Beginner-Friendly Video Editors

It’s no secret that great video editing software can help you produce professional grade videos for platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Vimeo, or YouTube.

If you’re a content marketer, you’ll know that well-produced product videos are a more engaging form of media than photographs alone and can reduce a customer’s hesitation in making a purchase.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best free video editing programs from around the web, as well as a few with affordable paid versions. Each videographer has their own specific needs, so we’ve run down some of the most useful features, as well as pros and cons of each tool.

15 best free video editing software

  1. HitFilm Express
  2. Lightworks
  3. iMovie
  4. VideoPad
  5. DaVinci Resolve
  6. VSDC Free Video Editor
  7. OpenShot
  8. Shotcut
  9. Windows Video Editor
  10. Vimeo Create
  11. KineMaster
  12. Movie Maker Online
  13. Movavi Video Editor
  14. ActivePresenter
  15. Video Grabber

1. HitFilm Express

Best overall free video editing software program

HitFilm express video editing software
HitFilm Express

If you don’t have a lot of experience with video editing, HitFilm may feel a little advanced at first. It’s used to produce Hollywood-style films, but it’s worth the learning curve, as it’s one of the best all-in-one free video editors available. (HitFilm does ask you to share a social media status update when you download the software, but that’s a small price to pay.)

HitFilm includes animation tools that let you create and edit audio and video transitions without the need for composite shots, which is a huge time saver when editing. It also offers cool 3D effects for films, music videos, and even YouTube videos, plus features you’d find in a paid video editing software, like 4K video, 360-degree editing, and a library of special effects.

Features include:

  • Professional video editing with motion tracking, color pickers, and cropping tools
  • Composite shot enhancements that allow you to animate two separate shots together for surreal video effects
  • An auto-stabilizer to make shaky footage look smooth
  • Unlimited video and audio timeline track creation
  • An adaptive trimmer that lets you re-trim your clips after adding them to the timeline
  • Ability to copy a group of attributes from one clip and apply them directly to another or to a whole project
  • Audio mixer for fine-tuning sound for professional quality output
  • Various transition options, such as push, zoom, and dissolve

G2 ⭐ rating: n/a

Available for: Mac and Windows

Price: Free; $12.99 per month for the Pro version

Watermark: No

2. Lightworks

Best for powerful features, with limited free version

Lightworks video editor

Lightworks includes a simple and intuitive interface, so it’s easy to pick up. It also offers a collection of detailed video tutorials, making it one of the more accessible and easy to learn Linux video editing software options on this list.

Lightworks has a suite of original stock videos and music clips licensed for use in any videos you edit on the program, letting you give a polished look to any marketing video.

Features include:

  • High-quality simple trim functions for fast and precise video editing
  • Speed optimization, letting you continue to edit while importing new content
  • Multicam editing for syncing clips from multiple cameras
  • Real-time team project sharing with full control over which user has editing access
  • Easy sharing of videos, with fast export to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Support for a wide range of video formats

G2 ⭐ rating: 3.5/5

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free; $23.99 per month for Pro version

Watermark: No

3. iMovie

Best free video editing software for Mac users

iMovie video editor

Popular standby iMovie comes bundled with Mac OS. Like many native Apple apps, iMovie is uncomplicated and uses a simple drag-and-drop interface for moving files from your drive to your workstation. It’s an easy way to build powerful videos to boost your YouTube marketing efforts.

A big advantage to iMovie is that files are saved on Apple’s cloud, meaning you can work on your project interchangeably on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. iMovie is constantly being updated as well, so you can always look forward to new features and improvements.

Features include:

  • Support for 4K resolution, allowing users to create cinema-quality films
  • Cloud-storage functionality that allows you to work on the same project from your iPad, iPhone, and Mac
  • Dozens of studio-quality title animations for professional-looking credits
  • Stylish, contemporary video filters built for specific film genres, such as Western and sci-fi
  • Built-in music, sound effects, and voiceover recording so your sound and picture editing are always consolidated
  • Speed controls that let you make high-octane action scenes faster and sports highlights slower

G2 ⭐ rating:4.3/5

Available for: Mac

Price: Free

Watermark: No

4. VideoPad

Best free video editor for beginners

Screenshot of VideoPad a free video editing software

VideoPad is a great option for anyone who wants to create high-quality videos without spending a dime. With VideoPad, you’ll find all kinds of simple and easy-to-use features—such as 3D video editing and a sound effects library—to try different video compositions and styles.

You can edit your videos with special effects, overlays, texts, and transition, as well as use color adjustment and sound effects. Then export your finished video to YouTube, Facebook, Google Drive, and other mobile devices, quickly and easily.

The only drawback is that it may be too simple for advanced video editors. It doesn’t come with as many advanced features as some of the other free video editing software on this list, but with options to add light effects, fine tune colors, and overlay text and images, there’s enough here to make it worth the free download.

