The best free video editing software may let you create movies without spending a penny.
The best free video editing software can be a great option for beginners looking to get their feet wet in the world of videography. It’s also an excellent choice if you want to make simple edits to personal video projects but don’t have the budget for a paid-for program, or if you’re not ready to commit yet. Free options do come with limitations – they can’t match the power and features offered by paid-for programs – but if that doesn’t matter much, then it could be worth giving them a try. In this article, we’ll outline some of the best free software available today.
There are many different free video editing applications now available. Many programs are available for free as a promotion or trial of the full paid version (for all pay-for alternatives, see our list of the best video editing software). Others are completely free for everyone, but keep in mind that some of them include a lot of advertising or place a watermark on your work.
We’ve analyzed the benefits and drawbacks of the top alternatives to make it easier for you to decide which one is right for you. Below you’ll find a list of the best paid for video editing software with free trials, as well as our selection of the finest free permanently available video editing software. We’ve scoured the web for tools with advanced features like stylish filters and transitions, layer-based editing, and even audio editing. It’s difficult to come across free software that has all of that in one package, but several programs do. Make sure you explore our top video editing applications, which are all free or at least reasonably cheap.
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Best Video Editing Software With Free Trials
Free trials are one of the greatest ways to sample video editing software. You get sophisticated, completely functional software free for a time period.
You may test Adobe Premiere Pro for free for seven days. With the best features all around, Adobe’s video editing program is the industry-standard software.
Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro is also known as the industry’s best video editing software for Apple users, and it has a great reputation. It includes a free 90-day trial to try it out.
Adobe Premiere Elements
Adobe Premiere Elements is a good choice for beginners since it’s Adobe’s most affordable video-editing software. It’s also less expensive and currently has a 30-day free trial, making it an appealing option for people who are new to video editing.
Best Free Video Editing Software
These are the finest alternatives if you’re seeking for video editing software that is completely free forever, but they can’t compare to the premium choices above in terms of power and features.
The free video editor known as Lightworks is a drag-and-drop user interface. It includes important features such as multicam and multi-track video editing, which lets you to combine videos from numerous sources into a single project. It also lets you share tasks with other users and work together on them in real time as you modify videos.
Lightworks also supports background video importing and exporting, which is a useful tool for multitaskers. The free version of the software, however, is limited in various ways. For example, users with a Pro account can easily export videos in many formats and share their creations on social media platforms.
One of the program’s greatest features is that it is highly configurable, but this also makes it more difficult for beginners since dragging windows across the interface to build infinite layout combinations might be perplexing. Fortunately, there are several video lessons available.
If you’re looking for a free editing software that can handle professional video, think again. KineMaster is a free mobile app that works on Android devices, iPhones and iPads, and far exceeds what you’d anticipate from a free mobile program.
It has a smart, easy-to-use interface with no lags, and it allows you to change multiple layers and add handwritten and textual annotations. You may play with up to four audio tracks, and the frame and sub-frame levels may be fine-tuned.
The catch? You bet! You’ll get watermarks on your videos. To remove them, you must subscribe to the premium version, which costs $4.99/month or $39.99/year.
OpenShot is a decent basic video editor with some nice extras. It has a simple, drag-and-drop user interface that’s simple to learn for anybody. There are no additional costs or hidden traps, though the program is entirely free and open-source, so there are no annoying advertising, watermarks, or paid upgrades to put you off.
The capability to stack an unlimited number of layers in your video, whether it’s soundtracks, overlapping videos, or custom pictures. Additionally, there are a number of title-card designs available in OpenShot.
There are also numerous standard video editing tools such as crop, trim, rotate, and resize, all of which may be used to enhance your movie. You may also modify elements such as brightness, contrast, color grading, and gamma.
There are a few issues, including significant lag problems and the fact that features don’t always function as intended (or when they do, it takes a long time for them to take effect, making the editing process tedious). Openshot, on the other hand, provides everything you could want from a free video editing program.
DaVinci Resolve is a free video editing software that gives you comprehensive 8K editing, color correction, visual effects, and audio post-production in one package. Because of its strong color correction and sound capabilities, it’s frequently used on large-budget film and TV episodes.
There’s also facial recognition and tracking, as well as conventional color features such as curve editors and primary color wheels, so you can change skin tones, eye and lip color. The world’s most popular video editing software, DaVinci Resolve, utilizes Firelight, a collection of high-end mixing and mastering tools that support up to 1,000 channels of audio mixing and mastering.
It’s amazing that this program has a free edition with essentially all of the features accessible. Watermarks are not added to your movies unless you use a non-free effect like noise reduction. So, if you’re looking for the finest free video editing software for Windows or Mac, this may be your best choice.
VideoPad is a free video editor with a simple user interface that is appropriate for novices as well as experienced users. It also lets you fine-tune the audio, which is crucial for movie sequences that make use of audio effects. It’s particularly useful for movies with special sound needs because it offers a degree of control over audio that isn’t often seen in a video editor.
