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7 Best Free Final Cut Pro Alternatives for Windows PC in 2022

Last Updated on Apr. 15, 2022 – by David Morgan
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Seven Best Final Cut Pro Alternatives

Apple debuted its first editing software, Final Cut Pro, in 1999. Final Cut Pro was a game-changer for the industry, with its non-traditional, non-linear editing style. Initially, it was intended for hobbyists and independent filmmakers, but over the next decade, Hollywood took notice. Final Cut Pro was used to edit big-budget films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 500 Days of Summer, and The Social Network - which won an Oscar for Best Editing

Even though Hollywood’s love of Final Cut Pro has had its ups and downs, it has remained a staple for amateur filmmakers and self-employed editors for over two decades. In 2020, Apple gave it a complete overhaul, giving Final Cut Pro an enhanced, magnetic timeline and incredible speed. 

Although Final Cut Pro is a great choice for both professionals and non-professional editors, it does have some drawbacks. You can’t get Final Cut Pro for Windows, and you can’t get Final Cut Pro for free. Also, beginners will find it has a steep learning curve and will take a while to get familiar with the software. 

If you want high-quality editing software that suits beginning and professional editors, but don’t have a Mac computer or $300 to shell out, look no further.  We’ve compiled a list of the 7 best free alternatives to Final Cut Pro for Windows. 

Top 3 Free Alternatives to Final Cut Pro for Windows PC Snapshot

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector Essential - Best Overall

PowerDirector is the best alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows. PowerDirector offers even more advanced editing features than the popular Final Cut, but is much easier to learn for beginners. Best of all, you can download the software for free. More Info >

Avid Media Composer First Logo

2. Avid Media Composer First - Best for Budding Professionals

Avid Media Composer First offers many of the same features you’d find in Final Cut Pro for free. Using the software is a great way to learn Avid Media Composer, but without the steep price tag and learning curve. More Info >

HitFilm Express Logo

3. HitFilm Express - Best for Visual Effects

If you like to make films with lots of visual effects, this alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows is for you. Final Cut Pro’s VFX offerings pale in comparison to that of this free video editing software. More Info >

What is Final Cut Pro?

Final Cut Pro is a non-linear video editing software created by Apple for Mac computers. It debuted in April 1999 as an editor primarily for hobbyists, independent filmmakers, and documentarians. 

Over the next few years, it started to gain favor with Hollywood and was used to edit some big blockbusters. In June 2011, it was re-released as Final Cut Pro X causing Hollywood to turn its back on the software calling it “iMovie Pro.”  

For 10 years, Final Cut Pro X tried to regain favor with professional editors, but to no avail. In November 2020, it was released again as Final Cut Pro with a complete redesign. 

There isn’t a version of Final Cut Pro for Windows, and it costs $299.99.

7 Best Free Final Cut Pro Alternatives for Windows PC in 2022

1. PowerDirector Essential - Best Overall

PowerDirector Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 10/10

Advanced Features: 10/10

Key Features

PowerDirector is the best alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows. Both are PCMag winners for Best Editing Software in 2022 (Final Cut for “Best Professional Editing on Macs,” and PowerDirector “Best for Tons of Tools and Ease of Use”). But while Final Cut Pro is quite expensive, PowerDirector offers a free version of its software with access to almost all of the amazing features offered to subscribers.  

The software offers all the professional editing tools of Final Cut Pro for free, like 360-degree editing, motion tracking, multicam editing, motion graphics, and much more. But because of regular updates, PowerDirector added these effects long before they were adopted by Final Cut Pro. 

There is a huge stock library with videos, photos, sound effects, and music, as well as hundreds of transitions, stickers, titles, and effects. PowerDirector also boasts the fastest rendering times in the business, rendering video 4 times faster than Final Cut (what took Final Cut 4 minutes to render takes PowerDirector 1 minute). 

