Best free video editing software for windows 11 in 2023That Tech Jeff2023-02-20T16:56:44+00:00
Best free video editing software for windows 11 in 2023
The top free video editing software provides all the capabilities used by pros without requiring a subscription or monthly fee.
Although Adobe Premiere Pro may be the best video editing program overall, if you’re on a tight budget and hoping to advance your content creation, it might not be the ideal option. To run it, you’ll need a good computer for video editing. It can only be obtained through a Creative Cloud subscription. Even some users find the interface to be a touch too complicated.
Thus, it creates a strong precedent for Hollywood. But there are other games in Hollywood than Premiere Pro. You’ve undoubtedly seen some of the top free video editors, including DaVinci Resolve and Lightworks, in big-screen productions. So, whether you’re producing movies, social media clips, or videos for your YouTube channel, you can get excellent post-production polish for nothing.
The best overall video editor is Adobe Premiere Pro.
Industry-standard and incredibly user-friendly video editing software is Adobe Premiere Pro. Additionally, when you have a Creative Cloud subscription, it interacts effortlessly with Adobe programs like After Effects. In our 5-star review, we discovered that it’s a reliable video editing powerhouse with an extensive number of features made to enable you to easily create projects of a professional caliber.
CyberLink PowerDirector: best value video editor
PowerDirector is a premium video editor that keeps costs low, with lifetime and subscription pricing models. It’s a feature-packed tool that caters to beginners, intermediates and pros alike. Testing the software, we found you can create anything from a simple cut to a really complex project filled with effects, titles, slick transitions and effects.
Apple Final Cut Pro is the top Mac video editor.
Although Apple Final Cut Pro is primarily intended for professionals, it is a simple video editing program with a very user-friendly “trackless” timeline. It is only paid for once up front, making the long term cost relatively reasonable. Optimistically reviewing the product, we described it as an extraordinarily powerful piece of video editing software.
(Image credit: Future) Best free video editing software overall
Operating system: Windows, Mac, Linux
REASONS TO BUY
Feature-rich and free
Integration with VFX tool Fusion
Used in professional film & TV production
REASONS TO AVOID
Can be complex for newcomers
Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve is challenging to beat as the greatest free video editing program overall. Not only is it packed with a ton of features, including advanced video editing tools, a potent node-based special effects system, comprehensive color correction tools, and pro-level audio tools, but it’s also totally free. You did read that correctly. There are no restrictions. You won’t owe anything to Blackmagic if you download it for Mac, Linux, or Windows.
In our review, it received 4.5 stars, we praised the greatest video editor for professionals and individuals who are serious about editing as “Incredibly strong, frequently updated, and best of all, free. It discredits a lot of competing software. The main drawback is that an interface with so much power is complicated. However, if you’re serious about video editing, you shouldn’t be intimidated by this.”
Resolve Studio, which is more capable, is also available for purchase; it costs $295 for a perpetual license, after which all upgrades are free. One of the best Adobe After Effects alternatives for designers is the software’s own VFX program, Fusion.
What then prevents everyone from using it? Well, it’s a pretty complicated piece of software that might intimidate people who are just entering this field. But you should most definitely give this program a try if you’re passionate about video editing. Most definitely, you won’t regret it.
One of the best free video editing programs is Lightworks, and it has a bit of a history. You may see how proud they are of the many expert feature films that have been cut with it by visiting their website.
But only the Pro edition can do this. You have the same interface with the Free option, but there are fewer tools available. Our review made note of it, stating that “Lightworks is an excellent free video editor with various capabilities to suit most casual video editors, although if you want more advanced features, you’ll need to pay for the privilege.”
Though the most of the pro features are truly intended for professional users, don’t let that discourage you; even if you’re a beginner, enthusiast, or amateur, you’ll enjoy using it to get the hang of things.
The new contextual help windows successfully walk you through your initial steps, and everything is rather intuitive.
The only significant drawback of the free edition is that you cannot export your finished work in resolutions higher than 720p. We could accept 4K being a professional feature, but 1080p? Really?
