Video editing is becoming a much more common skill among content creators, marketers, social media influencers and just regular folks. Even if you’re just making a short video to post online, a few simple edits could help make it more interesting.
In this article, I’ll take a close look at 12 of the best free video editing software sites that you can use to make your videos stand out. I’ve checked out the resources listed below to verify that they’re completely free and to see what features are available with each.
12 Places To Find Free Video Editing Software
Professional video editing software isn’t cheap. Fortunately, there are several different resources that provide access to free video editing software that may be all you need.
A lot of free video editing software includes the ability to import, edit and export clips in at least a couple of different formats. If you need to add text, transitions, edit audio, find and use stock media or make simple edits like trimming and stabilizing clips, you shouldn’t have to pay for a full editor.
Here’s a list of free video editing software that you can download or use online:
|Software||Best for||Platforms||Price for Full Version|
|DaVinci Resolve||Experts and professionals||Windows, Linux and macOS||$295|
|HitFilm Express||Visual effects||Windows and macOS||$349|
|Lightworks||Professional quality editing||Windows, Linux and macOS||$22.99/month
|VSDC Free Video Editor||Windows users||Windows||$19.99|
|Shotcut||Wide format support||Windows, Linux and macOS||N/A|
|VideoPad||Beginners||Windows and macOS||$21.84/quarter
|iMovie||Apple users||macOS and iOS||N/A|
|Blender||Open source 3D creation||Windows, Linux and macOS||N/A|
|OpenShot||Simple edits||Windows, Linux and macOS||N/A|
|Movie Maker Online||Making quick edits in your browser||Windows, Linux and macOS (in browser)||N/A|
|Promo||Starting from a template||Windows, Linux and macOS (in browser)||$49/month for Basic
$99/month for Standard
$359/month for Pro
|WeVideo||Creating short videos online||Windows, Linux and macOS (in browser)||$59.88/year for Power
$95.88/year for Unlimited
$239.88/year for Professional
$443.88/year for Business
Below, you’ll find detailed information on each free video editing software including how to download it, how to get started and what features you’ll find with each program.
Best for experts and professionals
DaVinci Resolve is a great free video editing software worth checking out. This professional-grade software includes a variety of advanced features which makes it great for experts and professionals looking for a free download.
DaVinci Resolve allows you to quickly import videos in a wide variety of formats ranging from iPhone clips to high-end digital film camera footage. Once you’ve uploaded video files, you can mark and edit clips, automatically trim and tighten segments and utilize the transitions and effects library included with the download.
In addition to editing videos, you can also add 2D and 3D titles, animate clips, create soundtracks and quickly export your finished video directly to YouTube and other platforms. You can check out a full list of features available with DaVinci Resolve online.
|DaVinci Resolve was created for professionals, which makes it great for advanced editors.||Beginners may be overwhelmed with the interface and advanced features.|
|The free video editing software includes a wide variety of editing tools.||Aimed more toward professional projects, this software isn’t ideal if you’re just looking to make simple edits.|
Best for visual effects
HitFilm Express is another great free video editing software that includes professional-grade visual effects tools. According to the company’s website, the software is perfect for beginners, film students, gamers and YouTubers.
While the Pro version of the software currently costs $349, you’ll likely find all the tools you’ll need with the free version. The free video editing software allows you to edit with combined timelines in a customizable workstation for the best overall user experience.
HitFilm Express also includes a number of advanced animation tools, and you can import films with multiple streams of audio, which is a huge plus for gamers. You can check out a full list of specs and features online, and note which features require add-ons.
|Free professional-grade software||Not available for Linux users|
|A variety of advanced editing features||Specific system requirements for download|
|Tutorials included in the download||May be a bit advanced for beginning editors|
Best for professional-quality editing
Lightworks is perfect for creating professional-quality projects without having to pay for the full version. You can download the free version of Lightworks for Windows, Linux or Mac. The free version includes all the features you’ll need to edit video including precision trimming, multicam editing and a customizable interface.
Lightworks describes the interface as simple and intuitive, but if you’re new to video editing it can be a little intimidating. Still, the download comes with a huge set of tutorial videos to help you get started. Lightworks also includes its own library of effects and royalty-free media to use in your projects.
