Whether it's for work, your social media page or your business, video editing is an increasingly important skill for the digital era. With an abundance of video editing apps and other software available totally for free online, there is no longer any need for expensive video editing suites.

In this article, we review 10 best free video editing tools on the Internet:

  1. Lightworks
  2. Blender
  3. Davinci Resolve
  4. iMovie
  5. VideoPad Video Editor
  6. VSDC Video Editor
  7. Hitfilm Express
  8. Windows Movie Maker
  9. Shotcut
  10. OpenShot

Read along to get the ins and outs of most popular online video editors as well as their pros and cons.

How to Choose the Best Free Video Editing Software

The first guide to navigating anything new is experience. Always try before you buy. With many free apps available in your browser or as a download, you can have the luxury of trying out a few before making a choice. Even if you think the free stuff can’t handle your project; give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised!

More than just money, investing in a professional video editor also takes a significant amount of your time and energy. If you’re in it for the long haul, then go for it. But if you're just looking to make a few edits or experiment, there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on programs like Final Cut Pro and Adobe. Even if your planning on going pro, it doesn’t hurt to start free while working your way towards more professional video editors as you build up your client base and revenue.

Video Editing

There are several important factors to evaluate when choosing a free video editor. The user interface is one important feature, however, as a beginner, it can be difficult to know what an efficient video editor user interface looks like as the process will be foreign, to begin with. In this sense, unless you are a professional, there’s no sense placing too much emphasis on interface just yet.

Next, depending on your needs, your free editor should be able to offer basic transitions such as crossfading, fade to black, dissolving, and of course, cutting. Another area to consider here is special effects. While many editors may try to entice you with special effects, chances are most of these will not be relevant. Audio control and audio editing are also important features that can streamline the editing process by saving from using another program.

Perhaps the most important factor to evaluate is stability. Stability depends solely on your computer’s specs and hardware. The most important rule here is to never buy without testing it on your computer first. Hand in hand with stability is compatibility. Always check to make sure your editor is compatible with your file types and supports your desired output type.

Finally, when choosing a video editor, try and get a handle on the popular community and technical support. Editors with the largest user bases tend to have engaged communities that are always willing to help new users learn the ropes. But if you do decide to buy a program or start a subscription, make sure your program comes with technical support, just in case calamity strikes!

For those free programs, user forums and popular blog content are great sources of information. Often, if you do run into a problem, sharing it online will not only lead to a quick resolution but will also help others with the same issue.


1. Lightworks

Lightworks is an excellent solution for users who start to handle video professionally. The video editor is packed with a number of useful features, including high precision video trimming; a wide range of video formats and export to 720p for Youtube are supported.

Lightworks

Lightworks superbly designed timeline helps you to resize a video or combine several short segments of footage; with color correction and GPU-accelerated real-time effects, you could achieve the perfect look. The great news is that complex rendering and encoding processes take place in the background so you can continue working while they complete.

Lightworks is free, however, if you want to access advanced features, a paid version is available.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows, macOS, and Linux
Input formats: latest audio and video formats
Output formats: MP4, MXF, Quicktime, AVI, mts, mpg, m2t

PROS:

  • Open-source
  • Almost Any Format Imported Natively
  • Outputs Directly to YouTube/Vimeo
  • Many Video Tutorials
  • Project Sharing for a Group

⛔️ CONS:

  • 4K Video Support Only in Paid Version
  • Confusing Interface Design for Beginners

2. Blender

Available for most popular operating systems, Blender is an open source video editor and 3D animation suite that is totally free. Offering a complex suite of animation and video editing tools, Blender is one of the darlings of the free video editor community. For many first time editors, Blender’s scope and versatility come as a bit of a shock with many surprised to find that such a robust editor is available entirely for free!

Blender

In this sense, Blender may be too complicated for some. With a steep learning curve, first-time video editors may find themselves overwhelmed by the many options. Keep in mind that Blender was designed for 3D animation. While its video editing support is extremely robust, for those simply interested in basic editing, Blender might be unnecessarily complicated. But for those with time on their hands and the drive to advance their video editing skill set, Blender is a natural choice.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows, macOS, and Linux
Input formats: latest audio and video formats
Output formats: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP, WebM

PROS:

  • Free
  • Versatile Video Editing Features
  • 3D Animation

⛔️ CONS:

  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Complicated User Interface

3. Davinci Resolve

One of the most professional and advanced video editors on this list, Davinci Resolve is optimized for high-end video editing, graphics manipulation, and color correction. User’s looking to get the most out of Davinci Resolve should have a powerful computer with an equally powerful graphics card to boot.

