Do you want to learn how to edit videos but aren’t sure where to start? You're in luck.
As difficult as learning a new skill often is, the financial cost of video editing software is typically even more of an impediment. If you are not sure where to spend your money — or if you even want to spend money — consider free video editing software to get started.
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Video content is an important part of any B2C or B2B marketing strategy. Fortunately for marketers around the world, video editing tools make it easy for users to digitally edit video and audio files to create promotional materials, educational guides, and feature length films, to name a few. Free video editing software for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android can provide the tools users need, on any device.
Without video editing tools, we wouldn’t have my favorite short-length video format: the music video. Topping the list of the 25 most-viewed music videos of all time, is “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee. Uploaded on Jan. 12, 2017, “Despacito” received 5.14 million views within its first 24 hours, and has been viewed 6.1 billion times as of April 3, 2019.
Directed by Carlos Perez and produced by Joanna Egozcue and Roxy Quiñones, the music video was filmed in La Perla neighborhood and a popular bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The video editor deftly cuts between Fonsi and Yankee performing the song, and Zuleyka Rivera wandering through La Perla and dancing at a club. The video editor transforms the long shots of film into, arguably, the music compelling music video of all time.
Using video editing software for a YouTube channel? Learn the basic of updating your YouTube banner size.
These products alone have nearly 1,000 validated user reviews on G2 as of October 1, 2019 and only represent a small portion of the 110-plus video editing software offerings listed on our platform.
For each product we provide:
The list we’ve outlined here includes any video editing software with an available free offering. Some products provide limited free options while others are completely free without restrictions.
Methodology: This list features video editing software tools with an available free offering and at least five verified reviews on G2.com. The products listed here are ranked by user satisfaction as of October 24, 2019. Note that the list does not include products that are only free on a temporary basis, such as those with a limited trial versions for new users. We've highlighted when there is a paid option so if you test a free video editor application, like it and want to upgrade, you will understand the cost to do so. This list only represents a portion of the 114 tools in G2's Video Editing Software category.
Without further ado, let’s talk free video editing software for beginners and get you on your way to video editing mastery.
For products with G2 verified user reviews, we have included:
Product reviews and G2 star ratings were updated as of October 1, 2019
The following programs are the best free video editors for desktops. These apps are more powerful, loaded with more features, and are designed to be used to create professional-level videos. These video editors are perfect for beginners looking for a video editing software for YouTube or other personal or professional videos - in fact many of these programs are the video editing software that YouTubers use to make their videos.
Let's dive in.
Product Name: InVideo
G2 Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Overview: A versatile editor with a focus on video marketing that includes thousands of images, stickers and text boxes to help create engaging video content.
What users like: “InVideo has very neat templates and they are adding more and more templates every week. It's a great online video editor and has the potential to become a marketing leader. It saves me tons of time while making videos for social media and LinkedIn.” — InVideo review by Amrin G.
Product Name: iMovie
G2 Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Overview: iMovie provides Apple-based video editing software: you can start editing on an iPhone or iPad and then finish on your Mac.
What users like: “This video editor is easy to use! it is seriously one of the highest quality, yet simple to use products out there. It has enough features to let you do some real work, yet also is easy enough that your grandma can put a slideshow together of her trip to Branson!” — iMovie review by Ben P.
What users dislike: “Learning iMovie can be challenging. The layout is not "beginning user-friendly." I don't like the fact that the color correction for video clips isn't the easiest to use. In addition, I feel like they need to have more options when it comes overlapping pictures and a wider range of background choices.” — iMovie review by Elizabeth H.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “You cannot expect iMovie to be a pro video editing software because it is not. I would recommend it for students or small businesses that do not need a lot of effort in their videos. You can make a good video but not a professional one because its lack of features." — iMovie review by Mariana I.
Product Name: Filmora
G2 Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Overview: Filmora is a Mac-, Windows-, iOS- and Android-based video editing software.
What users like: “This is a no nonsense product with lots of built in features that a novice or experienced user can use. If I need to quickly put together a video with titles and some effects, I can do so without too much of a learning curve. It enables you to drag and drop media content and save it to many different formats. The best part of this software is the ease of use. I need to get my content out quickly; I am always on a strict deadline. I need solutions that are quick and effective and FIlmora fits that need.” — Filmora review by Alfredo K.
