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Best Free Video Editing Software for Windows PC in 2022

Last Updated on Jan. 21, 2022 – by David Morgan
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Best Free Video Editing Software for PC

The best free video editing software let’s you edit together home movies, put together an engaging video presentation, or produce Hollywood-level videos without breaking the bank.

Editing videos has become a popular hobby and career for many. As a result, there are lots of free and paid programs to choose from.

Unfortunately, free video editing programs can be hit-or-miss: some offer only basic-level features, some are too glitchy or clunky to be worth your time, while others provide the same or better tools than paid programs.

If you're in the market for free video editing software it can be tough to find a solution that suits your needs.

Regardless, if 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 an editor out there that’s right for you.

To help you sort through all your options, we have compiled a list of the best video editing software options for Windows that you can download for free. Continue reading to learn about the pros and cons of each and determine which video maker is best for you.

Top 3 Free Video Editing Software Snapshot

PowerDirector Logo

1. Best Overall: PowerDirector

Enables you to produce high-quality videos like the pros. Features an intuitive interface designed for anyone wanting to create amazing videos. Ideal for all skill levels. Detailed Review >

DaVinci Resolve Logo

2. Best for Experts and Profesionals: DaVinci Resolve

Industry standard software that combines editing, color correction, visual effects, motion graphics and audio post production all in one. Recommended for experts. Detailed Review >

Movie Maker Online Logo

3. Best for Online Users: Movie Maker Online

A simple editor that works online without software download and installation. Lacks advanced features. Best for simple edits and quick adjustments. No editing experience needed. Detailed Review >

Finding the ideal video editor for your needs may take some time and research. If you’re looking for some quick suggestions, check out this video for a round up of top video editors for Windows or check out the rest of the article for additional information.

Overall The 9 Best Free Video Editors on PC

1. Best Overall: PowerDirector

PowerDirector Essential

Compatibility:
Microsoft Windows 11, 10, 8/8.1, 7 (64 bit OS only). Mac OSX 10.14.

Key Features:

  • Storyboard, Timeline, and Slideshow Interfaces
  • Titles, Transitions, and Overlays
  • Wide Variety of Visual Effect Capabilities
  • Audio and Color Correction Tools

User Friendliness: 10/10
Advanced Features: 9/10
Easy to Learn: 10/10

If you're new to the video editing world, you will appreciate the comprehensive free features that PowerDirector Essential offers.No matter if you’re starting your own YouTube channel, editing together home movies, or cutting a short film you’ll have all the tools you need and then some.

You’ll be able to dive right in with its fundamental video editing tools, effects, and transitions without paying for the advanced features or needing video editing experience. The free version of PowerDirector will suit all your everyday video editing needs no matter if you are an amateur or professional.

PowerDirector is a long-time winner of the prestigious PC Magazine Editors' Choice award and comes highly recommended by Techradar Pro. It includes professional and AI-powered tools that don't break the bank but can turn your videos into Hollywood-level works of art.

Pros
  • Free for Apple customers
  • Simple interface
  • Integrates without Apple devices
Cons
  • Lacks professional-grade features
  • Not available on Android

Download the free video editing software:

2. Best for Experts: DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve Interface

Compatibility:
Windows 10 Creators Update. macOS 10.14.6. CentOS 7.3

Key Features:

  • Professional editing, color, effects & audio post
  • Image processing with latest wide gamut HDR
  • Immersive 3D audio workflows
  • HDR grading tools

User Friendliness: 6/10
Advanced Features: 10/10
Easy to Learn: 2/10

There is no denying DaVinci Resolve is an incredibly powerful video editor. Designed best for working with Blackmagic camera footage and specially designed DaVinci hardware this is a great choice if you are willing to put in the time and have the dedication to learn it.