PowerDirector has a streamlined user interface that seasoned Final Cut Pro users will find familiar, plus an intuitive workflow and best-in-class editing tools to rival any professional editing software. But unlike Final Cut Pro, PowerDirector is beginner-friendly and easy to use. Best yet, you can download it for free.

Pros
  • User-friendly editing interface
  • Fast rendering
  • Robust editing features
Cons
  • Shutterstock and iStock Getty Images stock libraries are unavailable in the free version

Download the #1 alternative to Final Cut Pro for free below:


2. Avid Media Composer First - Best for Budding Professionals

Avid Media Composer First Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Advanced Features: 8/10

Key Features

  • Frame flex
  • Time code tool
  • Bulk edit
  • Video stabilization

Avid Media Composer First is the free version of Avid Media Composer - Hollywood’s most popular film and TV editing program. It is a good alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows because it is surprisingly robust for a free offering, containing many of the pro-level tools you would find in the paid versions. Edit up to 4 video tracks and 8 audio tracks with 5 bins per project. And publish directly to YouTube and Vimeo.

Avid Media Composer First offers many of the same tools you’d find in Final Cut Pro for free. It has a large amount of color correcting tools like HSL controls, hue offset and luma range. It offers audio tools like audio ducking and punch-in, as well as 4-way mulitcam editing.

Professionals will find the offerings on Avid Media Composer First too limited, and beginners will find it very difficult to learn. Avid labeled Composer First ideal for “aspiring video professionals.” It is the perfect learning tool for budding video editors who want to become proficient on Avid.

Pros
  • Offers a lot of pro features available in paid versions
  • Support for all mainstream video formats
Cons
  • Limited to 1080p export
  • Extremely steep learning curve

3. HitFilm Express - Best for Visual Effects

HitFilm Express Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8/10

Advanced Features: 9/10

Key Features

  • Particle simulator
  • 3D geometry effects
  • 360-degree video support
  • Picture-in-Picture

If you love making sci-fi, superhero, and action videos with lots of visual effects but need a version of Final Cut Pro for Windows, HitFilm Express is for you. It offers unlimited audio and video tracks, so you don’t have to put an end to your creativity. 

HitFilm Express comes with the complete set of features available in the paid version (Hitfilm Pro) and no expiration but contains watermarks and limited export options. If you enjoy using HitFilm Express, the paid software is affordable, and even though it’s a one-time purchase, you get a year’s worth of updates as soon as they are available.  

With the tools that HitFilm Express offers, you can animate images and characters, use waveforms for audio element visualization, import 3D models, and apply behavioral effects to your videos. There are distortion effects that come in 4 categories: Heat, Energy, Smoke, and Fluid. HitFilm Express has 3D muzzle flashes for any kind of weapon, and a library of sci-fi effects like lasers and star fields. There is also a puppet tool that adds natural motion to graphics, shapes, and text.    

HitFilm Express is packed with effects but requires a lot of hard drive space. And while it is a good alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows in visual and special effects, HitFilm Express is surprisingly lacking in basic editing tools like transitions and audio tools. If you are looking for a beginner-friendly editor to do basic video edits, HitFilm is not the software for you.  

Pros
  • Express version has all the advanced features in paid version
  • Various plug-ins available to enhance your projects
Cons
  • Outdated interface
  • Lacking basic editing tools
  • Uses a lot of space

4. DaVinci Resolve - Best for Post-Production

DaVinci Resolve Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 7/10

Advanced Features: 9/10

Key Features

  • Multicam editing
  • Animated titles
  • Object removal
  • Video stabilization

DaVinci Resolve feels like a paid software because it is packed with the same tools used by colorists, editors, VFX artists, and sound engineers on major studio films and television shows. This is a great free alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows because it offers more post-production solutions.

