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5 Best Free Windows Movie Maker Alternatives in 2021

Last Updated on Nov. 25, 2021 – by Jayed Miah
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Best Windows Movie Maker Alternatives for Windows

If you’re still using Windows Movie Maker as your primary video-editing platform, it might be time for an upgrade. While Windows Movie Maker was once a leader in the amateur video-editing industry with its easy-to-use interface, Windows Movie Maker was discontinued back in 2017 meaning it hasn’t seen an update in quite some time nor will it in the future.

As a result, this editing platform has fallen far behind in the rapidly advancing world of digital video editing technology and poses some serious limitations to your editing capabilities. Even further, downloading this outdated software from unofficial 3rd party sites can even create security and performance issues on modern operating systems. It’s strongly recommended that editors move to a different editing platform.

In addition to the limitations Windows Movie Maker faces, modern programs have since surpassed the software’s limited features, clunky interface, and outdated performance. Windows Movie Maker is by far and away no longer the best free software for Windows, and those who still use this program will find their new workflow vastly improved by upgrading to a more advanced, more intuitive platform.

With so many editing programs available, it can be a bit overwhelming to find your next editing platform—especially if your only editing experience is with Windows Movie Maker.

To help you find the best alternative software for your Windows device, we’ve compiled a list of five great programs to replace Windows Movie Maker. These platforms offer a wide range of user-friendly features, advanced editing tools, straightforward interfaces, and professional-level templates that will make you want to leave Windows Movie Maker in the past.

1. Top 5 Alternatives for Windows Movie Maker

1. PowerDirector 365

Compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8/8.1, or 7

PowerDirector is an intuitive, modern video editing platform with a range of unique tools and features. This first-rate program is simple to learn and navigate and allows you to create Hollywood-level films and clips right from your Windows computer or mobile device. Better yet, most of its features are free to use, and its premium subscription starts at under $5 a month.

If you have ever used Windows Movie Maker, you know the frustration of trying to navigate an awkward, complicated interface. PowerDirector's user-friendly design makes it easy to incorporate advanced-looking effects into your video with the touch of a button. The program utilizes a dual-screen, customizable editing workspace to streamline your video editing process.

PowerDirector Interface

PowerDirector's workspace features four main sections: a preview window, a library window, media, effect, and template rooms, and a timeline. New users can learn the ins and outs of the program quickly to achieve incredible, professional-grade results.

PowerDirector also includes dozens of tools and features that Windows Movie Maker omits:

software comparison
Features
Windows Movie Maker
PowerDirector
Basic Cutting Tools
Storyboard Mode
Timeline Mode -
Text & Title Effects Limited 100+
Transitions & Effects Limited 100+
Pan & Zoom
Filters & Color Correction -
Audio Equalizer & Audio Mixer -
Picture in Picture & Overlay -
Video Collage Designer (Split Screen) -
Green Screen (Chroma Key) -
Video Stabilization
Action Camera Tools & Editing -
Masks & Blending Modes -
Motion Tracking -

You don’t have to be an editing pro to use green-screen effects, add cool filters and graphics, or enhance raw footage — PowerDirector does all of the work for you. You can also take advantage of the program’s extensive audio, photo, and video libraries featuring 100% royalty-free content to elevate your clips further.

Once you finish crafting the perfect video, PowerDirector offers a range of high-resolution exporting formats, including Ultra HD 4K, to help you preserve your video’s quality. You can also share your video straight to YouTube or other social media sites, saving you time.

Overall, PowerDirector is an incredible alternative to Windows Movie Maker, featuring an extensive selection of advanced editing tools and a unique, user-friendly interface.

Beginners and professional editors alike can benefit from the high-quality results this software produces with just a few clicks of a button. If you’re in the market for a free editing software, you can still create top-tier videos using only PowerDirector’s built-in features. Because of these features and more, PowerDirector is recommended as the best alternative to Windows Movie Maker.

Download PowerDirector today to try this excellent editing program for yourself.

Best app of 2020
PowerDirector logo

PowerDirector
Download PowerDirector for FREE and see why PC Mag named it the Best Video Editing Software in the industry.

2. OpenShot

OpenShot Interface

If you’re looking for a straightforward, 100%-free editing program for Windows, OpenShot is an excellent option to try. This program goes above and beyond Windows Movie Maker’s capabilities but still keeps its interface easy to use and straightforward for beginners.

