Imagine putting so much effort into creating a video for your TikTok only to find that TikTok cropped the video when you uploaded it? Many users have complained about this and if you have ever experienced it, we certainly understand the frustration it can cause.
The truth is that there are several possible reasons why TikTok may crop your videos, from meeting the video length and size requirements to bugs and server downtime. The best way to approach this problem is to ensure first that you are getting everything right on your end, and then start tracing problems that may be on the app or on TikTok servers.
Why is TikTok Cropping My Video
1. Video Length Maximum
When TikTok started the maximum video length was 15 seconds. Later, it increased the video length to 60 seconds, then 3 minutes, later 5 minutes, and now 10 minutes. You could not create videos with longer lengths than each of these limits.
As a content creator on TikTok, you may already know that you can directly create videos using the TikTok in-app camera or create a video on your phone and then upload it to TikTok.
Now, when you use the TikTok in-app camera to create a video, the recording will automatically stop when you reach the 10-minute mark. However, when you use your phone native camera to create the video and then upload it, TikTok would crop the video automatically if the length exceeds the permitted length limit.
So, if you find that TikTok has cropped your video, the first thing to check is the video length, and be sure that you are not exceeding the required video length maximum.
Fix – Stay Within Video Length Maximum
If you are creating a TikTok video outside the app, make sure to check the video length before you upload it.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the 10-minute limit may not yet apply to every geographical location because TikTok is still rolling it out. So, if you find that your 10-minute videos are still getting cropped, try going back to 5 minutes to see if that works for you
2. Video Size Maximum
The video size maximum on TikTok depends on the operating system of the phone you are creating and uploading from. If you are using an Android phone, your video should be no more than 72mb, and no more than 287.6mb for iOS phone.
The reasons for such wide margin between the two operating systems is yet unknown, but the point remains that you cannot upload videos with a size bigger than that allowed on your operating system.
So, even though the video is within the required maximum length, if the size is beyond what is permitted for your phone OS, TikTok will crop your video.
The reason TikTok will go for a crop instead of a shrinking is that shrinking the video may cause it to go below the optimal resolution (which we will discuss later). So, cropping the video is the only practical way of reducing its size without compromising on video quality.
Fix – Stay Within Video Size Maximum
When creating a TikTok video, be sure to edit out the unnecessary bits because they will make the size of the video larger than necessary.
If you have already created a video of a size that is larger than TikTok’s limits, it’s okay. You can compress the size of the video so that TikTok does not crop the video for you. The method to reduce the size of the video depends on the phone operating system you are using. We have provided some recommendations for both Android and iOS below.
Use an app like Video Compress for Android and iOS
1. Go to Play Store and install Video Compress on your phone
2. After installation, launch the Video Compress app and allow permissions to access your phone storage
3. Next, locate the video whose size you want to reduce and click on it
4. You will see several editing options for the video, including compress, trim, crop, speed up, and so on
5. Tap on Compress Video and then select a lower resolution and corresponding size
6. When it is done, the video is automatically saved to your phone, and you do not need to perform any further action
1. Go to App Store and install Video Compress on your phone
2. Launch Video Compress and select the 2-arrow icon on the screen
3. This will open your phone storage.
4. Then, tap the video whose size you want to reduce and tap on the check mark at the top right of the screen to open the editing screen for the video
5. On the editing screen, you will see the original size of the video and the output size (target size) after compression
6. Use the slider at the bottom of the screen to choose whether you want to compress more or less. If you move the slider to the right, you are compressing less, and you will lose less quality.
7. If you move the slider to the left, you are compressing more, and you will lose more video quality
8. The default is usually set at 50%. All you need to do is move the slider until you see an output size that meets the TikTok recommendations
9. When you arrive at the desired size, tap the download icon at the top right of the screen to begin the compression process
10. When it is done, the video is also saved automatically, and you don’t need to perform any extra action
3. Restrictions on Proprietary Sound
If you are including music in your video, especially any one of the well-known songs, TikTok will crop it to 15 seconds.
This is an attempt by TikTok to stop copyright infringement on proprietary sounds. So, if you add music that does not belong to you, be sure that TikTok will crop it and make sure that the sound plays for no more than 15 seconds.
Fix – Adjust Length of Video with Sound
If it’s important to you to include that popular sound in your TikTok video, then be ready to sacrifice some video size, length, and content in exchange.
One thing that TikTok is strict about is intellectual property protection. This is why they restrict unoriginal sounds to 15 seconds so that you do not reproduce someone else’s music on the platform.
4. Using the Wrong Video Dimensions
As we mentioned earlier, and as you may already know, there are two ways to create a video for TikTok: you can either record the video using the TikTok camera, or you can upload an existing video from your phone storage.
When you use TikTok’s inbuilt camera, you are guaranteed that the video is being recorded with the optimal dimensions required for TikTok videos. If you are uploading from your phone, on the other hand, you need to be conscious of the recommended video dimensions and make sure your uploaded video meets the requirements.
