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MP4 is a container file format capable of holding large amounts of information in one file. It could be an HD movie, TV show, or long videos filmed in landscape during a personal trip.
Unfortunately, sharing them over the internet is not as convenient. Many sites have limits on the size or length of a video uploadable to their servers. Those who offer generous spaces also tend to have slower upload speeds.
These issues make it necessary to split MP4 files into two parts or more to cut down on file size and length. Luckily, there are plenty of tools for doing this across different devices.
This blog covers how to use four of them across Windows, Apple, and Android devices.
How to Split an MP4 with Video Editor (Windows devices)
Most people generally don’t go for the native Windows apps, especially when it comes to creative tools. Third-party tools like Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve are usually the go-to video editing apps for Windows PCs.
However, Windows 10’s Video Editor has an app capable of splitting MP4 files and other video file formats. Not only can you separate a video, but you can also trim and cut out unnecessary sections.
If you want to break a video into parts and remove unnecessary sections, Windows Video Editor is a very useful app for this. It does more than splitting videos too. You can also use the editor to add -
- Contextual text
- Background music and sound effects
- 3D Motion
Besides being practicable, it also has an intuitive interface. You don’t have to be an expert video editor to get what you need out of it.
Simply follow the following steps, and you will be splitting as many MP4 videos as you want in no time.
STEP 1 - Launch the app and Import the Video
You must have Windows 10 to use this tool. In the start menu, search for ‘Video Editor’.
Click the app on the result page or ‘Open’ in the Details panel to launch it.
When the app is open, create a new project by clicking the ‘New Video Project’ button on the homepage. Don’t forget to name the project appropriately to keep track of your work.
Inside the blank project page, click the backward-facing arrow to open the Project Library.
Click the Add button to import the MP4 video you want to split, as shown in the video below.
Once the video is in the library, select it and click ‘Place in Storyboard’ or simply drag it to the Storyboard at the bottom of the editor.
STEP 2 - Split the MP4 Video
When the video is on the storyboard, all disabled and additional functions will come alive. You can see them directly above the video thumbnail in the Storyboard section.
Among them is the Split function. Click it to open Split controls.
The Split window is pretty simple. There are playback buttons to help you determine where exactly you want to split the MP4.
All you have to do is click play or drag the playhead to the exact moment you want to split the video. Click Done when you have the right timestamp.
After clicking Done, the editor splits the video into two parts, both of which will be visible in the Storyboard.
As you can see in the video above, the original video has been split in two, each having a smaller duration.
Windows 10 Video Editor only allows splitting MP4 files into two parts at a time. To divide into multiple parts, repeat the splitting process on each new clip.
STEP 3 - Export the Video
Here is something worth considering before you export the MP4.
If you are splitting to customize a section of the clip, i.e., you intend on saving it as part of the original MP4 file. In that case, simply click Finish Video at the top-right corner of the editor.
However, if you want the original MP4 as smaller MP4 files for easy upload, delete the split parts and export only one of them.
Then repeat this process for every segment to get each of them as one separate file.
You have to do this because, despite the split, Windows Video Editor exports each part in the Storyboard as a whole video.
How to Split MP4 files using iMovie (Mac, iPad, and iPhone)
Similarly, Apple users can use the company’s native video editing tool, iMovie, to split MP4 files. The app is available to Mac, iPhone, and iPad users.
Like Video Editor, you can use it to split a full-length file into shorter standalone MP4 files or edit sections of an MP4 video.
Asides from splitting MP4 files, it also has green-screen support, a robust audio library, and additional features like -
- Audio and Music Editing
- Video Stabilization
- Pre-built themes
- Video effects and transitions, etc
Finally, it has an elegant interface that is self-explanatory and accessible at all skill levels. It may have plenty of tools for video editing professionals, but it is still easy to use for beginners.
To use iMovie to split your MP4 files, follow these steps.
STEP 1 - Create a New Project
When you launch the iMovie app, go to the Projects tab and click on Create New.
A small pop-up window will ask for the type of project you want to create, with two options, Movie and Trailer. Select Movie.
Once you click Movie, the editor’s interface should look like this -
STEP 2 - Import the MP4 Video
The next step is importing the MP4 file into the editor. To do this, click the import button at the top of the editor to access your system’s storage folders.
You can either select one video or multiple videos, depending on your needs. Click Import Selected when you finish.
STEP 3 - Split the Video
Once your video(s) is in the editor, place it in the timeline.
Then drag the playhead to the timestamp you want to split from the rest of the clip and right-click on it.
You should see a list of options after the right-click, select Split Clip to complete the split.
Alternatively, you can place the playhead in the relevant timestamp and press Command + B on your keyboard.
You can now go ahead and edit each part if you intend to export them as a whole.
Otherwise, delete the separated clips until there is only one left. Export it and restart the process to cut the MP4 video into smaller and shorter clips.
How to Split an MP4 file on iPhone with iMovie
To split an MP4 on your iPhone, launch the app and follow the same process as you would on Mac.
Once the video is in the timeline, play the video until it reaches the part you want to split. You could also drag the playhead to the relevant timestamp.
Now instead of right-clicking on the timeline as you would on Mac, tap the clip in the timeline to bring up the editing tools.
Once the tools are visible, click the Split button in the bottom right corner.
That’s it. You have successfully split a clip with iMovie using your iPhone/iPad.
Remember to edit the clips for specific section edits or delete the separated clip to save the video individually.
