Easily Fix your Shaky Cellphone Videos with YouTube

What you see below is a short 20-second video clip that was shot using a mobile phone camera and uploaded directly to YouTube without any editing.

As you may have noticed, the video is available in HD quality but it’s a bit shaky and that’s because I was holding the camera in my hands (instead of using a tripod) and was also walking during the entire recording. The video shakiness would have been even more had I used the zoom function of the camera.

This problem is often referred as the shaky camera syndrome and affects almost all home videos that are shot with hand-held video cameras and smartphones. The video quality could be great but because of shaky footage, they are difficult to watch.

Well the good news is that YouTube engineers have created an almost magical solution to fix your shaky videos with the click of a button. To get an idea, watch the clip below – it’s identical to the one above but with stabilization done by YouTube.

Stabilizing your shaky videos (see how-to) is now almost as simple as shooting new video.

Simply upload the video to YouTube, launch the YouTube video editor and hit the Effects button. YouTube will offer a real-time preview of how the video might look after the stabilization as you move the slider - once you are satisfied, click Save.

YouTube might take a while to process your video (it took more than a few hours to stabilize the above 20-second clip) but once that’s done, the stabilized video will appear as a new video in your YouTube account. Other than stabilization, you may also change the brightness and contrast level of your videos using the same Effects option.

How to Stabilize Videos with YouTube

The above screencast describes how you may easily fix shaky videos with YouTube.

Desktop based video editing tools like Windows Movie Maker are speedier and offer excellent support for adding transitions, for mixing audio with video, etc. but stabilization is one feature that is quite unique to YouTube’s online video editor and may therefore prove to be a massive crowd-puller in the long run.

Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


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