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Posted by Jason Eatock - Mar. 10, 2022 | Contact Author

How to Compress MP4 Video Size without Losing Quality

MP4 format is the most popular and widely-used video format as of now. MP4 used to be the best video format with best balance between file size and video quality. However, large sized MP4 videos especially in 4K/8K resolution will take up too much storage space on your computer, external hard drive or handsets, the heavy files will make the speed too slow or choppy when uploading, sharing or streaming, and more importantly they will cost you much money to store in the cloud service. If you're facing over-size MP4 video problems, you may have to reduce MP4 file size for both space saving and money saving.

Accordingly, a MP4 video compressor is necessary to help compress MP4 video file size. There are many MP4 reducer in the market. Here we single out 6 powerful video compressors (some are free) to illustrate how to reduce the size of MP4 on Windows (11) and Mac within clicks.

Part 1: Some Factors You Should Consider While Compressing MP4 Files

In reality, no matter you use MP4 or any other format like MKV, MOV, WMV, AVI, etc. to format videos, you may face over-sized video problems and have to reduce large video file size. Then do you know why the size of some MP4 video files is much bigger than others? Below are three important factors that affect video including MP4 file size.

1. Duration Of The Video – We can pretty much imagine that longer videos tend to have larger file sizes. This is because there is more data in the video file.

2. Video Bitrate – Bitrate is the speed, in bits per second of a media file during playback. Controlling bitrate is a key element of compression as it determines how smoothly a video will stream. Higher is the bitrate, the better the quality. So by reducing the bitrate, you can directly reduce the file size of your videos.

3. Video Codec – Codecs are the heart and soul of compression. The video codec is used to encode and decode the data that makes up the video. In short, it is used to compress and decompress video file so that it can be played effectively. The video codec determines the bitrate of the video and hence is a major factor affecting the file size of the video.

Therefore, you can reduce MP4 file size by trimming and cropping unwanted part of video, reducing resolution, video and audio bit rate or converting MKV to other formats as you like. And along with a third-party MP4 compressing software, you can easily get the job done. Below are the the top 5 ways that can help you compress MKV file size.

Part 2: Top 5 Ways to Compress MP4 Videos in GBs/MBs Easily

Way 1. Reduce MP4 File Size with DumboFab Video Converter

As a 100% clean and safe video compression and conversion software for Windows and Mac, DumboFab Video Converter can shrink MP4 videos up to 4K easily, fast without quality loss. With it, you can reduce MP4 file size by changing the 3 elements, say adjusting video parameters, converting coding format and cutting unwanted parts being the factors that determines the size of an MP4 file. Moreover, this MP4 compressor runs 30x real-time faster for any video compression and it eserves the highest quality as possible, almost without losing quality. Now just download the right program according your computer OS and see how it reduces MP4 file size.

How to Compress MP4 to Smaller Size Without Losing Quality

Step 1: Add oversized MP4 source video to the program.

Click the "Add Video" button on the top and select the target MP4 video to load.

Add Source MP4 Videos

Step 2: Set the parameters that determine the size of an MP4 video.

DumboFab Video Converter provide three common ways to help you compress MP4 video size. Below, we'll explain the details on how to do these.

Option ① - Reduce MP4 File Size with Advanced Settings

Video and audio files have their own codecs, which make them different from other files in size. When we want to reduce MP4 file size, we can also change the codecs of the MP4 file to make the file smaller. Speaking of changing the codecs, we're mainly talk about changing bit rate, resolution or frame rate of the video file. Therefore, if you want to reduce MP4 file size, you can click "Settings" button to adjust video audio parameters, for example, downscale 4K resolution to 1920×1080 pixels, lower video frame rate, bit rate, or change aspect ratio and so on.

Reduce MP4 Files by Set Video and Audio Parameters

Changing Bitrate: The size of the video file can be decreased by lowering its bitrate. Bit rate size is directly proportional to file size, and thus, reducing one will reduce the other as well. But here it needs to be understood that too much lowering of the bit rate will reduce the quality as well. Thus reducing the bit rate by 20-30% of the original size is a good choice.

