Google Photos movie creation is great for reminding you of photos and videos you’ve shot by giving you a little motion memory to keep. However, Google Photos movies are now weirdly stuck in portrait mode.

According to complaints over on the Google Photos support forums and several Twitter threads, the portrait video problem appears when people try to create a movie using Google’s in-built Movie creation tool. Adding multiple clips and images now forces vertical video modes, even if they are imported as landscape (via Android Police).

If you try and mix and match your video and stills, the problem still persists no matter which version of Google Photos you are running too. The actual output will be a video with substantial black borders at the top and bottom of your video.

Now as a video evangelist, I actually don’t worry too much about portrait video — especially as mobile phones are meant to be held this way but this is clearly an annoying problem if you want to cut and edit your Photos library into bite-sized chunks.

However, Google Photos Product Lead David Lieb has replied to a complaint thread over on Twitter to says that the development team doesn’t actually plan on adding an option to manually tweak or change video orientation for movie creations — which is a bit of a bummer. Though he did add that they “plan to add an option” but “chose portrait for now.”

So while it was an intentional change, it looks as though it will get fixed eventually. If you are a big fan of mixing and cutting your Google Photos library this might still be a problem, so we suggest trying a third-party application to edit clips together. My own personal suggestion would be Adobe Premiere Rush — although I am biased as a Premiere desktop editor — but there are plenty of other options like Quik from GoPro that might be worth a look.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: