1. Blog
  2. How to Create YouTube Shorts From Existing Videos & From Scratch

How to Create YouTube Shorts From Existing Videos & From Scratch

How to Create YouTube Shorts From Existing Videos & From Scratch

YouTube Shorts has over 2.3 billion monthly active users, and for a good reason. As of 2024, this medium surpassed 6.5 billion daily views globally, so their popularity is indeed growing rapidly. Shorts are fun, easy to watch, and highly engaging, so if you’re a content creator, it’s simply unwise to disregard them. And guess what? It’s absolutely not necessary to create new videos specifically for Shorts—you can repurpose your existing videos, even if they’re longer than 60 seconds (that’s the maximum length of YouTube Shorts as of writing).

In this article, we’ll share some hacks on how you can quickly and effortlessly create YouTube shorts from long existing videos as well as make them from scratch.

What Are YouTube Shorts?

But first, let us briefly remind you of what YouTube Shorts are and how they’re different from regular YouTube videos.

YouTube Shorts allow users to watch and create short, catchy vertical videos directly from their smartphones, using creation tools like multi-segment camera, ability to add music/audio clips, text overlays, speed controls, etc.

You can find Shorts in a dedicated tab, on homepage, channel pages, search results, and get notified about Shorts from subscribed channels. Shorts have their own separate viewing experience with an endless scrollable feed, distinct from regular YouTube videos. Creators can also monetize such videos, just like they do with regular content, by becoming eligible for the YouTube Partner Program based on Shorts views and subscribers.

YouTube Shorts Specifications

Before you begin making a YouTube Short, here are some specs you should keep in mind:

Video Dimensions

  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (vertical format)

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

Video Length

  • YouTube Shorts must be between 15 seconds and 60 seconds long.

  • Longer videos can be created by stitching together multiple 15-second clips.

Video File Size

  • YouTube Shorts videos should not exceed 10MB in file size.

Thumbnail Dimensions

  • Thumbnails for Shorts should follow the same 9:16 aspect ratio and 1920x1080 resolution as the videos.

Other Specifications

  • Square 1:1 videos with 1080 x 1080 resolution are also accepted as Shorts, but are not optimized for the vertical viewing experience.

  • Shorts can be created directly in the YouTube mobile app using built-in camera tools and editing features.

  • Shorts must come from channels with at least 1,000 subscribers to be eligible.

Now let’s proceed to making YouTube Shorts—both from an existing video and from scratch.

How to Make YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos

Here’s what you need for that: A video itself and a solution that will make shorter versions of it. These can be video editors (online, mobile, or desktop) or a tool powered by AI that smartly and quickly cuts your video into several (or one) short clip(s). Let’s start with the latter.

Method #1. Create YouTube Shorts with AI Video Cut

AI Video Cut is an online solution that can effortlessly create YouTube Shorts from an existing clip using OpenAI technology, without the need for manual editing. There are two types of short videos currently available: Trailers and Topics-clips.

Video Trailer

Select this format if you want to showcase the most engaging and vital parts of your video in YouTube Shorts. Here are the steps you should take to make one:

  1. Visit theAI Video Cut website.

  2. Insert the YouTube video link into the special field.

  1. Choose “Trailer” in the Video type section.

  2. Select the duration (Short – max 7 quotes/ Medium – max 15 quotes/ Long – max 25 quotes).

  3. Click “Submit”.

  4. Wait until the video is made and then download it directly from the website.

At this point, you can watch the video to decide if you need to restart the process.

Tip: AI Video Cut also creates a transcript of a YouTube video which you can use as captions for your Shorts to cater to hard-of-hearing, deaf people, or those who can’t easily understand oral speech.


Select this format if you want to create several YouTube Shorts at once and highlight specific ideas of your main video in several short thematic clips. AI Video Cut automatically detects these ideas and creates multiple videos with the most interesting and engaging content.

You can also opt for this format instead of Trailer if you wish to get the most of your main video and repurpose different chunks of it across multiple channels. Especially if your original video is too long and touches on different topics.

  1. Visit the AI Video Cut website.

  2. Put the video link into the special field.

  3. Select the video type “Topics-clips”.

  4. Pick the duration (Short – max 7 quotes/ Medium – max 15 quotes/ Long – max 25 quotes).

  1. Choose the number of topics (from 1 up to 10).

  2. Click “Submit”.

  3. Wait until the video is processed, then download one or several suggested videos directly from the website or using the links you receive in your email.

You will then receive one or several videos (depending on how many topics you’ve chosen), each focused on a different topic featured in the original video.

Method #2. Make YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos with Video Editing Software

If you’re looking for a more conventional approach, you can use one of multiple video editors to crop a long video into several short ones. Here’s how:

  1. Open your preferred video editing software (e.g. CapCut, InShot, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, etc.) and import or open the existing video file. If you need to download a video from YouTube or another site first, use 4K Video Downloader Plus for that.