The only major restriction with the free version of Lightworks is the video output format options. Still, the free license does allow users to export YouTube/Vimeo videos up to 720p. You can check out the full license comparison on Lightworks’ website.
|The free version includes a wide variety of video editing tools.||The editor can be intimidating to new users.|
|You can import videos of any format and export to YouTube or Vimeo up to 720p for free.||Export formats are limited with the free version.|
|Tutorial videos can help you get started.|
VSDC Free Video Editor
Best for Windows users
If you’re looking for something a little less complex, VSDC Free Video Editor may be the software for you. To find out, you can check out a full list of helpful walkthroughs on how to use VSDC Free Video Editor online.
VSDC’s free video editing software supports a wide variety of popular video formats and includes access to the full video editing suite. With it, you can apply visual and audio effects, blend color and apply filters, mask or blur parts of a video and easily export finalized projects directly to social networks in 4K and HD.
You can check out a full list of features available with the VSDC Free Video Editor online. Additionally, you can see the additional features available with the Pro version online. While the Pro version is more affordable than most at $20, you should still try the free version first to see if it meets your needs.
|The free version provides access to the full video editing suite.||VSDC Free Video Editor is available only for Windows.|
|The interface is easy to learn and use making it great for beginners using Windows.||Not all features are available with the free version (such as video stabilization and advanced editing settings).|
|If you do want to pay for a full version, VSDC Video Editor Pro is only $20.|
Best for wide format support
Shotcut is a completely free open-source video editing software. Anyone using Windows, Linux or macOS is able to download it to edit video and/or audio files. Shotcut supports hundreds of audio and video formats including FFmpeg and 4K.
In addition to supporting multiple file formats, Shotcut also offers a wide variety of audio features including volume control, filters, audio mixing, fading, pitch compensation for video speed changes and more. When it comes to video effects, Shotcut allows users to correct shadows, midtones and highlights, pick a neutral color for white balancing, insert video transitions, filters and more.
For a full list of features available for free with Shotcut, visit the company’s website. If you decide to give Shotcut a chance, visit this website to download the free video editing software. Finally, if you have any trouble getting started, be sure to check out the tutorials online.
|Available for Windows, Linux and macOS||Originally designed for Linux, the interface may not be as intuitive as others on this list|
|Supports a wide variety of audio and video files including 4K||Relatively small choice of advanced editing tools|
Best for beginners
VideoPad is a great free video editor that’s available for free for non-commercial use. You can also pay $22 every three months for access to the Master’s Edition features or purchase a full license beginning at $50.
Still, if you’re just editing a simple project or only beginning as an editor, VideoPad is a great free video editing software to download. You can download the free version online for Windows or Mac OS and then upload a video to get started.
The free video editing software includes over 50 visual effects, a wide range of transitions, basic audio editing tools, video optimization and more. You can check out a full list of VideoPad’s top features on NCH Software’s website.
|The free version includes a variety of tools that allow you to crop, rotate, zoom and add special effects and transitions.||It doesn’t have many advanced editing features.|
|You can easily add and edit audio including music and voice-overs.||It’s not available for Linux.|
|You can export video directly to YouTube and other social media.|
Best for Apple users
iMovie is a great option for macOS and iOS users. The app is completely free to download and has a 4.0 rating in the app store. iMovie comes with a variety of templates preloaded that you can choose from. At the time of writing, there are 29 trailer templates that you can customize with logos, names and additional media.
In addition to trailers, you can edit movies from scratch at up to 4K resolution using video from your iPhone, GoPro or other Ultra HD camera. In the app, you can add titles, transitions and 3D visual effects. You can also create a soundtrack from the built-in library of music and sound effects or import songs from iTunes or GarageBand. You can also record voiceovers directly in iMovie.
Once your video is done, you can export it optimized for YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms. You can also share any video frame as an image directly from your Mac or iPhone. If you do enjoy editing on your iPhone, Apple Clips is another great free video editing app worth checking out.
|Can edit from iPhone or iPad||Available only for Apple devices|
|All features are free including basic editing tools||Limited advanced editing features|
|Templates included for professional-grade trailers|
Best for open source 3D creation
Blender is unlike many of the free video editing software listed here because it’s focused on open-source 3D creation. It can be used for rendering, modeling, sculpting, animation, 2D concept design, visual effects, simulation and more.
In addition to all of these features, the built-in video sequence editor allows you to make basic edits including cutting, splicing, masking and color grading. To check out a full list of features available for free with Blender, visit the company’s website.
