6 Best Free Video Editing Software Programs for 2021

Edit video on your PC or Mac with one of these free video editors

You can use free video editing software to add subtitles, build a DVD menu, merge video files, extract or add different audio, put in special effects, and cut out parts of the video. Most vloggers need a video editor of some kind.

Because most free video editors limit their features to advertise their professional versions, you may find roadblocks that stop you from making advanced edits. For editors with more advanced features that aren't free, check out mid-level digital video software or top professional video editing programs.

01
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Best Free Video Editor for All Platforms: OpenShot

OpenShot
What We Like
  • Easy-to-use interface.

  • It's open source.

  • Great user forum.

What We Don't Like
  • The application has multiple layers of setup.

  • Occasional lag.

Editing videos with OpenShot is extraordinary when you see everything you can do with it. You can download it free for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

Features include desktop integration for drag-and-drop, image and audio support, curve-based keyframe animations, unlimited tracks and layers, and 3D animated titles and effects. OpenShot is also good for clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation, plus motion picture credit scrolling, frame-stepping, time-mapping, audio mixing, and real-time previews.

The fact that you get all of this for free is reason enough to download it yourself and try it out before you purchase a video editor.

02
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Export Videos to YouTube on Windows and Mac: VideoPad

VideoPad
What We Like
  • Supports a range of video formats.

  • Easy to install and use.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks advanced features.

  • No Linux version.

Another video editing software program for both Windows and Mac is VideoPad from NCH Software. Free for non-commercial use, VideoPad supports drag-and-drop, effects, transitions, 3D video editing, text and caption overlay, video stabilization, easy narration, free built-in sound effects, and color control.

VideoPad can also change the video speed, reverse the video, burn DVDs, import music, and export movies to YouTube and other similar sites and a variety of resolutions including 2K and 4K.

03
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Easiest to Use Video Editor for Windows: Freemake Video Converter

Freemake Video
What We Like
  • Supports many input formats.

  • Burn files directly to a disc.

  • Easy-to-use editing features.

What We Don't Like
  • May require purchase of needed features.

  • Can be slow to make conversions.

  • Limited number of output formats.

Freemake Video Converter is a free video converter with simple and easy-to-use editing features that set it apart from some of the more complex and confusing editors. Being able to do light editing to your videos with the same tool you use to convert the file to a variety of other formats, or even burn the files directly to a disc, is extremely convenient.

Some of the video editing features of this program include adding subtitles, clipping out sections you don't want in the video, removing or adding audio, and merging or joining videos.

04
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Free Windows Video Editor With the Most Features: VSDC Free Video Editor

VSDC Free Video Editor
Wikimedia Commons
What We Like
  • Features you won't find elsewhere.

  • Exports to a variety of file formats.

  • Includes an optional screen recorder.

What We Don't Like
  • Not super user-friendly.

  • Some video lag with the free version.

VSDC is a full-featured free video editing tool that you can install on Windows. A fair warning though: This program might be a little hard to use for beginners because of the number of features and menus. However, if you poke around for a while and play with your videos within the editor, you'll find that it's not quite as daunting as it seemed when you first opened it.

There's even a wizard you can run to make things easier. Use it to add lines, text, and shapes, as well as charts, animations, images, audio, and subtitles. Plus, as any good video editor should, VSDC can export videos to a variety of file formats.

The VSDC Video Editor setup lets you easily install the company's video capture program and screen recorder. These are optional, but they may come in handy in certain projects.

05
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Best Video Editor For Mac: iMovie

iMovie
What We Like
  • Easy-to-use interface.

  • Plenty of tools to improve video and audio quality.

  • Supports 4K.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited features available.

  • Output controls are lacking.

iMovie is free for macOS users. It offers many options for editing video and audio plus adding photos, music, and narration to your videos. It's easy for beginners to start using.

One of the best features of iMovie is its ability to make 4K-resolution movies. You can even start editing on your iPhone or iPad and then finish on your Mac.

06
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Best Basic Video Editor for Windows: Movie Maker

Movie Maker
Wikimedia Commons
What We Like
  • User-friendly with a classic Microsoft feel.

  • Great for beginning video editors.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited functionality.

Movie Maker was Windows' pre-installed free video editing software. While it is no longer pre-installed (as of Windows 8), you can still download this application from Microsoft and use it to create and share high-quality movies.

It's included in this list because it's on lots of Windows computers, which means you might not even need to download anything to start using it.

Online-Only Options

If you tried out these video editing programs but prefer another option, or you're more interested in editing videos online for free than downloading software, there are several online video editors that function the same as these downloadable tools. These services are great for re-editing and remixing web videos, and some even let you produce DVDs of your videos.

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