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Best video editing tool to customize the aspect ratio
  • Various aspect ratios available: 1:1, 9:16, 16:9, 4:3, 21:9
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Change Aspect Ratio Between 16:9, 9:16, 4:3, 1:1 - An Ultimate Guide

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Mar 20, 2023• Proven solutions

You recorded an awesome video to post on your Instagram, but it doesn’t feel good after being uploaded. Well! Don’t doubt your capturing capabilities because you’re not at fault. If the video appears wide, surpassing the medium, or if it’s too small to leave blank corners, it is probably because of the incorrect aspect ratio.

The best advice is to set your camera’s aspect ratio that matches the aspect ratio of the platform. For example, if the media needs to be played at 16:9, adjust your camera mode to the same aspect ratio before tapping that red recording button.

But if you have already missed that chance and looking for ways to change the aspect ratio, you’re at the right place. In this article, you will not just enjoy a detailed understanding of aspect ratio, but you will also learn ways to change it using one of the best video editing tools, Filmora.

Before reading this article, you may ask:

What is the Aspect Ratio?

The term Aspect Ratio refers to the relationship between the width and height of a video, which is expressed normally in the form of "width: height", for example, 4:3 or 16:9, and it is irrelevant to the actual physical size of the image.

The most common video aspect ratios are 4:3 (1.3:1) and 16:9 (1.78:1). The former is the standard TV format, while the latter is the latest widescreen TV format. Besides these two, 1:1 and 9:16 are getting popular on social media sharing nowadays.

As far as you may know, many media players enable you to change the aspect ratio in real-time when playback. Yet the change is temporary. Next time you open it, you need to change the aspect ratio again. Besides, you may also need to convert a portrait video to landscape or convert the default 16:9 YouTube videos to sharing on IGTV (9:16) or other platforms.

Changing the aspect ratio of videos will provide you with plenty of options and in this article, we will share with you how to change the aspect ratio between 4:3, 16:9, 1:1, and 9:16.

What are Some Popular Aspect Ratios?

Let’s start with the basics.

Remember! Every social media platform or streaming service displays content in its defined aspect ratio. While I have covered this topic in detail before the conclusion of this article, here is some quick information about popular aspect ratios you will find in every other platform or medium.

21:9 – Cinema Aspect Ratio

Have you ever heard of ultrawide monitors or LEDs with a significant amount of pixels for 4K and HD video quality? They are based on a 21:9 aspect ratio and designed to show movies recorded through CinemaScope or other latest anamorphic formats.

16:9 – Widescreen Aspect Ratio

16:9 is the ideal aspect ratio for HD video quality. This aspect ratio is primarily used in the television and film industry. Moreover, it’s a popular and most-demanding aspect ratio among consumers. It enhances your screen experience and is found in most LEDs, LCDs, and gaming monitors.

All videos on this aspect ratio have a thriving display on most platforms and screening mediums, including Facebook, YouTube, and home television (excluding the old ones).

9:16 – Portrait Aspect Ratio

9:16 is the opposite of 16:9, and it’s in trend nowadays. While 16:9 makes the screen wide, 9:16 extends the screen vertically.

4:3 – Standard Aspect Ratio

The 4:3 aspect ratio served the film and TV industry for several decades. However, it is still being utilized by admirers. If you have seen movies like “A Ghost Story – 2017,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel – 2014,” or “How the West Was Won – 1962,” then you know what a 4:3 aspect ratio is. While filmmakers stop filming on 4:3 but it seems to be returning to the industry.

1:1 – Instagram Aspect Ratio

1:1 or the “square” aspect ratio commonly found on Instagram. 1:1 means that all videos captured using this aspect ratio have the same width and height.

Part 1: Choose the Right Video Editor

To change the aspect ratio permanently, you need a video editor or converter. Here I humbly recommend a remarkable aspect ratio changer - Wondershare Filmora, which lets you create both 4:3, 16:9, 9:16, and 1:1 aspect ratio videos easily. You can share the created videos on Apple TV, YouTube, Vimeo, and mobile devices conveniently.

