How to Reduce the Size of a MOV File

By John Michael Thomas

The size of video files, including MOV files, varies widely. You can use Windows Movie Maker to reduce the size of your MOV and other video files.

MOV files contain videos in a standard file format, but the internal video settings of both MOV files and other video files varies, and the size of the same video in different files can vary widely. You can use Windows Movie Maker to reduce the size of your MOV files and other video files.

Windows Movie Maker is part of Windows Essentials, which includes other applications including Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Messenger and Microsoft Live Writer. If you do not have Movie Maker installed, download and install it from the Microsoft website.

Step 1

Open Windows Movie Maker. Click in the area labeled Click here to browse for videos and photos and select your video.

Step 2

Save with appropriate settings.

Click the Save Movie menu in the application ribbon.

Select one of the output settings from the menu. If you plan to send the video file in an email, select For Email from the list. If you plan to copy the video file to a portable device, select the settings that most closely matches the portable device to which you plan to copy the file, such as Android Phone (large) or Apple iPhone. Use the scroll bar in the menu to view additional settings.

If you found an appropriate output setting, continue to Step 4; otherwise continue to the next step.

Step 3

If you don't see an appropriate output setting, or if you just want greater control over the output of your video, you can create a new video output setting.

Create a custom setting.

Select Create custom setting... from the menu.

See all the properties of your video.

The Create Custom Setting dialog shows the video settings of your original file, and displays the estimated file size per minute of video.


The estimated file size displays the estimated size per minute of video. To find the total estimated size of your video, multiply the estimated file size times the duration of your video in minutes. For example, if your video is 60 minutes long and the estimated file size is 58MB per minute of video, the total estimated file size of your video is 58 multiplied by 60, which is 3,480MB or 3.4GB.

Reduce the file size by approximately 50 percent.

Enter a name for the new custom setting and reduce the value of the bit rate field. Verify that the estimated file size will reduce the video to the size you want and press the Save button.


Reduce the bit rate in proportion to the size difference you want for the new video; for example, if you want the new video to be half the size of the original video, divide the bit rate field in half.

Reducing the values in any fields in the Create Custom Setting window reduce the size of the new video, but changes to the frame rate and audio format have little effect on file size, and changes to the width, height or frame rate field may significantly reduce the quality of the video.

Click the Save Movie menu in the application ribbon.

Choose your custom video setting.

Select the new video output setting you just created, using the name you chose.

Step 4

Click save and your video is reduced in size.

Name your movie file and press the Save button.


Windows Movie Maker only saves your file in MP4 or WMV file format. If you want your movie file in a different file format, use an online video converter such as, or to convert your new video file to your desired file format.