Features include:

  • Double built-in screen (one to preview selected clips, one to preview complete sequences) for easy and intuitive editing
  • Pre-made customizable transitions for polished professionalism
  • Exporting presets to easily create video files optimized for specific platforms—such as Facebook and YouTube—and post them directly from within the software
  • Social media sharing and publishing tools to share videos online instantly
  • A large library of video transitions and visual effects to customize videos
  • Video optimization tools, such as stabilization

G2 ⭐ rating:4/5

Available for: Mac, Windows

Price: Free

Watermark: No

5. DaVinci Resolve

Top free video editor for advanced editors

DaVinci Resolve video editor
DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve combines professional 8K editing, color correction, visual effects, and audio post-production in a single production tool, which is why it’s the software of choice for many professional editors of films, television shows, and commercials.

DaVinci allows for both offline and online editing, and its high-performance playback engine saves time when editing and trimming—even for processor-intensive file formats like H.264 and RAW. DaVinci Resolve’s complex features may be too extensive for some users, but it’s free version is perfect for more advanced projects.

Features include:

  • Dual timeline for quick navigation, cutting, and trimming
  • A dedicated trim interface that gives you the ability to edit in minute detail
  • Intelligent auto-editing that syncs audio and video clips for you
  • Built-in tools for picture-in-picture effects, retiming, stabilization, dynamic zoom, text, and audio
  • Facial recognition that detects faces in your clips and automatically creates bins based on the people in each shot
  • High-quality motion estimation speed changes and frame rate conversions to easily and realistically speed up or slow down clips

G2 ⭐ rating:4.7/5

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free; $295 for the full Studio version

Watermark: No

6. VSDC Free Video Editor

Best no watermark editor for Windows

VSDC free video editor

VSDC’s desktop video editing software is available as both a free and a paid version. Although the free version has reduced features, it still comes with VSDC’s full video editing suite—including a mask tool and chroma key functionality for green-screen video effects. VSDC is a popular editing software for GoPro footage.

If you have the funds to spring for the full version, the suite of tools expands to include video stabilization, robust post-production effects, slideshow/presentation capabilities, 3D diagram templates, and direct social media publishing.

Features include: 

  • Color-correction tools for a more professional look
  • A full suite of transitional effects
  • Easy-to-use image filters, similar to what you’d find on Instagram
  • Mask tools for hiding, blurring, or highlighting specific elements
  • Social media link for sharing videos on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Vimeo
  • HEVC/H.265 (an advanced video-compression standard), for maintaining the highest quality at the minimum file size—essential for processing 4K and HD files

G2 ⭐ rating: 4/5

Available for: Windows

Price: Free; $19.99 for Pro version

Watermark: No

7. OpenShot

The easiest free video editing software for intermediate editors

OpenShot free video editor

OpenShot’s easy-to-use user interface makes it a great video editing program for intermediate editors. While more complex tools may offer more editing components, OpenShot’s intuitive interface and minimal design are perfect for simple editing.

OpenShot is an efficient option for small businesses and is best for clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation. It also offers credit scrolling, frame stepping, time mapping, audio editing, and real-time preview.

Features include:

  • Unlimited layers for watermarks, background videos, and audio tracks
  • Customizable title-card templates
  • Drag-and-drop functionality for easily adding video, audio, or image files
  • Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, and chroma key compositing for green-screen effects
  • Powerful key-frame animation capabilities for creating animated videos

G2 ⭐ rating:4.4/5

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free

Watermark: No

8. Shotcut

Best open-source movie maker for audiophiles

shotcut movie maker open source

Shotcut is an open-source, cross-platform video editor with a vast collection of tutorial videos. It also supports a wide range of formats, including FFmpeg, 4K, ProRes, and DNxHD. A warning, however: Shotcut was originally designed for Linux, so some may find the interface a little quirky. Despite this, it’s still a top-notch editor.

Shotcut also provides extensive audio editing options, making it ideal for audiophiles. Its host of fine-tuning audio tools allows users to make bass and treble adjustments, create bandpass filters, adjust gain, add dynamic compression, and much more.

Features include:

  • Support for the latest audio and video formats via FFmpeg, the leading multimedia framework
  • Native timeline editing, which allows users to import video files directly into their project file rather than a media library
  • Multiformat timeline for mixing and matching resolutions and frame rates within a project
  • Advanced audio filters like balance, bass and treble, bandpass filters, compressor, and more
  • Support for AV1 decoding and encoding

G2 ⭐ rating: 4.2/5

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free

Watermark: No

9. Windows Video Editor

Best video editing software for Windows 10

windows video editor
Windows Video Editor

Microsoft’s built-in editor, Windows Video Editorм, is a convenient software for people looking to go back to basics. It’s great for making quick edits to short video clips you need ready right away.

