This article is a draft and may contain incomplete or incorrect information.

Resizing Video

Picture Settings

The picture settings tab is located on HandBrake’s main window and becomes active after you’ve scanned a source.

Picture settings tab
Picture settings tab

Width and Height

These allow you to adjust the size of the output. When you press the up or down arrows, the number will jump by the number selected in the “Modulus” dropdown.

When anamorphic strict is selected, both the “width” and “height” boxes will be disabled. You will get the maximum source size as output.

When loose is selected, you can downscale with the “width” or leave at the source width.

When none is selected, you can alter both “width” and “height”


The width and height must be divisible by this number. It’s best left at 2, but if you have a problematic player, you can try setting it to 16.


Typically recommended that you leave this on “loose”. If your source is not anamorphic, having this set to an anamorphic option will not affect the output. Thus, it is safe to leave on.


The HandBrake GUI’s do not allow upscaling. Most of the time this is a bad idea as it reduces (not increases) the quality of your source file along with increasing the final file size. This is less than idea. Most of the time, letting the playback device or software upscale to your screen size is much better. You don’t gain anything by upscaling with HandBrake.

In the very rare cases that this is needed, it can be done with the command line interface with the –width and –height options. Typically you would only use this if the software or hardware your using has a problematic or broken scaler.


HandBrake by default will try and detect and crop black bars from the video. Encoding black bars increases the encode time and the amount of disk space required, so it’s best to let HandBrake remove them.

HandBrakes auto-crop is not perfect. It’s giving you a best guess at what the crop values should be. If you find it gets it wrong, which is not that common, you can adjust them by selecting the “Custom” option.

You can preview the effect of your adjustments by clicking the “Preview” button on the toolbar.

HandBrake toolbar
HandBrake toolbar

The preview window will then appear and will display in real-time any changes you make on the picture settings screen. If the size of the output exceeds the window size, the preview window will scale it to fit to screen.

Preview window
Preview window