9+ Best Free Video Editing Software of 2023
78% of marketers say that videos are effective and that videos helped in increasing their conversion rage.
One of the challenges of a video creator is this: which free video editing software is the best? Unfortunately, most of the best ones are paid, such as Camtasia, which would set you back more than $200.
In my many years in the media industry, I experimented with and used many free video editing software programs. Today, I will share the best video editing tools you can use with Windows and Mac – all of these are free!
In the end, I hope I can help you solve your problem, which is choosing the best free video editing program. Then, you can download the program and get started with your video channel!
The Best Video Editing Software for Beginners in 2023
Here is a list of the best video editing software for beginners:
- DaVinci Resolve
- Wondershare Filmora
- HitFilm Express
- VSDC Video Editor
1. DaVinci Resolve – Best for professionals.
Pricing: Free with a better version called DaVinci Resolve Studio, which costs $295.
DaVinci Resolve is a premiere yet free video editing software. It is so good that professionals use it as an alternative to more expensive video editing tools.
I can say without a doubt that DaVinci Resolve is the best free video editing software. Nothing else comes close to it.
- Color Options – most video editor programs do not offer extensive options to manipulate the color of your video. DaVinci Resolve allows you to dramatically change your video lighting and mood.
- Fusion – this feature allows you to create visual effects. It has 2D and 3D tools that also make it possible for you to repair videos. It is so powerful that it was used in movies like Hunger Games and Avengers.
- Fairlight – this one makes it possible for you to add post-production touch-ups. It can do recording, editing, equalization, sound dynamics, and so much more.
- Collaboration – you can work with other people simultaneously on the same project. The projects are on the cloud, so artists of different backgrounds can work on them at the same time.
- Keyboard – there is a specific keyboard you can buy made for this best video editing software. The keyboard makes it easier for you to cut and edit videos faster. It has a knob that replaces the mouse, which makes it easier for you to dial into a specific part of a video. There are two models for this keyboard, and you can purchase them from the site.
Cons of DaVinci Resolve
- It requires a steep learning curve, but beginners will eventually get the hang of it
- Too complicated for a beginner
- It requires a hefty amount of computing power
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
Download the free version from the website.
2. Wondershare Filmora – best for beginners
Pricing: Filmora is free with limitations, but they have three paid plans.
Filmora is the best video editor for those who have a YouTube channel. It is a free Windows video editor but also has a Mac version.
Filmora is what I recommend if you are new to video editing. It is not entirely free, but there is a free version for this movie maker online. Of course, the free version is for amateur producers, not for professionals.
- Filmstock – there are many effects and animations that you can choose from. These things include lower thirds and intro videos. All you must do now is change the texts and images to make them personal.
- Audio – you can choose tracks from Filmora’s library. The options are classical, pop, rock, country, and many more. All of these are free to download, but then you do not own the copyright. There are also publication rules that you must abide by.
- Speech to Text – the video editor comes with a speech-to-text software program. The system will “read” or “listen” to the audio and then automatically create subtitles for you. As such, you will save a lot of time and money. It can be the other way around, where the system will convert text into speech.
- Graphic Arts – apart from film stock, the library has thousands of vectors and graphics or animations that you can use in your video. You no longer need to get the graphic design software program to develop your own drawings.
Cons of Filmora
- The limitations will force you to upgrade
- No screen and cam recording tool
- There is a big push for you to buy more features
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
You can download the best free video editing software from their homepage.
3. Lightworks – Best for quality checks.
Pricing: 100% free
The best free video editing software for people who want a Hollywood-style video editor is Lightworks. However, it only comes in second after Da Vinci Resolve.
I love Lightworks because you can edit videos and export them without a watermark. There is also a quality check function. What it does is that it ensures that your video meets international standards.
Being a free video editing app, Lightworks offers many features you would normally pay for. For example, there are filters, stabilization, and customizable transitions that you can use.
- Multiple Format – you can use this free video editing software at any frame rate. The system will recognize it, and you can play the video at native resolution.
- Timeline Savers – the free video editing software helps you increase performance using proxy files for HD, 4K, and even 8K. What it means is that you are not really editing them in this resolution, so your PC will not have a hard time. However, the final output is high-resolution.
- Creative Control – there are hundreds of pre-built graphics in the system. Just choose what applies to your project.
- Hardware Support – the free video editor supports other hardware systems like Blackmagic, Matrox, and AJA.