Windows Video Editor is more a photo editor, but offers the basic editing tools like cropping, trimming, and including text or audio. Included with Windows 10 and up, Video Editor is completely free and is good for basic video enhancement.

Features include:

  • Auto-preview tool for edits and effects
  • Auto-movie options for creating customizable cuts of your video clips
  • Animation tab to easily add music, titles, and credits
  • 3D effects section with minimal customization
  • Easy to use for novice users working in Windows

G2 ⭐ rating: n/a

Available for: Windows

Price: Free

Watermark: No

10. Vimeo Create

Best AI video editing software app

Vimeo create editor
Vimeo Create

Vimeo Create, a free editing software you can connect directly to your Shopify store, automatically turns your existing product images and text into polished ecommerce videos. No video experience needed.

All you have to do is answer a few questions about your product, add your footage and logo, and choose style customizations. Vimeo Create then automatically edits your video in minutes (though you can also choose your own styles or start from scratch). The AI software even suggests colors, themes, music, and fonts.

It’s especially useful for creating videos at scale (if you, say, start a channel for your business in an effort to make money on YouTube and want to streamline the creation process). Vimeo is a popular video software solution with more than 200 million users. Because Vimeo is an all-in-one solution, you can also manage, host, and distribute all your videos from one place, streamlining your workflow.

Features include:

  • More than 1,000 templates to choose from
  • Facial recognition, filters, effects, and auto-cropping
  • Professional auto-editing ability
  • Ability to share videos across marketing channels
  • Unlimited high-quality stock images with iStock integration
  • Library of commercially licensed music to choose from

G2 ⭐ rating: 4.2/5

Available for: iOS and Android

Price: Free; Plus subscriptions start at $7 per month

Watermark: No

11. KineMaster

The best free video editing app for mobile


If you’re a video editor on the go, consider KineMaster for your go-to software. This free (subscription model optional) yet powerful video editing app is perfect for mobile devices. With KineMaster, you can easily shoot footage, edit it, and upload it all from your phone or tablet. Mobile editors usually sacrifice advanced tools to simplify video creation, but KineMaster does the opposite.

With KineMaster, you can cut, splice, crop, and combine videos easily, with more than 2,500 downloadable transitions and effects. Use color filters and adjustments to correct and enhance videos so they stand out. And when you’re finished, quickly share them to YouTube, TikTok, Reels, Stories, and more.

Features include:

  • Asset store to download effects, soundtracks, stickers, fonts, and more
  • Backup and sharing abilities to keep video projects safe
  • Eight blending options to create artistic video effects
  • Reverse tool to make focal shifts, in-camera transitions, and other edits easy
  • Edit and export 4K videos at 60 fps

G2 ⭐ rating: n/a

Available for: iOS, Android, Chromebook

Price: Free; $3.99/month for paid plan

Watermark: Yes

12. Movie Maker Online

Best free video editing program online 

Screenshot of movie maker online video editing software
Movie Maker Online


Movie Maker Online is the best browser-based video editor to date. It’s a cost-effective tool for people that want to create videos, but there are some drawbacks. The tool is supported by ads, so you’ll have to navigate around them to edit your videos. It also has a 10-minute maximum duration, which should be sufficient for the standard free user.

The interface also has some quirks. The video and audio timelines are positioned vertically, instead of horizontally like traditional video editors. It’s a bit challenging to get used to at first. However, it’s easily accessible on multiple devices because it’s completely browser based.

Movie Maker Online gives you all the basics you need to make a video for free. You also get access to free music, videos, and photos, which is a nice bonus.

Features include: 

  • Free, browser-based video editor
  • Royalty-free music, photos, and sound effects
  • Ideal for quickly trimming, combining, and adjusting videos
  • Built-in support

G2 ⭐ rating: n/a

Available for: Browser

Price: Free

Watermark: No

13. Movavi Video Editor

Best for social media influencers

movavi video editor

With Movavi Video Editor, you can make polished, professional videos with an array of dynamic features. With its easy-to-use interface and intuitive features, this software is great for beginners, but it also has advanced features that will appeal to more experienced editors.

With the software, you can work with virtually any file format. This is another reason why Movavi Video Editor is a great choice for people who want to create high-quality videos without spending a lot of time learning how to do it.

Features include:

  • Automatically improves the quality of your video with just one click
  • A vast library of visual enhancements to improve the aesthetics of your project
  • Allows you to superimpose your video over any background, great for green screen effects
  • Identifies changes in your footage and assists in accurately splitting your video
  • Helps manage and balance the sound levels in your project, ideal for creating narratives
  • Facilitates intricate editing with multiple layers of video, audio, and effects
  • Allows for rapid saving and sharing of your project in various formats

G2 ⭐ rating: 4/5

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: Free trial; paid plan starts at $79.95 per month

Watermark: Yes

14. ActivePresenter

Best for editing screencasts

15 Best Free Video Editing Software for Beginners in 2023

ActivePresenter is a comprehensive, all-in-one screen recording and video editing software that offers both a free and a paid version. Developed by Atomi Systems, it has carved a niche for itself in video editing, especially for instructional and e-learning videos.

