How to Reduce the File Size of Videos for Mobile Devices

One of the biggest limitations on mobile devices is their storage space. Most mobile devices come with internal storage in the region of 16GB to 128GB – though some can be expanded a little using microSD cards.

While that may seem like a decent amount of storage, if you start to store videos on your mobile devices you’ll very quickly find that it isn’t enough. The file size of videos can be very large, and some longer videos may even take up a couple of GB on their own.

That is why it can help to know how to reduce the file size of your videos, to allow them to be stored more conveniently on mobile devices:


Compress videos with more efficient codecs

Not all codecs are equal when it comes to compression, and some are more efficient than others. For example the newer H.265 (HEVC) codec can reduce the file size of H.264 videos by 50%.

Overall this is an attractive option as it will let you reduce the file size of your video without affecting its quality. However if you want to use it you need to consider whether the format is supported by your mobile device, and more specifically – whether or not it has hardware support.

Without hardware support decoding videos requires significant processing power. That can be a deal breaker for mobile devices, as it will consume battery life quickly.


Reduce the bitrate to reduce the file size

The video bitrate directly affects its file size, and reducing it will let you effectively reduce the file size of your videos. However the bitrate also affects the video quality, and as you lower it you should expect the quality to deteriorate and compression artifacts to appear.

Overall this is a more universal option to reduce the file size of videos for mobile devices. However because of its impact on the quality of videos, it should be exercised carefully.

As a general rule you should reduce the bitrate gradually while checking its impact on the video quality. That way you can stop when you find an acceptable compromise between the file size and quality.

To use either of the above options you’ll need a video converter. Nowadays there are even some online options that you may want to consider, and for example you can convert M4V to MP4 online using Online Video Converter.

It should be noted that there is one other way to reduce the file size of videos: Shorten them. Admittedly it is a very situational option, but if you aren’t interested in most of the content in longer videos then extracting shorter clips containing the parts you’re interested in will effectively provide you with smaller-sized videos.


All in all you should have enough options now to be able to reduce the file size of your videos for mobile devices – in one way or another. The ‘best’ option will really depend on numerous factors, and you should evaluate each video individually to determine what it is.


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