Changing the resolution of the file: The resolution of any file determines its size as well as quality. A high-resolution file will have good quality and larger file size. Thus, if you are aiming to reduce file size, reducing the resolution with a video resolution reducer will do the trick. If you have HD videos with a high resolution of 1080P, you can reduce it to a lower resolution to reduce the file size.

Changing frame rate: Another aspect that can be considered while reducing MP4 file size is to reduce the frame rate of the file. The frame rate is directly related to file size, and thus, reducing one will directly affect the other.

Option ② - Compress MP4 videos by Trimming and Cropping Unwanted Part of Video

Another solution to reduce the size of the MP4 file is by trimming and cutting its unwanted parts. To do this, you can click the pencil-like Edit button and swith to Trim tab to cut unwanted segments of your MP4 video. For details, go to guide of how to trim video to learn more.

Compress MP4 Video by Trimming Unwanted Parts

Besides that, you can also click the Split button under file list, or choose Split from "Edit" menu, you can launch the "Video Split" window. Checking "Enable" to enable it, and then you can split the file by file count, time length, or file size. For details, go to guide of how to split video to learn more.

Compress MP4 Video by Split MP4 Video into Several Small Pieces

Option ③ - Shrink MP4 videos by converting it a lighter format

You can click "Format" bar and find "Common Video" and then select H.265 Video(*.mp4) as the output format as HEVC coding format has higher compression ration.

Shrink MP4 videos by Encoding

Step 3: Compress your MP4 file now!

When everything is OK, you can simply hit "Convert" button to start compressing your MP4 video with this MP4 compressor.

Way 2. Compress MP4 File Free with Handbrake

There are many free ways to compress MP4 videos. Though most of them have difficulties to compress large-sized MP4 videos, especially 4K MP4 videos, they are still good choices for standard MP4 files compression. And the open-source program Handbrake is the most popular free tool to help you reduce MP4 file and other video size on Windows (11) and Mac. Below are the simple steps on how to use Handbrake to compress MP4 video file size.

Step 1. Download, install and open Handbrake on your computer.

Step 2. Drag and drop the MP4 file you want to compress into it.

Step 3. Based on the 3 elements that determines an MP4 file size, you can click on "Dimensions" option to set the width and height of the video. Click "Video" option to choose video codec with higher video compression efficiency, lower frame rate, lower video quality and lower bite rate to downsize an MP4. Or directly choose "Presets" to choose the best size for Discord, Gmail, Vimeo/YouTube, and play on Android, Apple devices, PS, Roku, Xbox.

Step 4. Choose a destination folder and click "Start Encode" to compress your MP4 with this MP4 compressor.

Note: If you want to compress MP4 to FLV or other formats or you need full pre-settings about video quality, resolution and bit rate, which will save you much time, but Handbrake is not a good choice for you.

Compress MP4 Video Size Using HandBrake

Way 3. Make MP4 Smaller Free with VLC

Video compression ability is a hidden feature offered by VLC Media Player. If you have VLC Media Player installed on your computer, you can try VLC to compress your large MP4 video movies. Below is how to reduce MP4 video size with VLC media player.

Step 1. Free download, install and launch this MP4 file compressor on your computer.

Step 2. Click "Media" on the menu bar and choose "Convert/Save".

Step 3. Click "+ Add" button to add your MP4 video and then click "Add/Save" button to go on.

Step 4. Choose profile and do settings by clicking on "Create a new profile" icon. Here, you can adjust bit rate, quality, frame rate, etc.

Step 5. Set the Profile name at the top and then click on "Create".

Step 6. Click on "Browse" button to choose a destination folder to save your compressed MP4 video and click on "Start" to compress MP4 in VLC.

Reduce MP4 Video File Size with VLC

Way 4. Compress MP4 Free with FFmpeg

FFmpeg, open source free video transcoder, can compress MP4 video size free without visually quality loss. FFmpeg compresses MP4 video file size by converting video codec format, changing video bitrate, audio bitrate, lowering down video resolution. However, it's more difficult to get to know how to use FFmpeg for video compression. Below are the simple steps on how to reduce MP4 video size with FFmpeg.

