Video Processing: How to Free Remove Black Bars/Letterbox from Video

Posted by Candice Liu to Video Editor, Crop Video | Updated on Dec 7, 2018

The aspect ratio of your recorded video or downloaded YouTube video is troublesome when it comes to play video on your smart TV. When you watch an iPhone X recorded 19.5:9 video (also written as 2.17) on a 16:9 (also written as 1.78) HDTV, you see the iPhone X 4K video is letterboxed (black bars on top and bottom). Another letterbox (black bars on left and right side) appears when you watch 4:3 videos (aka. 1.33) recorded by DSLR/GoPro/Drone on a 16:9 screen.

If the video you get is downloaded from YouTube and you don't know the aspect ratio of the YouTube video, you can consider to resort to the aspect ratio calculator first. With it, you can easily know the specific aspect ratio of your video, common preset, pixels width/height and judge if the playback device supports YouTube video playback without black borders. If not, you need a video editor to crop and remove black bars from your YouTube video as well as other iPhone iPad GoPro, etc. mobile device recorded video. Keep in mind that simplicity comes first for video cropper.

Remove Video Letterbox? "One Click" Solution

To crop video image width and height, use macXvideo, a free video processing software, can fast remove black bars and letterbox from 4K, 8K, 1080p, 720p video at 1 click so as to play YouTube video, iPhone, GoPro, DSLR, DJI recorded video on TV or PC without annoying black bars.

How to Free Remove Black Bars from Video?

To get rid of black bars or letterbox from your YouTube video or 4K/8K video, the video cropper software is a must have. The current market is filled to brim with varied video editor tools, uneven in quality. You can choose to spend 1-2 hours to single out a reliable video editor, or instead, have a try on the 5-star highly recommended macXvideo, which is a perfect combination of simplicity and professionality, enabling you to 100% Free yet easily crop and remove black bars from video, as well as trim video duration, add special effects (16+) to video, add external subtitles to video, transcode video format, convert audio and more.

Easy steps to crop video image width and height with macXvideo

Step 1: Free download this video cropper and launch it. Then click on + Video or simply drag and drop the target video to the program window.

free video cropper

Optional: You can choose to decode and encode video to HEVC, H264, 4K H264, MPEG-4, AVI, WMV, etc. video formats if you have this need. In case you don't wanna do anything to your video codec, just skip this step to keep original.

Step 2: Tap Crop button at the home screen to enter the video cropping interface. To crop YouTube video (mostly 16:9), tick "Enable Crop" option and move the marquee to middle part to remove letterbox of the top and bottom borders. Usually, the default preset is "Crop LetterBox". You can change to: Keep Current, Keep Original, 16:9, 4:3 or 1:1 at your willing.

crop video

Note: on one hand, you're a video viewer. You free download video from YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo, etc. sites for offline viewing on your HDTV or other devices and need to get rid of black bars from video. On the other hand, you're also a video creator. You use your iPhone iPad, GoPro Hero 6, DSLR or Drone to record some interesting videos and wanna upload them to SNS for sharing. In a bid to ensure your video without black bars when playing back, you need to properly adjust your video aspect ratio to fit the platform you're working in. Here's a quick roundup of all the ideal aspect ratios for major social media platforms:

Best Aspect Ratio for Social Media without Black Bars

SNS

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

Dailymotion

Vimeo

Vevo

Aspect Ratio

16:9

16:9 or 9:16

16:9

1.91:1, 1:1 or 4:5

9:16

16:9 or 4:3

4:3, 16:9 or 17:9

16:9 or 4:3

MaX Resolution

8K 7680×4320

4K 2160p

1080p

1080p

1080x1920

4K 2160p

8K 7680×4320

1080p

Click Codec icon to enter the video parameter adjustment interface, where you're able to change aspect ratio 4:3 to 16:9, lower down video resolution from 8K to 4K or 4K to 1080p, tweak video frame rate 60FPS to 30FPS, etc. so as to upload your video to social network sites without black bars or other problems.

Step 3: Hit RUN button and this freeware's editing engine will go into action to begin to crop video on Mac. If your MacBook/MacBook Pro/Air or iMac supports GPU hardware acceleration (the hardware accelerate engine will be automatically ticked), the whole video letterbox removal processing will be executed at Intel/Nvidia/AMD accelerated speed, up to 5-8X faster than normal Mac video editor.

How to Get Rid of Black Borders from Video in VLC

As is known to all, VLC is a powerful yet all-round media player. Yet, it has another identification - free video editor. So when it comes to crop video and remove letterbox from video, VLC fans are particularly loud in their support for VLC ability to remove video black bars. However, some users still have no idea about how to use VLC to crop and adjust video width and height. If you're one of them, the below guide is helpful.

Step 1: Free download VLC video player on your computer. Afterwards, run it and click "Media" on the top menu > tap "Convert/Save..." .

Step 2: Click "Add" button to import the video you wanna convert from the pop-up window. Followed by a click to "Convert/Save" option at the bottom of the window. Tap "Edit selected profile" button > select "Video Codec" on the pop-up window > tick "Video" and choose "Resolution".

VLC video player

Step 3: Open the scale options, which covers auto, 1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 and 2. You can choose the one you need from 9 options or manually set the width and height in the "Frame Size" zone.

get rid of letterbox in VLC

Step 4: Tap "Save" button and VLC media player will start to change video aspect ratio for you. Since VLC only supports DXVA hardware decoding for Windows version, the whole video processing speed is comparatively much slower than macXvideo and it consumes more CPU usage, up to 96% during the procedure.

Remove Black Bars from YouTube, 4K 8K, iPhone GoPro Video

macXvideo, a simple yet professional video editor for Mac, helps you get rid of letterbox from YouTube, iPhone/GoPro, DJI/DSLR video and change aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9, 17:9 to 1:1, etc. for playback on PC/TV without black bars. Trim, effects, subtitles, merge features are also available.

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For any questions about how to remove black bars from video, please feel free to contact our support team.

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macXvideo - 1 Click to Free Remove Black Bars and Letterbox from Video