What users dislike: “I signed up for the free version to test it out, only to find out after spending three hours on my first video that it would have the company watermark prominently displayed throughout my video unless I purchased a license.” — Filmora review by Mary E.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “I feel like this is most useful for people who want to learn video editing and cannot afford the software as of yet. I'm certain that with knowledge of how all the features work, it would be an adequate program but at some point you will need to upgrade.” — Filmora review by Brittany B.
Overview: OpenShot is a cross-platform, open source video editing platform for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
What users like: “The best thing about Openshot is the ease to edit videos for free and in any known operating system, I have used it in Linux and it works very well, just like the Windows version, so there are no differences in terms of performance and potential edition is concerned.” — OpenShot review by Joanne P.
What users dislike: “It's an open source software so we users have to be patient if we get any issues or find our own solutions for them. Scrolling through the timeline lags sometimes and it would be good if the theme options for the software would be more. It also gets buggy sometimes, they need to get the small updates to overcome that so it won't crash.” — OpenShot review by Omkar P.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “Have everything you want before using it. The only difficulty I had was rearranging things so I had to start over a few times. But I'm not the best at fixing things like that so maybe you won't have this issue." — OpenShot review by an anonymous user
Product Name: VSDC Free Video Editor
G2 Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Overview: VSDC is a Windows-based professional video editing software.
What users like: “For a free program, there is a ridiculous amount of stuff you can do with this! I first was drawn to it for the Chroma Key function that was not available in the other programs I was using. This allowed me to begin my jump into green screen work! The program is not simple, making it clear that there is more involved in it than meets the eye. I really enjoy the effects list, and the timeline editing for both video and audio! The masking tool allows for a ton of function that is often only found in expensive programs!” — VSDC Free Video Editor review by Ben P.
What users dislike: “Can´t find anything that I dislike in particular, motion tracking is missing, but they commented that it's on their roadmap.” — VSDC Free Video Editor review by Alfred G.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “Check tutorials available on the website and their YT channel before starting to edit your first video. The interface might look slightly confusing in comparison with Movie Maker or some other video editor you might have been using before.” — VSDC Free Video Editor review by consultant in marketing and advertising.
G2 Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Overview: HitFilm Express is a Mac- and Windows-based free editing and VFX software. It is the free version of HitFilm Pro.
What users like: “This is a great tool for photo and video editing. It's free of cost and easy to setup and use. Files can be exported easily. I recently created one short video song using this tool. It has all the features needed. I loved the filters and editing options. As I am new to video editing, this software is highly recommended for beginners according to my experience.” — HitFilm Express review by Prachi P.
What users dislike: “Loading time is really slow. Initial load takes forever. exporting video is slow, ready to use cinematic looks do not exist.” — HitFilm Express review by Arpan P.
Recommendations for others considering the product: "Great software for a beginner to enter into video making field. It is really free and if you have a powerful PC, this software runs as smooth as butter." — HitFilm Express review by Arpan P.
Product Name: WeVideo
G2 Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Overview: WeVideo is a cloud-based platform that helps users create professional videos from a phone, computer or tablet.
What users like: “WeVideo is easy to use for video editing with drag and drop editing and plenty of features. It even has the ability to do chroma-key for green screen type editing. You can produce your video in 480p, 720p or 1080p quality. You can work on the video from anywhere since this is cloud-based editing software. It is easy to upload pictures and videos to the software and there are multiple video and audio tracks for editing. The software provides a project link for easy editing and sharing.” — WeVideo review by Cameron M.
What users dislike: “The captions can be frustrating to work with, only because when you adjust the sizing it doesn't always apply to all the characters in a given caption. If you keep a close eye on it, though, it's easy to adjust.” — WeVideo review by Janelle V.
Recommendations for others considering this product: “You can try it out for free before committing to a plan.” — WeVideo review by Cameron M.
Product Name: DaVinci Resolve
G2 Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Overview: DaVinci Resolve provides professional tools for video and audio editing in SD, HD and Ultra HD.
What users like: “Resolve is so intuitive, so powerful and so incredibly funneled. You know exactly what you need to do and how to achieve it. If you're a new user, the sheer amount of options might seem a bit overwhelming, but every single second spent learning is an investment. Especially since Blackmagic offers something that makes this editing software unrivaled: a full-featured free version. Render times are amazing and coupled with the unparalleled color science from Blackmagic, Resolve is a powerhouse.” — DaVinci Resolve review by João D.