The video tutorial below shows how to fix the black bars in YouTube video by changing the aspect ratio. Try Filmora Now!

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Note: Since this video is made with the previous Filmora version, I’ve updated the latest steps of the changing aspect ratio in Filmora below.

Part 2: How to Change Aspect Ratio in Filmora

Method 1: Change aspect ratio at the Starting interface

The Filmora allows you to change the project aspect ratio after launching the video editor program. Click the drop-down menu and you will see the commonly used 16:9, 1:1, 9:16, 4:3, and 21:9 aspect ratios.

Method 2: Change the Aspect Ratio under Project Settings

If you like, you could choose a target aspect ratio at the beginning after entering the main editing interface by clicking Project Settings. It depends on the aspect ratio of your media source.

If most of your media source files are in the 4:3 aspect ratio, you should select the 4:3 standard aspect ratio. If you've selected an aspect ratio, then the media files that are in 16:9 or other aspect ratios will be converted with a black bar, and be stretched if necessary. This is the solution when aspect ratio discordance occurs. But if you just want to change the aspect ratio of one video file, choose an aspect ratio and go.

If you want to change the aspect ratio later, just select Project Settings to change it again.

choose aspect ratio

Method 3: Change Aspect Ratio during Editing

After importing video files into the Filmora timeline, you can still change the aspect ratio at the Crop and Zoom tool.

Right-click on the clip in the timeline to select Crop and Zoom. Then a pop-up window will appear. By clicking manually, 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, and 9:16 at the bottom, you can change the aspect ratio with these presets or click Custom to enter the aspect ratio manually. After selecting, click OK. Then you will find aspect ratio will change.

change aspect ratio in Crop&Zoom interface

If you find a black bar after changing the aspect ratio, you can add some background blur effects to enhance the video. Optionally, you can edit and enhance your video with plenty of filters, overlays, visual effects, titles.

add background blur in 9:16 cropped video

Method 4: Change Video Aspect Ratio with Auto-Reframe

If you have Filmora 10.5 or later versions, you can use the “Auto-Reframe” option to change the aspect ratio. While cropping is still a good way to change the aspect ratio, you can try this feature as it automatically detects the object and crops it as per your requirements.

So here are the steps to change the aspect ratio of your video file through Filmora’s “Auto-Reframe” feature:

Step 1: Import Your Video on Filmora

Launch Filmora and import your video to its “Media” library. Now, take your cursor on the video and right-click on it to choose the “Auto-Reframe” option from the menu.

Filmora auto reframe option

Step 2: Choose Aspect Ratio

A new window will open with different options as soon as you click the “Auto-Reframe” option. So, click on the “Aspect Ratio” and choose your desired aspect ratio from the drop-down menu.

Filmora auto reframe change aspect ratio

Step 3: Apply Aspect Ratio

Once you have chosen the aspect ratio from the drop-down menu, click on the “Analyze” button.

Filmora auto reframe adjust box

Doing so will command Filmora to reframe the entire video automatically. And once the conversion is done, you can also adjust the frame by simply dragging the box with the help of your mouse. But keep in mind that the visible area in the box will display the object in the video. At the same time, the remaining area will be removed or unseen after exporting the video.

Step 4: Export Video to Your Computer

Once you’re satisfied with the auto reframing, click on the “Export” button (big button), rename the file, and click the “Export” button (small button) to save the video on your MAC or Windows PC.

Filmora auto reframe export

Note: You can import the video with a new aspect ratio to Filmora’s timeline for further editings, such as adding effects, transitions, or text.