VideoPad can convert any audio format to MP3, WAV, AIFF, OGG or FLAC. It allows you to combine an unlimited number of sound effects together with your music in order to produce unique songs. Overall, it isn’t as robust as Lightworks, but VideoPad distinguishes out from the competition thanks to its audio editing capabilities and sound mixing capabilities – all for a fraction of what a professional video editor costs.
VideoPad also has 3D video editing capabilities, which is rather unique among free video editors. The program also has a wealth of social-sharing features, with a library of socially acceptable effects and transitions, as well as the option to upload videos to sites like Facebook or YouTube without leaving the program.
Windows Video Editor
If you have a Windows PC, Microsoft’s own built-in video editor, Windows Video Editor, is already installed. For Windows 10, what used to be known as Windows Movie Maker was completely rebuilt from the ground up. It’s not a tremendously strong editor, but if you need a quick and easy method to make basic modifications to your videos, it might be all you need.
Video Editor is a simple video editor that doesn’t have a lot of features, but it has enough to get you through basic activities like trimming, cropping, speeding up or slowing down videos. It also includes a 3D Effects area, which allows you to customize your film with pre-designed movements. However, if you’re a very particular individual who enjoys fine-tuning every aspect of their video, then the free program from Microsoft may not be enough. For those that want basic video improvement, Windows Video Editor is still a good program. Its major benefit is how simple it is to use.
VsDC is the greatest free video editing software for adding text, lines, charts, and other special effects to a presentation (and you’re using Windows). It includes Instagram-style filters, a variety of special effects such as color correction and blurring, and a mask tool for applying video effects to specific sections (for example, for obscuring faces). There’s even a video stabilizer that reduces camera shake from GoPro or drone footage, as well as a comprehensive chart tool for embedding graphs in presentations.
The free edition, which is limited to one video clip per file, can export material in a variety of formats, including AVI and MPG, and it works with most video codecs so you shouldn’t have any trouble importing movies. You may even modify the output to make it compatible with specific devices for playback, and there’s a built-in DVD burner. The premium edition adds motion tracking, masking, and hardware acceleration to the free version.
The Swiss Army knife of free video editing software is Hitfilm Express. It may produce feature films or music videos with 3D effects, but it’s also ideal for creating YouTube videos (it has direct uploading built in). It includes all of the features you’d expect to find only in premium paid-for software, including 4K video support, 360-degree editing, and hundreds of special effects.
The major disadvantage is that it consumes a significant amount of system resources, so it won’t function on a low-end laptop, for example. The basic version has everything you’ll need to produce a professional-quality video, but if you want something different, such as 360-degree text or extra color grading tools, there are packs of add-on features available for around $7/£6.
If you’ve outgrown more basic video editing software but don’t want the complexity of a professional program like Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X, Shotcut is the answer. Open source software can convert a wide variety of formats, provide a large number of filters and effects, and even process 4K. It also has AV1 decoding and encoding support.
The timeline is surprisingly sophisticated, and we appreciate the user-friendly interface. If desired, the interface may be customized (dockable and undockable panels), and we adore the clever arrangement. However, there are some drawbacks to using it. It’s difficult to add transitions because they’re not straightforward, and you can only apply one filter to each clip at a time, which might be time-consuming. For a free video editor, it’s impressive nonetheless.
If you’re a Mac user, you’ve already got iMovie pre-installed on your computer. It’s far from being a professional program, but it does have a polished and glossy look about it. iMovie enables editing and rendering in 4K, as well as making it simple to create a polished-looking (and sounding) edit that highlights home video.
Another advantage is the cloud-based working environment, which allows you to collaborate on projects across multiple devices. iMovie is constantly updated, therefore you’ll always get the most up-to-date features. It’s also worth noting that if you have a current Macbook Pro, iMovie has full Touch Bar support.
The software has the usual features to add titles, backgrounds, and sound to your recordings, but it lacks more sophisticated editing tools. The editing features aren’t as extensive as those found in programs like Lightworks, but the few effects and adjustments available are high-quality and appear professional. It’s a little time-consuming to import and render, which may be aggravating, but on the positive side, it works with almost every device from Apple and does not necessitate any special system requirements.
If your video needs to be simple, most of the video editing software on this list will be overkill. If you’re searching for a program with a lot of simplicity, Apple Clips may be the answer.
You may add stickers, titles, captions, audio and effects to videos you import from your Camera Roll or simply shoot with your phone using Apple Clips. That is everything there is to it, but if that’s all you want, you don’t need anything else. If you’ve previously tried it and didn’t enjoy it, bear in mind that a new version was released in October 2020.
That introduced a refreshed interface, you can shoot in 4K, 1080p at up to 60 frames per second for both vertical and horizontal video, as well as HDR recording with the iPhone 12.
Want to make changes to a video without leaving your browser? MovieMaker Online will allow you to do so on any computer, wherever you are. You don’t have to register or provide any personal information, and there are no watermarks. It also allows for accurate timeline-based editing, as well as free music and stock images to use in your film.
It takes some getting used to since the web page’s layout is unusual, with the timeline running vertical rather than horizontal, and there are plenty of advertisements all over. There are certain features that the program lacks when compared to most of the tools on this list. However, if all you want is simple video editing or to find out what video editing is about, this is an excellent alternative that’s completely free.