How to Reduce the Size of an MP4

Updated July 19, 2017

When digital videos are compressed, their file size is reduced and their load time increases. If users wish to compress a digital video file, they can make use of a file-conversion application. Although these programs are specialised to reformat media, they can also adjust properties that contribute to file size such as video bitrate, audio bitrate and resolution. MPEG Streamclip, iWisoft Free Video Converter and Oxelon Media Converter are some free programs that can be used to perform this task (See Resources). Although each program originates from a different software developer, they closely resemble each other in terms of functionality. More over, they can compress digital videos such as MP4 files and encode them in their native format.

Launch a video-conversion application. Select the "Add File" command and browse for the uncompressed MP4 input file in the file selection window. Select the item and click the "Choose" button to load the video into the application.

Program the output format for the input file. Select an option that uses MPEG-4 compression.

Select the "Advanced Settings" command and a programming screen loads. Go to the "Video" properties section and reduce the bitrate for the uncompressed MP4 input file. Do the same in the "Audio" properties section. To compress the media further, reduce the resolution.

Select the "Convert" command to reformat the video. A confirmation message displays when the compressed MP4 output file has been successfully encoded.


MPEG Streamclip is released in both Mac and PC versions, while iWisoft Free Video Converter and Oxelon Media Converter are only compatible with Windows.


Be advised that a digital video's quality declines with compression.

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About the Author

Based in New York City, I am an online video producer who has more than five years of experience working in digital media. I specialize in video compression and distribution, video software, online video sharing and portable device use. I received my B.A. in Film Studies in 2005 from Vassar College.