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15 Best Free Video Editing Software for Windows PC in 2022

Last Updated on May. 27, 2022 – by David Morgan
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Best Free Video Editing Software for PC

The rise of social media giants like YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram has made one thing clear - videos dominate today’s digital world. Influencers, businesses, movie stars, and basically everyone with a cameraphone are now creating videos for their followers or their friends.

Visual content like videos ranges vastly based on the audience you’re trying to target. But one key ingredient which is essential to all content creators - a video editing software.

Once an elusive art form with advanced tools only available to industry professionals, video editing is now easier, quicker, and more accessible to the masses. Consequently, if you’re in the market for a video editor you’ll find a plethora of paid or free options to choose from.

A free video editing software, however, can be hit-or-miss. Some offer only basic-level features, some are too glitchy or clunky, while others may even provide an experience better than some paid counterparts.

Fortunately, we’ve done all the research and compiled a list of the top choices available today. 

So whether you’re a beginner wanting to test the waters before you invest in expensive software, or you want to utilize studio-quality tools and effects without paying for pricey programs like Premiere Pro; There’s a free video editing software on this list that’s right for you.

Continue reading to learn about the pros and cons of each to determine which free video editing software is best for you.


Top 3 Free Video Editing Software Snapshot

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector Essential - Best Overall

Designed for beginners and professionals alike, PowerDirector is the best free video editing software in the market. It’s easy to learn and features tons of effects that will enable you to create studio-quality edits in no time. Detailed Review >

Blender Logo

2. Blender - Best for Animation

Blender is a free video editing software that specializes in 3D animations and compositing tools. We recommend this free video editing software for professionals. Detailed Review >

HitFilm Express Logo

3. HitFilm Express - Best for VFX

HitFilm Express is our top choice for advanced hobbyists and budding filmmakers who want to experiment with VFX editing. Detailed Review >

15 Best Free Video Editing Software for Windows PC

1. PowerDirector Essential - Best Overall

PowerDirector Essential

Compatibility: Windows, macOS

PCMag Rating: 4.5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $4.08/month for PowerDirector 365

Key Features:

  • Royalty-Free Stock Library
  • Compositing Tools
  • AI Motion Tracking
  • Color Grading and Correction Tools

PowerDirector ranks as our best free video editing software overall because it is an excellent choice for editors of all skill levels. We found its interface to be intuitive and the design straightforward which will make it easy for beginners to create video content, while its robust advanced features and hardware acceleration will satisfy even the most experienced editors.

Dive right in with its easy-to-use tools, effects, transitions, and titles without paying for advanced features or needing any prior video editing experience. The free version of PowerDirector will suit all your everyday video editing needs.

PowerDirector is a long-time winner of the prestigious PC Magazine Editors' Choice award and is highly recommended by Techradar Pro. It includes professional and AI-powered tools to turn your videos into Hollywood-quality masterpieces.

Pros
  • User-Friendly for all experience levels, beginner to professional
  • Numerous compositing tools (chroma key, masking, blending, etc.)
  • Multiple AI Tools (sky replacement, motion tracking, audio enhancement, etc.)
  • Plug-ins including screen recording and video collage design
Cons
  • Limited free export formats
  • Free version lacks permission to use Shutterstock and iStock built-in libraries

Download our pick for the best free video editing software below:


2. Blender - Best for Animation

Blender Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux

G2 Rating: 4.5/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Masking tools
  • Advanced Motion Graphics
  • Modeling and Sculpting
  • Audio adjustment tools

Blender is an open-source free video editing software with a plethora of compositing, 3D, and animation tools. It includes wide-ranging effects capabilities like motion tracking, particle simulation, onion skinning, and 3D painting tools. 

This broad capability makes Blender a popular tool for intermediate and advanced video editors who may not want to pay for expensive software like After Effects. 

Blender has everything you could need to make amazing motion graphics, animations, and custom VFX, as well as basic editing tools. However, it has a very steep learning curve and is not for beginners. 

Pros
  • Customizable interface
  • Supports all types of VFX
Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • Slow rendering

3. HitFilm Express - Best for VFX

Hitfilm Express Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS

G2 Rating: 4.4/5

Price: Free with add-on purchases available
*Premium version available for $349 for HitFilm Pro

Key Features:

  • 4K Export
  • Motion Tracking
  • 3D Simulations
  • Displacement and Distortion

HitFilm Express is not a professional editing tool, so it won't be used to edit the next Marvel movie, but if you want to create Hollywood-style visual effects, we found it to be one of the best options. If you’re an advanced hobbyist excited by visual effects this might be a good choice for you. The software includes one of the biggest free VFX toolkits on the market. This free video editing software includes color adjustments, keying effects, lens flares, and light swords.

