When uploading a new TikTok video, we all want the process to go smoothly. Of course, things never seem to go as planned!

When adding a new sound to your TikTok video, you may experience a problem that prevents you from trimming the sound down to the exact section that you want. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.

This can leave you wondering – why can’t I trim sounds on TikTok, and how can I fix it?

In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!

1. The Sound Will Be Shorter Than Your Video

This one is the most common.

If the sound you’ve chosen to use is shorter than the video that you’ve filmed, it won’t work.

This is because TikTok wants the audio clip to match the full length of the video. If your video is longer than the total length of the sound, you will be unable to trim it.

Unfortunately, the only option is to choose a different sound, or reduce the length of the video.

Note that different versions of the same song may be uploaded to TikTok at the same time. While some sounds only use the chorus for example, others may have the full song in the sound, including all of the verses.

Since it would be significantly longer than the shortened version, you can then trim it down to the exact section of the song that you want.

If you are regularly running into this issue, we recommend shooting shorter videos. Although TikTok now allows videos as long as 10 minutes, the app was originally designed for videos that were 15 to 60 seconds in length. So, most of the sounds uploaded onto the platform are still designed to fit this shorter format.

2. You’re Already At The Beginning Of The Sound

It’s possible that you can’t trim the clip any farther, because you’re already at the beginning of the sound.

Many sounds on TikTok do not actually start at the beginning of the song. Instead, they are pulled from somewhere in the middle, such as the bridge or chorus.

When trimming audio, this can sound a bit confusing, because it feels like there should be more of the audio available to you.

In this instance, the best thing that you can do is to see if a longer version of the song has been uploaded, or add the song yourself using an external video editor.

TikTok can’t magically create audio that isn’t there, so it won’t let you extend the sound beyond what’s been uploaded. This can make it appear like TikTok isn’t allowing you full editing capabilities, but in reality you’ve just reached the beginning or end of the sound clip.

3. You’re Experiencing A Technical Error

If you’re sure you’re using a sound that should be trimmable, it’s possible that you may be experiencing some sort of glitch or technical error.

The easiest way to verify that is to try using a different sound, preferably one that you’ve been able to successfully trim before.

If you add a different sound to your video and you are able to trim it, then it shows there’s an issue with the specific sound you were trying to use, rather than your TikTok app as a whole.

Regardless, we recommend trying a number of troubleshooting tips which can help fix the most common TikTok errors. These should work on both iPhone and Android, and include:

  1. Clearing TikTok’s cache by going to your profile, tapping on the settings icon, scrolling down down to ‘Cache & Cellular Data’, and then tapping on ‘Clear cache.’
  2. Force closing and reopening the TikTok app (pull up your list of open apps then swipe it away, rather than just tapping the home button.)
  3. Restarting your phone.
  4. Making sure the TikTok app is up-to-date.
  5. Uninstalling and reinstalling the TikTok app. Note that this will delete all of your drafts, so it should be considered a last resort option.
  6. Contacting TikTok support. In your support ticket, be sure to include the name of the sound that’s causing you problems. It will take TikTok at least a few days to respond to your support ticket, however.

4. You Need To Edit It Outside Of TikTok

Finally, if nothing else works, then you may need to edit the TikTok manually outside of the TikTok app.

While you can still use the TikTok app for recording, you can manually add the song you’re looking for using a third-party video editor.

Thankfully, many third-party editors are even more powerful than the TikTok editor itself. The iMovie app bundled with all iPhones and iPads for example has been used to make full professional videos, and even for some famous YouTubers / TikTokers it’s the only video editing app that they use!

If using a PC, we recommend DaVinci Resolve (free) or Adobe Premiere Pro (paid.) These are industry standards and quite honestly, you can make a lot of money editing videos for others if you master them!

However, one thing that you need to be mindful of if you use a third-party app to edit your videos is copyrighted sounds.

If TikTok determines that you’re using copyrighted music and TikTok doesn’t have the clearance to let it be published on their platform, they may place your video under review, which can delay publishing.

If the reviewer decides that the music is copyrighted, your TikTok may be removed or the sound may be muted. While you can appeal this decision, it’s rare that TikTok reverses it.

As an added benefit though, if you do edit using a third-party app, it’s much quicker to remake the TikTok with a new sound to try again.

Can’t Trim Video Clips? Try This Quick Tip

Finally, I wanted to share this quick tip with you that I saw shared elsewhere. It primarily helps people that have uploaded or filmed several clips for their TikTok video.

Sometimes, the same people that have trouble trimming audio, also struggle to trim clips as well. If that sounds like you, this tip can help.

Basically, the idea is this. Instead of choosing sound sync after the clips are uploaded, choose ‘Default’ instead.

This should allow you to trim both the audio, as well as click on individual clips to trim the video down as well.


Usually, there’s a simple reason behind why TikTok isn’t letting you trim the sound.

By understanding what causes it, you can take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation. Very rarely is this issue persistent, and it’s almost always fixed using the steps above.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about TikTok, please ask them using the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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