March 2, 2021

7 Best MOV Compressors: How to Make a MOV File Smaller

13 min

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To compress a MOV file, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download and launch Movavi Video Converter
  2. Add files to the program
  3. Choose the output format and file size
  4. Click Convert

How to Compress a MOV File with Movavi Video Converter

The MOV format is one of the most popular in video and audio storage for Apple users. If you like to watch movies on your Mac, those files probably have a .mov extension.

If you have a large video collection that requires a lot of space, you might need to compress your files. You may also find it useful to compress MOV files for an email attachment or to optimize for the Web, e.g., for uploading to YouTube or another social network.

Below, you’ll find a description of several scenarios in which you might need to reduce your file sizes.

Videos take up too much space

Even when working from home, you may have to make difficult storage-related decisions – which files to keep and which to delete. File compression is a nice way out.

If you are going to transfer a large file via a wireless connection, you may have to wait for a long time for the process to complete. Smaller files can be transmitted much faster.

The price of cloud services depends on storage capacity, so when storing large files you have to pay more than if the files are small. Compress the videos and save some money.

Another point is that you might need to change the format of your files to play them back, not only on your Mac but on a PC running Windows. Of course, it would also be best if the files could be processed without losing any quality.

If you are new to compressing files, it can be challenging to figure out which app is right for you. Try Movavi Video Converter. It offers a convenient way to compress MOV files and convert them to other formats if needed.

Read on to learn more about how to compress a .mov file.

Step 1. Install the Software

Download Movavi Video Converter by clicking the Download button. Find the distribution file and select it to start the installation. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Step 2. Add the MOV Files to the Compressor

Launch the program, open the Add Media menu, and click Add Video. Select the MOV files you want to compress and click the Open button.

Step 3. Select the Required Format

Select the video format or device type to specify the properties of the output files. You can also connect your device and click the Cell Phone icon – the program will automatically provide the appropriate preset.

Step 4. Define the Compression Properties (Optional)

If you intend to make the file smaller while preserving the original resolution, follow this step.

Return to the main program window and right-click on the file size. In the window that opens, select the target file size using the slider bar. The quality and bitrate will be set automatically. You can also click Convert sample to preview how the file will look after compression. Repeat these actions for all your files or mark the Apply bitrate to all files check box.

Step 5. Resize the MOV Files (Optional)

If you want to make the MOV file smaller by lowering the resolution, this step is for you.

Click the Cogwheel icon at the bottom of the window. Open the Frame size list and choose the resolution for the final video. If you don’t remember the resolution of the source video, check it in the program’s main video. When a smaller resolution is selected, make sure to choose an appropriate resize method. If you’re okay with black stripes on the final video, choose Letter Box. If you’d rather get rid of extra edges on the video, select Crop. When you’re done, click OK.

Step 6. Compress the MOV Files and Save Them

To select a folder in which to save the converted files, click the Save to button. Click Convert to launch the compression. On completion of the process, the selected folder will open automatically.

Below, you can find several examples of compressing video files of different sizes. All had a resolution of 1920 × 1080 before compression and were processed with the Movavi compressor.


Before Compres­sion

After Compres­sion

Movie12.5 GB6.5 GB
Clip325 MB160 MB
Short phone video20 MB10 MB

Now you know how to compress a MOV file. Compressing videos is easier with Movavi Video Converter. You can also use the software to convert video files to any format, including WebM, MKV, FLV, OGV, GIF, AVI, WMV, MP4, M4V, 3GP, and more. To make things easier, Movavi Video Converter provides a full range of pre-made parameter sets for converting files depending on the desired output format or intended use. With this program, you can easily transfer any video to your phone, tablet, or any other mobile device.

How to Compress MOV Files Online

Here are simple ways on how to make a MOV file smaller right from your computer browser online.

When you need to quickly compress one or two .mov files and would not wish to download any software, you can quickly do it online. Online Video Compressor is a powerful cloud-based tool that you can use to reduce the size of a large .mov file to store, publish, or share.

Pros of compressing MOV video with Online Video Compressor

  • No downloads or software installation necessary to compress MOV files online free.
  • This Online Video Compressor can compress MOV files for YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo by optimizing the compression for sharing and upload to video hosting sites.
  • High compression speeds.
  • Upload and compress .mov files directly from Google Drive and Dropbox.

Cons of compressing MOV video with Online Video Compressor

  • Online Video Compressor does not support batch compression.
  • Limited features for free users.

YouCompress prides itself on being the easiest way to compress any video files on the internet, including .mov files. It works right on the computer browser, meaning that you can use it to reduce your MOV video file size without downloading any software or tools. It promises to preserve the quality of your videos without any configurations on your part.

Pros of compressing MOV video with YouCompress

  • Uploads video using an encrypted connection for improved security.
  • Easy to use.
  • Compress a MOV file for free with no limitations without registration.

Cons of compressing MOV video with YouCompress

  • Offers no compression customization options.
  • YouCompress's compression process can be slow.

PS2PDF is a free-to-use cloud-based free MOV compressor built to reduce the size of almost any file type, including .mov. It allows you to adjust the output video quality to determine the resulting MOV file size. It can reduce the size of a .mov file by changing the resolution, video bit rate depending on your preferences.

Pros of compressing MOV video with PS2PDF

  • You can upload .mov files from Google Drive, Dropbox, or Computer to compress.
  • User-friendly interface with simplified guides.
  • Supports drag and drop.

Cons of PS2PDF of Compressing MOV video with PS2PDF

  • Compression options can be confusing for some users.


Online video compression tools have come a long way and can be very convenient to use. These cloud-based tools offer hobbyists and beginners an effortless and reliable way to reduce the file sizes of MOV files without installing any software or worrying about codecs.

