iPhone Video: Land, Front Up, Back Down.

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Do you ever take videos with your iPhone and email them to friends?

If so, are any of those friends on Windows?


If so, here’s a tip for how to take videos with your iPhone so they show up optimally (and not upside down) when your friends try to watch them with Windows software (such Media Player and Windows Mail, etc).

Actually, the instructions are in the title of this blog article:

Land, Front Up, Back Down.

Land stands for landscape.

Front and Back refer to which camera you’re using.

Up and Down refer to the direction the phone’s volume buttons are facing.


Please hold the camera in “landscape” mode (sideways). “Portrait” mode is fine for photos. But it’s just wrong for videos. If you have trouble remembering this, picture what the screen looked like last time you were in a movie theater. Or what your TV looks like.

Front Up:

If you’re using the front camera (e.g., you’re taking a video of yourself), make sure the phone’s volume buttons are facing up.


Volume buttons up for front camera. Note "home" button on left.


Back Down:

If you’re using the back camera, make sure the phone’s volume buttons are facing down.


Volume buttons down for back camera. Note "home" button on right.


It’s a Windows thing…

This (rendering videos upside down if not recorded properly) seems to be a Windows thing.

Videos that are upside down in Windows will be rightside up in Quicktime. And YouTube doesn’t seem to care how you recorded your videos, either; even if you do the opposite of what’s recommended above, YouTube seems to be able to make things right. iPhones and iPads don’t seem to care. Macs don’t seem to care.

Why do some devices (and software) have a problem with upside-down iPhone videos while others don’t?

I’m not sure. If you know, please share.


  1. I’m not an Apple expert.
  2. This article is the result of a few simple tests using an iPhone 4 powered by IOS 4.
  3. Different iPhone models and/or IOS versions might yield different results.
  4. Different versions of Windows or Windows software (Media Player, Windows Mail, etc.) might yield different results.

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If you have more information or corrections to what I’ve written, I hope you’ll join the conversation by commenting below. If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it or link to it.

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About JeffCohan.com

The nSiteful Tech Blog (the official blog of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc. since January of 2013) is where I (Jeff Cohan) and (occasionally) associates will be posting articles of potential interest to like-minded techies, nSiteful clients who are playing active roles in the maintenance of their own Web sites and blogs, and pretty much anyone interested in how Web strategies and tools can help them reach their goals.

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About Jeff Cohan

Jeff and his wife, Margie, are the proud parents of Sarah and Jake. Jeff is the founder, president and chief cook and bottle washer of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc., a Web development and Internet Consulting firm. In his spare time, Jeff builds Web sites and Web applications, plays guitar, putters around in his basement woodworking shop, mercilessly spoils his grandchildren, and creates videos from more than two decades of home movies. His current video project is an extended montage of people (mainly family members) asking him to stop filming them.

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