  2. Crop or resize the video to a 9:16 aspect ratio.

  3. Use the trimming or cutting tools in your video editor to select a 15-60 second clip from your existing video. You can also stitch together multiple shorter clips if needed, as long as the total length doesn't exceed 60 seconds.

  4. Add text overlays, graphics, stickersApply color grading or filtersInclude transitions between clipsAdd background music or voice-overs.

  5. Once you've edited your Short, export or render the video file. Most video editors support exporting to MP4, which is the recommended format for YouTube Shorts.

  6. Make sure to export at 1920x1080 resolution for best quality.

  7. Sign in to your YouTube account and go to the "Create" section.

  8. Select "Upload Videos" and choose the exported Short video file.

  9. Add a title, description (with #Shorts hashtag), and publish settings.

  10. Click "Upload" to post your new YouTube Short created from an existing video.

How to Create YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos with YouTube Remix

YouTube Remix is a feature that allows creators to easily make YouTube Shorts by remixing existing videos directly on the platform. It also enables them to take short clips (up to 5 seconds) from any public YouTube video and combine it with their own recorded video footage (up to 55 seconds) to create a new YouTube Short. Remixes are published as standard YouTube Shorts on the creator's channel, with the original video source credited. Here’s how to create a YouTube Short with Remix.

  1. Open the YouTube app and log in to your account. Find and choose a video you've already uploaded that you want to transform into a Short.

  2. After selecting your video, tap on the Remix button below the video title. Then, choose the option ‘Edit into a Short’.

  3. You’ll be taken to the Shorts creation screen. Use the sliders to select the portion of the video you want to use for your Short. You can create Shorts up to 60 seconds long, with a red bar at the top indicating how much time you've used.

  4. If the segment you selected is less than 60 seconds, you can add more footage. Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to open the Shorts camera and record additional content.

  5. You can also include footage from your device. Tap the media library icon in the bottom left corner of the Shorts camera and select the desired video. When finished, tap the checkmark icon in the bottom right corner.

  6. You’ll arrive at the preview screen for your Short. Here, you can add text, adjust the timeline, or apply filters. Use these features to enhance your video and make it more engaging. The timeline tool helps you set when text appears.

  7. Once you’re done enhancing your Short, press Next. A field will appear for you to enter the title. Write your title and adjust settings for visibility and age-appropriateness.

  8. Tap the blue Upload Short button at the bottom of the screen. Your Short will be published and will include a link to the original video, making it easy for viewers to access it.

Bonus: How do you make YouTube Shorts from other people's videos?

You can make YouTube Shorts from other people's videos by using the Remix feature in the YouTube mobile app. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the YouTube mobile app and find a video you want to remix into a Short.

  2. Tap the Remix button. This will only appear if the video owner has enabled the remixing feature.

  3. Select the "Cut this video" option to choose a 5-second clip from the original video.

  1. After selecting the 5-second clip, you'll be taken to the YouTube Shorts camera.

  2. You can now record your own video footage of up to 55 seconds to combine with the remixed clip.

  1. Use the editing tools to add text, filters, adjust speed, etc. to your recorded footage.

  2. When finished, tap "Next" and you can set the title, audience, and other settings for your remixed Short.

  3. Finally, tap "Upload" to publish your new YouTube Short containing the remixed clip from the original video.

Note that you can only use up to 5 seconds from someone else's video due to copyright limitations. The rest of the Short (up to 55 seconds) must be your own original content.

How to Create YouTube Shorts from Scratch

If you’d rather create a YouTube Short anew, follow these steps:

  1. Open the YouTube mobile app. You can only create Shorts natively through the YouTube mobile app, so make sure you have the latest version installed on your iOS or Android device.

  2. Tap on the "Create" (+) icon at the bottom of the app's home screen.

  3. Select "Short" from the menu options.

  4. The Shorts camera will open in a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio optimized for Shorts. Tap and hold the red record button to start recording your 15-second video clip. You can record multiple clips that will stitch together.

  5. To record a full 60 seconds, tap the "15" button and change it to "60" before recording.

  6. Use the toolbar on the right to add filters, text, adjust speed, set a timer, or add music/sounds from YouTube's library.

  7. Tap the "Flip" icon to switch between rear and front cameras.

  8. For more advanced editing, tap the "Edit" button after recording to trim, reorder clips, add transitions, etc.

  9. Once you're done editing, tap "Next" in the top right corner.

  10. Add a title, description (with #Shorts hashtag), set audience, and other publishing details.

  11. Finally, tap "Upload Short" to publish your brand new YouTube Short created entirely from scratch.

That’s it!

Wrapping Up

As you can see, you don’t have to record a new video if you want to simply repurpose your existing content as YouTube Shorts. It’s 2024 after all, so there are tools that can do half or the entire job for you, whether it’d be video editing software or an AI-powered solution like AI Video Cut. Just use this article as guidance and rock it on YouTube with your engaging Shorts content!

Read next:  How to Get a Transcript of YouTube Videos: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2024

Leave a comment

close form icon

Thanks for feedback

Your comments will appear here shortly. Please spread the word about us in social networks.