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Best Free Video Editing Programs You Should Know

Oct 26, 2023• Proven solutions

Check out our most updated guide on this topic: The Best Free Video Editing Software for YouTube - Top 8 Reviews.

Looking for free video editing software? Thanks to high-end smartphone cameras and affordable video recording equipment, it has never been easier to make great looking YouTube videos. However, many talented creators struggle to edit their videos without having to spend a lot of money. Fortunately, there are numerous free video editing software programs that can be used for this purpose, allowing content creators to complete and publish high-quality content even if they operate on a moderate budget.

Here is a list of great software that can be used free of charge:

  1. Avidemux
  2. Blender
  3. Wondershare Filmii
  4. Hitfilm Express
  5. iMovie
  6. Lightworks
  7. Machete Video Editor Lite
  8. Open Shot
  9. Shotcut
  10. Video Pad
  11. VSDC Free Video Editor
  12. WeVideo
  13. Windows Movie Maker

1. Avidemux

Available for: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of Avidemux is its extreme flexibility. This free video editor is available for Windows, iOS, and Linux, and it supports a wide variety of formats and codecs. It is primarily intended for basic cutting, but in the hands of a capable editor, it can perform very well on more demanding projects. Avidemux is also known for its strong scripting capacities, which allow for faster execution of routine tasks and consequently a more streamlined video production process.

  • Compatibility with multiple OS platforms
  • Easy task automation
  • Supports numerous video formats

2. Blender

Available for: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

When you need a reliable tool for 3D animation, Blender is your go-to solution. This open-source suite has a range of advanced functionalities, supporting the entire process of 3D creation, from modeling and rigging to video editing. As a public project that involved a large number of creative professionals during the design stage, Blender is truly a promising alternative to corporate products. This free creative suite is quite versatile and can be used for tasks such as game creation, video editing, post-production effects, and rendering.

  • Primarily intended for 3D animation projects
  • Allows great creative freedom on a wide range of tasks
  • Customizable and user-friendly interface

3. Wondershare Filmii

Available for: Windowsx

As one of the most commonly used free video editing software packages, Wondershare Filmii deserves some consideration. It is famous for its beautiful video templates and attractive interface of software.

  • Various types of templates to get started fast
  • Auto-create functionality speeds up the editing process
  • Customize videos with smart editing tools that allow you to add, remove, and adjust clips and effects with more flexibility

4. HitFilm Express

If you want your videos to have a cinematic look and feel, Hitfilm Express might be the right software for you. It can be used to cut scenes, adjust color levels, or apply filters and special effects. With an interface that resembles classic editing suites, it won’t take too long to learn how to import raw materials, arrange a timeline, or edit the images to best express your creative vision.

  • Great cutting tools and audio/video filters
  • Allows keying for green screen effects
  • Support for 3D videos

5. iMovie

Available for: iOS, Mac OS

Video makers who prefer Apple hardware will be tempted to use iMovie for video editing purposes, and they certainly won’t go wrong. This free software has all it takes to produce a stunning-quality video, including ten cinematic filters. It is even possible to start editing the shots on your phone, then easily transfer them to your MacBook laptop to execute more precise operations and tweak the colors.

  • Works on all Apple devices, including smartphones and iPods
  • Supports 4K high-resolution videos
  • Amazing filters for cinematic quality of your videos
  • Easy sharing to social networks or directly to YouTube

6. Lightworks

Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux

This package is free for home use, and it comes with an impressive collection of tools that are typically found in professional suites. The timeline is very easy to manage, while users can take advantage of real-time effects and color correction tools to improve the look of the video. Admittedly, it might take some time to learn how to use this package, but that’s time well spent if you are an up-and-coming video creator or short film editor.

  • Broad choice of preset video effects
  • Imports raw material directly from a camera
  • Support for work on dual monitors
  • Frame rate adjustment

7. Machete Video Editor Lite

Available for: Windows

As a simplified version of a more comprehensive professional solution, Machete Lite has obvious advantages over other free video editing software products. It supports only two formats (AVI and WMS), so its range of applications is somewhat limited. On the positive side, most video and audio codecs are supported, while the interface is very intuitive. Overall, it’s a good choice for anyone looking to edit simple videos quickly.

  • Support for Ultra HD 4K video
  • Ability to merge separate video files in the same format
  • Access to metadata (file tags)

8. OpenShot

Available for: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

A unique combination of simplicity and power sets Open Shot apart from similar products. Basic cutting and composing are surprisingly simple and quick, and more demanding users will discover a trove of advanced features. The program lets you work with unlimited layers so it is possible to add background video or multiple audio channels, while its video effects engine can achieve truly impressive results.

  • Easy to learn, easier to use
  • Excellent video cutting tools
  • Visualization of audio files

9. Shotcut

Available for: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

Shotcut has a reputation as one of the most reliable editing tools you can download for free, and this reputation is well deserved. Cutting the video's length down is easy as 1-2-3, while users who want to apply filters and effects will have plenty of choices to work with. A wide variety of video formats are supported, so you will be able to handle any task without changing the editor.

  • Well designed UI
  • A wide range of filters and effects
  • Support for video streaming and web camera input

10. VideoPad

Available for: Windows, Mac OS, Android, Kindle

You don’t have to be a professional editor to take full advantage of Video Pad and its advanced features. This free package packs more than 50 amazing video effects and transitions, so it’s super easy to transform your home video into a visual masterpiece. The editor has no issues with any commonly used video format, and it can take direct input from a camcorder or a webcam. Image stabilization and color correction tools complete the package and guarantee great looking videos.

  • Video effects that anyone can use with amazing results
  • Drag-and-drop commands for simple editing
  • Multi-track audio mixing

11. VSDC Free Video Editor

Available for: Windows

Broad compatibility is one of the greatest strengths of this software, as it supports practically any format or codec you can think of. However, it is also notable for non-linear editing capacities, great visual/audio effects, and the simple creation of masks. With the help of some color blending and a few filters, VSDC can be used to produce smooth, attention-grabbing YouTube videos, as well as a range of other video materials with absolute ease,  even if you are new to filmmaking.

  • Non-linear sequencing of shots
  • Precise object positioning and/or masking
  • Simple exporting of finished videos to social networks

12. WeVideo

Available for: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

A very practical free tool that can be accessed from mobile platforms, WeVideo represents a solid choice for beginners as well as experienced video creators. Special effects and green screen effects are straightforward to use with an online solution that doesn’t require any downloads or software installation.

  • Cloud-based solution with hosted storage
  • Intuitive interface that allows easy access to all features
  • Support for high-resolution 4K video files

13. Windows Movie Maker

Available for: Windows

Everyone knows about this editor since it’s been around for a long time. Microsoft stopped releasing new versions, but Windows Movie Maker remains relevant in 2018. It’s definitely not the most advanced product in the market and it is best suited for simple projects and beginner-level users. However, its cutting and editing tools are pretty solid, while transitions, animations, and visual effects are quite simple to pull off.

  • Already included on many Windows-based computers
  • Sourcing footage from a computer or camera
  • Direct sharing to YouTube and other networks

Are you ready for something better?

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

As you can see, there is no shortage of free video editing software suites. However, free software does tend to be either very limited, or very specifically targeted (i.e. Blender is specifically for animators). Wondershare's Filmora Video Editor is a great choice for YouTubers and other video creators who are starting to grow out of programs like Windows Movie maker. You can even try all the features for free, for as long as you like! Exports from the free trial do have a watermark, though.

What free video editing software have you tried?

author avatar
Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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