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The best free video editing software brings Hollywood-style post-production polish to creatives on a budget. Content creation has exploded in recent years, which means more and more people are trying their hand at the best video editor apps.

Free video editing software is a boon to beginner and professional editors, and budding filmmakers who need top tools without monthly subscriptions or one-time-buy perpetual licenses. Some of the very best even offer free video editing software without watermarks – ideal for YouTube content creators.

Our top free video editors may not pack every pro-level feature – but they all let you clip, trim, and splice footage without jumping through hoops. All you need is one of the best video editing computers or best video editing laptop your budget can afford to serve as your creative workstation. With so many free downloadable options, however, it may be a challenge to find the one that precisely suits your needs.

Some want the best free video editing software for beginners, others need free editing video software for a low-end PC. After all, free or not, the best tools have to fit your unique flow, unlocking your creative process. Get creative with your projects using the best VFX software. Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry-standard video editing program that’s really easy to use. And it seamlessly integrates with Adobe apps like After Effects, when you subscribe to Creative Cloud. PowerDirector is a premium video editor that keeps costs low, with lifetime and subscription pricing models.

It may be aimed squarely at the professional end of the market, but Apple Final Cut Pro is an easy video editing software tool, and its ‘trackless’ timeline is super intuitive. You pay for it once upfront, so it could be very affordable long-term. We reviewed opens in new tab the editor positively, calling it “an incredibly powerful piece of video editing software. Not only for the vast number of features it comes with, from high end video editing capabilities, to a powerful node-based special effects system, extensive colour correction features, and professional-level audio tools, but the whole thing is available for free.

Yes, you read that right. There are no strings attached. Earning 4. It puts a lot of competing software to shame. The only downside is so much power leads to a complex interface. Read our full DaVinci Resolve review. Lightworks is one of the best free video editing software – and it comes with a bit of a pedigree. But this is with the Pro version. The Free option offers you the same interface, but has a more limited selection of tools.

Everything is pretty intuitive, and the new contextual help windows guide you through your first steps effectively. The only major downside to the free version is an inability to export your finished product beyond p. See how a video editor best for beginners and pros stacks up against its premium rival in Adobe Premiere Pro vs Lightworks.

Read our full Lightworks review. HitFilm’s top free video editing software is powerful, professional, and multi-platform. There are subscription tiers which include higher-end tools, and also grant you access to an extensive media library,. The only downside we feel with the latest version The only thing to bear in mind is that HitFilm needs a computer with a bit of oomph, and one of the more recent operating systems, be it Windows or Mac.

Read our full HitFilm review. Shotcut is one of the best free video editing software tools that’s open-source and multiplatform. Shotcut however bucks that trend. While testing the software, our review praised it as “a strong contender in the video editing field, Shotcut might not wow you with a dazzling interface, but everything you need to edit a simple video is right there for the taking. As it currently stands, Shotcut is a very robust and stable video editing package it only crashed on us when trying the newest VoiceOver feature.

And it’s packed with numerous features, including markers, time remapping and a generous use of keyframing abilities. The interface itself is pretty flexible, allowing you to move sections around and even turn them into floating windows – essentially it will try its best to help you work the way you like to.

Read our full Shotcut review. Apple iMovie for Mac used to be a great piece of free video editor app for consumers with little to no knowledge of video editing. Of course you can still edit your videos with it, using its sleek and simple interface, and its compatibility with iMovie for iOS and even Final Cut Pro makes it possible to start editing on your phone, and seamlessly continue to your Mac. But you can also do better. Read our full Apple iMovie review. On the free Premiere Rush starter plan, you can create and share as many videos as you like, but you’re limited to the free features.

Premium features are locked away behind a paid-for Creative Cloud subscription. As you’d expect from Adobe, whose industry-standard Premiere Pro has grown to define the bar for modern video editors, using Premiere Rush is a sleek, simple experience. In our hands-on review, we noted the video app “sports a nice, clean interface with very simple editing features. A snappy clipper that’s perfect for making short videos for social media. And that’s the main appeal of Adobe Premiere Rush – the clue is in the name.