Blender is completely open-source, which means it’s free to use for any purpose. You can learn more about the software’s license online. If you’re ready to download Blender and try it out for yourself, visit the download page here.
|The software is open-source, which means it’s completely free to use for any purpose.||The interface isn’t as easy to use as some competitors’.|
|In addition to video editing tools, Blender allows you to create and edit 3D elements.||If you’re just looking to make basic video edits, the features on this software may be more than you need.|
|The online manual makes it easy to get started and learn the software.|
Best for simple edits
Similar to VSDC and VideoPad, OpenShot provides access to free video editing software that’s simple to understand and easy to use. According to the website, it’s quick to learn and surprisingly powerful.
A few highlighted features of the free video editing software include the fact that it’s available on multiple platforms (Windows, Linux and Mac OS) in 70 different languages. The user interface is simple, which allows beginner and intermediate content creators to easily edit videos.
There is no pro version of the OpenShot software, which means every feature is available for free. You can use the software to trim and slice footage, add animation and keyframes, layer as many elements as you need, add video effects, text, animations and more. For a full list of features, visit OpenShot’s website.
|All features are available for free.||There isn’t a huge selection of advanced editing tools.|
|The interface is user-friendly and easy to learn how to use.||The software may lag occasionally.|
|The software includes all the basic features that you’d need to make simple edits.|
Movie Maker Online
Best for making quick edits in your browser
If you don’t want to download video editing software, you can use a resource like Movie Maker Online. This free video editing website allows you to upload videos online, edit them and then save and export the finished project.
If you just have simple and quick edits to make, Movie Maker Online may be the best free video editor for you. You can upload a clip to the website or choose from royalty-free stock media to get started. Then, you can trim, merge, rotate, blur and add additional effects. You can also add music, create a slideshow, adjust the speed and include transitions.
To get started, visit Movie Maker Online. You can choose what you need to do and upload a video to begin editing instantly. You can also scroll down for helpful tutorials and instructions including a step-by-step guide on how to add files from various devices, how to edit clips and how to publish your project.
|You don’t have to download any software to edit your videos.||The advertisements on the website can be annoying.|
|There is no paid pro version, which means you’ll get access to all of the features for free.||The timeline is vertical instead of horizontal and the whole interface looks different than most editors.|
|The editor includes all the basic tools you’ll need to make simple edits.||There aren’t many advanced editing features available.|
Best for starting from a template
Promo is another free video editing software that’s worth trying if you’re making promotional clips. The editor specializes in making promotional videos, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, Instagram ads and LinkedIn ads.
Promo is completely online, which means you won’t have to download any software to your computer to get started, and you can access it from anywhere. When you first sign up for the free plan, you’ll see a variety of templates to choose from as well as the option to start from scratch.
Promo has a huge collection of stock photos and videos that you can use in your project. You’ll get personalized recommendations for what to use based on a short questionnaire you take when signing up. Unfortunately, the free version is limited to share links only, which means you can’t download and distribute your videos but you can share them on social.
|You can start from a template or start from scratch.||The free version is limited to share links only.|
|You don’t have to download any software to edit videos.||A lot of premium features are reserved for paying subscribers.|
|It’s easy to add text, royalty-free media and music.|
Best for creating short videos online
If you’re looking to make a short video and you don’t mind a watermark, WeVideo is a great free video editor to check out. While the paid versions of WeVideo start at $60 annually, the free version may have all the features you need.
The free plan allows you to publish up to five minutes monthly. You can create projects with drag and drop templates, record your screen, use your webcam and create a voiceover. The free version also allows you to create GIFs, videos and podcasts. Unfortunately, they will include a watermark.
The editor itself includes a really easy-to-use interface and access to simple video editing features. But if you’re looking to make more complex edits, this free video editor may be too basic. Many of the more advanced features are only available with a paid subscription.
|You can access WeVideo from any computer by visiting the website.||A watermark appears on published work.|
|You don’t have to download any software and creating an account is fast and free.||You can publish only five minutes monthly with the free plan.|
|There’s a free library of templates, transitions and backgrounds.||The free version includes only very basic editing features.|
Ultimately, I recommend trying out one of these free video editors before paying for professional software. If you’re just looking to make simple edits, you’ll likely find all you need with free video editing software.
If you are looking for professional-grade editing tools, check out the free version of Lightworks, DaVinci Resolve or HitFilm Express. Alternatively, beginners may have better luck with an editor like VideoPad.
Windows users can download VSDC Free Video Editor for simple projects while Apple users should check out iMovie before anything else. OpenShot is a great resource for simple edits on any platform while resources like Movie Maker Online, WeVideo and Promo completely operate in your browser.
If you’re using a wide variety of formats, Shotcut will likely support them all. And finally, if you’re working on a 3D project, Blender is definitely worth downloading.
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