DaVinci_Resolve

What’s more, Davinci Resolve has features for audio mixing, special effects, and motion graphics. More than just a simple video editor, Davinci Resolve is the real thing. While those looking for basic editing or a program optimized for creating quick social media content will probably be put off by Davinci’s many features, as an entirely free program, Davinci is one of the best editors available. Finally, you might be surprised to learn that Davinci Resolve is even used by professional video producers in Hollywood, advertising, and television!

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows, macOS, and Linux
Input formats: ARI, MTS, MXF, AVI, CIN, DNG, DPX, CDX, MP4, MXF, EXR, MOV
Output formats: ARI, MTS, MXF, AVI, CIN, DNG, DPX, CDX, MP4, MXF, EXR, MOV

PROS:

  • Entirely Free
  • Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • Versatile With a Huge Array of Video Editing Tools

⛔️ CONS:

  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Optimized for Powerful Computers With High-end Graphics Capabilities

4. iMovie

iMovie from Apple is one of the most consumer-orientated video editors out there. It’s already installed on all new Macs, and users can use it as a playground for learning the basics of video editing. iMovie features a drag and drop interface, allows you to edit and import 4K video clips from smartphones and GoPro cameras; provides you with the ability to start editing on iPhone or iPad and finish it on your Mac.

iMovie

Aside from video, images and audio can also be incorporated into your project by just dragging your multimedia into the project area and arranging them in timeline-like fashion.

The resulting video can be previewed in real time, as well as any effects — themes, text, music, voice-overs — before exporting the file directly to YouTube, Facebook, or any other platform.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: macOS and iOS
Input formats: DV, HDV, AVCHD, AIC, AAC, Motion JPEG/A, iFrame, h.264, MP4, MOV
Output formats: DV, HDV, AIC, AAC, MP4, MOV

PROS:

  • 4K Resolution Support
  • Good for Basic Video Editing
  • Already on Your Mac
  • Ability to Start Editing on iPhone or iPad and Finish on a Mac
  • Elegant Interface
  • Easy to Navigate

⛔️ CONS:

  • macOS Only

5. VideoPad Video Editor

VideoPad Video Editor is a cross-platform video editor that works great with Windows and MacOS. One of the simplest editors available, VideoPad offers few tools but is easy to learn. Without the steep learning curve of other editors, VideoPad represents a minimal time investment that can still result in stunning films.

VideoPad_Video_Editor

VideoPad’s free version is great for new editors. For those looking for more features, VideoPad’s paid version has many more complicated features to augment any editing toolbox. If anything, VideoPad is great for making social media ready videos. Its simple pull-down menu makes it easy to upload your creations anywhere on the web.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows and macOS
Input formats: WMV, AVI, MPV, DIVX and many more
Output formats: WMV, AVI

PROS:

  • Free
  • Friendly User Interface
  • Easy to Learn
  • Optimized for Social Media

⛔️ CONS:

  • Few Special Features or Effects

6. VSDC Video Editor

If you’re making a presentation and want to add text, lines, charts and other special effects to it, VSDC might be the best choice. It provides a free non-linear video editing tool which allows users to scene in any position on the timeline.

VSDC_Video_Editor

VSDC offers multiple audio and visual effects that can be applied from different categories such as, object transformation, color correction, transition effects, filters, and special fx. It includes Instagram-style filters, special effects including color correction and blurring, and there’s a mask tool as well so you can apply effects to part of the video (for obscuring faces, for example). VSDC is also bundled with an easy 4K and HD editing feature and allows you to export files to social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows
Input formats: AVI, QuickTime (MP4/M4V, 3GP/2G2, MOV, QT), HDVideo/AVCHD (MTS, M2TS, TS, MOD, TOD), WindowsMedia (WMV, ASF, DVR-MS), DVD/VOB, VCD/SVCD, etc
Output formats: AVI, DVD, VCD/SVCD, MPEG, MP4, M4V, MOV, 3GP/3G2, WMV, MKV, RM/RMVB, FLV, SWF, AMV, MTV

PROS:

  • Large Range of Output Formats
  • Friendly for Beginners
  • Plenty of Special Effects

⛔️ CONS:

  • Technical Support is Not Free
  • Windows Only

7. Hitfilm Express

Another great professional-level video editor, Hitfilm Express is on the best general video editors around. Hitfilm Express is great for advanced editors and professionals and its user-friendly interface also lends well to new users of all backgrounds. While Hitfilm Express is free, prospective users must first offer a shout out to the software maker on social media to download.