The video editing tool is designed to work across multiple platforms: start on an iPhone, continue on a PC, polish on Android, and fine tune on a Mac. This offers great flexibility and an efficient workflow. If you upgrade to the full experience, you’ll find a good range of tools, from colour correction, to titles, overlays, transitions, and even time remapping.

We’d like to see more features rolled out for free users. But we can’t complain. The tool is only marred by the occasional odd glitch we encountered, when a clip refused to be deselected for some reason, preventing us from selecting another to make changes to it. Although frustrating, restarting the app fixed that, and we only encountered it twice while trying the software out. Read our full Adobe Premiere Rush review. Canva Video is deliciously simple free video editing software ideal for marketing teams, small businesses, and online influencers looking to cut clips in seconds.

What Canva Video excels at is helping beginners or those in a serious rush create professional-looking short videos and social media assets that can be shared with ease.

Read our full Canva Video review. The Adobe Express free online video editor is cut from the same or, at least, near-identical cloth as Canva Video.

During our time with the free video editor, we found it ideal for beginners and time-poor professionals who need visual content fast. Still, the free version houses a nice selection of stock images , music samples , and graphics to help your movies pop off the screen. Read our full Adobe Express Video Editor review. OpenShot is an open-source, free video editor capable of working on Windows, Linux, and via the Daily Build workaround Macs.

The interface is quite original, and is extremely flexible and customisable, to boot. Animation is extremely flexible and many parameters are keyframable.

The latest version also lets you drop emojis over your videos, making it one of the best free video editor apps for Instagram and other strongly visual social media platforms – it adds a bit of character to videos, at least. We found them to be pretty complex, too. Elsewhere, the software for editing videos seems to have trouble letting Mac users actually edit those videos. At present, the official build has issues, requiring Apple users to use the latest Daily Build.

However, the software is capable of handling most video formats, and the new improvements to the timeline make editing quicker and more enjoyable than before.

Read our full OpenShot review. Microsoft Video Editor is an editing tool that comes bundled with your PC, as part of the Photos app. And really, Microsoft’s alternative to Apple iMovie pretty basic. The interface feels very outdated at best, and cumbersome at worst. But to be fair, there are free competing products that are better and offer more, like not charging for using modern formats.

Ultimately, it’s fine for what it does. And it’s one of the best free video editing software for low-end PCs. But there’s a good reason we dubbed the tool “Windows Movie Maker without any of the charm or nostalgia, for that matter “.

Read our full Microsoft Video Editor review. Movie Maker Online is a free online video editor that allows you to cut clips straight from your web browser.

You see, the service offers a simple, novel interface, a bunch of transitions and effects you can apply either to individual clips or an entire column think of a column as a layer in a more traditional video editor. All this sounds fine, except for the fact we were unable to preview the clips we were adding, or altering.

This applied through every stage of the process, even once the video was fully rendered; even then we had to wait for what seems like for ever to get to see the end result. The downloaded file worked great though. So, if you like guesswork when editing a video, this might be a good service to try.

Read our full Movie Maker Online review. Adobe Spark opens in new tab If you need to trim a video and don’t mind the watermark, Adobe Spark can get the job done quickly and easily online. The basic version is free to use, but you’ll need a premium account to remove the watermark and perform more advanced video editing tasks. EZGif opens in new tab When you need to crop a video to a specific aspect ratio, this simple online tool could be just what you need.

It’s not suitable for very large files, but you can set the dimensions, select from a list of presets, and position the crop area yourself. There are several key factors to consider. What kind of video do you intend to make, and where is it for? Are you experienced, or would a simpler app that takes you step by step through the whole process be more helpful? Do you want to have complete control over every pixel, or would you rather let the computer do most of the work?



– The 4 best free video editing software apps of | ZDNet


Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more. This guide will help you choose the best video editing software to create amazing movies in less time. I edit videos for YouTube regularly and have tried all the best video editing tools out there… and trust me, there are a lot of them!

Familiar editing interface, powerful tools and seamless integration with Adobe apps caters perfectly to multimedia content creators. Works with Mac and PC. If you want professional video editing features and a familiar nonlinear editing interface, Adobe Premiere Pro is arguably the best video editing software, especially if you use a PC or Mac. Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry-standard tool , used for everything from YouTube videos to Hollywood movies.

