Cut videos with Lossless Cut

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 15, 2016
Updated • Nov 10, 2016

Lossless Cut is a free portable cross-platform program that enables you to cut videos in an easy to use interface without quality reductions.

The program is quite the heavyweight when you consider its archive size of 80 Megabytes, but it ships with all components included that you may need to cut a video file.

The interface has been streamlined which means that it is dead easy to use. Drop a video file on the interface, select start and end positions for the cut, and click on the cut button afterwards to cut it.

The cut part of the video is saved automatically to the same directory. The process does not overwrite the original video though, as information about the video's start and end time in relation to the original video are added to the file name.

Lossless Cut

You can play the video in the interface if you want and hit the start and end position for the cutting while it is playing.

You may skip the playing entirely however and jump to the parts that you want to cut manually using the mouse.

You'd need five clicks to cut a video if that is the case. Two to select the start and end position with the mouse, two to set them, and one to save the cut video to the local device.

The only other option provided is to capture single frames. This is done by selecting the frame first and clicking on the "capture" button in the program interface afterwards.

The captured frame is saved as a jpeg image to the same directory as its video source.

Lossless Cut does not do any encoding or decoding, and it pretty fast because of that. The program uses the excellent ffmpeg to do the cutting and saving of the resulting video.

While it has been designed for video, it can be used to cut many popular audio formats as well. The process is identical for the most part and the main difference is that you get a black preview instead of video.

Audio previews work however so that you may hit the play button to select cut positions while the audio file is playing.

The program is based on Chromium and uses the Chromium HTML5 media player. This means that some formats may not be supported. According to the author's website, formats such as mp4, mov, webm, mkv, ogg, wav, mp3, aac, h264, vp8 and vp9 are supported

Lossless Cut supports a range of keyboard shortcuts that you may use to improve your workflow. Use j and l to slow down and speed up the video, left and right cursor keys to seek backward or forward for one second, or . and y to seek even less than that.

The i and o keys mark the start and end point of the cut video, and e and c export the selection or capture a snapshot.

Closing Words

Lossless Cut is a handy program that is easy to use and fast thanks to its lossless nature. It is ideal for cutting large video or audio files, but may also come in handy if you like to create animated gifs. While it cannot create those for you, it can be used to cut the right part of a video for that.

Now You: Do you edit video on your computer?

software image
Author Rating
3.5 based on 22 votes
Software Name
Lossless Cut
Software Category
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Mikael said on March 23, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Newest version of LosslessCut has a lot more features and many of the things that people are requesting is already implemented. Thanks, Mikael (Maintainer)

  2. Alex von Essen said on September 27, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I found Lossless Cut quite useless and deleted it after a while.
    – it performs only “positive” cutting, i.e. only one clip per session can be selected which is quite ok if one wants only to eliminate trailers, relayers, etc. or isolate only one clip from a given video.
    + simple interface, in this case too simple for my demands
    Remark: the best free alternative is definitively Avidemux! It does “negative” cutting, i.e. one or more (!!!) unwanted parts of the video can be removed. The video can be remuxed lossless (in this case only on i-frame borders) but also with a variety of codecs into most of the common containers. Filters (for instance cropping) can be applied when using lossy codecs. Version 2.7.4 is available for Windows 32/64 and Linux, this update contains a lot of new or upgraded features!

  3. pissed said on April 9, 2017 at 12:43 am

    What?! You can’t cut video OUT of the file. You can only cut a section that you want to keep. So, you can only cut off the ends basically. Then, it blanks out the video for the first 14 seconds of the video. 14 seconds?!!
    And, it’s easy to find file types it doesn’t support. So, you’ll have to convert those first and of course that won’t likely be lossless.
    So many video editing programs. So much wasted time. At least it’s free. Thanks guys, but who is really using this?

  4. Anonymous said on November 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    On Supported Formats I can read “LosslessCut is based on Chromium” and “The following formats/codecs should generally work: MP4” etc. I just removed Chromium from my Portable Applications when I realized it can’t read mp4. I probably missed something.

  5. ben said on November 16, 2016 at 3:58 am

    The github shows 800kb worth of source, any idea if there’s the pre-built/binary is available anywhere?

    1. Anonymous said on November 16, 2016 at 7:51 am

      On “releases” tab.

  6. Ubik said on November 15, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Great find ! It doesn’t support everything as far as codec-container combinations are concerned, but a great find nonetheless. Thank you Martin.

  7. brandon said on November 15, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    So is this like avidemux?

  8. scylla said on November 15, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Freemake Video Converter (I know you know it, Martin) is the only editor I can use because it’s dead simple, uncluttered and big enough to see what I’m doing. Even then I have to use a very old version as they’ve crippled newer ones, as far as editing goes. However, lossless it ain’t!

    (Yes, I have Unchecky installed ;-) )

  9. nick said on November 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Doesn’t work with TV recordings (.ts files).
    So far the only program that I tried that does work with .ts files is “Smart Cutter” and it’s not free.

    1. elben said on November 16, 2016 at 4:00 am

      Some of the codecs supported by the ts container are also supported by mp4. So you can change the container from ts to mp4 without reencoding using ffmpeg and use this software to cut.
      Command to change containers: ffmpeg -i inputfile.ts -c:v copy -c:a copy outputfile.mp4

      1. Jesper said on February 13, 2018 at 1:53 am

        Awesome, elben! I had to change it to the following command to make it work for me (had to add -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc), but then I could use LosslessCut without problems on the resulting mp4 file:

        ffmpeg -i inputfile.ts -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc -c:v copy -c:a copy outputfile.mp4

        It should be said that running the ffmpeg command is almost as fast as copying the file.

  10. hirobo said on November 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    How about an article on programs that convert 3d videos to anaglyph?

  11. Bob said on November 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I’ve been using Avid Studio and Pinnacle 19 Ultimate.

  12. Bobo said on November 15, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Or just use a far superior program called Moo0 VideoCutter 1.07. Just don’t install the other two Moo0 programs suggested during install.

  13. TekWarfare said on November 15, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve been using Avidemux to do lossless cuts of MP4 and MKV files for a while now. This seems like it does the same thing, but I’ll check it out and see.

    1. Britt said on November 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Regarding Avidemux, do I have do add something to work with mkv files? It seems mine wouldn’t recognize them.

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