Thanks to the advances in smartphone and camera technology in recent years, we're all recording more video than ever before. Capturing those precious memories for posterity is all well and good, but if you find that when you import them to your PC that they’re sideways or upside down, here's how you can rotate those videos and get things back in the right orientation.

Can Windows Movie Maker rotate videos?

Yes, it can. It you have an old computer with Windows Movie Maker, simply import your video, wait for it to be analysed and put on the timeline. Then click the rotate button on the toolbar and choose whether to rotate it left or right. 

Unfortunately Movie Makes is no longer easily available, and some editing features have been put into the Photos app in Windows 10 instead. One that’s been omitted is the ability to rotate videos, so that means you need to download some software to complete the task. 

There's a good selection of free options, including Freemake Video Converter. And you can also download one or more of the apps from our roundup of the best free video editing software. Pretty much all of them have the tools to do the job. For the purposes of this tutorial we’ll be using Shotcut.

If you want to edit simple videos in the future, then the Photos app in Windows 10 remains a quick and easy to solution. So, check out our How to edit videos in Windows 10 for more details.

Rotate a video with Shotcut

After downloading and installing Shotcut, open the app and click the Open File icon in the top-left corner. Next, find the video you want to edit, click on it and you should see it appear in the central pane of the app.

how to rotate a video

Before you can fix anything, you’ll need to click and hold on the clip then drag it down to the timeline (the long blank space at the bottom of the screen) and click again.

With the clip in place, make sure it is highlighted (has a red box around it) or click on it if that isn’t the case. Now, go up to the row of icons at the top of the screen and select Filters.

how to rotate a video

In the left-hand pane click the + button under the empty window and a list of options will appear. Scroll down until you find Rotate and Scale, then click on that.

how to rotate a video

You’ll now see several fields open up, but the only one you need to concern yourself with is Rotate. In here you can either drag the blue area left or right to change the orientation of the clip, or simply click on the number to the right and type in the precise angle you want to rotate the video.  The latter is usually easier and it’s 180 degrees to flip something that’s upside down, and 90 or 270 degrees if it’s sideways.

how to rotate a video

In the central pane you’ll see how your changes have affected the video, and when you’re happy with the results go to the File option at the top of the screen and select Export Video. You’ll see a little help box open, explaining about the format and how it defaults to H.265/AAC MP4, which is what most people will want. Should you wish to choose another format then you can do so from the list in the Presets window that also appears.  

how to rotate a video

Finally, click the Export File button, give your video a name, choose the folder you want it to live in, then click the Save button. That’s it. Your clip should now be the right way up and ready to share.