One thing we really appreciate is how flexible the interface is: you can undock windows, drag them around, float panels wherever you want them… All this means you can create a customised workspace that fits your editing style and needs. As for the video editing itself, Premiere Pro is one of the most powerful applications out there, but you do need a powerful computer to take full advantage, especially when editing multiple tracks at once — however, one common workaround is to use proxies. Editing clips in Premiere Pro is simple and precise and can be done while playback is rolling.

The multi-cam editing supports an unlimited number of angles, and the automatic sync makes it super easy to import and manage them. The tools for audio syncing and editing are similarly impressive. Footage-wise, the level of control you get over colour is incredible. The latest updates to the Premiere Pro include some extra-neat features like intelligent reframing, automatic captioning, video upscaling , AI-driven colour matching, and Adobe Stock integration — dragging in assets to your timeline has never been easier.

Another plus side is that it works seamlessly with other Adobe apps like Photoshop, After Effects and Audition. With support for both Windows and Mac on desktop and mobile, Premiere Pro suits everyone from social media content creators to feature film editors. The first and most obvious similarity is the pricing structure: a yearly or monthly subscription model gives you access to both the software itself and a slew of regular updates and added features.

PowerDirector is another great video editing software if you want incredible flexibility and professional results, while still retaining a high degree of consumer-friendliness. With PowerDirector , you can take advantage of the millions of royalty-free assets available from both Getty iStock and ShutterStock, including videos, images and audio tracks to spruce up your videos.

One area it does excel in is performance. CyberLink have done a great job of boosting performance via bit optimizations, graphics hardware acceleration, OpenCL support, and a proprietary rendering technology known as intelligent SVRT Smart Video Rendering Technology. One thing we love about Filmora X is the clean and appealing interface. On top of that, Wondershare offers a wealth of video tutorials and guides that are comprehensive and helpful — most of which can be found online via a quick Google search.

It also requires a lot of RAM over 16GB is recommended , especially when editing multiple clips in one timeline. Reducing the quality of playback helps somewhat, but we still experienced lagging on the latest M1 Macbook Air.

However, consider that this is a one-time cost that gives you access to all the updates with no subscription required — unlike Premiere Pro, for example.

The latest update delivers big advances in 8K video performance, taking full advantage of the powerful new M1 Pro and M1 Max Apple Silicon chips. Even if you have an Intel-based Mac, performance is still decent. Part of the complexity of video editing is managing all your assets, but Final Cut Pro makes that more efficient thanks to its powerful organisation tools.

Organise your work into libraries, apply ratings and custom keywords, and make use of dynamically-organised Smart Collections to quickly find any shot — really useful for B-Roll footage.

Another great feature is the degree video editing. Editing videos shot in Cinematic mode on the new iPhone 13 in Final Cut Pro even allows you to change the focus points or modify the intensity of the depth of field, after the footage has been shot! The biggest downside of Final Cut Pro? Not everyone wants complex, pro-level features.

For the consumer market, Adobe brings us Premiere Elements — arguably the best video editing software for beginners. The latest versions of Adobe Elements are heavily based on automated processes and Adobe Sensei AI technology, meaning much of the hardest video editing work is done for you. If you want more freedom and creative flexibility, simply switch from Guided Mode back to Expert Mode for full manual control. You can do this with the other video editing apps in this list, but Elements just makes it simpler and more user-friendly.

Lastly, rendering speeds lag when compared to some other programs. Each of these areas includes a wealth of powerful, pro-level tools. The Fairlight page, for example, offers impressive inbuilt audio editing. Work with up to 2, tracks at a time with real-time effects, EQ, and dynamics processing. You can even get dedicated Resolve keyboards and other accessories. Each video editor has its claim to fame, and where Digiarty VideoProc wins is in its processing speed.

The full GPU acceleration feature is a major selling point. The flipside of all that is that VideoProc is first and foremost a media converter — the video editing tools were developed as secondary. Still, if you want to polish up your video clips, you can certainly do it from right within the program. Features available include cropping, cutting, rotating, merging and adding subtitles to footage.