It offers all the basic features that editing enthusiasts will need in free video editing software. The option to add on more features starts at $9 and you can pay per feature from thereon. Unfortunately, its difficulty falls somewhere between DaVinci Resolve and Lightworks, so be prepared to invest time learning the software. 

For being a non-professional video editing software, HitFilm Express does offer a few surprising features like Unified 3D Space and a puppet tool.

Pros
  • Customizable user interface
  • Professional tools
  • Direct uploading to YouTube
Cons
  • Complicated interface that takes time to learn
  • Advanced but not enough for professionals

4. DaVinci Resolve - Best for Experts

DaVinci Resolve Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, CentOS

PCMag Rating: 4/5

Price: Free 
*Premium version available for $295 for DaVinci Resolve Studio

Key Features:

  • Transitions, Effects, and Titles
  • Wide range of import options
  • Multicam Editing
  • Dual Timelines

DaVinci Resolve is one of the most advanced free video editing software on this list. While it can be overwhelming and intimidating for those without previous editing experience, if you have a deep understanding of editing and need a powerful program, Resolve is your best option.

Overall DaVinci Resolve is a clean, intuitive program that you would never guess is free. It offers a wide range of advanced features, including intelligent color-correction tools that let you edit skin tones, eye color, and lip color at the touch of a button. It also offers the ability to produce high-quality visual effects and audio-editing capabilities.

If you’re creating a feature documentary, narrative film, TV commercial, or show, there’s absolutely no reason not to go with the free video editor DaVinci Resolve over a paid software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Avid. However, if you’re only looking to cut together home movies, this is not the editor for you.

Pros
  • Professional non-linear editing
  • AI based magic mask
  • Audio engine with support for 2,000 tracks
  • Cinema quality visual effects and broadcast level motion graphics
Cons
  • Requires expert level knowledge and experience
  • Requires a powerful machine to run smoothly

5. VideoProc Vlogger - Best for Action Cam Footage

VideoProc Vlogger Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS

KommandoTech Rating: 4/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Audio Extractor
  • Remove noise/grain
  • Advanced Color Correction
  • Fisheye Removal

VideoProc Vlogger is free video editing software that we think is a great choice for editing action camera or GoPro footage. It has advanced speed adjustment tools and over 20 speed presets. It also comes with a video stabilizer, time-lapse tools, and motion simulation for applying tilt, roll, and dolly effects. 

Even though it has some pretty advanced effects, this free video editing software is beginner-friendly. It also has a learning center with helpful blogs and user guides, and a support center to answer any questions. 

VideoProc Vlogger is aimed at beginners, hobbyists, and content creators who need advanced motion and speed effect tools. However, professionals will find it lacking in overall video editing tools which is why it falls to number 5 on our list.

Pros
  • Low system requirements
  • No watermarks or ads
Cons
  • Slow rendering
  • Lacks some advanced features

6. Windows Video Editor - Best for Slideshows

Windows Video Editor Interface

Compatibility: Windows

TechRadar Rating: 4/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • 3D Effects
  • Auto Movie Options
  • Fade Effects
  • Customizable Titles

Windows Video Editor (formerly Windows Movie Maker) is free video editing software that comes built-in on PCs with Windows 10 or later. You can find it in the Windows photos app, and although it is not very robust, it does have all the tools needed to bring your photos to life with a fun slideshow. You can add motion to photos and sync your show to the beat of your background music. 

It comes with pre-designed animations, a good collection of filters and themes, and the ability to add music to your projects. Video Editor comes with all the basic track editing tools, such as splitting, trimming, adding text, and adjusting audio. 

This free video editing software is a quick and easy way to edit photos and videos, especially for Windows users who regularly use the native photo app. Windows Video Editor is very simple to use, but has no advanced features and wouldn’t suffice for anything more than a short, simple video or photo slideshow. That is the reason we ranked it under some of our top choices on this list, like PowerDirector Essential. 

Pros
  • Built-in on Windows 10 and later devices
  • User-friendly interface
Cons
  • Very limited features
  • Linear editing, no layers

7. Movie Maker Online - Best for Online Use

Movie Maker Online Interface

Compatibility: Any modern OS with web browser

TechRadar Rating: 3.5/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Transitions
  • Speed Adjustment and Reverse Effect
  • Chroma Key
  • Blur Tool

Based on our review, Movie Maker Online is the most accessible tool for free online video editing. No online editor will be able to compete with the best free video editing software installed on a PC since it can't be as feature-rich or fast. But if you only need to make minor edits and don't need any advanced features, an online tool can be the right option.

