How To Easily Extract Part of a YouTube Video (Cut/Trim)

This is something that may come up for bloggers wanting to start posting content on YouTube. We may have a portion of one of our own videos we want to show, or want to use part of another video to demonstrate a point or help illustrate something.

But what if we don’t want the whole video? We may just want to use a very specific section of a video to make a very specific point, and we don’t to surround it with loads of other stuff not relevant to the point we are making. How do we go about extracting portions of YouTube videos, sometimes also known as cutting or trimming?

You used to have to use special tools to do this, but thankfully there’s now actually a way to do this directly on YouTube itself.

Here’s how you trim a video clip on YouTube directly

  1. Click on the 3 dots icon below the video
  2. Click on “Clip”
  3. Select your start and end timestamp from the full video
  4. Give the clip a name and click “Share”
  5. A new video will be created on YouTube of the trimmed clip.

And that’s it! However, the downside of using the YouTube trim tool is that you can’t download or save a copy of that trimmed video clip yourself. It’s just posted on YouTube as a new clip that you need to copy and paste the link for.

Whilst this may be fine for many users, there are also several online free tools, which allow you to do this in a more thorough way and download the full video to your device and then cut/trim/edit it yourself using a tool like VLC Media Player.

Let’s cover both of these methods to cut/trim a YouTube video – on the platform itself and on your device – in more detail.

How To Cut/Trim A Video On YouTube Itself

YouTube have recently added a feature within their own tools/settings to easily extract part of one of their videos and post it as a new video on the platform.

To do this, just click on the 3 dots icon underneath the bottom right of the video panel, next to the Share button, and then click on Clip:

A small editing window then pops up where you select the start and end point you want for the trimmed/clipped video. You also need to give the video clip a name, and then click Share clip in the bottom right corner:

A new video will then be created of the trimmed clip and posted to YouTube, and you’re given a link to share with others if you wish, or to embed in your own blog posts. This clip can also be deleted if you want.

But this is an easy quick way to trim video clips directly on YouTube itself, though you can’t save this clip to your own device. It just exists as another clip on YouTube.

Alternate Method – Download The Video To Your Device & Cut/Trim Manually

If you want to actually pull an entire video off YouTube and manually cut/trim/edit it yourself on your device, there are still ways to do this.

Step 1 – Pull the Entire Video Off YouTube Using a Free Tool

The first thing to do is to simply extract the entire video you want to use off YouTube and download it to your computer. Once you have this video on your computer, you can use other free tools to edit it and extract the specific portions of it you want. We cover this in the next steps below.

There are some free tools which allow you to do this. The most reliable one we found at the time of writing is the Online Video Converter tool.

2021 Update – The tool is the best to use as of now. Just paste YT video links into the box, click the big blue button, and a small version of the video renders. You can then click on the 3 dots burger icon and download a copy of it.

2023 Update – Other tools which may work are 4K Video Downloader,,, y2mate and

Here are the steps to do this:

  • Load up the video you want to extract the clip out of on YouTube
  • Load up the free online video converter tool in another tab.
  • Select “Enter URL”
  • Past the YouTube video URL into the box. Make sure the format is set to MP4 if you are wanting to extract video. MP3 will do if you only want audio.
  • Note – some YouTube videos have settings on them which prevent them from being pulled off YouTube in this way. The tool will not work and deliver an error message. There is nothing much you can do in these cases.
  • Press the Start Conversion button. The tool may take a while to convert depending on the size of the video.
  • Once the file is converted, you can download it to your computer.
  • Sometimes with this tool, annoying extra windows or tabs can pop up when you first select the Download button. Ignore these and go back to the main window to download the file.
  • You then have the entire video on your computer, which you can then trim and extract portions out of using the VLC Media Player or another tool. Let’s cover this in Step 2 below.

