I've been using QuickTime to record my online classes, unfortunately the video sizes are very large (about 2.5GB for a 2hr long video). I tried recording the same classes using Zoom and the the file was around 500mb (almost 4 times lesser), and the quality was almost the same. I have tried:

  1. Using VLC to compress it, but for some reason the 2hr long file is reduced to just 5 seconds (the quality remains the same though).

  2. Exporting it to a lower resolution using Quick time, but the quality became very poor and the audio was muffled.

I record all my new videos using Zoom now, but I need my old files also and they're simply taking up too much of space.

  • "Without reducing quality"—you will not get any significant reduction in file size if you don't compromise in quality. Handbrake allows you to fine-tune the encode so that you can get some nice settings which gives acceptable quality and significantly lower filesizes. I've found QuickTIme's automatic settings are quite bad!
    – Oion Akif
    Sep 3, 2021 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


Transcode with HandBrake

Use HandBrake to re-encode your original videos.

Try the default preset/profile Fast 1080p30. This will likely be enough to meet your needs.

HandBrake on macOS

HandBrake is free and open source. The tool uses ffmpeg underneath to provide access to a wide range of possible encodings.

  • As another comment points out, this is not lossless — it will be losing some quality.  However, it's still almost certainly the best option; you should be able to get something that looks extremely close, at a fraction of the file size.  (Especially if you tune some of the advanced settings that give better quality at the cost of longer encode times.  Using a fine/ultrafine denoising filter can help too.)
    – gidds
    Sep 4, 2021 at 21:38

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