Post-pandemic life has opened up a new use case for video production, and Movavi is using that as a way to distinguish itself in the competitive video editing software market. One of the biggest advantages of Movavi is the unintimidating interface. You also get a lot for the price you pay, with one-time purchase costs and no subscription required, making it an excellent option for students or those on a tight budget.

It may not be the best video editing software in terms of advanced features — it lacks some of the fine-tuning of higher-level applications, as well as lacking support for multicam editing, degree, VR and 3D — but that may not be a deal-breaker, especially for beginners. Mac users miss out here, but PC users can take advantage of this competitively-priced video editing software to produce high-quality videos at home.

One benefit of Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is that the system requirements to run it are relatively low. This consumer-level video editing software may not satisfy the demands of top-level professionals, but it still packs plenty of punch in terms of features. The latest version of VideoStudio Ultimate includes enhanced video stabilization, making it easier to turn shaky action footage into smooth and usable video content. We also found the latest version to have much better performance and stability than previous versions, which is a big plus for the software.

Finally, as is now pretty standard with video editing software, you can export your projects in range of video formats or share them directly to YouTube or Vimeo. Using the filters, you can automatically give your video footage looks like vintage western, comic book styling, and silent movie nostalgia.

Here is a selection of features you should look for when choosing between the recommended video editing programs. Most video editing software is scary when you sit down and face it for the first time. That said, not all video editing software is created equal when it comes to simplicity of use. Do consider that the simplicity of the interface tends to align with the simplicity of the tools.

Other programs are more limited in what you can input. If so, good for you — you can run pretty much any video editing program without issues. It just means you have to be more careful about which one you choose. All video editors have different system requirements, so just be sure to check that you meet them before you buy. It may be that you can start with a free program until you decide to expand your video editing skills.

A library of stock assets is a handy thing to have for video editing. Many apps offer royalty-free images, audio files and stock footage you can use to build up your personal and even professional projects and take them to the next level. While such resources are available separately StoryBlocks is a good resource , having them integrated into your video editor makes life easier — and gives you access to media you might otherwise have to pay additional fees for.

For more advanced or professional video projects, you might look for some of these additional features:. Looking to load in footage from several devices so you can cut to different angles of the same scene? If so, you need multicam support. Premiere Pro, for example, supports an unlimited amount, while some programs have no multi-camera support at all.

Motion tracking is an advanced feature with several useful applications. For example, use it to stabilize footage, blur out faces or pin text captions to moving objects.

Motion tracking tools used to be the domain of pro-grade special effects software, but these days many programs make them available even to beginners. There are different types of motion tracking tools and they range in complexity, from single-point to multi-point or 3D tracking. Tools like colour correction, colour matching and colour grading add an extra layer of control to your video editing.

Enthusiasts may not require the same level of control, but having these tools can certainly help you change the look and mood of a video in a more nuanced way.

Not everyone needs degree support, but if you happen to be shooting spherical footage e. Not all video editors offer this support, and the ones who do offer it with varying degrees of functionality — so if VR or video is your thing, do check the software support for it before you buy. Depending on what kind of videos you want to produce, you might look for a range of other advanced features.

The simple drag-and-drop workflow and streamlined interface is fun to use and all the standard tools are there. While the tools do lack a high degree of refinement, that can only be expected from a completely free video editing program.

The only downside is limited export options and a subtle but non-removable watermark on your finished output. This Hollywood-level video processing software is available in a completely free version that works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

If you want to get started on the path to becoming a pro, this is a great free choice. This free movie maker warrants a mention for its free VFX toolkit, professional editing tools, and extensive free tutorials.

Canva offers a free video editor lets you create and edit videos on any device and on different platforms. There are several easy-to-master video editing programs, but Adobe Premiere Elements is definitely one of the simplest. It features a wealth of AI-based tools that make video editing easy, plus guided edits that step you through various processes.

The Google Photos app has a free inbuilt video editor. This allows you to do basic edits like trim, stabilize, crop and rotate your videos, and add a selection of filters and granular edits. Got any other questions? Need help deciding? She currently lives in Portugal.