To begin editing your video with OpenShot, simply drag and drop your clips from your file manager into the program. You’ll see a real-time preview of your video in the playback window along with clearly labeled effects, tools, filters, and templates you can use to customize your film.

OpenShot offers a range of impressive-looking editing features, such as 3D animations, slow-motion effects, and text editors. You can add unlimited tracks and layers to your timeline and use keyframes and frame accuracy to create precise, detailed edits. The program’s straightforward platform makes it easy to customize your film precisely to your liking.

When you finish editing your video, you can export your file in any FFmpeg format. OpenShot allows you to export a clean, polished product to your desktop in a format you can easily upload to YouTube or your social media page.

Though OpenShot includes a decent selection of filters and templates, the program lacks some of the advanced features you’ll find in programs like PowerDirector. Professional tools such as chroma key, picture-in-picture, and blending modes are not available through this program.

However, if you’re transitioning from Windows Movie Maker, you’ll find that OpenShot offers all of the features you need without complicating its interface with advanced, professional-level tools. Nothing is intimidating about OpenShot’s workspace, making it an excellent choice for amateur, base-level editors.

Pros:
  • Basic editing to cut and combine clips
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • Limited capabilities

3. Corel VideoStudio Pro

Corel VideoStudio Pro Interface

Corel’s VideoStudio Pro is another well known video editing platform on the market that has been around for a long time. This software includes many of the features you would need to create intermediate to advanced video productions.

On top of basic cropping and trimming tools, VideoStudio Pro offers an assortment of bells and whistles like 360-degree editing, lens correction, smart proxy editing, chroma key/green screen tools, and more.

It allows you to make basic color corrections and has an assortment of cinematic filters to change the look of your footage. The program also provides LUT profiles that can help you to color grade your clips.

Additionally, VideoStudio Pro has multicam features that assist in combining footage from multiple cameras. If you’re into filming with multiple cameras, this feature can come in handy but it is considerably more complex than other softwares’ multicam functions.

Though this program isn’t free—it’ll cost you around $70— it is a strong alternative to higher end production suites. However, since it is a one-time-purchase software, it will not guarantee to be compatible with evolving technology and features for its lifetime.

VideoStudio Pro is more a advanced than some of the other programs on the market, requiring a bit of a learning curve, especially for beginner editors. However, if you are willing to take the time to learning it and just want a bare-bones editor, Corel is a choice to consider.

Altogether, VideoStudio Pro contains all of the basic features of a standard editor for a one time price, but don’t expect it to always be able to scale with your production.

Pros:
  • Good format support
  • Video effects
Cons:
  • Steep learning curve
  • No supplemental content
  • Infrequent updates

4. VideoPad

VideoPad Interface

VideoPad is a basic video editing application for Mac and Windows computers. This video editing software has a straightforward but bit outdated interface.

It has basic editing features and tools for direct content capture, including voiceover. You can add files to your project by dragging and dropping them to the timeline, and you can resize the content.

VideoPad includes features to streamline your social publishing workflow. Easily complete your video’s metadata, such as the title tags and description— without using YouTube’s publishing tools. Other features you get with the software include stereoscopic 2D to 3D conversion, camera shake reduction, and multiple format support for exporting.

The program is somewhat outdated and lacks advanced features such as multi-camera editing. It has a library containing extra features, but will have to pay for each one you want to add. Most learning materials for VideoPad are a few years old so be prepared to not rely on them if you’re new to editing.

Pros:

  • Direct video upload to YouTube and Facebook
  • Video optimization for search engines

Cons:

  • Little outdated
  • Lacks some advanced features like multi-cam editing

5. Movavi Video Editor

PowerDirector Interface

Movavi Video Editor is a paid app you can use to create a video from existing clips. The editor’s a viable option for beginners.

The video editor is simple but the software does have some limitations when it comes to media importing. You can’t import AVCHD camcorder files, and the screencast recording is only available if you purchase the Video Suite.

Editing videos with Movavi is straightforward, and you can shorten and length clips with the in and out points by dragging the edges. The software doesn’t have a keyframing, but has automated effects like fading or panning. It offers a wide selection of titles and effects.

Pros:

  • Drag-and-drop editing
  • Built-in stock library and intros
  • Direct sharing and exporting of popular formats

Cons:

  • Slow rendering
  • Limited control over some effects

2. Reasons You Need a Windows Movie Maker Alternative

Windows Movie Maker has been a foundational video software of the modern computer for many years. However, as video editing has become more popular, companies have begun releasing straightforward, innovative editing programs that outperform Windows Movie Maker on every front.

