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7 Best Free Windows Movie Maker Alternatives in 2022

Last Updated on Apr. 8, 2022 – by Jayed Miah
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Best Windows Movie Maker Alternatives for Windows

Once a staple of any Windows user's tool kit, Windows Movie Maker was a top-rated video editing program for beginners. The program arrived pre-installed on all Windows devices and was beloved for its simplicity and fun special effects, but most importantly - it was free.

However, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows Movie Maker in 2017 and warns that free downloads of Movie Maker provided by 3rd parties may contain malware, viruses, or hidden costs. 

If you’re concerned about the cost of upgrading to a fancy premium video editor with all the bells and whistles, do not fear. Movie Maker is no longer the best free software for Windows. 

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

Top 3 Free Windows Movie Maker Alternatives Snapshot

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector 365 - Best Overall

PowerDirector is the best Windows Movie Maker alternative to create Hollywood-level films or YouTube ready videos. It is packed with advanced features, yet very user-friendly with a customizable interface. It is updated monthly so it is always on the cutting edge of the newest technology and trends. More Info >

OpenShot Logo

2. OpenShot - Best for Basic Edits

OpenShot is a beginner-friendly open-source video editor with features that go above and beyond Windows Movie Maker’s capabilities. Edit with unlimited tracks and layers on a simple drag-and-drop interface. More Info >

Corel Video Studio Pro Logo

3. Corel Video Studio Pro - Best for Professionals

Corel Video Studio Pro has hundreds of effects, titles, transitions, and stickers to help you create and edit videos on-the-fly.  A 2022 version of the platform has added tons of new powerful tools and exclusive effects. More Info >

What is Windows Movie Maker?

Windows Movie Maker is a discontinued software program created by Microsoft. It was initially part of the Windows Essentials software suite and allowed users to create, edit, and publish videos. Windows Movie Maker was beginner friendly and allowed users to create simple projects such as home videos.

7 Best Windows Movie Maker Alternatives

1. PowerDirector 365 - Best Overall

PowerDirector Interface

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

Overall Rating: 10/10

Essential Video Editing Features: 10/10

Key Features: 

PowerDirector is an intuitive, modern video editing platform with a range of unique tools and features. It’s simple to learn and navigate and allows you to create Hollywood-level films and clips right from your Windows computer.

New users can learn the ins and outs of the program quickly to achieve incredible, studio-quality results. 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.

Better yet, most of its features are free in the Essential version. 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.

If you have ever used Windows Movie Maker, you know the frustration of navigating an awkward, complicated interface. PowerDirector's user-friendly design makes it easy to incorporate advanced visual 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. 

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 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.

Pros
  • User-friendly for all experience levels, from beginner to professional
  • Over 3,000 built-in transitions, templates, and overlay effects
  • Simple but powerful plug-ins for creating collages and turning your videos into animations
Cons
  • The free version lacks permission to use the Shutterstock and iStock built-in libraries

Download PowerDirector below and see why PC Mag said it’s, “ahead of pro products with support for new formats and new technologies”.

2. OpenShot - Best for Basic Edits

OpenShot Interface

Compatibility: Windows 10+, 8, 7

Overall Rating: 9/10

Essential Video Editing Features: 9/10

Key Features: 

  • Animated Titles
  • Audio Mixing
  • Chroma Key
  • Time-Mapping and Speed Adjustment

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

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.

You can export your file in any mpeg format when producing your video. OpenShot allows you to export a clean, polished video to your desktop in a format you can easily upload to YouTube or your social media page. 

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 editors.

Though OpenShot includes a decent selection of filters and templates, the program lacks some of the advanced features you’ll find in other video editors. This program does not offer professional tools such as chroma key, picture-in-picture, and blending modes.

Pros
  • Basic editing to cut and combine clips
  • Simple drag and drop interface
Cons
  • Limited feature set
  • OpenShot can run slow and laggy at times

3. Corel VideoStudio Pro - Best for Professionals

Corel VideoStudio Pro Interface

Compatibility: Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

Overall Rating: 8/10

Essential Video Editing Features: 9/10

Key Features: 

  • Screen Recording
  • Instant Project Templates
  • Animated Overlays
  • Filters

Corel’s Video Studio Pro is another well-known video editing program. This software includes many of the features you need to create intermediate to advanced video productions. 