How to Split MP4 with YouCut on Android Devices
As one of the most popular mobile platforms globally with plenty of supported devices, there are a ton of video editing apps for Android. Some are free, while others will cost you a fee.
For this guide, we will use YouCut, one of the platform’s top-rated editing apps. Its features are pretty large, including support for basic and advanced editing like FX effects, color correcting, video merging, and many more.
It is also compatible with several video file formats. You can use it to split not just MP4 files but also MKV, AVI, FLV, and MOV formats.
Here is how you use YouCut to split MP4 on your Android device.
STEP 1 - Import the Video
The first thing you need to do is import the video into the YouCut editor. If you don’t have the app, you can download and install it from here.
After launching the app, click the + button on the start screen.
It will open your phone’s gallery, specifically a folder of your most recent files. Use the drop-down arrow at the top of the screen to find the video if it is in another folder.
Once you locate it, tap the video and select the orange arrow close to the bottom of the screen to import it into the editor.
STEP 2 - Split the Video
Inside the editor, you will see several editing options in an action bar at the lower end of the screen. The first action is Trim, which houses similar functions like Cut and Split.
Tap it to access the Split function.
After selecting Split, drag the red playhead bar to the exact moment you want to divide the video.
Click the checkmark to execute the split.
Repeat this process to split the clip into multiple segments. After completing the split, you can also edit each part, adding transitions and other effects to customize them.
To create a singular clip out of the video, delete the separate parts.
STEP 3 - Save the Video
To complete the edit, hit Save at the top right corner of the screen. You will see a pop-up window to select the output quality of the video.
You can select the video resolution and preferred file size. Here, it is advisable to choose the highest possible option to maximize the quality of the video.
Once you tap Save, rendering will begin, and the app will save the edited clip to your device. You can also share it on social media, messaging apps, or email it to someone.
Universal Software for Splitting an MP4 - MP4Tools
Want to split an MP4 into multiple individual files without using video editors? Maybe you don’t want to customize the video but simply want to divide it into various parts?
MP4Tools is an open-source, free software for splitting and joining MP4 files released under the GPL license. The software has two in-built tools,
- MP4Joiner for combining multiple MP4 files
- MP4Splitter for separating them
MP4Tools is easy to use, with a simple interface that anyone can understand, regardless of their tech-savviness.
It is also universal, meaning it is available for both Windows and Mac computers. All you have to do is download the software from here and follow the steps below.
STEP 1 - Launch MP4Splitter
Each tool installs independently on your PC, so you only have to launch the one you need.
To open MP4Splitter, search for it in the start menu and click open. When it is open, you should see something like this -
STEP 2 - Import the MP4 Video
Add the MP4 file you want to split to the tool by clicking the Open Video button at the top right corner of the interface.
It will open a file browser window for you to locate the MP4 file you want to split. Select it and click Open or double-click it to import directly into the splitter.
STEP 3 - Select Split Points
Once the video is in the splitter, drag the blue playhead to the timestamp where you want to split the video.
Alternatively, hit the play button to preview and pause at the exact moment you want to separate the clip.
You can also manually set the timestamp in the timebox on the bottom left corner.
Once the playhead is in the right position, click Add Split Point.
The tool will automatically record the start, end time, and duration of the first clip in the table in the right-hand of the interface, as shown below.
Repeat this process multiple times to cut the clip into many parts.
The tool will start each split point at the end of the last one and the clip’s end time at the chosen timestamp.
STEP 4 - Start Splitting
Once you have added the split points you want, click the Start Splitting button in the bottom right corner.
The file browser window will open again to select where you want to save the clips.
When you select the folder, splitting will begin, and the tool will store the smaller MP4 files in the chosen folder.
Can VLC Split Video Files?
Yes, it can. VLC is one of the most common MP4 players, and users can use it to split video files. However, splitting is not the most accurate word for how the player performs this action.
Instead of a dedicated split button like a traditional video editing software, VLC records parts of the video and saves them in clips. So it is not so much splitting the original file as it is creating shorter duplicates of it.
Regardless, it is free, and it is pretty easy to use. Here is a quick rundown of how to use it.
STEP 1 - Open Advanced Controls
Open the MP4 you want to ‘split’ with VLC. Then go to View in the menu bar and select Advanced Controls from the list of options.
This will reveal recording buttons above the playback control section of the player.
STEP 2 - Record the Start and End Time
Drag the blue playhead to the start time of the clip you want to create.
At the start time, play the video and click the record button. It is the one with the round red button.
Wait for the video to reach your intended end time, then click the record button again. Alternatively, you can use Shift+R to start and stop recording at the start and end times.
Repeat this process for every clip you want to create from the MP4 file.
STEP 3 - Check your Videos Folder
After stopping the recording, VLC automatically stores the clip to your main videos folder on your computer. You don’t have to save it manually.
The files will either be in the Videos or My Videos folder on your computer, depending on your settings. Play each clip to check your results to ensure everything is in order.
Wrapping it Up
The largeness of MP4 files and the policies of several video hosting websites make splitting a necessary practice. Asides from creating smaller sizes, separating an MP4 file is also a good video editing practice to improve its production quality.
While there are plenty of excellent advanced tools for doing this, the tools we discussed above are easy-to-use and capable of the same effect.
However, if you want something with more editing capabilities and just as approachable for beginners, try Keevi Video Editor. It is also free and lets you split other container file formats aside from MP4, including AVI, FLV, MOV, etc.
For more learning, visit our website for additional resources on video editing.