How to Compress a MOV File for Free on Windows and Mac

Here are some of the top tools available for free download you can use to compress MOV files on Mac or Windows computers.

OS: Windows, Mac

VLC is one of the most popular media players today. It is often one of the first applications that Windows users download after setting up their operating systems. This is mainly because it is lightweight and comes with many handy media tools, including a .mov video file compressor. Here is how to compress a MOV file on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

How to Compress MOV Files with VLC

  1. Go to the VLC official website, install the software, and launch it:
    The VLC media player website
  2. Open the Media menu, and click Convert / Save.
  3. In the File tab, click Add and locate the MOV file you want to compress. Click Convert / Save.
  4. Select the final format profile. If you want to compress a MOV file to MP4, click Video - H.264 + MP3 (MP4).
  5. To compress the video, click the Wrench icon. In the new window, open the Video codec tab. Set the bitrate at a lesser value than the video currently has. Then, click Save.
  6. Click Browse, find the desired target folder, and, in the File name field, enter the name for the future file, including the desired extension. Click the Save button.
  7. When everything is set, click Start and wait for a few minutes.

Pros of compressing MOV video with VLC

  • The compression process is easy and fast.
  • VLC compression engine is highly effective in reducing video file size.
  • Options to cut and resize MOV file before compression to further reduce the file size.

Cons of compressing MOV video with VLC

  • VLC's interface is not user-friendly.

OS: Windows, Mac

Just like VLC, Movavi Free Video Converter is a collection of powerful video editing tools, including a MOV file compressor. The free version is possibly the best compression tool to compress a large batch of .mov files to save space or prepare a file for sharing or publishing.

How to Use Movavi Free Video Converter as a .mov Compressor

  1. Download and install Movavi Free Video Converter:
    The Movavi Free Video Converter web page
  2. Drag-and-drop your file into the program’s window.
  3. Select the Video tab, open the MOV selection of presets, and click MOV - Original Size.
  4. Click the estimated file size and set the new compression rate. Click Convert sample to see if the resulting quality is still fine.
  5. Finally, click Convert.

Pros of compressing MOV video with Movavi Free Video Converter

  • High-speed conversion engine.
  • Offers multiple compression customization options.
  • Can batch-compress any number of .mov videos of any file sizes without loss of quality.
  • Easy compression and editing.

Cons of compressing MOV video with Movavi Free Video Converter

  • The many compression options it offers can be confusing for beginners.

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux

HandBrake is an open-source video conversion and compression tool that supports many video file types and codecs. It is most popularly used to convert videos between formats.

How to Reduce a MOV File Size with Handbrake

  1. Download and install Handbrake from the official website:
    Download HandBrake
  2. Click the Folder (Batch Scan) button. Find your video file and select it.
  3. The MP4 format will be selected as the target format by default. If you want to change any video settings, go to the Filters and Video tabs.
  4. In the Video tab, set a lower bitrate value.
  5. Click Browse in the lower right part of the program window. Hit the Start Encode button to shrink the MOV file.

Pros of compressing a MOV file with HandBrake

  • HandBrake offers many compression customization options.
  • Free and open source.
  • Compression speed is adjustable.

Cons of compressing MOV video with HandBrake

  • HandBrake's unintuitive interface can be complicated for first-time users.


While online MOV video compressor tools are convenient and easy to use, they typically lack the advanced features to fine-tune the extent to which they compress a MOV video file. These downloadable software offer powerful advanced tools and features that compress a video file fast and reliable. The best of these tools offer the user a multitude of options to encode, format, and even edit MOV files before compression.

What Is a MOV (QuickTime) File?

While it is primarily a video file, a MOV file can also store related data in audio, text, and timecode data types. This file is standard in most Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and macOS laptops and desktop computers.

DescriptionA file with a .mov file extension is a video file developed by Apple for its QuickTime video player. It is a lot similar to MP4 files in that they both use the lossy compression formats.
Video encoding formatQTTF container (QuickTime File Format)
Audio encoding formatsAAC Compression
Device and OS compatibilitymacOS, Windows, Linux, Sony PSP, DVD players

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my MOV file so big?

MOV files are often large because they contain extra video data captured by a camera. The QuickTime codec demands high data rates to compress a MOV file without losing quality, which is why it uses up more space.

How to compress a MOV file for email?

The process of compressing MOV files for email is easy with Movavi Video Converter.

  1. Open the converter, click Add Media, then Add Video, and locate the file to compress.
  2. Click on the Video tab at the bottom of the screen and click the MOV preset.
  3. Specify compression rate on the Size and Quality dialog box and adjust the slider to set the output file size. Note that the standard file size you can attach to an email is 10 MB. However, Gmail allows you to attach a .mov file of up to 25 MB.
  4. Finally, click Convert to reduce MOV file size for email attachments.

What is the maximum video size for YouTube?

Do you need to compress a MOV file for YouTube? The maximum file size you can upload is 128 GB. Note that you can only upload a video file that is shorter than 12 hours.

How do I compress a .mov file on a Mac?

Movavi Video Converter comes with a powerful but intuitive .mov compressor. Here is how to use it:

  1. Open the converter, click Add Media, then Add Video, and locate the file to compress.
  2. Click on the Video tab at the bottom of the screen and click the MOV preset.
  3. Specify compression rate on the Size and Quality dialog box and adjust the slider to set the output file size.
  4. Click Convert to launch the MOV video compressor.

How to make MOV files smaller?

If you need to shrink MOV file size once or twice, you can use a MOV compressor online without downloading or installing any software. However, it is best to download and install a video editor with compression tools such as Movavi Video Converter when compressing a MOV file that is too large to upload or multiple files to convert at once.