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How Long Can iPhone Record Video?

As an iPhone owner, I’ve all too often been frustrated by the limits of my device’s video recording capabilities. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share how I solved the question of “How Long Can iPhone Record Video?” as well as some other solutions I discovered.

Key Takeaways
The length of video you can record on your iPhone is dependent on available storage and desired overall quality.
Check your iPhone’s available storage by going to Settings > General > About > Available.
If you’re low on storage, consider using external drives or uploading to iCloud.
Quality variables that affect video length include resolution, frame rate, and video encoding format.
A higher resolution and frame rate use more storage and produce shorter videos.
Video encoding formats compress videos, lowering storage needs and improving playback experience.
Use iPhone camera settings to adjust video quality based on available storage and desired output.
Good lighting and filming best practices can help produce high-quality videos.

How Long Can iPhone Record Video?

The length of video you can record is highly dependent on two things. First, you have to know how much storage is available on your iPhone. Second, consider your desired overall quality and the elements that factor into it.

How Much Available Storage Does My iPhone Have? 

Taking a video at length would eat up a lot of storage. It would be best to know how much space you still have. To do this, go through the following steps:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Tap “General”
  3. Click “About”
  4. Tap “Available” to display your free space

What if you’re looking to record multiple videos, and your storage isn’t enough? Unlike Android phones, your iPhone doesn’t have a memory slot to expand storage capacity.

So, here are a few things you can do to have more space: 

  1. USB flash drives. These handy external drives let you transfer some of your phone’s content to make room for more.
  2. Hard drives. Although less portable, these drives can provide you with bigger storage. Consider buying one that’s Wi-Fi-ready for ease of use. 
  3. Upload to iCloud. Make your videos accessible and free up space by syncing your device to iCloud.

What Video Quality Can I Come Up With Using My iPhone?

Given a fixed storage capacity, creating a higher quality video means creating a shorter one too. 

Quality variables that you can change on your device include resolution, frame rate, and video encoding format.

Let’s look into each one, and understand how you can achieve a balance of these elements with your iPhone.

Resolution: How Realistic Do You Want Your Video to Be?

Resolution is the number of pixels that is in a frame. If you’re looking to record a video that looks realistic and captures as much detail, then a higher resolution is required.

A higher resolution consumes more of your storage space, though, and shortens the length of video you can record.

Frames per Second (FPS): How Smooth Do You Want Your Video to Be?

As the term suggests, this is the number of frames that are displayed per second or the frame rate.

A lower frame rate makes the transition between frames more perceptible to the human eye, making it look choppy. On the other hand, a higher frame rate gives a smoother transition between successive images.

A video consists of still pictures stitched together. These images are flashed consecutively at a swift rate, thereby creating the illusion of motion. Since more images are taken for higher fps, more storage is needed. Thus, a shorter video can be created.

Video Encoding Format: Where Do You Want Your Video to Be Accessed?

There are different video encoding formats optimized to make your content compatible and available on platforms, programs, and devices.

Video encoding formats compress videos by removing unnecessary data. In turn, this lowers the storage needed, plus it makes data manageable through different channels. This also makes for a better playback experience.

With the introduction of iOS 11 comes the use of the High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) or H.265, which offers better compression than its precedent Advanced Video Coding (AVC) or H.264. 

This paved the way for a 50% bit rate reduction in file sizes. However, it’s not compatible with devices like Windows, and Xbox, among others, so AVC is still widely used.

How to Change the Video Setting on My iPhone?

Read more: How long can an iPhone record a voice memo?

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the different settings, it’s time to change them according to your requirements. This can be done in two ways: on your device settings, and on your camera screen.

Make Changes to Your Device Settings

Explore your device’s settings by following these simple steps:

  • Go to “Setting”
  • Select “Camera”
  • Under “Formats”, select between:
    • “High Efficiency” 
    • “Most Compatible”.
  • Click on “Record Video”, and select among:
    • 720p HD at 30 fps
    • 1080p HD at 30 fps
    • 1080p HD at 60 fps
    • 4K at 30 fps.

The “High Efficiency” option enables the use of HEVC while the “Most Compatible” stands for the AVC format.

Different options have an approximate amount of storage. For example, selecting 4K at 30 fps using AVC is equivalent to 350 MB for a minute of recorded video. When selecting HEVC, this bit rate becomes 170 MB.

Toggle on Your Camera Screen

At the top portion of your iPhone screen, locate the toggle where you can easily switch between video resolutions and frame rates.


Read more: How much storage do you need to back up your iPhone?

How long can iPhone record video? It depends on your device’s free space, target resolution, frame rate, and video encoding format.

Record with good lighting and employ filming best practices and you’re sure to get your desired overall video quality.