Best free video editor for amateurs and experts alike
Operating system: Windows, macOS
REASONS TO BUY
Extendable (for a fee)
Excellent online tutorials
REASONS TO AVOID
High system requirements
Steep learning curve
The best free video editing programs Powerful, expert, and multi-platform describe HitFilm. There are many subscription levels that provide you access to more advanced tools and a sizable media library.
However, you may get used to ignoring the numerous red “upgrade” buttons scattered throughout the user interface and just focus on making your films.
You’ll appreciate all the tutorials available from within one of the top free video editor applications if you’re new to using video editing software. Existing users will still be able to access most of their familiar tools, although through a redesigned user interface (and a new name – gone is HitFilm Express, simply replaced with HitFilm).
The lack of new features, or at least a lack of new features that don’t try to persuade you to upgrade to one of the subscription tiers, is the only drawback we can detect with the most recent version (2022.1).
The strong features that are currently in place, however, can still be used to make straightforward or spectacular videos for free. That is an incredible price right there. Just keep in mind that HitFilm requires a computer that has a moderate amount of power and one of the more modern operating systems, whether it be Windows or Mac.
Shotcut is one of the top open-source, multiplatform, free video editing programs.
You often get what you pay for when it comes to the best free video editing software, and many of these programs might leave a lot to be desired. However, Shotcut defies that pattern. Yes, there are a few minor bugs and poor design choices, but that’s true of all software, paid or unpaid.
Shotcut might not dazzle you with a stunning UI, but everything you need to edit a straightforward video is available to you, according to our review of the program after testing it.
Shotcut is a very capable and reliable video editing program as it stands right now (it only crashed on us when trying the newest VoiceOver feature). Additionally, it has a ton of features, such as time remapping, markers, and extensive keyframing.
The user interface is fairly adaptable, letting you move portions about and even turn them into floating windows. In other words, it will do its best to support your preferred working style. Give this one a try if you’re looking for a top free video editor.
Although ACDSee has a long and illustrious history with a variety of creative programs, you might not be aware of their free video editor. But you should be. One of the easiest to use video editing software solutions available is Luxea Video Editor. Professional videographers and editors probably won’t be satisfied with it because they might quickly outgrow the software. However, it’s ideal for beginners and advanced users who need to quickly produce stunning, expert movies and social media material.
That low entry barrier, though, is misleading. Luxea is jam-packed with sophisticated features on the inside, including stock design elements, VFX tools, and color grading. And even if you’ve never used it before, these are super easy to apply to your film, just like the main tool. Although Luxea may not provide Hollywood-caliber tools—no Best Picture contenders are going to be produced here—their inclusion and functionality are highly commendable for a free video editor.
On low-end PCs and laptops, we discovered that ACDSee’s solution was excellent for video editing. The utility worked flawlessly on a basic home laptop when tested, and the system requirements are quite modest.
All of the features of the premium, paid upgrades (offered as a monthly/annual subscription, or a lifetime license), are still available in the free version. The main drawback is that all exported videos from Luxea have an intro and an outro.
Since Clipchamp is a free online video editor, you may use your browser to use it instead of a powerful computer for video editing. There is also a Windows desktop app accessible.
The Microsoft-owned application is a remarkably simple tool. It borrows heavily from Canva’s UI design, which is not a negative thing. It is primarily designed for people who are new to editing and those who must quickly produce new content. If you’ve never tried video editing before, editing is a good place to start because it’s so straightforward. Multi-track support is available though for more complicated applications.
The real power of Clipchamp is in its templates. This makes creating films for just about every social media site quite straightforward; whether you work in marketing or are a content developer, it’s worth taking a look. especially considering that videos don’t have watermarks and may be exported in high HD. Videos that are under 15 seconds long can even be turned into GIFs.
The image, video, and music resources in the stock libraries are abundant, but you’ll need a monthly or yearly subscription to access the best content. The program isn’t strong enough to compete with full-fat video editors. Additionally, gaining precise control over projects might be challenging. But Clipchamp has a lot going for it for anyone looking to fast and effectively increase their video output.