- Total FX – this movie maker online has a VFX plugin you can use to add more than 1500 effects in your post-production. Some of the best free video editing software programs do not have this feature.
Cons of Lightworks
- The free version has no audio plugin from 3rd party programs
- Resolution is up to 720p only unless you upgrade
- Only one active cloud connection is allowed for the free version
Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and Mac
Download Lightworks for free from their website.
4. OpenShot – Best for simple videos.
Pricing: There is no other version but the 100% free version.
OpenShot is a powerful yet simple free video editor with advanced features. With this tool, you can trim and slice video clips, create as many layers and tracks in the video, and so much more.
What I like the most is that the audio on the software dashboard has waveforms. Because of this, I find it easier to tune up or tone down the audio from my videos.
- Cross-Platform – use the program on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
- Video Effects – there are ways by which you can add effects, such as removing the background or inverting the colors of the video. You can also adjust the brightness from this video editor.
- 3D Animations – you can render animated effects on your videos. There are presets you can use, such as lens flares and snow.
- Time Effects – the video editor allows you to add some time effects such as fast pacing or slow-motion capture. You can even reverse the video if you want, giving a reverse-time effect to your creation like what they did in the movie “Tenet.”
- Languages – The program supports more than 70 languages. You can also translate the languages in LaunchPad if you want.
- Simple Interface – the dashboard is not hard to understand. The design makes it so that the platform is user-friendly. There is no steep learning curve in learning how to use the software program.
Cons of OpenShot
- Minimize functions are too difficult to use
- No instant jump to a part of the timeline
- Difficult to render previews on Windows 7
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Download the software from the website or click here.
5. iMovie – Best for iOS YouTubers.
Pricing: It comes free for all macOS users.
iMovie is the best free video editing software for Mac users who want to launch a YouTube channel. It comes free if you buy a Mac product.
Like many native apps in the Apple universe, it is simple to use. The dashboard has a drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to move files around.
One thing I love is that it saves data on the Apple Cloud. As such, you can use the free video editing software from multiple devices. You can leave a project from your Mac and then continue on your iPad later.
- 4K – the app supports 4K resolution, which means you no longer need another advanced video editor to convert your video output into 4K.
- Cloud Storage – you can save your files or projects in the cloud. It helps you save disk space and makes the project accessible on any device.
- Title Animations – there are advanced tools that you can use to create title animations. There are also stock animations ready fr deployment.
- Filters – you can use filters to make your video appealing. For example, you can use the Western filter to make it look like an old movie from an old reel.
- Music Effects – there is a built-in library of music in the video editor. There is even a voiceover recording platform to consolidate your audio and video.
Cons of iMovie
- Requires a lot of hard drive space
- It is not easy to import MP4 files
- It can be costly if you want to add features
Compatibility: Mac only.
You can download it for free here if you have iOS or MacOS.
6. Blender – Best for animators.
Pricing: 100% free. This is not a paid video editing software program.
Blender is more than just a video editing tool. It is also an animation program. It has so many video editing features that you can use the program to make animated videos—both in 2D and 3D modes.
- Rendering – this best free video editing software has one of the best rendering processes among many software programs. Rendering is the process of making your animation co e to life.
- Animation and Rigging – the animation tool is so powerful that you can create characters in your video. These characters are not simple—you can make them the same way they do with Pixar or Disney.
- Modeling – modeling is a process where you create an animation map. For example, you can draw a 3D head and then use that as a model for the character. No need to re-draw it again and again.
- VFX – there is an impressive library of tools you can use in Blender, such as nodes, camera FX, and color grading. All of these features make the editing process faster.
Cons of Blender
- The user interface can be intimidating
- There is no troubleshooting guide on the app
- Does not use industry standards
- It can be buggy at times
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux
You can download the free and open-source video editor from their website.
7. Shotcut – best for audio-dependent output.
Pricing: Free and open-source software.
Shotcut is the best free video editing software that I can recommend to audiophiles. With it, you no longer need another program by which you can sanitize your audio files.
As a cross-platform program, it is codec-independent. It means that it can accept many types of both video and audio files. If I may add, this program also supports many languages such as Turkish, Thai, German, Greek, etc.
- Wide Format Support – from audio capture to JSON, this free video editor can support many file types for video and audio.
