Using QuickTime to rotate a video on your Mac

By , Feb 9, 2016


Every so often, you may come across the need to rotate a video after you’ve recorded it with your camera or iOS device because it didn’t quite come out how you expected it to.

Fortunately, Apple’s QuickTime app, which is built into the OS X operating system on your Mac, is powerful enough to do just that; and it’s very easy to do.

In this tutorial, we’ll be showing you how to rotate a video in any direction on your Mac using the QuickTime app.

How to rotate a video with QuickTime in OS X

If your iPhone’s gyroscope just wasn’t working right when you tried to record a video, and you ended up with portrait video when you intended to record a landscape video, or vice-versa, then you’re probably going to need to do some post editing to make the video look good for your audiences, whether it be Facebook, or some other form of social sharing.

To do that, import your video to your Mac using your favorite app (I like to use Image Capture), and then follow these steps:

Step 1: Right click on the video file and go to Open With > QuickTime Player to open the video in the QuickTime Player app.

how to rotate a video with quicktime open in quicktime

Note: Observe how the video is currently in portrait orientation when we really wanted it to be in landscape orientation:

how to rotate a video in quicktime portrait

Step 2: From the Menu Bar, click on Edit > Rotate [any orientation you like] to rotate the video.

Note: In our case, we’re rotating the video to the left, but your selection may vary.

how to rotate a video in quicktime choose rotation

Step 3: The video will be rotated based on the selection you’ve chosen.

how to rotate a video in quicktime landscape

Step 4: With the video rotated how you like it, click on the red close button at the top left of the window, and OS X will prompt you to save your changes by exporting the edited video as a new video file.

how to rotate a video in quicktime export and rename

Step 5: Enter a new name for the rotated video file, choose a place to save it on your Mac, and click on the blue “Save” button to save your new video file.

That’s all there is to it! You’ve rotated the video using the QuickTime app that comes with your OS X operating system, and you didn’t even have to pay for expensive video-editing software like Final Cut Pro to do it.

More details about video rotation in OS X

Under the rotation options, you can pick between rotating left or right, but you’ll also notice there are flip options, which are useful for when a video is recorded as a mirror image and you want to flip it to its proper orientation.

Because the QuickTime app makes you export a new video file after rotation, this means the original video file remains on your Mac, wherever it may be. The exported file will take up additional storage space on your Mac, so make sure you have enough storage space before performing this action to prevent a full storage disk issue from occuring.

It’s also worth noting that when you export a new video file using QuickTime, it’ll be compressed a bit, so the file size of the newly-exported video file will be smaller than that of the original. The compression isn’t really noticeable, so don’t panic about quality.


For a quick, free way to rotate videos in OS X, you really can’t go wrong with the QuickTime player app already built into your operating system, so why pay for additional software to rotate your videos when your Mac is capable of doing this already right out of the box?

Also read:

If you found this tutorial helpful, let us know in the comments below!

Thanks OS X Daily for the tip!

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  • Morgan Freeman

    I did not know this option existed. Thanks, Anthony!