On top of basic cropping and trimming tools, Video Studio 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 color grade your clips.

Additionally, VideoStudio Pro has multicam features that combine 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. 

VideoStudio Pro is more advanced than Windows Movie Maker, requiring a bit of a learning curve, especially for beginners. But if you are willing to take the time to learn and want a more substantial editor, Corel is a choice to consider. This program isn’t free, and since it is a one-time-purchase software, it will not guarantee to be compatible with evolving technology and features.

Pros
  • Wide range of features and video effects
  • Supports multicam and 360-degree editing
Cons
  • A steep learning curve for beginners
  • No supplemental content
  • No auto-updates to the software

4. VideoPad - Best for Exporting to Social Media

VideoPad Interface

Compatibility: Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP

Overall Rating: 8/10

Essential Video Editing Features: 8/10

Key Features: 

  • 3D and 360-degree editing
  • Customizable Transitions
  • Trimming and Splitting
  • Speed Adjustment

VideoPad Video Editor is a beginner-friendly video editing application with a straightforward but slightly 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 onto the timeline, and you can resize the content. 

Other features include stereoscopic 2D to 3D conversion, title animations, and camera shake reduction. There are also audio effects like choral, echo, and distortion

VideoPad includes features to streamline your social publishing workflow. Efficiently complete your video’s metadata, such as the title tags and description— without using YouTube’s publishing tools. Then export to one of over 60 supported formats

VideoPad doesn’t put a watermark on the free version, which is rare for a free video editor. However, the program is somewhat outdated and lacks advanced features such as multi-camera editing. It has a library containing extra features, but you will have to pay for each one you want to add.

Pros
  • Direct video upload to YouTube and Facebook
  • Video optimization for search engines
Cons
  • UI and UX are slightly outdated
  • It lacks some advanced features like multicam editing

5. Movavi Video Editor - Best for Automated Effects

Movavi Video Editor Interface

Compatibility: Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

Overall Rating: 8/10

Essential Video Editing Features: 8/10

Key Features: 

  • Video Stabilization
  • Picture-In-Picture
  • Chroma Key
  • Voice Over

Movavi Video Editor is a video editing software with a user-friendly interface and low learning curve. It comes with lots of key features like color adjustment, pan/zoom and crop/rotate. There are also video effects like blur, vignette, and slow-mo

Editing videos with Movavi is straightforward, and you can shorten and lengthen clips with the in/out points by dragging the edges. The software has automated effects like fading or panning and offers a wide selection of titles and effects.

Movavi’s Video Editor lacks advanced features like keyframing and screen recording and like Windows Movie Maker, gives you limited control over effects. You can get these features in the Video Suite version of the editor, but it is pricey. 

Pros
  • Straightforward 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

6. Premiere Elements - Best for Beginners

Premiere Elements Interface

Compatibility: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1909 or later

Overall Rating: 8/10

Essential Video Editing Features: 7/10

Key Features: 

  • Multi-Track Editing
  • Key Framing
  • Double Exposure
  • Freeze Frame

Premiere Elements is a consumer-targeted, pared-down version of Adobe’s other products like PhotoShop or Premiere Pro, making it a great replacement for Windows Movie Maker. 

It has all the tools you need to create great content, including key framing, animated overlays, noise reduction, transitions, and titles. There’s a video creation wizard for quick video editing, and its auto movie themes are much more extensive than what Windows Movie Maker had to offer.  

Premiere Elements uses Adobe Sensei AI Technology to select specific areas of a clip to add effects, automatically reframe subjects, and fix grainy footage. Other great features include an array of slideshow styles and organizational tools. There’s a time-lapse function and the ability to extract beautiful photos from raw video footage

Premiere Elements has a simple interface and step-by-step tutorials, making it an easy choice for beginners. However, it lacks some more advanced offerings such as 360-degree editing, multi-cam editing, and screen recording. Editors in a hurry could be turned off by the very slow rendering times and output speed, which is one area where Windows Movie Maker had Premiere Elements beat. 