Movie Maker Online is incredibly useful if you are looking to make a simple video without having to download software. Upload your videos directly on the site, make all your edits, and download the finished video.

Movie Maker is also the best video editor for low-performance laptops, as it doesn't have a RAM requirement or a specific operating system to run. One big downside is that free Movie Maker Online completely lacks advanced editing and so it ranks right in the middle of the pack of our top editors.

Pros
  • Free music collection
  • Free stock photos
  • Slideshow maker
Cons
  • Lacks advanced editing
  • Cannot edit offline

8. Lightworks - Best for Professionals

Lightworks Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux

TechRadar Rating: 3.5/5

Price: Free 
*Premium subscriptions available for $9.99/month for Lightworks Create and $24.99/month for Lightworks Pro

Key Features:

  • Instant Autosave
  • Background Processing
  • Motion Graphics
  • Filters and LUTs

We found Lightworks to be the most accessible free video editing software for professionals. While DaVinci can be intimidating for intermediate users, Lightworks is more inviting. So if you're looking to take your first step into professional editing, look no further.

It has been around for years, and the professional edition was used to edit box office hits like Pulp Fiction, 28 Days Later, and Congo. If you're willing to put in the work to learn this free video editing software, it's a great choice.

The workspace is split into four main tabs – log, edit, VFX, and audio. One thing to note is that the free version of Lightworks only allows videos to be exported in up to 720p, while Pro can export in a broader range of formats and resolutions. Pro also includes some additional features and plug-ins.

Pros
  • Established 30-year reputation
  • Used to create Hollywood feature films
  • Automatic QC
Cons
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Lacks effect tools

9. Shotcut - Best for Intermediate Users

Shotcut Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux

PCMag Rating: 3.5/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Wide Format Support
  • Audio Mixing
  • Color Correction and Grading
  • 360-degree Video Filters

If you’re not a professional but looking to move beyond iMovie and other basic free video editing software, then we recommend Shotcut as an excellent option. With a typical drag and drop audio and video file manager, plus the ability to export 4k video, any video editor with some experience should find it easy to use.

It is an excellent next step if you have moved on from a basic level free video editing software like Movie Maker Online. It is ideal for intermediate users who are not yet ready to make the jump to professional-level video editing software.

This program is open source, so once you download it, you will have access to all its features and can customize your interface to your liking. It may take a little bit of time to get started but it’s worth the effort once you’re up and running.

Shotcut also offers advanced effects and filters that will help you produce a high-quality video for free.

Pros
  • Open-source, customizable editor
  • Includes advanced effects
  • Pitch compensation for video speed changes
Cons
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Unusual interface that takes time to learn

10. Avid Media Composer First - Best for Budding Professionals

Avid Media Composer First Interface

Image from TechRadar.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

TomsGuide Rating: 3.5/5

Price: Free 
*Premium subscription available for $23.99/month for Avid Media Composer

Key Features:

  • Video Stabilization
  • Time Code Tool
  • Bulk Edit
  • Multicam Editing

Avid Media Composer First is surprisingly robust for free video editing software, containing many of the pro-level tools you find in paid versions. It is the free version of Avid Media Composer, which is a popular editing program for Hollywood professionals. Budding pros would do well to learn the ropes on this free, slimmed-down version before upgrading to professional software.

With this free video editing software, you can edit up to 4 video tracks and 8 audio tracks with 5 bins per project. It has a large amount of color-correcting tools and direct uploads to YouTube and Vimeo.   

The difficulty with Avid Media Composer First is that professionals will find it too limited, and beginners will find it too challenging. That’s why we think it’s perfect for aspiring video professionals who want to become proficient on Avid. Due to these reasons it ranks bottom 6 on our list.

Pros
  • Offers a lot of advanced features
  • Wide video format support
Cons
  • Limited to 1080p export
  • Extremely steep learning curve

11. Adobe Premiere Elements - Best for Organizing Media

Adobe Premiere Elements Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS

PCMag Rating: 3.5/5

Price: 30-day free trial, then $99.99 

Key Features:

  • Auto Reframe
  • Video Stabilization
  • Noise Reduction tool
  • Video-to-Photo tool

Adobe Premiere Elements is an easy-to-use, free video editing software. It comes with Organizer, a separate app that automatically uses facial recognition to tag your files. This software also helps you select and organize the clips you want to edit. 