Video or photo dimensions are called Aspect Ratio. In simple terms, this is the ratio of the width to the length of the video frame. Most phone cameras have pre-set aspect ratio values that you can choose from for video recordings.
The values include 3:4, 9:16, and 1:1. These figures tell you by how much the height is more than the width: the figures on the left are the width, while the figures on the right are the height of the video frame.
For TikTok, because it is primarily designed to be consumed on a smartphone, the ideal aspect ratio is a vertical one. That is, the 9:16 aspect ratio.
You may remember that we explained that 9 is the width while 16 is the height. If you are using an aspect ratio like 1:1 (which is ideal for closeup of photos) or 3:4 which is ideal for portraits, it will not fit properly on the screen.
When that happens, TikTok algorithms will automatically crop the video to the optimal 9:16 and fit the screen for smartphone consumption.
Fix – Use Recommended Aspect Ratio
We understand that it is not always possible to use the TikTok inbuilt camera to create videos for your TikTok page.
If you have to upload videos from your phone gallery instead, then you need to be sure that the videos are created with TikTok’s optimal 9:16 aspect ratio. Otherwise, you may have to accept the fact that the video will get cropped to fit the right dimensions.
To use the recommended 9:16 aspect ratio, follow the steps below:
The method to do this may vary with phone brand, but it is unlikely to be very different from the steps provided here.
1. Go to your phone storage and open the video that you want to edit to the recommended aspect ratio
2. Tap on Edit, usually at the bottom of the screen
3. Tap on Next, then select Crop & Rotate at the bottom of the screen that opens
4. Next, tap on 9:16 and then click on Save
1. Go to your phone storage and open the video that you want to edit to the recommended aspect ratio
2. Tap on Edit, usually at the top right of the screen
3. Tap on the Crop icon, then select the 9:16 aspect ratio at the bottom of the screen
4. Finally, tap on Save at the top right of the screen
5. Not Using Recommended Video Resolution
Similar to the aspect ratio described above is the video resolution. The video resolution is the number of pixels in any given frame. It determines how much detail can be shown in the video frame.
It is closely related to the aspect ratio because it is calculated by using the width and height of the video; that is, the aspect ratio. So, for example, if you have a resolution of 1080p x 768p, it means that there are 1024 pixels in the width of the video, and 768 pixels in the height of the video.
The higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution, and the clearer the video because it means that more details can be shown in the video frame.
Back to TikTok. The optimal resolution for TikTok videos is 1080p x 1920p. If your video is created in any resolution other than this, the video will get cropped to the recommended resolution. Why? Because TikTok are looking to find a balance between video clarity and video size.
If the video is created in a lower resolution, the video quality may be poor and affect the user experience on the app, which TikTok does not want.
On the other hand, if the video is created in higher resolutions than the recommended value, it is likely that the video size will be much higher than TikTok allows. It will also mean that users will need better internet speed than is generally available. Which, again, TikTok does not want.
So, 1080p x 1920p resolution is the ideal for TikTok videos and anything other than this will get cropped automatically by TikTok to fit the recommended value.
Fix – Use Recommended Video Resolution
If you use TikTok cam to create the video, it will create it in the default recommended resolution. If you are using your phone camera to create the video, you need to ensure that you set the correct resolution before starting the recording. If you try to adjust the resolution after recording, you will almost certainly lose some video quality in the process.
To set video resolution on Android phone:
1. Launch the camera app on your phone
2. Tap on Video to switch from photo camera to video camera
3. Tap on Settings icon on the top left or right of the screen, depending on your phone brand
4. Then select the video resolution. If you do not see it immediately, select Video Size or a setting with similar meaning
5. Then, select the recommended 1080p x 1920 p.
To set video resolution on iPhone:
1. Open Settings on your iPhone
2. Scroll down and select Camera from the settings menu
3. In the camera settings, tap on Record Video
4. Then select the recommended value from the list of options
6. Bug on TikTok App
When you have sorted out all the aspects of TikTok recommended video settings and your videos are still being cropped, it is time to consider that your TikTok app may have developed a bug.
A bug is an unexpected problem with the software code of an application or system. When a bug occurs, the app stops functioning the way it should. Bugs may only affect parts of an application, meaning that some aspects of the app may work properly while others won’t.
So, on TikTok, you may be able to perform other actions without issues but find that your videos just keep getting cropped anyway. Because of the nature of bugs, it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause and fix it. Instead, you would have to try different possible solutions until you arrive at the one that fixes the problem in your case.
With this in mind, let’s have a look at the possible solutions for the issue of your TikTok videos getting cropped when uploaded.
Fix – Log Out and Log Back Into TikTok
The first thing you need to try is to log out and then log back into your TikTok account. The reason why this is important is that the issue of your videos getting cropped may have been caused by what is called a Token Corruption.