Pros
  • Simple interface
  • Lots of guided edits and tutorials
Cons
  • Slow rendering speeds
  • Not a free software

7. Shotcut - Best Open-Source Editor

Shotcut Interface

Compatibility: Windows (64-bit) version 7+

Overall Rating: 7/10

Essential Video Editing Features: 8/10

Key Features: 

  • Blending Modes
  • Webcam Capture
  • Auto-Rotate
  • Keyframing

Shotcut is a free, open-source, cross-platform video editor. It offers wide format support for audio, video, and images. Users will love the batch encoding for those editing multiple videos in one go, and unlimited undo and redo options.  Shotcut offers a large selection of transitions and filters - including 360-degree video filters

While Windows Movie Maker was greatly lacking in color adjustment tools, Shotcut offers color wheels for color correction and grading, and an eyedropper tool to help with white balancing. And because Shotcut is open-source, it has regular upgrades made by the community.  

Shotcut does have a bit of a learning curve and the interface is not as clean as Windows Movie Maker. Also, Shotcut lacks social media-friendly output options. However, it is free and allows beginners to get their feet wet without any monetary commitment. 

Pros
  • Completely Free
  • Updated regularly by Shotcut community
Cons
  • Interface is not user-friendly
  • Steep learning curve

How To Edit a Video

Here are the most basic steps to video editing on your Windows device using PowerDirector. Download it for free below and follow along. 


  1. Import your footage into PowerDirector. Go to the Media Content Room and either click on Stock Content, or import your own content by clicking the Import Media button. Find the video you want to edit and click Open.
  2. PowerDirector Interface - Import

    Even though your video is displayed in the preview pane, you cannot start editing until you drag the video thumbnail onto the editing timeline.

    PowerDirector Interface - Timeline
  3. Trim and splice clips. Click the Trim icon to open the Trim Interface. Move the Timeline Slider to your desired position and click the arrow button directly above the timeline.
  4. PowerDirector Interface - Timeline
  5. Add transitions between clips. Click to open the Transition Room, then drag your chosen transition between two video clips.
  6. PowerDirector Interface - Transition
  7. To add text, go to the Title Room. Click and drag a title text template to the title track on the video timeline. Click on the added title template and then click Designer.
  8. PowerDirector Interface - Title

    In the Title Designer enter the text you want to use. Select the text, click on the Character Presets option on the left, and then select a preset to modify the text. Click OK to save.

    PowerDirector Interface - Text Presets
  9. Add music. Select Background Music from the Media Content drop-down menu. Click the Download icon on the music of your choice, then drag it onto the audio track on the timeline.
  10. PowerDirector Interface - Subtitles
  11. Save your project and export your video. Click on the Produce button to export your video. On the Standard 2D tab, select your preferred video format. Select an output folder where the new video file will be saved then click the Start button to produce the file.

For a detailed look at adding special effects to your video, go to How to Edit with Special Effects to Create Cool Videos.

Best Windows Movie Maker Alternatives Comparison Chart

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 Windows 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 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 Windows Movie Maker is a thing of the past and come to learn the outstanding features of modern platforms. You’ll never look back.

PowerDirector also includes dozens of tools and features that Windows Movie Maker omits. Check out some of them below:

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 -

Best Free Windows Movie Maker Alternative

If you’re looking for an alternative to Windows Movie Maker, PowerDirector will amaze you with its large selection of features, from basic to advanced. Edit with cinematic effects like animated overlays, slow motion, video stabilizer, chroma key and so much more. It has a large royalty-free library of background music, sound effects, photos, and videos, as well as fun audio effects like voice-changer

PowerDirector is a favorite amongst editors at all skill levels because it combines the advanced features of the expensive, professional video suites with the user-friendliness and price which appeals to beginners. It also comes with guided edits, templates and tutorials to help with every aspect of the editing process. 

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 PowerDirector today.

Windows Movie Maker Alternatives FAQ

1. What are the best free Windows Movie Maker Alternatives for Mac?

The best free Windows Movie Maker alternatives for Mac are:

  1. PowerDirector
  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 2022.

2. What are the best free Windows Movie Maker Alternatives for Mobile?

The best free Windows Movie Maker 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 2022.

3. 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

4. Why was Windows Movie Maker discontinued?

Windows Movie Maker did not achieve the success Microsoft wanted, and they didn’t like the cost of updating and supporting old Win32 software.

5. Is Windows Movie Maker still available?

Windows Movie Maker was officially discontinued on January 10, 2017, and it is replaced by Video Editor (formerly Microsoft Story Remix), which is built-in with Microsoft Photos on Windows 10. Free downloads of Windows Movie Maker provided by 3rd parties may contain malware, viruses, or hidden costs.

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