It is a beginner-friendly yet scaled-down version of Premiere Pro, which is used to edit Hollywood films. Premiere Elements is available in three modes: Quick, Guided, and Expert (though “Expert” is still not for professionals, but consumers who have graduated from the Guided module). 

Premiere Elements is great for home movies but lacks the advanced tools needed for any serious projects. Similar to Avid Media Composer First with Avid Media Composer, Premiere Elements is ideal for beginners who want to get comfortable with an Adobe product before moving up to Premiere Pro. 

Pros
  • Good media organization tools
  • A simplistic and intuitive interface
Cons
  • Uses a lot of CPU
  • Slow rendering times

12. VSDC - Best for Presentations

VSDC Interface

Compatibility: Windows

PCMag Rating: 3/5

Price: Free
*Premium version is $19.99

Key Features:

  • Motion Tracking
  • Video Stabilization
  • Chroma Key
  • Voice Over

If you are looking for a good solution to create business presentations VSDC is a great option. It is a relatively easy-to-use software with all the basic tools you will need to create engaging video content. Plus it makes it easy to work with charts and create videos for specific multimedia devices. 

This program offers advanced editing features, such as color blending and masked effects, that you wouldn't expect from a free video editing software of its kind.

Though VSDC is more suitable for creating presentations, the casual video-editor will find its features sufficient to make fun videos. This includes fun projects like family video greeting cards.

Pros
  • Easy export to social networks
  • Subpixel accuracy
  • Low system requirements
Cons
  • Unpolished interface
  • Too many features are hidden in submenus

13. VideoPad - Best for Beginners

VideoPad Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS

TopTenReviews Rating: 3/5

Price: Free
*Premium versions available for $60 for Home Edition and $99 for Master’s Edition

Key Features:

  • Over 60 Supported Video Formats
  • 3D and 360-degree Editing
  • Audio Effects
  • Chroma Key

If you are just starting your video editing journey and want a very basic free video editing software, VideoPad is a good option. Where PowerDirector is loaded with features, VideoPad is comparatively scaled back. It is a great place to start but eventually, you may outgrow it and want to upgrade.

Beginner video editors will be able to familiarize themselves with its editing tools without spending anything. It features a variety of pre-made transitions and sound effects, along with a few advanced features such as camera shake reduction tools, within a familiar and easy-to-learn platform.

The program offers everything you need to create a clean, simple video without much expertise. It performs most of the fundamental functions you can expect in free video editing software but doesn’t go too far beyond that.

Please note that VideoPad as a free video editing software is available for non-commercial use only.

Pros
  • Simple platform
  • Pre-made transitions
  • Exports directly to YouTube and social media
Cons
  • Limited advanced features
  • UI looks a little outdated

14. Movavi Video Editor - Best for Vlogging

Movavi Video Editor Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS

TechRadar Rating: 2.5/5

Price: 7-day free trial, then 54.95/year 

Key Features:

  • Background Rendering
  • Video Stabilization
  • Stylized filters
  • Voice Over

Movavi Video Editor is a free video editing software and a great way to edit videos for social media. With this easy-to-use editor, you can have a finished product in 20 minutes. Easily make YouTube videos with ready-made intros, animated titles, transitions, sound effects, thematic stickers, and social-media-friendly aspect ratios. 

There are also some advanced video editing tools like chroma key, motion tracking, and time effects. Even though there is no learning curve, Movavi still offers a built-in training module for added support. 

Because Movavi Video Editor is so quick and easy to use, it sacrifices a lot of features found in other editing software, and there is a lack of control over effects which is why it comes in at 14 on this list. 

Pros
  • No learning curve
  • User-friendly interface
Cons
  • Lack of control over effects
  • Slow rendering

15. OpenShot - Best for Beginners With Advanced Features

Openshot Interface

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux

TechRadar Rating: 2/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Time Effects
  • 3D Animations
  • Title Editor
  • Background Removal

Openshot is a bit more complicated than VideoPad but still easy for beginners. With this free video editing software, you will have access to more advanced video editing tools and a little more room to grow.

The program is open source, so anyone can use and adapt the program to meet their needs.

Beginners will find the built-in templates, real-time previews, and advanced timeline features helpful to learn the ropes of editing, while intermediate users will appreciate the unlimited layering options.

We would not recommend Openshot for professionals as we did find some features don’t work as expected which may frustrate those on a tight deadline.