This video editor has features like motion graphics, advanced audio tools, VFX and title-card building modes, and image restoration. You can edit up to 2,000 tracks at a time, and to keep the interface from becoming overwhelming, DaVinci Resolve is divided into “Pages,” giving you a dedicated workspace for different tasks. The pages are: Media, Cut, Edit, Fusion, Color, Fairlight (for audio editing and sound mixing), and Deliver. DaVinci Resolve doesn’t offer much in terms of transitions and effects options, but the color grading tools are outstanding.  

DaVinci Resolve is a one-stop shop for post-production, which makes it better for finishing edited projects than starting them. It also requires a powerful computer to operate properly - possibly more than an editing enthusiast would have at home. DaVinci Resolve has amazingly professional tools (even compared to paid counterparts), and is a great choice for professionals looking for an alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows. But DaVinci Resolve will be too much for consumers making social media videos and not feature films.  

Pros
  • Packed with advanced post-production tools
  • Free with no expiration or watermarks
Cons
  • Uses a lot of CPU
  • Steep learning curve

5. Movavi Video Editor - Best for Vlogging

Movavi Video Editor Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 7/10

Advanced Features: 6/10

Key Features

  • Stylized filters
  • Vertical Video support
  • Background rendering
  • Voice over

Movavi Video Editor is a great Final Cut Pro alternative for Windows users. It is a fun, quick, and easy way to edit videos for YouTube or social media. It has a simple interface and allows users to create a finished product in 20 minutes. Add pizzazz to your videos with ready-made intros, animated titles, thematic stickers, and transitions with sound, then upload to your favorite site with pre-selected aspect ratios

There are also some advanced video editing tools like chroma key, motion tracking, video stabilization, slow-motion, and reverse. Movavi touts its video editor as having zero learning curve but still offers a built-in training module for support, making this a much easier alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows. 

Because Movavi Video Editor is so quick and easy to use, it lacks a lot of features found in other video editing software, such as advanced trim modes and clip pre-trimming that Final Cut Pro users would come to expect. Also, the free version is only a 7-day trial and offers even fewer features. 

Pros
  • Simple interface
  • No learning curve
Cons
  • Lack of control over effects
  • Slow rendering

6. Lightworks Free - Best for Control Over Effects

Lightworks Free Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Overall Rating: 6/10

Advanced Features: 7/10

Key Features

  • Simple and advanced trimming
  • Access to stock music library
  • Clip-based audio leveling
  • Audio track sync

Lightworks has been used to edit Oscar-winning films for decades. Lightworks Free is the free, beginner-friendly version of the Hollywood classic. Though not as powerful, Lightworks Free comes with plenty of features to make it a good alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows. For those of us in a hurry, Lightworks Free has background processing, so you can import, export, and render complex effects while you work. 

Never worry about sudden computer failure with Lightworks Free’s instant auto-saving feature. Edit on multiple video, audio, and effects tracks, then add titles, effects, and transitions. The free version of Lightworks offers use of the advanced transitions library, but not the advanced titles. The visual effects tools are easy to find and can be edited with precision detail, allowing you to get the same professional results as Final Cut Pro for free.   

Lightworks Free supports all popular input formats, but only exports up to 720p. Although the creators of Lightworks Free intended this version to be beginner-friendly, it still has a steep learning curve. 

Pros
  • Most features offer a simple and advanced setting
  • Good performance
Cons
  • Steeper learning curve than necessary in a beginner software
  • Only exports up to 720p

7. Shotcut - Best Open-Source Editor

Shotcut Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Overall Rating: 6/10

Advanced Features: 6/10

Key Features

  • Webcam capture function
  • Batch encoding
  • Wide-format support
  • Audio filters

Shotcut is a free, open-source, cross-platform alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows. Because it is open-source, Shotcut has regular updates made by the community. If you want to try green-screen effects, Shotcut offers both simple and advanced chroma key options. There’s even a key spill effect to clean up edges. 

