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Updated by Kaley Torres- | Contact Author

How to Compress Videos to Smaller Size in Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro tends to export videos that are often too large for easy online sharing. For example, WhatsApp allows a maximum video file size of 16MB, while Instagram permits uploads of up to 650MB from mobile devices. Basic Plan members on Vimeo are restricted to 500MB per week for video uploads. If you're wondering whether Premiere Pro can resize videos, the answer is affirmative. You can follow this guide on how to export videos with smaller file sizes in Premiere Pro if you find yourself dealing with excessively large video files from the editing program.

Suggested reading => Top 10 Free Video Compression Software better than Premiere Pro.

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Part 1. [Tutorial] How to Compress Video in Premiere Pro without Losing Quality

Step 1. Open the export window

In Premiere Pro, click file > export > media. The Export Settings window should appear. In the window, you can do export settings to compress video file size in Premiere Pro.

Step 2. Adjust export settings to make video size smaller in Premiere Pro

Use one or more of the following ways to export smaller file sizes in Premiere Pro.

1. Choose a more efficient codec format. H.264 format keeps a good balance between file size and quality and has great compatibility. H.264 is recommended for video exports through Premiere Pro.

2. Set the bitrate to VBR, 2 pass. Adobe uses 1 pass VBR by default. The 2 pass VBR enables Premiere Pro to reduce video size without losing quality. The export process might take a longer time to complete using 2 pass VBR. CBR option has the fastest speed but the lowest quality.

compress video in Premiere Pro

3. Lower the bitrate. The lower the bitrate, the smaller the file size the video will have. On the export settings, there's a Target Bitrate slider. Adjust the target bitrate gradually and check the estimated file size at the left bottom of the window until the file size is around what you want. The estimated file size changes as you adjust the bitrate.

4. Reduce video resolution or change video size. Lower down the video resolution or resize the video to make video file size smaller in Premiere Pro. To do it, go to Sequence > sequence settings, select Frame Size under Video section, and Width and Height under Video Previews. Set width and height to resize video for smaller file size according to your needs. You can crop video in Premiere Pro to cut out unwanted frames, however, it doesn't influence the video size too much.

 Lower the bitrate to compress video in Premiere Pro

Step 3. Export compressed video files from Premiere Pro.

After you've all set, click Export. The video in a smaller file size will be created. If you want to upload the compressed video to social media platforms, click the Publish tab, choose the platform you'd like to upload to, such as YouTube. Enter Tags and Descriptions as you wish, click Export. And the compressed video will be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms from Adobe Premiere Pro.

Suggested reading => How to Change Video Size in Adobe Premiere Pro

Part 2. Compress Video Size for Whatsapp in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro has 1080p presets for YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, but no presets for Whatsapp. It means you can't use direct presets for Whatsapp. To compress video file size for Whatsapp in Premiere Pro, use export as Adaptive Low Bitrate preset in the export dialog box. Adaptive Low Bitrate preset will make the video smaller and more friendly for sharing to Whatsapp. Whatsapp doesn't support high-bitrate video file sharing.

Or on the export settings window, click on the Preset drop-down menu, choose Match Source - Medium Bitrate. This option will keep a good balance between the video file size and video quality for Whatsapp. However, it can't guarantee that the export video is sharable through Whatsapp. If you need more compression options with better compression efficiency, resort to more professional video compression software. In sum, you can make video size smaller in Premiere Pro for Whatsapp in the following way:

  1. Export as Adaptive Low Bitrate preset in the export dialog box.
  2. On the export settings window, click on the Preset, select Match Source - Medium Bitrate.

Suggested reading => How to Compress Video Size with VLC Media Player.

compress video for Whatsapp Premiere Pro

Part 3. Video Tutorial - How to Compress Video in Premiere Pro

If you are a visual learner, here's a video tutorial on how to compress video file size in Adobe Premiere Pro without losing quality. In the video tutorial, you will learn how to import and open your video, how to set the average video bitrate, and export video in smaller file size in Adobe Premiere Pro. It's the most viewed video tutorial about compressing video with Adobe Premiere Pro. By following the tutorial, some users compressed 500MB to 50MB, 1GB to 128MB with Premiere Pro. The used version is Adobe Premiere Pro 2019.

  • From 00:22, Lower Bitrate in Premiere Pro
  • From 00:36, Applying a High Bitrate Preset
  • Fom 00:45, Reduce Size Further with Premiere Pro
  • Fom 00:55, Tareget Bitrate

Part 4. FAQs about How to Compress Video in Premiere Pro

1. Can Adobe Premiere Pro compress video?

Yes. Adobe Premiere Pro can export video in smaller file size for email or web sharing such as uploading to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites. Though Premiere Pro is a professional video editing software, the program can reduce video size in export settings.

2. How do I compress video size without losing quality in Premiere Pro?

You can try the Bitrate Settings under Export Settings in Premiere Pro. The 2-pass VBR ensures the best video quality. However, the export speed will be slow. On the other hand, scale video frame size also helps export smaller file sizes without losing quality in Premiere Pro.

3. How do I reduce the size of a video in Premiere Pro?

To reduce video size in Premiere Pro, you can set Premiere Export settings, including bitrate, video frame size, change video codec format, etc. The estimated video file size is displayed at the bottom of the Export Settings window in Premiere Pro.

4. How to make video size smaller in Premiere Pro?

To export video in smaller file size in Premiere Pro, you can tweak some settings, such as video codec, passes, and bitrate. If you compress video in Premiere Pro for YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, try presets offered by Premiere Pro. It's quite easy and straightforward and you don't need to figure out complicated settings. If the export video file is still large, go to adjust the bitrate yourself.

5. Premiere Pro file size too big?

Some users complain that Premiere Pro exports video files in very large size. To reduce the video file size in Premiere Pro, try different export settings. The Level settings under the Video tab can help reduce the size of the export video file. Reduce the video frame rate, lower the resolution, and use a compressed format such as H.264. You can also use video compression software such as Winxvideo AI or Handbrake since Premiere Pro is not good at compressing video.

6. Unsupported compression in file Adobe Premiere Pro

When you import MP4, MTS, or other types of video files to compress in Adobe Premiere Pro, the error occurs, saying "The file has an unsupported compression type". There are several ways to solve the error. Check the Media cache and the Media cache database in Adobe Premiere Pro, and clean the media cache database folder. Check if the required .dll files are installed in the location. Reinstall Premiere Pro and launch Premiere Pro and attempt to import your videos files to compress in Premiere Pro again.


author - Kaley Torres

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Kaley Torres is a self-motivated, creative editor with eight years of marketing and SEO experience, specializing in writing on DVD, video, audio, images, new digital contents etc. With a partiality DVD collection, Kaley also enjoys digitizing DVD and is keen to share her DVD video conversion solutions as well as video sharing tips on social media.

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