For those with little to no experience in video editing, Apple iMovie for Mac used to be a fantastic free video editor app. However, the feature set that made this possible has been essentially unchanged for years, and this has turned into its largest drawback: it has been much too long since iMovie had a significant update.
Of course, you can still use it to edit your videos using its slick, user-friendly interface. Additionally, because it works with Final Cut Pro and iMovie for iOS, you can start editing on your phone and move smoothly to your Mac. Although it’s a strong selling point, is it sufficient?
If you’re interested in the craft, you could do much worse than to use the free video editing software available to all Mac users. However, you can also improve.
You can make and share as many videos as you want with the free Premiere Rush starting plan, but you are only able to use the included features. Behind a paid Creative Cloud subscription are premium features that cannot be accessed.
Using Premiere Rush is a slick, easy experience, as you would anticipate from Adobe, whose industry-standard Premiere Pro has evolved to define the benchmark for contemporary video editors. In our practical evaluation, we highlighted the video software “has a beautiful, tidy layout and basic editing tools. An engaging clipper that is ideal for creating quick films for social media.”
The name itself gives away Adobe Premiere Rush’s key selling point. The video editing program is made to function on several devices: begin on an iPhone, continue on a PC, finish on an Android device, and finish on a Mac.
You can effortlessly switch between devices because everything is stored online (as long as they are all connected to the same Creative Cloud account, of course). This provides excellent flexibility and a productive workflow.
A wide variety of features, including color correction, titles, overlays, transitions, and even time remapping, are available if you upgrade to the full experience. You won’t be far off if you envision it as Adobe’s response to Apple’s iMovie.
More features for free users are something we’d like to see. We can’t, however, grumble. It’s straightforward to use, has a clear pricing structure, and is easy to navigate. The only flaw we saw with the tool was the odd occasion when a clip wouldn’t deselect for some reason, stopping us from choosing another to edit. Even though it was annoying, restarting the app fixed it, and we only came across it twice when testing the program.
Best free video editor for slideshows and social media clips
Operating system: Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
REASONS TO BUY
Incredibly simple to master
Decent library of stock designs and elements
Perfect for influencers, social media managers, and content marketers
REASONS TO AVOID
Not a full-fat video editor
Limited effects and output formats
Clunky workflow on larger projects
Canva Video is a free video editing tool that cuts clips together quickly and is perfect for marketing teams, startups, and online influencers. You shouldn’t anticipate Hollywood-caliber editing tools, features, and effects here because it isn’t a fully featured free video editor like DaVinci Resolve or Lightworks. For now, you can only export movies to MP4 and GIF.
Canva Video excels in assisting new users (or those who are in a rush) in producing polished, easily shareable short movies and social media assets. The user interface closely resembles that of the company’s well-known online graphic design tool, which works by dragging, dropping, and resizing pre-built, customisable objects into the canvas. The design and functionality of editing software will be recognizable to you if you’ve even just glanced at it in the past twenty years (in some ways, it reminded us of a modern version of Windows Movie Maker).
The free video editor tool won’t satisfy seasoned editors or those who require Premiere Pro’s or Final Cut’s industry-standard features. Even with a Pro or Enterprise membership, it is far too basic to provide those results. But it’s one of the greatest quick and dirty tools for making graphic content and animations for your social networks.
Some assets paywalled behind CC Express subscription
Not suitable or powerful enough for large projects
The Adobe Express free online video editor is cut from the same (or, at least, near-identical) cloth as Canva Video. Although it operates reasonably similarly to its competitor, it isn’t quite as smooth.
Don’t let the Adobe name fool you; this is not a replacement for Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements, or even Premiere Rush, a mobile video editor. Similar to Canva’s free video editor program, it works best for assembling brief, straightforward clips for social media or making slideshow presentations.
The free video editing product, which is only accessible online and cannot be accessed in the solely design-focused Adobe Express mobile apps, receives high marks on this front.