From screen recording to complex video editing, ActivePresenter offers a wide range of editing tools. A powerful suite of features makes it a preferred tool for those who want to create engaging video content.

Features include: 

  • Full screen, window, or locked application recording
  • Create screenshots with a single hot key
  • Picture-in-picture (PIP), text-to-speech (TTS), and audio normalization
  • Interactive quizzes, and export to SCORM and xAPI standards
  • AVI, MP4, MKV, WebM for video, and JPEG, PNG for images
  • Essential for creating interactive e-learning content
  • Easy-to-navigate design, suitable for beginners and professionals alike

G2 ⭐ rating: 4.5/5

Available for: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

Price: Free; paid version starts at $199

Watermark: No

15. Video Grabber

Best for editing short clips in your browser 

video grabber
Video Grabber

Video Grabber is a powerful free online video editor and downloader that caters to a wide range of users, from video hobbyists to professionals. You can navigate the platform’s features with ease because of its simplicity and intuitive design.

Video Grabber is not only a video downloader but also a converter, screen recorder, and basic video editor, making it one of the most versatile video creation and editing tools. With the same platform, you can download videos, convert them into different formats, record screen activities, and even perform some basic editing.

Features include: 

  • Ability to download videos from any online source
  • Supports conversion to and from a wide range of video and audio formats
  • Includes a screen recording function with adjustable settings
  • Offers a user-friendly editing suite for basic video editing tasks like cropping, trimming, and adding effects
  • Ability to add subtitles to videos
  • Eliminates the need for hefty installations and is accessible from any device with internet access
  • Batch processing to download or convert multiple videos at one time

G2 ⭐ rating: n/a

Available for: Browser

Price: Free

Watermark: No

How to choose a video editor

There’s a lot of desktop-based editing software available for businesses looking to create promotional videos. The biggest advantage of free video editing software for desktops is that they tend to have more features than most mobile video editing apps.

Whether you’re editing videos for YouTube or TikTok, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • User experience. Look for software that has express editing modes so you can edit videos in your preferred style quickly. Templates are also a bonus. A good editing software will also have tutorials so you can learn the features and excel.
  • Editing features. Check to see if your software of choice has powerful video editing tools that will impress viewers. For example, if you’re using drone footage, you’ll want an editing software that can enhance and add effects to video. Maybe you need chroma key editing or color grading, or more advanced features like 360-degree editing.
  • Hidden costs. Some video editors are “free,” but only work well if you pay more money to access better features. Completely free editing software may have limited file format support, poor performance, or other limitations. The software you want to consider should meet all your basic editing needs without added fees.
  • Support. Customer support is always helpful when you’re new to video editing. If you have a question about a feature, it’s nice to have somewhere to get answers. Check if your software has support services like email/phone support, FAQs, or community forums where you can get help from real humans.
  • Export options. Where will you publish videos? Be sure your video editing software is capable of outputting high-quality video in popular formats, so you can upload videos to your social channels with ease.
  • Requirements. Some programs are only available for certain computer types. For example, not every software on this list may work with Google Chromebook. Before investing time into a software, make sure it’s compatible with whatever desktop you use.


Now that you know your options in finding the best free video editing software, you can start testing them out. While each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, hopefully you now have a better idea of which option is best for your level of video production.

Videos consistently are proven to receive more engagement on average across all social media platforms than pictures or text posts. A professional, well-made video will help capture the attention of your audience and develop your brand’s personality.

With so many options to choose from, there’s no limit to the creative potential of your video content.

Free video editing software FAQ

What is video editing software?

Video editing software refers to tools that help businesses successfully edit, modify, generate, or manipulate a video or movie file. You can cut and arrange video to give it a better flow, remove sections, and add effects to improve the video. Companies, regardless of size, can benefit from a good video editor to create powerful video content.

What do most YouTubers use to edit videos?

  1. Adobe Premiere Pro
  2. Final Cut Pro X
  3. Adobe After Effects
  4. Lightworks
  5. Freemake
  6. iMovie
  7. Shotcut

Is OpenShot video editor really free?

Yes, OpenShot video editor is free. It’s an open-source software, which means its source code is freely available and can be modified and distributed by anyone.

Which Adobe video editor is free?

Adobe Express is Adobe’s free video editor. With it you can trim your video and add music and messaging to it. You can also merge video clips and resize your videos for dozens of destinations.

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