iPhone videos send small - How to fix it?

Modified Nov. 3, 2023, 9:22 p.m.


Each time you send a video on your iPhone, the video becomes way smaller than it was originally. Here is a fix to send the video in high quality again.

Your iPhone is sending the video small to fit the size limitation set by your cellular carrier on MMS. To fix the issue, you need to send the video using iMessage, WhatsApp, or by email. If the issue still happens, restart your iPhone.

If the MMS size limitation is the most common reason why your iPhone sends video small, it is not the only one. The issue could also be a bug with a Camera setting parameter due to an iOS update, or the way you take the video to send it.

Videos sent as MMS will be smaller on iPhone

When you take a video on your iPhone, the settings of your Camera application will determine the dimension, quality, and size of the video. If you choose the best quality possible, the size of the video will be big.

A video taken with an iPhone can quickly reach more than 100MB, if not more than 1GB with the latest iPhone 14 Pro. Only a minute of recording will make your video really big, too big to be sent to your friends.

To share your video, you can send it to anyone using the Message application on iPhone, the video can be sent over iMessage or MMS. Basically, if your friend does not have an iPhone, the video will be sent as a MMS, even if your friend has an iPhone in some conditions.

But MMS has a limited maximum size, you can’t send whatever you want using MMS. Depending on your cellular carrier, the maximum size of a MMS can vary, but it is usually around 1MB. 1MB is ridiculously small to send a video on iPhone, therefore, the video size has to be reduced to fit in the MMS.

The only way to reduce a video size is to reduce the video dimension and quality. The video taken in 4K, with more than a million pixels, will be reduced to 120p quality, with much fewer pixels. As a result, the video will look very small and pixelated.

To prevent your iPhone from sending small videos and to fix the issue, you need to use another way to share your videos. Between Apple users, you can use iMessage, and with non-Apple users, you can use WhatsApp or mail.

This only happens using MMS, it should not be an issue if you are using iMessage, yet some people still experience the same issue on iMessage. Check the other fixes if it’s your case.

Camera settings make videos send small

Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with what you are doing, yet your iPhone still sends the video small. It already happened to me, a year ago Apple released a minor update containing a bug related to iMessage.

All the videos that I was sending to my friends using my iPhone and iMessage were too small. I searched for a long time without being able to fix the issue, until I tried different settings on the Camera application.

The video taken in HDR (High Dynamic Resolution) was sent small on iMessage because of a bug contained in the iOS update released by Apple. Disabling the HDR helped me to fix the issue until Apple released the patch.

If this issue should be fixed now, you might still want to disable HDR to see if it helps. Also, it could be because of a new iOS update containing a new bug on a different settings. To fix the issue, try different settings in your Camera application or try a different camera app.

Take the video first, then send it

There are two ways to send a video not yet taken. Either you take the video with your Camera application and send it, or you take the video directly using the messaging application you are using.

By taking the video with the Camera app of your iPhone, you are sure that the video quality will match the settings while using the messaging application, the video can be smaller than expected.

Many messaging applications use specific settings to lower the size, and there the quality and dimensions, of the video. They do it to reduce the space taken by the videos on their servers. Sometimes, taking the video first using the Camera application will not make the video small once it is sent.

On the official iOS Message application, there are settings to check to be sure to application is not lowering the image quality. Go to Settings > Message and be sure that “Low-Quality Image mode” has been disabled at the bottom.

I hope I helped you to fix your issue, if you want to improve the quality of the video you take on your iPhone, think about adding an external microphone.



Maxime Levesque is a technical engineer with more than 5 years of professional experience. He is an expert in computer and phones, mostly on Apple products. Maxime is also the founder of TechBrowser.

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