Step 2 – Extract a Portion of This Video Using VLC Media Player

Once you’ve got the entire video you want to take a piece out of downloaded to your computer, you can then use some kind of media player or editing software to trim this video and extract a certain portion out of it to use for your own purposes.

Again there are actually loads of different ways of doing this with many different programs and tools. We want to keep this simple and free, so we recommend using the totally free VLC Media Player to edit your videos once you have downloaded them.

Here are the steps to do this:

  • If you haven’t got it already, download the VLC Media Player. It is a totally free and versatile tool which can be used to watch and edit videos and DVDs.
  • Make a note of the time stamps of the video – where you want your extracted segment to start and end.
  • Go to the View tab at the top of VLC , and make sure Advanced Controls is checked.
  • When you reach the start timestamp on your video, then press the red Record button on the bottom left of the player. This starts recording your cropped clip. Aim to press it about 1-2 seconds before you actually want to start recording to account for a small delay in the recording starting.
  • When you reach the end of the clip you want to extract, click on the red button again to stop your recording.
  • The VLC Player will automatically create a new video of your recorded clip and save it someone on your computer, often in the Video folder on Windows PCs.
  • It will save the file as format “vlc-record-date-time”. Right click on the file and rename it to something else if you want.
  • You now have a video clip extracted from a longer video ready to upload onto YouTube or another platform.


Step 3 – Upload Your Cropped Video Onto YouTube (Or Another Platform)

Once you have the segment of a video you want, now comes the step of uploading it onto YouTube if you are in the blogging space. Here are the steps to do this:

  • If you don’t have one already, create a YouTube account here. You can either create one on YouTube directly or open a Google account instead, which will automatically come with a YouTube account as well.
  • Log into the YouTube account you want to add the video to. You can log into YouTube directly, or simply open YouTube in another browser while the associated Gmail account is open.
  • Go to the Account Tab
  • Click the Upload symbol in the top right corner – the camera icon with a plus sign on it.
  • Select the file from your computer
  • Fill in the desired video title, description and tags as appropriate. Try to make the title as catchy as possible.
  • The description should be informative and link back to any full videos used as well as the sites or YouTube channels of the original creators as a thankyou gesture.
  • If your account is also linked to a blog, then you should link back to that as well for good SEO.
  • The Advanced tab allows you to change other settings, like allowing comments, embedding, subtitles, translations etc.
  • If you want to publish the video not right away, but at a set date in the future, then change the Status from Public to Scheduled and set the date you want it to go live.
  • When you are ready, press Publish and the video uploads along with the link to share wherever you want to. Your cropped video segment is now live on YouTube for everyone to watch!

Using Other People’s Content Properly

When extracting segments out of other people’s videos and using them on your own channels, it is important to abide by certain guidelines in order to respect copyright and intellectual property laws.

You can in some cases use other people’s content, as long as you follow certain rules, as set out in the Creative Commons License guidelines.

Here are some general (but not exhaustive) guidelines to follow when using portions of other people’s content:

  • The general standard for using copyrighted work is known as Fair Use. If you can prove you have followed Fair Use principles in using other people’s work, you are in theory protected against copyright claims.
  • The main contexts in which you can use other people’s work is for commentarycriticism or parody.
  • This means you can use small portions of other people’s content for these purposes.
  • This can include small portions of text and videos from other creators.
  • If you do use other people’s footage, be sure to credit them in the description of your YouTube video and link back to the original video and their channels/websites if you want.
  • See this article for more on this.


Following these rules should avoid you falling foul of any copyright claims and having content taken down for infringements.

However, if you are dealing with more “grassroots” or independent content creators rather than massive corporations, then another way to go is to simply try and contact the content creators directly and ask them if it’s OK to use some of their footage.

Explain how and why you want to use some of their videos, and put as much context around it as possible. Also offer to link back to any of their websites from your videos. You will find most people will be happy to let you use portions of their videos if you have a valid reason to do so, contact them first and give them credit for anything you do use.


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