Shotcut offers unlimited undo and redo options. It has multi-track audio mixing and color wheels for color correction and grading. Other features include keyframing, transitions, blur, picture-in-picture and blending modes. However, none of these features are as intuitive as they are in other video editors, making Shotcut a good - but not the best - alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows. 

The interface is not as clean and user-friendly as some paid software, but it is very customizable.

Shotcut contains lots of output formats but lacks built-in sharing to popular sites. And although it is primarily for beginners, there is a bit of a learning curve.    

Pros
  • Customizable
  • Open-source with regular updates
Cons
  • Messy interface
  • Too technical for beginners

Best Free Alternatives to Final Cut for Windows Comparison Chart

Software PowerDirector Essential Avid Media Composer First HitFilm Express DaVinci Resolve Movavi Video Editor Lightworks Free Shotcut
OS Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac,Linux Windows, Mac, Linux
Beginner-friendly Yes No No No Yes No No
Comparison to Final Cut Pro All the advanced features with quicker updates and rendering times and much easier to use and learn Slightly fewer offerings, just as hard to learn Far more visual and special effects, but fewer basic editing features. Takes up more room on computer More post-production options Lacks some of the features of Final Cut Pro and slower rendering times, but easier to use and learn Same great features, same large learning curve. Only outputs to 720p Not as robust, slightly quicker and easier to learn
Regular Updates Yes, monthly Minimum Yes Yes, annually Yes, annually Minimum Yes, regularly updated by community
User Interface Intuitive, streamlined Streamlined, customizable Outdated Divided into pages Simple, clean Fixed layout for short projects or fully customizable for bigger projects Messy, customizable
Free Download
Free Download
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download Download Download

PowerDirector Essential vs

OS

Windows, Mac

-

Beginner-friendly

Yes

-

Comparison to Final Cut Pro

All the advanced features with quicker updates and rendering times and much easier to use and learn

-

Regular Updates

Yes, monthly

-

User Interface

Intuitive, streamlined

-


How to Get Final Cut Pro on Windows

Since you cannot get Final Cut Pro for Windows, here is a step-by-step guide to downloading the #1 alternative PowerDirector Essential for free:

  1. Click here to go to the PowerDirector Essential site.
  2. Click on Free Download, and select your Operating System.  
  3. Go to Downloads on your computer and click on the CL Downloader to start the guided installation process.
    PowerDirector Essential will begin downloading automatically. 
  4. Once installed, click here to watch a quick and easy guide to get you started. 

Download PowerDirector Essential today and start editing like the pros - for free!

Download the Best Free Alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows

Final Cut Pro is the software of choice among professional editors who require nonlinear video editing. It offers a wide selection of professional editing tools and effects. 

However, it has a complicated interface, there is no version of Final Cut Pro for Windows, and some applications require additional apps, such as After Effects. With Final Cut Pro, you also don't get sound effect samples or searchability in the import dialog. Finally, Final Cut Pro has a steep learning curve and an even steeper price tag.

PowerDirector Essential is the software we recommend as the best free alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows and Mac users. It provides all of the above and more, absolutely free. It is also great for beginners, with plenty of tutorials, guided edits, and a user-friendly interface.  

To start creating high-quality, professional video content, download PowerDirector, the best alternative to Final Cut Pro.

Alternatives to Final Cut Pro for Windows FAQ

1. What are the Best Free iMovie Alternatives for Android?

  1. PowerDirector
  2. Splice
  3. Quik
  4. KineMaster
  5. Filmmaker Pro

To learn more about the best free video editing apps for mobile, click here.

2. What Features Should I Look for in an Alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows?

The top ten features you should look for are:

  1. Titles and transitions
  2. Good format support
  3. Direct uploads to social media
  4. Fast rendering speeds
  5. Effects and filters
  6. New features added regularly
  7. Chroma key 
  8. Motion tracking
  9. Multicam editing
  10. Audio tools

If you’re looking for a free alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows with all of this and more, try PowerDirector Essential.

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