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How to Reverse Video in iMovie?

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Mar 27, 2024• Proven solutions

Note: Here is the new version of this article.

“I’ve shot a .mp4 video file which I’d like to reverse so that I can play movies backward. The audio in it doesn’t matter, can be reversed or deleted, doesn't matter. Also, I don’t want to lose any of the video quality. Is that possible by using some free video editing software like iMovie?”

iMovie is one of the most popular tools for video editing on Macintosh computers. It comes with a full feature suite of editing materials and among them, a heavily requested feature is reverse video. If you are on a Mac, iMovie will definitely let you play any of your video clips backward for free. In this tutorial, we will show you how to reverse videos in iMovie for free.

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iMovie for Mac: An Introduction

iMovie was introduced in 1999 with macOS eight and is continued to evolve past OS X and beyond. Since 2003 iMovie has been included for free on all Mac computers and although it's a program with some history it has continued to change its features as well as include many features that make compatibility across older displays more enhanced. You can find hundreds of iMovie tutorials online, and it's an excellent full suite program for video editing and creating.

iMovie features a massive number of support and editing options. It can support HD video, editing with a variety of different formats including .mov, MP4, h.264. QuickTime and more. It also supports easy importing through FireWire for HDTV camcorders, which makes capturing and editing video very easy even on cell phone cameras and camcorders. iMovie accepts imports from FireWire as well as USB interfaces. This means that you can use a wide array of different platforms for capturing and importing video.

In newer versions of iMovie as well, you also get access to the same types of tools that you would get on a Macintosh computer but on a mobile platform. Many Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch all run their own versions of iMovie. You can complete many of the same tools including reverse video on these devices as well.

iMovie will continue to produce updates with new OS X changes and with changes in technology. Its features list continues to grow and with so many tutorials and extensions available online you can create professional-quality films with nearly any Macintosh computer and this program.

A Step-by-step Guide to Reversing a Video Using iMovie

Step 1. Start iMovie on your Macintosh and let it automatically find video clips from your project browser. If you need to drag and drop the text files or video clips that you would like to reverse, add them into your browser pane on the launch.

Step 2. Click the video clip that you are interested in reversing and let the clip Inspector window open. This window will open automatically for any video that you double-click in the video browser pane.

Step 3. Select the reverse option with the checkbox in the clip Inspector window and let the conversion tools reverse the video for display. If you wanted to see the difference that this makes, take the time to view the video again to see the difference that the conversion tools made.

This is all that really takes to reverse a video in iMovie, so don't be afraid to reverse several clips at once to get the kind of effects that you are looking for and to improve the readability of your projects. It's important to note that reversing the clip won't affect the duration of the clip. If you need to adjust the speed to increase the amount of time that clip plays, click anywhere outside the speed window and change the percentage of the speed to increase the length of the clip.

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