Pros
  • Unlimited layers
  • Open-source
  • Nice-looking interface
Cons
  • Few video tutorials
  • Some features don’t work making editing frustrating

Best Free Video Editing Software Comparison Chart

PowerDirector vs

OS

Windows, macOS

-

Beginner-friendly

Yes

-

Editing Interfaces

Storyboard, Timeline & Slideshow Interfaces

-

Titles & Transitions

Yes

-

Wide Variety of Visual Effect Capabilities

Yes

-

Audio & Color Correction Tools

Yes

-

Download the Best Free Video Editing Software

Dozens of free video editing software options exist on the market today, but not all of them offer the same features and high-quality results. With the help of this guide, hopefully, you’ve been able to narrow down your search. And since these programs are free, you can try all the ones that suit your needs and level of expertise.

If you are still unsure which software to try, you should download our top pick for best overall editor, PowerDirector. It is the only free video editing software on this list that works well for novice, intermediate, and advanced editors. It’s the perfect program to start on and develop your skills.

Download PowerDirector and become an expert-level video editor in no time.

Free Video Editing Software FAQ

1. What is the Best Free Video Editing Software for Beginners?

The best free video editing software options for beginners are built on easy-to-use platforms that allow users to learn quickly. PowerDirector has the most intuitive platform and offers dozens of tutorials to help beginners learn the ropes.

Check out our list of best video editing software for beginners here. 


2. Does Windows 10 Have a Free Video Editor?

Yes, Windows Video Editor, which is #6 on our list. It’s a basic video editor that allows you to trim video clips, add text and music, overlay effects, and incorporate 3D objects. Type “video editor” into your Windows search bar to open the program.


3. Does Windows 10 Have a Movie Maker?

Though Windows once came with a built-in movie maker, this program is no longer available for download. Instead, you can edit movies through the Windows Photos app, Movie Maker Online, or any of the Windows-compatible programs above.


4. Does Mac Have a Free Video Editor?

Yes, Macs come with iMovie, a basic video editor. However, most of the video editors on this list have more features and tools.


5. What are the Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac?

  1. PowerDirector
  2. iMovie
  3. DaVinci Resolve
  4. Lightworks
  5. Shotcut
  6. Movie Maker Online
  7. Openshot
  8. Hitfilm Express

Check out our in-depth review of the Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac in 2022.

6. What are the Best Free Video Editing Apps?

  1. PowerDirector 
  2. iMovie
  3. Splice
  4. Quik
  5. KineMaster
  6. Filmmaker Pro
  7. InShot

To learn more about the above apps, go to 7 Best Free Video Editing Apps in 2022.

7. Is Free Editing Software Good Enough for My Videos?

Absolutely. Free editing software has cut home movies to feature films for years. They 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.

That said, 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.

8. Should I Pay For a Video Editor to Get Better Results?

This depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are going to be editing YouTube videos on the regular it is advisable to invest in a premium video editor. This will help you get the most out of your hardware, speed up the editing process, and create higher-quality cuts and video effects.

But just because you are going to buy a video editor doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Avoid professional industry video editors like Final Cut and Adobe Premiere Pro who are charging high prices for their name recognition.

9. What Video Editing Software Features Should I Look Out For?

This is dependent on what kind of projects you intend on editing. For example, if you are cutting together family videos you aren’t going to need visual effects but you will want easy-to-use tools for splicing clips together. Meanwhile, if you want to create short films or YouTube videos you might want an editor that has stylized transitions and special effects.

Here are a few things to look out for regards of the type of projects:

  • What format and resolution does the video editor support?
  • Does it support the format your camera shoots?
  • Does it export directly to places like social media you want to share your videos to?
  • Are there any visual effects you want to create and does it have the tools to create them? For example, chroma key for green screen videos.
  • Are there any features that make the editing process easier like smart tools or simple editing modes?

10. How Do I Choose a Video Editor?

Below are six important factors to consider when comparing video editing software for PC and mobile.

  • Budget and price
  • Learning curve/ease of use
  • Video format support and Multi-GPGPU acceleration
  • Advanced editing tools
  • Special effects, music, and other perks
  • Quality customer support

11. How Can I Edit Videos Quickly and Easily?

Here are our favorite tips for editing videos faster, no matter your skill or editing experience.

  • Use at least 2 monitors for a larger workspace
  • Create keyboard shortcuts for repetitive tasks
  • Edit in stages, starting backward
  • Edit the b-roll in a separate timeline
  • Take advantage of free stock video and music
  • If you use music throughout, pick the track first and edit to its tempo
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