We discovered that the free video editor is excellent for amateurs and pros who are short on time and require quick access to visual content. The cloud-based program’s very user-friendly interface and Adobe’s enhanced user experience make it incredibly simple to edit your film, add titles, music, and even voiceover narration.
Though we occasionally found the procedure cumbersome in an effort to streamline and simplify, uploading and editing movies actually makes a joke of the label “Express.”
To help your movies stand out on screen, the free version also includes a wonderful collection of stock photos, music samples, and graphics. You can access a larger collection of Adobe Stock assets if you decide to purchase an Adobe Creative Cloud Express subscription (which power users could eventually find necessary).
How to pick your personal favorite free video editing program
There are a number of important variables to take into account when deciding which free video editing software is ideal for you.
What kind of video are you planning to create, and for whom? Fast home video editing for TV viewing and editing for Netflix or theatrical release are two completely different things.
You must take into account the formats that the software must export in, the quality levels that it must produce, such as HD, 4K, or 8K, and whether it can supply the VFX software that you want to utilize, if necessary. If you plan to collaborate, your app must work with the other people’s apps as well. Make sure the tool can be run on your laptop or computer for video editing as part of this.
You should also take your skill level into account. Are you knowledgeable, or would a more straightforward tool that guides you through the entire process step by step be more useful? Do you want total control over every pixel, or would you prefer to delegate most of the work to the computer? How resilient to change does your app need to be?
Realize that while not all high-end editors are prohibitively expensive, the most, if not all, free video editing software have limitations. Consider whether a free solution is ideal for you or if paying a little extra for a little additional capability is worthwhile.
Also keep in mind that you will want it to do more the more you can do. Can the software you’ve picked expand with your creativity?
If you don’t require a fully functional video editor, EZGif is worth considering (opens in new tab). This straightforward online application may be exactly what you need when you need to crop a video to a particular aspect ratio. You can choose from a list of presets, define the proportions, and move the crop area yourself, but it’s not ideal for very large files.
What free video editing programs are used by YouTubers?
YouTubers typically choose straightforward, practical, and inexpensive software. Lightworks, which is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, is one of the top free programs. It has a number of pretty amazing real-time effects as well as integrated YouTube exporting. When compared to something like Microsoft Photos, it appears totally intimidating, but it’s easy to learn and a great editing tool.
There are many other excellent choices as well. After you get beyond the learning curve, HitFilm is particularly powerful and suitable for both beginning and professional editors. DaVinci Resolve, a free tool, excels in colour correction.
Can you edit videos with free software?
It is possible. Over the years, audiences at film festivals have been captivated by movies created with Apple’s iMovie, and some people have created perfectly good movies using only it and an iPhone.
There are many good free video apps available, but there are some aspects to take into account. Performance, particularly encoding and exporting, isn’t usually on par with the industry leaders, and features are frequently either completely absent or available exclusively as in-app purchases. A few add a large watermark to everything you publish, while very few provide any type of technical help. Since these programs aren’t intended for video professionals, pro-level features are rarely provided.
It’s important to distinguish between free open-source software and free commercial software in this situation. The former is frequently a condensed version of a full product that is given away for free in hopes that you’ll purchase its bigger sibling. The latter is typically a complete product provided by individuals or volunteer groups with no expectation of financial compensation. Open source acts might have all the capabilities you require without costing you any money, even though they occasionally lack the polish and/or user-friendliness of commercial software.
Which programs do professionals use?
That depends on how you define “professionals” and the area or industry you’re considering. The editing is almost probably being done on Avid Media Composer Ultimate if you visit Hollywood or a major TV studio.
You’re more likely to encounter Adobe Premiere Pro CC or Apple Final Cut Pro X and related products like Adobe’s After Effects, a motion graphics and visual effects app (see above for how well we grade those) in ad firms, independent film studios, and companies producing YouTube clips. These are extremely high-quality tools made to function on extremely high-quality PCs.