- Audio Features – the video editor allows you to edit audio files in the system. For example, you can use audio filters to create balance, low pass, normalize, or even change the pitch and tone of the audio.
- Video Effects – you can use many preset video effects, such as shadows, mid-lights, and many others; you can also auto-rotate the video if you want.
- Editing Features – this desktop video editing software allows you to cut, trim, paste and copy files and parts of the videos easily. There are also scrubbing and keyframe parameters, timeliness, ranges, and much more.
Cons of Shotcut
- The user interface can be confusing
- May crash occasionally
- May not have the feature you are specifically looking for
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Go to the download page to get the free software compatible with your computer.
8. VideoPad – best for audio-dependent output.
Pricing: This program is 100% free with no paid upgrades.
VideoPad is a product of NCH Software. Apart from the common editing features, you can use it to create 3D and even 360-degree videos.
The software has many features, such as preset transition, video stream processing, and video editing. There are intros, outros, and plug-in support—and everything is free.
There are over 50 transition effects in the program, and it supports many file formats. You can transfer files from your camera, GoPro, phone, or webcam.
- Transitions and Effects – there are many preset transitions in the video; you can create text and overlays and add a chroma key green screen effect. You can also use professional intros and outros for your YouTube videos.
- Digital Audio Tools – you can import music tracks and mix them as professionals do. In addition, you can use features such as choral, echo, and distortion.
- Video Optimization – this part is one of the advanced features where you can fine-tune your visual effects. For example, you can reduce the camera shake, reverse your video clip, add looped GIFs, etc.
- Burn – some programs do not include disc-burning features in their video editing software. You can burn your videos directly on a disc with this program.
Cons of VideoPad
- The interface looks dated
- The interface may seem difficult to use at first
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
Download this best free video editing software from their homepage.
9. WeVideo – Best for online editing.
Pricing: Free with paid plans if you want added features.
WeVideo is one of the free video editing programs if you are making videos for social media like Facebook and Instagram. It is easy to use, and you can make videos like a pro.
The thing is that the video editor is something that you must use sparingly unless you are willing g to pay. The free version has severe limitations.
For example, the limit for video publishing is only five minutes per month. As such, I suggest this to people who use the best landing page builders who are making intro videos for their clients.
- Built-in Content – there are more than 1 million pieces of stock content that you can choose from, and you can use them over and over again. These media files are images, music tracks, and even animations. They are royalty-free and commercially licensed.
- Create Anywhere – since the tool is online, you do not need to download any software to access the advanced features. It is like Canva, an image editor, but for video.
- Formatting – you can create videos in square, vertical, and horizontal formats. This feature is great for making videos on FB and Instagram.
Cons of WeVideo
The features and videos you can edit on the free plan are severely limited.
Compatibility: Not applicable as it is browse-based.
You can download the free video editor here.
10. HitFilm Express – Best for gaming videos and streaming.
Pricing: Free, but there is a paid plan.
HitFilm Express is a free tool, but the free version has limitations. If you want more features, you will have to subscribe on a monthly basis.
This tool is ideal for creators because it gives you access to 3D rendering. You can create 3D objects and add them to your videos.
- Songs and Sound Effects – depending on your plan, you can use songs from the library without any worries of copyright infringement. There are also many options for sound effects.
- Drag-and-Drop – all the presets have a drag-and-drop option. You must pull the preset transition from the panel to your video asset.
- Asset Library – you can find professional stock images, sounds, and templates. You do not need to do all of them manually.
- Visual Effects Toolkit – here, you can adjust your color grading, motion tracking, and even keying aspects. All the tools are built-in, so you do not have to transfer from one video editor to another.
- 3D Camera Tracker – the system uses Foundry’s camera tracker. With it, you can add VFX to your videos and integrate your edits with your videos. This feature is the same technology that artists use in Disney and Pixar.
Cons of HitFilmExpress
- The user interface is not appealing
- The features are limited
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
Download the free software from their site.
11. VSDC Video Editor – Best for general use
Pricing: 100% free.
VSDC is an all-in-one video editing software. It has file converters, making it easier for you to use any type of video.
The program stands out if you want one that has multiple functions. It is fast. The programming uses algorithms that optimize your computer performance. You can even use the software on single-core PC units.
- Video Editor – Edits videos in popular formats; it comes with a background removal tool and can also recognize chroma keys. There are effects here like zoom, 360-degree videos, and also color correction.
