In a nutshell

  • You don’t inherently need a desktop video editing software to edit a YouTube video; you can edit one with your iPhone
  • Apple iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro and Luma Touch LumaFusion are great apps for editing video on an iPhone
  • Practice using the basic editing tools before you graduate to more complex tools

Without question, the best way to create great YouTube videos with your iPhone is to learn how to edit. The great news is that there are some feature-packed apps that give you the tools you need right on your iPhone. We’ll give you a few top choices for editing apps and a step-by-step guide to making your first, fast-edited movie. Once you learn the basic techniques, you’ll be on your way to creating videos for YouTube.

Step one: start shooting video on your iPhone

Every time Apple updates the iPhone, it steps up the quality and features of its camera. The most recent models shoot in 4K resolution up to 60 fps with HDR. They include special features like slow motion, time-lapse and video stabilization. Additionally, Apple added a new Cinematic mode for iPhone 13 models. This all means new iPhones can give your great quality videos. 

Before you start editing, you’re going to need some clips to start editing. So, get out there and capture some video.

Your first editing tool is found right in the Photos app. If you haven’t discovered it already, when you select a video in the app, there’s an Edit tab at the top of the clip. This opens a number of functions, including the ability to trim the start and endpoints of the clip, adjust the exposure, contrast and color and crop the size of the video.

Pick an app for video editing

If you want to string together several clips or add graphics to the video, you will want a more specific editing app. There are many to choose from in the App Store. They range from the simple to the complex. Some have features that rival even desktop editing programs for features.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Apple iMovie: This is Apple’s native, free video editing app that works great on iPhone and can for sure help edit great YouTube videos. It comes with some basic tools, and it is geared to the novice. You can easily edit together a few videos and still images with transitions, add a title and set it all to royalty-free music in minutes. Recently, Apple added a couple of features, “Magic Movie” and “Storyboard,” to make it even easier to make edits.

Adobe Premiere Rush: Adobe Premiere Pro is a standard for professional video editing on desktop, and Premiere Rush is essentially its little sibling. Adobe designed the app’s controls specifically for smartphones, and there are several great tools for stunning graphics. And — because it’s from Adobe — you can link it to all of your other tools on Adobe Creative Cloud. The big drawback: You have to pay a monthly subscription fee for many functions, including exporting your video.

Luma Touch LumaFusion: This App Store editor’s choice video editing app bills itself as the go-to app for pro video editing and effects. For $20, this app does it all. It features frame-accurate editing, great transitions and native graphics. It will quickly transform clips from different formats into various output possibilities like square or 16:9 vertical. There are a lot of royalty-free music and videos to choose from. You can even export to Final Cut Pro for further desktop editing.

Making the cut in iMovie

Once you have some video, it’s time to edit. For this example, we will use the iMovie app. After you download iMovie from the App Store, open the app. Make sure to give the app permission to access your photos. When you first open the app, you will see “Start New Project.” Under that, choose “Magic Movie,” and you’re ready to start. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap the “Videos” folder
  2. Select the videos you want to go into the movie. You don’t worry about the order,
  3. Tap “Create Magic Movie” at the bottom. After a moment, you’ll see your movie at the top. You can press play to view it.
  4. If you need to reorder the clips, press and hold the tab with the video until it shrinks. Then drag the clip to where you want it to be.
  5. To delete a video, tap the Select button at the bottom of the screen. Tap the circle at the left of the video and choose Delete at the bottom.
  6. If you don’t like the cut of music or don’t want music, tap the film icon at the top. Choose the Music icon at the bottom. From here, you can select a different cut or none. When you’re done, press cancel.
  7. When the video is the way you want it, press the share icon at the top right and save your video. You will find the video in your iPhone’s Photos app.

Share your work with the rest of the world

It’s that simple to edit YouTube video on your iPhone. When you get more proficient, you can graduate to more feature-rich tools. Who knows, with a little editing skill, you may just go viral and be on your way to building a career as an online content creator.