How to Make iMovie Vertical: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Creating a vertical iMovie is easier than you may think. All you need is your iPhone or iPad, the iMovie app, and a vertical video to work with. By following a few simple steps, you can turn your horizontal video into a vertical masterpiece, perfect for sharing on social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Let’s dive into how you can make your iMovie vertical.

Step by Step Tutorial: Making iMovie Vertical

Before we jump into the steps, it’s important to understand that iMovie is designed to work with horizontal videos. However, with a little creativity, we can manipulate iMovie to work with vertical videos as well. The following steps will help you achieve that.

Step 1: Create a new project in iMovie

Start by opening the iMovie app and create a new project.

When creating a new project in iMovie, you’ll usually pick a "Movie" from the options. This gives you a blank canvas to start editing your video.

Step 2: Import your vertical video

Once your project is open, import the vertical video you want to edit.

Tap the "+" button to add videos from your photo library. Make sure the video you’re importing was shot in a vertical orientation to begin with.

Step 3: Rotate the video

With your video on the timeline, use two fingers to rotate the video 90 degrees so it appears horizontal.

This may seem counterintuitive since we want a vertical video, but rotating it will allow us to make the necessary adjustments in a later step.

Step 4: Export and rotate again

Export the rotated video to your photo library, then open it and rotate it back to a vertical orientation.

After exporting the video, you’ll usually find it in your photo library or camera roll. From there, you can use the editing tools to rotate it back to its original vertical orientation.

Step 5: Import the rotated video back into iMovie

Finally, import the now-vertical video back into a new iMovie project.

You’re essentially repeating step 2, but this time the video will be in the correct vertical orientation for sharing on platforms like Instagram stories or IGTV.

After completing these steps, your video will be in a vertical format, ready for you to add any final touches or effects in iMovie before sharing it with the world.

Tips for Making iMovie Vertical

  • Always start with a video that was originally shot in a vertical orientation for the best results.
  • Make sure you’re using the latest version of iMovie for any updated features that may assist with editing vertical videos.
  • Use the zoom feature in iMovie to ensure your video fills the vertical frame properly.
  • Consider the final platform where you’ll be sharing your video and make sure the vertical orientation is compatible.
  • Practice rotating and exporting a few times to get the hang of the process before working on your final video.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make sure my video stays vertical when exporting?

Make sure you rotate it back to the vertical orientation after the initial export and before importing it back into iMovie.

Can I add effects to vertical videos in iMovie?

Absolutely! Once your video is back in iMovie in the vertical format, you can add any effects or edits just like with any other video.

What if my video wasn’t shot vertically?

If your video wasn’t shot vertically, you can still rotate it in iMovie, but it may not fill the frame as a true vertical video would.

How can I share my vertical video on social media?

Most social media platforms support vertical videos. Simply export your finished video to your camera roll and upload it from there.

Why do I need to rotate the video twice?

Rotating the video initially allows iMovie to handle the video as if it were horizontal, which it’s designed for. Rotating it a second time ensures it’s in the vertical format for exporting and sharing.


  1. Create a new project in iMovie
  2. Import your vertical video
  3. Rotate the video
  4. Export and rotate again
  5. Import the rotated video back into iMovie


Whether you’re looking to step up your social media game or just want to experiment with a new video format, making an iMovie vertical is a simple yet effective way to get creative with your content. Remember, the key to a seamless vertical video lies in the initial orientation of your footage, so always start with a vertically shot video. Don’t be afraid to play around with different effects and editing techniques to make your vertical video stand out. With these tips and tricks under your belt, you’re ready to dive into the world of vertical video editing with iMovie. So grab your iPhone, open iMovie, and let the vertical video creation begin!