Step 1. Download FFmpeg and finish the setup process on your computer. For Windows users, Windows Powershell is recommended over Command-Line. Open Windows Powershell from the start menu, and start with the compression command-line in FFmpeg.

Step 2. Input MP4 video compression command-line

There are few ways to make MP4 video size smaller, such as a more efficient codec format (H.265 compresses data 30% smaller than H.264), lower bitrate or fps, shorter video length. Here we take some typical command-line examples to show you how to compress MP4/MOV/4K video size using FFmpeg.

Command-line - Compress and Convert MP4 to WMV
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -b 1000k -vcodec wmv2 -acodec wmav2 -crf 19 -filter:v fps=fps=24 output.wmv

Command-line - Compress and Convert MP4 to Webm for YouTube, Ins, Facebook
ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -c:v libvpx-vp9 -b:v 0.33M -c:a libopus -b:a 96k \
-filter:v scale=960x540 target.webm

Command-line - Compress and Convert H.264 to H.265 for Higher Compression
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec libx265 -crf 28 output.mp4

Command-line -Set CRF in FFmpeg to Reduce Video File Size
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec libx264 -crf 24 output.mp4

Command-line - Reduce video frame size to make 4K/1080P FHD video smaller
ffmpeg -i input.avi -vf scale=1280:720 output.avi

Reduce MP4 File Size Free with FFmpeg

To make the command line clearer, below are what some common FFmpeg command-line options specify, including -c:v, -b:v, -c:a, -b:a, CRF. These options are frequently used for reducing video size in FFmpeg.

-c:v: video codec
-b:v: video bitrate
-c:a: audio codec
-b:a: audio bitrate
-filter:v: a filter to video stream
-f is used to explicitly specify the container format, -f mp4, -f wmv, -f webm, etc.
CRF (Constant Rate Factor): set the CRF to lower the bit rate but retain better quality. The lower crf, the higher the bitrate. According to test, setting crf to 24 reduce a 250MB video to 70MB without losing the quality noticeably. Use ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec libx264 -crf 24 output.avi, a 1GB video can be compressed to 200MB.

Step 3. Hit enter and the video compression process should begin. Now, FFmpeg is running to do the video compression job. The video processing progress is showing at the bottom. Tips: compressing 4K UHD videos in FFmpeg is CPU intensive, you'd better shut down other programs running background on your device.

Step 4. When the MP4 video compression completes, the output video file should appear at your specified location. Check for the output video file size and figure out the FFmpeg video compression ratio.

Way 5. Compress MP4 Video Files Free Online With VEED.IO

Here we pick VEED.IO, a no.1 ranked free but limited online MP4 video compressor. It's quite easy to process MP4 video compression.

Step 1. Open MP4 compressor page on VEED.IO. Choose the MP4 video file you'd like to compress.
Step 2. Adjust video compression settings, such as video resolution and quality.
Step 3. Click Export and save the compressed MP4 videos to your device.

Note: Large MP4 videos (>500MB usually) can't be compressed by online MP4 video compressors. When you are trying to compress a MP4 file (1.3GB) on an online video compressor, it may tell you that your video is too large and can't be imported. Free version of VEED.IO allows to compress MP4 videos under 50MB and shorter than 10 minutes. The output compressed videos have VEED.IO watermark.

Reduce MP4 File Size Free Online

Final Words:

Many users are complaining that they have ever been trapped in the above embarrassing situations while compressing MP4. For example, your MP4 videos too large, the uploading speed is too slow, output MP4 videos are too large, and more. But if you've selected a right video compression software, such as DumboFab Video Converter. you can easily get out of these embarrassing situations.

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Jason Eatock

Jason Eatock was an copywriter at DumboFab who has published hundreds of stories covering video transcoding, video editing, software review and how-tos. She is more like a "tech support" with adventurous soul, eagerly grabbing cutting-edge video technologies off in a professional yet easy-to-understand way.

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