- Screen Recorder – you can record your screen and add it to your videos later. This feature makes it ideal for people who are launching tutorials on YouTube.
- Video Converter – some of the best video editing software programs are choosy when it comes to file format. With VSDC, you can download a separate software that allows you to format your videos.
- Audio Converter – you can also use the audio converter of VSDC so you can convert your audio files into MP3 or MP4.
Cons of VSDC
The video editor looks old and dated.
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
You can download the free editor here.
How to Choose a Great Video Editing Program
Here are my tips on how to choose the free video editing software.
1. Ease of Use
The first metric is the ease of use. Ideally, you should have a screen showing your video’s state. The files or media must be on one side – on the left panel, and then your controls are below the video. I recommend looking for video editors where you can simply drag video clips.
2. File Conversion
Some video editors will only accept MP4, but not other formats such as AVI or MOV. This limitation can cause a problem because you would have to download programs like Handbrake and then convert your files before you can edit videos.
Choose video editors that accept many types of video and image files. In addition, choose one that allows you to export your final product into different types of video formats.
Some video editors are slow. What it means is that they need to buffer before they can render that animation or edit that you made. In short, the editing software lags or hangs, and you cannot continue work.
This slowness is a hassle. It can happen on some free video editing program tools, so watch out. Test the software, and then see how it goes.
4. Audio Editing
One thing that makes your video creation exciting is the ability to edit audio. It is not that important to have something as complicated as Audacity but get video editing tools that at least allow you to reduce audio noise and decibel levels.
5. Basic Animation
Apart from basic editing tools, look for a video editing app that offers a few advanced features that allow you to do some animation.
The animation I am referring to is simple, like transitions, fades, movement of objects from one part of the screen to another, etc. The best video editing software must have this. If not, look for another brand or product.
FAQ – Best Video Editing Software and Apps
1. Which video editing software is best for beginners?
Wondershare Filmora is the best free video editing software for beginners. It is easy to use, and the free version introduces you to a wide array of features that train you how to edit videos properly. It also has features you can use to enhance videos, such as color tuning, split-screen, and 4K editing.
2. Is free video editing software good enough?
Yes, a free video editing software program is enough to edit videos, especially if your videos are simple. For example, you do not really need a high-end video editor if you do not make animation. Free video editing apps will suffice if your videos are a talking head.
3. Which programs do most YouTubers use?
This information, of course, is not known. There are dozens upon dozens of free video editing software that YouTubers use. Most use free video editors that come with their devices, while some use advanced video editors. The most popular video editing programs for YouTubers are Wondershare Filmora, DaVinci Resolve, and Camtasia.
4. What are the best free video editing tools?
The best free video editing software, without a doubt, is DaVinci Resolve. It is so good that even movie makers use it. The thing is that it requires a mid-range level of skill. So if you are a beginner, you may want to use something like Wondershare Fimora for now.
5. What is the best free online video maker?
Again, the best free video editing software is DaVinci Resolve. It has everything you need, and it even has audio editing features. As such, you can edit the pitch of your voice.
Wrap up – The Best Free Video Editing Software for Beginners
The best I recommend is DaVinci Resolve. It is a Hollywood-grade video editing software that you can use without spending anything. However, it is not the best option for people who want to animate.
If animation is at the heart of your video editing, then Blender is what I recommend for you. Blender was made for 2D and 3D animation. It does a better job than DaVinci Resolve as far as serious animation is concerned.
To finish off, here is our list of the best video editing software for beginners:
1. DaVinci Resolve – Complete set of tools for Hollywood-level video editing.
2. Wondershare Filmora – Lots of filmstock; as speech-to-text and text-to-speech systems.
3. Lightworks – Edit videos in multiple formats; has hardware support for video editing components.
4. OpenShot – It has 3D animations and time effects; has a simple interface.
5. iMovie – Comes free with Mac; has cloud storage and supports 4K editing.
6. Blender – Great for animation; it has rendering and sculpting features.
7. Shotcut – Supports a wide array of formats; there are audio features for audio filters and editing.
8. VideoPad – Comes with transition effects and digital audio tools.
9. WeVideo – Has built-in content; the software is online.
10. HitFilm Express – Huge asset library; it uses a 3D camera tracker plus drag-and-drop functionality.
11. VSDC Video Editor – Several tools you can use such as an audio & video converter, plus the screen recorder.
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