you can do is, save the videos from Movie Maker then compress them using Handbrake, its a FREE software and you can find many tutorials about it online.
Hope this helps.


This can easily be achieved with MPEG Streamclip

Step 1.

Right-Click your video and 'open with MPEG Streamclip'

Step 2.

In the player window, use keys 'I' and 'O' to mark IN/OUT over the section you want to trim down to

Step 3.

Go to 'File > Save As > MOV'


Make sure you use the 'Save As' function and not the 'Export' function. If you use export you will end up re-encoding the video to a new compression which will make the file larger than the original. If you use 'Save As', the software will simply copy the existing video data into a new MOV container file for you, keeping the file small like you intend.


I recommend FFMPEG for that task. It is lighter weight than the other proposed solutions. The command you need is ffmpeg -i INPUTFILE -ss STARTTIME -to ENDTIME -c:v copy -c:a copy OUTPUTFILE.

You can use seconds, minutes:seconds and other time formats for STARTTIME and ENDTIME.

Make sure that -ss STARTTIME comes after -i INPUTFILE. It may work before the input for some videos; but, with my test video, it looked horrible when used before the input and fine when used after. I assume that there was not a keyframe shortly after the start time I specified so the output looked horrible because FFMPEG loaded the file from that point in time. If someone does know the reason for that please let me know.

  • Whoops, just realized that this thread is over a year old...
    – Gordon
    Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 2:59

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