What users dislike: “I don't use it for every project and the learning curve is just steep enough that I often have to relearn how to use certain features. There are so many features that it can be overwhelming.” — DaVinci Resolve review by Brandon P.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “Download the free version and try a test project – you'll love it straight away, even if it takes a while to learn. You can customize the interface to look like your previous editor for easier transition. Even the paid studio version is much cheaper than the competition.” — DaVinci Resolve review by Marius S.
Product Name: Adobe Premiere Clip
G2 Star Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
Overview: Adobe Premiere Clip is a flexible editing app for videos shot on Android or iOS devices.
What users like: “The best thing about Adobe Premiere Clip is it that we can use it on our mobile devices. All of us can't handle a computer or laptop device everywhere but with Adobe Premiere Clip we can do video editing at our best anywhere we love which is really a great contribution towards the making of unique and good quality videos because of easy handling and easy-to-understand interface.” — Adobe Premiere Clip review by an anonymous user.
What users dislike: “I sometimes shoot in 4K and this app does NOT like it. You have to input files smaller than 5 gigs, which is hard because I'm not really thinking about how many gigs something is when I'm shooting. I often shoot live videos and just want to clip something fast as a preview/teaser, and it's not possible unless you start/stop the video in advance to make your files smaller. To me that is risky with live events.” — Adobe Premiere Clip review by Zach I.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “This app is not intended to produce a final PRO video; it's aimed to a fast production for a later polish/tune-up in a more pro software like Premiere Pro or Premiere CC.” — Adobe Premiere Clip review by Jorge J.
Product Name: Shotcut
G2 Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Overview: Shotcut is a Windows-, Mac- and Linux-based free and open source, cross-platform video editor.
What users like: “I have been trying to find an open source video editor for a while. After many disappointments, I have been blown away by Shotcut. It took the odd format my screen capture software used. It allowed for audio filters. Splitting video was easy. I love this software.” — Shotcut review by Megan B.
What users dislike: “I admit, I did not know where to add my video segments at first. The playlist is a bit confusing and when the app first opens, You don't immediately get a timeline. But I figured it out in less than 10 min so I'm not bothered by it.” —Shotcut review by Megan B.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “Great for part-time editors.” — Shotcut review by Michael E.
Overview: Blender is a free and open source creation suite that runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac systems. Blender provides 3D-based solutions including modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, game creation and video editing for any purpose including commercial and education.
What users like: “The thing I like best about Blender is that once you get the hang of all of the key shortcuts and know what things do in it, it's so easy to handle. Every day that I work in it, I end up learning something new that I can do in the program and improve on my models.” — Blender review by Arianna S.
What users dislike: “The fact that Blender is free and worked on by volunteer programmers means that you can't often find a clear documentation on the upcoming features or release schedule. When refining your workflow you don't want to grow dependent on Blender developers improving and solving things for you, but instead you have all the means to extend and find a way forward yourself.” — Blender review by Janne J.
Recommended for others considering this product: “My recommendation is to research Blender first, watch videos of people using it and read guides and tutorials. After that, start with something small to see if Blender is the tool for you. Take some time to get used to the interface, hotkeys and tools.” — Blender review by Raphael H.
Overview: VideoPad is a video editing tool for Mac and Windows, with a mobile version available for iOS and Android.
What users like: “VideoPad provides most of the basic video editing features you would expect, and makes it easy to edit and export videos in a variety of formats.” — VideoPad review by an anonymous user
What users dislike: “First and biggest dislike thing is that its processing speed is very slow, like when we export our video quality it consumes lots of time. otherwise it is good product.” — VideoPad review by an anonymous user in accounting
Product Name: Media Composer
G2 Star Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars
Overview: Media Composer provides video editing software for high-res media.
What users like: “Avid has one of the most straightforward editing workflows in the industry. If you are using Sony MXF based cameras and exporting to MXF it can be one of the simplest options and the program puts the focus on making solid editing decisions. There's no fluff to Avid. Or not much, at least. It tries to do one thing and do it well.” — Media Composer review by Brendan C.
What users dislike: “I don't like the text tool that is embedded within the program. It's easier to create texts that you need outside of AVID and then import and add them in separately.” — Media Composer review by Adam Q.
Recommendations for others considering this product: “Watch tutorials for the best way to 3 point edit, and how to use their effects. The effects are not intuitive and require training whether you are learning from someone else are watching tutorials on Youtube.” — Media Composer review by user in marketing and advertising
Product Name: Lightworks
G2 Star Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars
Overview: Lightworks, a professional video editing software that can produce video in SD and HD with up to 4K resolution. (Thelma Schoonmaker used it on “The Wolf of Wall Street.”)
