Trim videos using Handbrake

Can’t share, transfer or upload a video just because it is too long? You can use Handbrake, a free, cross-platform video transcoder program, to easily cut your video and reduce down its file size on PC or Mac. Check out details below.

handbrake video transcoder logo

Step 1. Find the start and end point

Use a media player on your computer to play the movie or video and find out the timing of the start and end point you want to keep. You can use Movies & TV, Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player, iTunes or any movie player you have. Writing down the time (hour:minute:second) of the beginning and ending of the section, such as starting at 00:30:45 and ending at 00:45:54.

Step 2. Trim videos with Handbrake

Trimming a video using Handbrake is not intuitive. Find the Range box. It defaults to the Chapters, so you can quickly select the range by chapters. You need to click on the Chapters to expand the drop-down menu and select Seconds. You can now enter the time of the beginning and ending point.

select range and trim video using Handbrake on PC
Handbrake to cut, split videos on windows PC

Note that unlike its Windows version, Handbrake for Mac uses only seconds notation. For example, if you enter 0 and 145 into the range selection box, it means you need to trim the first 2:25 duration of the video.

If like, you can tweak more settings and options, such as video codec, format, width, height, frame-rate, subtitles, etc.

Click Browse button in the bottom right corner to set the destination path for the output file.

Finally hit the Start Encode button to trim the video.

Similar tools to cut videos on computer

With Handbrake, you have to deal with the timing manually. It is not intuitive. You can try following alternatives to trim videos on Windows and Mac computers using other video editors.

Trim video with VLC media player

VLC is another famous free, open source media player and editor. It works with Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, iOS, Android and more OS. You can follow below steps to use its Windows version to cuts videos on PC.

vlc media player logo

Click Media from the top menu bar, choose Open File … then find and open the video you want to cut in VLC player.

The recording options that we need to use to trim videos are hidden by default. Go to View > Advanced Controls to enable the recording options. See below screenshot.

VLC player for windows view advanced controls

Now you should find the recording buttons above those normal player control buttons. Play the video or drag the playhead to the starting point. Hit the Play button to play the video and hit the Record button. When you reach the ending point, click the Record button again.

VLC media player for windows to record, trim, cut videos on PC

Now open Windows File Explorer, browse to C:\Users\yourname\Videos to find those trimmed video clips on Windows computer.

Update Dec 2022: added VLC player as an alternative to split long videos into short clips on computer.

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