Method 5: Change Aspect Ratio at Exporting

Depending on your needs, you can either save your videos to a computer for a media player or mobile device, directly upload them to YouTube, or burn them to DVD for watching on standard or widescreen TV. To do so, click the "Export" button when you are happy with your video.

change aspect ratio

  • Change aspect ratio for the local computer

The first tab is "Local", in which you can save the video in a specified aspect ratio to the computer. Once a format is selected, all resolutions with different aspect ratios are available. Depending on the resolution, the output video aspect ratio is different. For example, 1280x720 is a 16:9 video, but 640x480 is a 4:3 video. Or input 480x480 to customize 1:1 video. You could calculate the aspect ratio yourself. Always change the aspect ratio to the same as your choice at the beginning. Otherwise, black bars may be added.

  • Change aspect ratio for a device

Switch to the "Device" tab to save your video in formats that are compatible with all popular devices, including iPhone, iPod, iPad, PSP, etc. When you've chosen a device, all resolutions with an optional aspect ratio will be given. Simply choose your favorite resolution from the list. The higher, the better video quality, but also larger file size.

  • Change aspect ratio for YouTube

Go to the "YouTube" tab and type in your information before clicking the "Export" button. There is no need to select an aspect ratio for a second time. Your videos will be directly uploaded to YouTube depending on your selection at the beginning.

  • Change aspect ratio for DVD TV

It's easy to switch aspect ratio for TV between 4:3 and 16:9. When you're in the "DVD" tab, you'll see an aspect ratio option. Simply choose what you want depending on your TV's screen.

Part 3: Why aspect ratio is important for video editing?

The aspect ratio is an ideal value to obtain excellent resolution for images and videos. If you take a deeper note on aspect ratio in video editing you will find out there are multiple aspect ratio options are available for you to select as per your needs. The aspect ratio takes the control of the height, width, and resolution attributes of a video and image.

Part 4: What is the right aspect ratio for different social media platforms?

Every social media platform carries a unique aspect ratio to position the videos and images perfectly within the screen. If you are making use of social media platforms then you must learn about the aspect ratios of these platforms for optimum usage.

The right aspect ratio for different social media platforms respectively

  • YouTube

The ideal aspect ratio of YouTube is 16:9 Even if you upload videos with different aspect ratios, the YouTube environment has a built-in setting to convert the uploaded videos into the standard aspect ratio automatically.

  • Facebook

Facebook follows the aspect ratio of 16:9. The images take this aspect ratio automatically when you post the videos in this environment.

  • Instagram (including IGTV)

You can upload files on Instagram with an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5

  • Twitter

Here, Twitter accepts the aspect ratio between 2.1 and 1.1

  • Vimeo

The standard aspect ratio is 16:9 but it gives the option for filmmakers to upload files with 4:3 ratios.


Above are the ways that I figured out on changing aspect ratio in Filmora. Whether you are changing the aspect ratio for a different social media platform or something else, Filmora is undoubtedly your first choice.

Aspect Ratio FAQs

Q1. What is the standard video aspect ratio?

16:9 is the standard and widely celebrated aspect ratio used in television and social media platforms. Previously, 4:3 was the standard format in television.

Q2. How do I make my video fit my screen?

Either record the video with an aspect ratio that matches your TV or monitor the aspect ratio. Or, use video editors like Filmora to change your video aspect ratio that fits your screen.

Q3. How do I make a video horizontally full screen?

The best way to make your video horizontally full screen is by changing its aspect ratio to 16:9 (widescreen).

Q4. How do I change the aspect ratio of a video without losing quality?

Not all video editors guarantee the same video quality after changing the aspect ratio. That’s why it is recommended to use Filmora and make changes to the aspect ratio before importing the video or from the “Project Settings” tab. Likewise, during editing, with the help of the cropping tool or by using the “Auto-Reframing” feature.

Q5. Is 1920 x 1080 the same as 16:9?

16:9 aspect ratio is 1920 x 1080 screen resolution. DSLRs, smartphones, and the latest camcorders record video at 16:9 by default.

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author avatar
Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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