Paid option: Lightworks Pro license costs:
What users like: “Lightworks is a very powerful editing processor comparable to paid editing software, such as Adobe Premiere. Creating new projects is incredible intuitive. Once I select my folder of clips and click import, the software starts to analyze all of my clips instantly and all the videos assemble in an orderly fashion.” — Lightworks review by Jason R.
What users dislike: “I don't really get a sense of where my data is being stored — it's not intuitive. If you have an assistant editor who knows it well, it's a non-issue. If you're on your own, though, it may take you some time to get up to speed.” — Lightworks review by a user in the entertainment industry.
Recommendations for others considering the product: “I'd recommend starting with the trial and comparing it to other programs like Premiere, Final Cut, Vegas, Media Composer and Edius. The program is very unique but it can also be very powerful. The integration with things like Boris FX is very useful.” — Lightworks review by KC M.
The following are paid video editing tools with a free trial offering, so users can take them for a test drive before committing to the full product. However being paid tools, these video editing apps can be more powerful than their completely free counterparts above.15 - Adobe Premiere Pro
Trying to do some video production on the go? Below are a few free mobile iOS and Android applications that can help turn your videos into works of art:
Splice is a free, fully featured video editing app for iPhone and iPad, with tools like trimming, speed control, and custom audio narration.
The Quik app for iOS and Android allows users to create and edit shareable videos from photos and videos taken with GoPro cameras, with auto-sync audio capabilities among other features.
FilmoraGo is a free mobile edition of the Filmora software, available on iOS and Android devices, where users can create videos without watermarks or time limits and share them directly to social media.
Apple Clips is the #1 downloaded video app on iTunes, this free program allows iOS users to capture, edit, and share short videos with artistic filters and animated effects.
Is Insta your preferred medium? These free apps can help you create stylish, 'Grammable video clips for your biggest fans:
Hyperlapse from Instagram allows iOS users to shoot and stabilize beautiful time lapse videos, without the need for tripods or additional equipment.
Boomerang, available on iOS and Android, creates fun video clips that loop back and forth that can be instantly shared on Instagram or Facebook.
|Tips from the pros: Here at G2, we love crowdsourcing insights from the pros themselves. See which free/freemium tools Clockwork9 recommends for streamlining the post-production workflow.|
Video editing software can come with a difficult learning curve, but to make quality video you'll need to master the art. Here are a few of the most common terms to be aware of when editing your first video.
Aspect ratio is the size of the video image. Depending on the channel or medium your video will be viewed will help determine the aspect ratio of your footage. The most popular ratios are 4:3, 16:9, and 21:9.
Audio leveling is the post-production video editing process to mix your audio. For films and longer projects, a range of audio levels is suggested, while experts recommend keeping the audio for online videos as close to 0db as possible.
Color correction is the process of balancing the colors of footage to look as close to what human eyes perceive as possible. This is normally the first step done in the video editing process, as many video clips are over-saturated.
After color correction comes color grading. This process is not required, but gives filmmakers the ability to set the mood and tone of the video. This is the aesthetic portion of editing, think of horror movies having darker tones. A great example of color grading is in the 2019 film Midsommar, where the entire film has a bright and technicolor vibe.
Compositing is the process of layering multiple elements on top of one another to give the illusion that those elements were filmed in the same scene. This can be multiple videos, images, graphics, text, etc. Today, green screens help editors with composite editing, and many refer to this practice as chroma keying.
Keyframes are markers in video editors that control motion, color, and opacity. They work as anchors that mark off places in a video where things change. Keyframes are popular in the animation community, but have use cases in all video editing.
This is the process of taking shaky video footage and stabilizing it in post-production. This is especially crucial for video editors who shot their video on a mobile device or without stabilization equipment.
Video editors have mastered these skills - just look at the most viewed YouTube videos to see the level of professionalism these high-end videos have. While you don't need these skills to make a quality video, it shows how far you can tone your editing abilities.
Those researching free video editors online can sift through hundreds of verified user reviews on G2 to find the best option. Video editing tools often integrate with video effects software, as well as animation software and 3D design software. Check out the video editing software category where you can compare products, discover available features and read user reviews.
* Please note: Reviews may have been edited for spelling and grammar.
Courtney is a former G2 senior research analyst for HR technologies, whose coverage areas include recruiting, employee engagement, and talent management. Her comprehensive research on employee engagement and HR trends has been quoted in TechRepublic, among other publications.
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