Many Windows users enjoy the convenience and simplicity of using Windows Movie Maker for their editing projects, especially because, for a long time, the program came pre-installed on Windows computers. However, many modern programs are just as easy to use, follow a straightforward installation process, and come with dozens more features and tools than Movie Maker.

Windows Movie Maker is also no longer available for download on modern Windows devices—in 2017, the company replaced this editor with the limited video editing tools available on the Windows Photos app. In other words, Windows no longer updates its Movie Maker software, so you can expect its performance to decline over time.

Though Windows Movie Maker does offer plenty of useful tools and filters, it lacks the functionality of the more updated programs on the web, and beginners may struggle to navigate its outdated, underperforming interface.

If you still use Windows Movie Maker regularly, it’s time to take the plunge and download a more user-friendly, advanced software like PowerDirector, OpenShot, or VideoStudio Pro.

3. Best Free Windows Movie Maker Alternative Free Download

Windows Movie Maker is becoming obsolete. To stay up to date with modern editing software, you should consider replacing the program with a newer, more intuitive option.

PowerDirector, OpenShot, and VideoStudio Pro offer a range of benefits compared to Movie Maker. PowerDirector provides the best all-around experience, OpenShot features straightforward base-level tools, and VideoStudio Pro delivers all of the advanced features you would need to create pro-level videos.

Here is a chart to help you compare each program’s price, supported formats, stock library availability, video effects, and ease of use:

 
Alternatives
Software
Windows Movie Maker

PowerDirector

OpenShot
Corel VideoStudio Pro
Price Free Free/Paid Free Paid
Supported Formats WMV, AVI, MPEG, MOV SD, HD, 4K MP4, MKV, FLV, MPEG 1/2, WMV, AVI, MOV, AVCHD, 360 Video, Dolby Digital audio MP4, WebM, AVCHD, HEVC AVC, AVI, HEVC2, M2T, MOV3, MPEG-1/-2/-4
Royalty-Free Stock Library - Video, Photo, Music - -
Video Effects Limited Limited
Easy to Use -

Once you give these Windows editing programs a try, you’ll see why Movie Maker is a thing of the past and come to learn the outstanding features of modern platforms. You’ll never look back.

If you’re looking for an editor that is easy to learn, has a robust toolset, and can scale to any size production level, download Cyberlink PowerDirector today to begin the process of upgrading your video editing experience. If you’re looking for an alternative to Windows Movie Maker, PowerDirector will astound you.

Best app of 2020
PowerDirector logo

PowerDirector
Download PowerDirector for FREE and see why PC Mag named it the Best Video Editing Software in the industry.

4. Windows Movie Maker Alternative FAQ

1. What is Windows Movie Maker?

Windows Movie Maker Is a discontinued software program created by Microsoft. I was originally apart of Windows Essential software suite and allowed user to create, edit and publish videos.

2. What is the best free Windows Movie Maker Alternative for Mac?

The best free alternatives for Mac are:

  1. PowerDirector 365
  2. iMovie
  3. DaVinci Resolve

For an in-depth look at all three check out our article Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac in 2021.

3. What is the best free Windows Movie Maker Alternative for Mobile?

The best free alternatives for mobile are:

  1. PowerDirector
  2. iMovie
  3. Splice

For an in-depth look at these and other alternatives check out our article 7 Best Free Video Editing Apps for iPhone & Android in 2021.

4. What features should I look for in a Windows Movie Maker alternative?

The top ten features you should look out for are:

  1. Titles and motion graphics
  2. Color correction
  3. Audio tools
  4. Transition effects
  5. Composing tools
  6. Video speed controls
  7. Motion tracking
  8. AI-powered tools
  9. Fast rendering
  10. CPU and hardware optimization

5. Should I pay for a Windows Movie Maker Alternative?

Free video editing software has been used to cut home movies to feature films for years. It may not have all the bells and whistles as paid software but if you are looking for the basics of what you need to cut together videos you can’t go wrong with free.

But sometimes spending a little money can give you a more complete and easier experience. For example, upgrading PowerDirector to a subscription, which is still one of the cheapest options, will give you access to lots of creative design packs and templates to make video creation easier.

6. Why was Windows Movie Maker discontinued?

It did not achieve the success Microsoft wanted and they didn’t want the cost of updating and supporting old Win32 software.

7. What replaced Windows Movie Maker?

Windows Movie Maker was replaced by Video Editor which is in Microsoft Photos on Windows 10.

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