Need to compress MP4 video files?

November 7, 2019
8 min

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. DownloadDownload and start Movavi Video Converter
  2. Drag and drop your files into the app window
  3. Select the output format
  4. Launch the conversion

How to Compress MP4 Videos

MP4 is among today’s most popular formats, supported on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. But there’s still one problem you may encounter – file size. It’s well-known that high-definition and high-quality videos can take up a great deal of disk space. If these videos are stored on your computer, you can simply move them to an external storage device, but that won’t work for mobile devices. So, is there a way to preserve your favorite movies without using up all your storage space? The answer is simple: compress the video!

Here are some reasons why you might need to compress your files.

Videos take up too much space

If you don’t have enough space for all your files, compress them. This way, you can keep all your videos and continue working or studying from home.

Videos upload too slowly

Large files take too much time to be sent via email, uploaded to the Web, or transferred to a data carrier. Things go much faster with compressed videos.

Storing videos in a cloud is costly

When you are using cloud storage, you have to pay for the space you use. File compression lets you store more videos at no additional cost.

You can try one of these approaches to the file compression:

How to Compress Videos Using the Movavi MP4 Compressor

Of course, you can’t compress video without losing quality at some level, but, using the appropriate software, it’s possible to reduce the file size significantly and preserve reasonable image quality. Movavi Video Converter can compress MP4 files – as well as videos in other popular formats – in the time it takes you to make a cup of coffee. The program’s smart ready-made presets are designed to provide the best possible size-to-quality ratio.

The compression rate depends on your choice of preset and bitrate. Here, you can see the approximate compressed file sizes after changing video resolution from Full HD 1080p to HD 720p using Movavi Video Converter. Of course, these are just average results given as an example.

VideoBefore compressionAfter compression
Movie6.3 GB3.75 GB
Clip850 MB190 MB
Short phone video34 MB16.5 MB

Download Movavi Video Converter for Windows or Mac, read the instructions below, and you’ll find out how to compress MP4 for storing on a computer, watching on a mobile device, uploading to the Web, sending by email, and more.

Add the Files to the MP4 Compressor

In the upper left corner of the program interface, click the Add Media button, then choose Add Video. In the dialog box that opens, find the MP4 files you want to compress and click Open.

Choose the Target Preset

In the lower part of the interface, go to the Video tab, open the MP4 group, and choose the preset that matches your desired video codec and resolution.

  • For MP4, presets with MPEG-4 and H.264 codecs are available. We recommend H.264 presets since this codec provides better compression.
  • In the list of added files, you can see the resolution of the original video. If it’s too high, you can try choosing a preset with a lower resolution, but remember that the quality will be lower, too.

As an example, you can compress 4K Ultra HD video using the MP4 H.264 - Full HD 1080p or MP4 H.264 - HD 720p preset. If you want to adjust video resolution and other parameters manually, click the Cogwheel button.

If you are compressing videos to watch on a mobile device, go to the Devices tab, and simply choose your model from the list of presets.

Adjust the Bitrate (Optional)

Video size and quality depend primarily on the bitrate. The ready-made presets in Movavi Video Converter are smart and well-optimized, so, when you choose an appropriate preset (see above), you can expect the output video file to be smaller than the original. If you want to compress your video even more, reduce the bitrate value manually but remember that this may worsen the picture quality. To do this, click the estimated output size in the list of added files. In the pop-up window, set the desired output size value using the File size slider. By clicking Convert sample, you can also see how a converted file will look like.

Start Compressing Your MP4 Files

First, define where the converted files will be stored. Click the Save to button at the bottom of the program window and specify an appropriate directory on your computer. You can also stay with the default Movavi Library folder.

Once everything is ready, click the Convert button to start the conversion. The video processing will take a little while, and, when it’s done, the target folder containing the compressed MP4 files will open.


Movavi Video Converter

The ideal way to get your media in the format you need!

  • Convert video, audio, DVDs, and image files
  • Enjoy lightning-fast conversion without quality loss
  • Improve quality, adjust sound, trim and join files before converting
  • Save video and audio clips for easy mobile access

Differences between Desktop and Online Converters

Online Video Converter
  • Long-time wait
  • Limited file size
  • Popular formats supported
  • Low conversion speed
Movavi Video Converter
  • 0-second wait
  • No size limits
  • 180+ formats, presets for 200+ devices
  • Fast video compressing
  • Online user support

How to Compress an MP4 Video to a Smaller Size Online

Another easy way to lower the size of your video is to use an online tool. Try this one. It is a great choice if you don't want to download anything. Here's how to compress MP4 online.

Go to the Site via the Link Below and Add Your Clip

Click the link below to go to the online converter home page:

Online Video Converter

Upload your file: click the Add Your Media button and choose the file to be compressed. Please note that the file size is limited, and it has to be a single file. If you have multiple files, you’ll need to compress them one by one.

Define the New Video Resolution

Hit the Cogwheel icon to the far right of your file name. Lower the video resolution by choosing a new one from the Video resolution list. Click the Cogwheel icon to close the menu.

Compress the MP4 File

Click Convert to start the compression. You'll see a progress bar below your file name. Once it reaches the end, the compressed file will be downloaded automatically – or you can hit Download to get it.

How to Compress MP4 for Free

One other way to reduce the file size of your MP4 video is to use a free MP4 compressor. Try VLC Player – it’s a free media player that can also compress video files. Although the conversion speed is a little slow, VLC Player is a good option if you’re looking for freeware.

Download the appropriate version of VLC

Install the program on your computer and launch it. In the program menu, go to Media > Convert / Save. Click Add to choose the video you want to compress and click the Convert / Save button. In the new window, click the Wrench icon and open the Video codec tab. Here you can adjust the bitrate – choose a lower value to reduce the size of the video. If needed, open the Resolution tab and change the resolution of your video. After all the settings have been specified, click Save. Then click Browse and select the folder where you want to save your video. Hit Start and wait until the compression is done.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can use a desktop app like Movavi Video Converter for Mac. One other option is a free desktop program like the Mac version of VLC media player. Another way is online transformation using a special conversion service like the one linked below.

Go to the Online Video Converter website

There are several ways you can reduce the size of a video file. Follow the link below to learn more.

Read the guide to compressing video for email

If you’re looking for a video format that is widely supported on various platforms and devices, MP4 is your best choice. MP4 videos are normally good quality while their file size is relatively small.

You can use, for example, Online Video Converter. This service lets you change video formats and adjust video resolution and audio bitrate. Please note that you can’t compress a video with zero quality loss – read on to learn why.

Go to the Online Video Converter website

When you make video resolution and bitrate lower, you can’t help but reduce the quality of your video to some extent. But if you don’t reduce these parameters too far, you probably won’t notice the difference.

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