This is how it works: When you first logged into your TikTok account, you create something called a Login Session.
As soon as your login is successful, TikTok servers assign you a Token that will serve throughout the duration of that login session. This token is like a key or permission that allows you to use the TikTok services associated with your account.
Now, there are times where TikTok servers may have a bug that causes your token to become corrupt, and you start experiencing issues like having your videos that already meet TikTok requirements, cropped for no apparent reason.
When this happens, what you would need to do is to log out of your TikTok account and then log back in. What this does is assign you a new, working token that will allow you to continue using TikTok normally and stop experiencing unusual issues like cropping your videos that do not violate any TikTok requirements.
To log out and log back in on TikTok:
1. Click on the Profile tab at the bottom right corner of your TikTok screen
2. Next, click on the Menu button at the top right of the screen. This should be 3 horizontal lines
3. From the options that pop up, select Settings and Privacy
4. When the Settings and Privacy page loads, scroll to the end of the page and click on Log Out
5. When prompted, confirm the log out action
6. When you are logged out, you will be returned to the TikTok Home page where you can watch videos again
7. You need to click on the Profile tab again and when the profile page opens, you will see your account at the top of the screen with your last login time displayed
8. Just tap on your account name, confirm login and you will be logged back into your TikTok account
9. If you do not see your name on this screen, tap on login instead and log into your TikTok account
10, Now, start uploading videos again and see if they get cropped
Fix 2 – Clear the Cache
The cache is one of the most important components of any application installed on your phone. The cache is a memory that is assigned to the application to store temporary information about your use of the application.
This is so that you can always access data on the app quickly and don’t have to repeat certain actions every time you launch the app.
So, information like your login details, some of your app preferences, your profile data and some images are all stored in the cache. And, every time you launch TikTok, the app loads all the data from this cache memory to help you navigate the app smoothly.
However, because of the importance of this cache, whenever it becomes corrupt or just suffers a minor glitch, the application will stop functioning properly and may result in issues like erroneously cropping videos that are perfectly fine for TikTok standards.
To resolve an issue like this, you would need to clear the cache memory to remove the corrupt data and get TikTok working well again.
To clear TikTok cache data:
First, you need to clear the cache on the TikTok app directly. To do this:
1. Open TikTok
2. Tap the Profile tab at the bottom right of the screen
3. Tap the three-line menu icon at the top right
4. Select Settings and Privacy from the option
5. Under Cache and Cellular Data, select Free Up Space
6. Beside Cache, select Clear and confirm the action
However, this will not perform a complete clearing of the cache. To complete the cache clearing, you also need to clear the TikTok app cache from your phone settings. To do this:
First, exit TikTok and swipe it away from recent items. Then,
1. Long-press the TikTok app
2. Select App Info
3. Select Clear Data
4. Select Clear Cache
1. Navigate to Settings on your device
2. Select General
3. Select iPhone Storage
4. Select TikTok
5. Select Offload app
6. Confirm the action
7. Select Reinstall app
Fix 3 – Update TikTok
The importance of application updates cannot be overstated. Applications are almost certain to develop bugs over the course of your using them.
The bugs may be caused by an error in code or by integration issues with the phone that the app is installed on. It could even be caused by interacting with another application installed on your phone, or by wrongful use of the app.
In all of these situations, updating the app is the sure way to get rid of such bugs. Updates contain bug fixes, performance improvement, better integration with devices and other applications, and lots more.
So, if you are still experiencing cropped TikTok videos after performing the fixes provided so far, you need to check if there are available app updates for TikTok and install them.
To update your TikTok app:
1. Exit TikTok and swipe it away from recent items
2. Then, open your App Store or Play Store
3. Search for TikTok in the search bar and select it from the results
4. If there is an update available, you will see Update by the side.
5. Tap on update to begin installing the TikTok update
6. When it is complete, you should then see Open instead of Update.
7. Tap on Open to relaunch TikTok and see if the issue is resolved.
7. TikTok Server Issues
At this stage of the troubleshooting process, we have eliminated your video settings and issues on the TikTok app as possible causes of your videos getting cropped. The only other possible explanation if the issue persists is that TikTok servers may be malfunctioning, causing unusual actions like cropping your videos on the app.
Fix – Contact TikTok
1. Open TikTok app on your phone
2. Tap the Profile tab
3. Select Menu (three-line icon at the top right)
4. Select Settings and Privacy
5. Scroll down to the Support section and tap on Report a Problem
6. Here, you can select Videos and Sounds
7. Next, select Video Shooting
8. Under Video Shooting, select Uploading Photos and Videos from Device
9. You will be presented with suggestions and then asked if your problem is resolved. Tap on No
10. Then, select Need More Help?
11. On the page that opens, type in your issue and then tap on Report.
12. Then, wait for TikTok to get back to you.