Hitfilm_Express

With basic tools like splicing, trimming, and audio editing enabled, Hitfilm also offers a huge suite of free special effects. Hitfilm Express is a great tool to start learning the video editing process, and those looking for additional features can access expansion packs for as little as $9.99.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows and macOS
Input formats: AVCHD, AVI, DV, MP4, MPEG, MOV, MMV
Output formats: AVI, MP4

PROS:

  • Free
  • Intuitive Linear Editor
  • Results are Easily Exportable

⛔️ CONS:

  • Some Advanced Features Require Paid Add-ons

8. Windows Movie Maker

If it's not already obvious in the name, Windows Movie Maker is a free video editing software for Windows 10 that also works great with older versions of Windows such as Windows 7. While previously known for its extreme simplicity, Movie Maker has come a long way since its earliest inception as a basic editor. With a slew of basic but indispensable features such as anti-shake and voiceover recording, Movie Maker is more than capable of handling most beginner projects.

Windows_Movie_Maker

For beginners, Movie Maker is perhaps one of the most intuitive applications. Presenting a linear thumbnail editor timeline, users can easily trim and split video while using the three-button play/pause, forward, and back controls.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows 7 and Windows 10
Input formats: ASF, AVI, DVR-MS, M1V, MP2, MP2V, MPE, MPEG, MPG, MPV2, WM, WMV
Output formats: Windows Media Video (WMV) or DV AVI

PROS:

  • Free
  • Simple User Interface

⛔️ CONS:

  • Limited Features
  • Available for Windows Only
  • No support for Modern File Formats
  • Service Discontinued

9. Shotcut

Shotcut is a free open-source, cross-platform video editor. It is great for those, who have outgrown Movie Maker and want to go to the next level but don’t need complex solutions.

Although the interface may appear quite advanced for some users, multiple PRO features are usually not found in a free version. The Shotcut video editor doesn’t require you to import your video into the editor. So, it can be a real time saver if you are dealing with large video files.

Shotcut

Shotcut supports a range of video formats and up to 4K resolutions, and offers a native timeline editing. The video editor includes three-point editing, keyframes for filter parameters and video compositing across tracks.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows, macOS, and Linux
Input formats: latest audio and video formats
Output formats: latest audio and video formats

PROS:

  • Wide Range of Formats are Supported
  • Native Timeline Editing
  • 4K Resolution Support
  • Comprehensive Video and Audio Editing
  • Good for Basic Video Editing
  • Open-source
  • Lots of Filters and Effects

⛔️ CONS:

  • Not Good for Advanced Projects

10. OpenShot

Openshot is entirely open source offers basic video editing features like trimming and slicing. It may remind some Mac users a little iMovie with its easy to use drag and drop interface. However, Openshot packs more features than iMovie, including unlimited layers, audio mixing and video tracks in the timeline. This free editor strikes a nice balance between advanced features and a simple interface.

Open-Shot

Openshot includes tile templates and video effects, so if you want to have more touches on your video, this free video program can also help you. You can import a variety of file formats from audio files, still photos and multiple types of video codecs, including 4K, and have access to an impressive number of transitions and 14 effects.

👆 SPECS:

Works on: Windows, macOS, and Linux
Input formats: QuickTime, AVI, WMV, MPEG, etc
Output formats: MPEG, AVI, MP4, MOV, etc

PROS:

  • Free
  • Open Source
  • Easy-to-use Interface

⛔️ CONS:

  • The Application Has Multiple Layers of Setup
  • Incredibly Slow When Effects are Applied

Create Stunning Video Content for Free

With so many video editing apps out there to choose from, we hope that we’ve helped you narrow down your options. All the video editors we’ve focused on here are reputable and each one has its own advantages. Choosing the right editor to begin learning the ropes of video editing can be intimidating at first, but hopefully, by now you’ve come to the right decision. Take your editing to the next level with any of these amazing free video editors!