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 includes with the ability to produce high-quality visual effects and audio-editing capabilities

If you’re creating a feature documentary or narrative film, or a 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. 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

3. Best for Online Use: Movie Maker Online

Movie Maker Online Interface

Compatibility:
Any modern OS with web browser

Key Features:

  • Web-based video editing
  • Beginner friendly
  • Basic editing tools
  • GIF to Video

User Friendliness: 9/10
Advanced Features: 1/10
Easy to Learn: 10/10

One of the biggest perks of Movie Maker Online is right in the name: unlike other editors on this list, Movie Maker runs in your browser. You can edit videos through the program on any desktop device and pick up where you left off at any time.

Movie Maker Online is incredibly useful if you are looking to make a simple videos 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 the free Movie Maker Online does completely lack advanced editing. 

Pros
  • Free music collection
  • Free stock photos
  • Slideshow maker
Cons
  • Lacks advanced editing
  • Internet connection required

4. Best for Professionals: Lightworks

Lightworks Interface

Compatibility:
Windows Vista or later. macOS v10.9 or later.

Key Features:

  • Timeline Editing
  • Effects, Titles & Transitions
  • Audio EQ & Mixing
  • Access to Stock Music

User Friendliness: 7/10
Advanced Features: 7/10
Easy to Learn: 6/10

If you're looking for a free program that professionals use, Lightworks is one of your best options. 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 movie maker, it's a great choice.

Lightworks is more accessible than DaVinci Resolve if you are looking for a professional level editor. But it does lack capabilities found in other professional editors. 

The workspace is split into four main tabs – log, edit, VFX, and audio. One thing to note is the free Lightworks only allows exports 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

5. Best for Intermediate Users: Shotcut

Shotcut Interface

Compatibility:
Windows/Mac/Linux

Key Features:

  • 4K HD resolution
  • Timeline editing
  • Video and audio editing
  • 3-way color wheels for color correction and grading

User Friendliness: 5/10
Advanced Features: 8/10
Easy to Learn: 5/10

For editors who have moved on from base-level editing software like Movie Maker Online, Shotcut is an excellent next step. It is ideal for intermediate users not yet ready to make the jump to a 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. This will require a little know and time but if you put in the work, you will really appreciate it when editing.

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

6. Best for Presentations: VSDC

VSDC Interface

Compatibility:
Microsoft Windows 7 (32bit/64bit) or higher

Key Features:

  • Non-linear video editor
  • Visual and audio effects
  • Blending modes and Instagram-like filters Masking

User Friendliness: 5/10
Advanced Features: 7/10
Easy to Learn: 7/10

If you're a beginner video editor looking to make a professional presentation, you will love VSDC's easy-to-use platform. This program offers advanced editing features, such as color blending and masked effects, that you wouldn't expect from a free, basic program 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.

Plus, working with charts and creation of videos for specific multimedia devices is easy with VSDC.

Pros
  • Motion tracking
  • Easy export to social networks
  • Subpixel accuracy
Cons
  • Unpolished interface
  • Too many features are hidden in submenus

7. Best for Beginners: VideoPad

VideoPad Interface

Compatibility:
Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10/11. Mac OS X 10.5 and above.

Key Features:

  • Camera stabilization
  • Sound effects library
  • 3D editing

User Friendliness: 6/10
Advanced Features: 4/10
Easy to Learn: 8/10

VideoPad is an excellent program for beginners wanting to play around with video editing tools for free. It features a variety of simple pre-made transitions and sound effects, along with a few advanced features such as camera shake reduction tools, in a familiar and easy-to-learn platform.

The program offers all the necessities to create a clean, simple video without much expertise. It performs the most important functions of a video editor and doesn’t go too far beyond that.

It is important to note that VideoPad as a free video editor 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

8. Best for Beginners with Advanced Features: Openshot

Openshot Interface

Compatibility:
Windows/Mac/Linux

Key Features:

  • Real-time previews
  • Advanced Timeline
  • Variety of title effects
  • Compositing, image overlays, watermarks

User Friendliness: 6/10
Advanced Features: 7/10
Easy to Learn: 7/10

Openshot is free video editing software that simplifies advanced features you would see inexpensive programs. 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 and could 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

9. Best for Advanced Hobbyist: Hitfilm Express

Hitfilm Express Interface

Compatibility:
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit). macOS 11.0 Big Sur, macOS 10.15 Catalina or macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Key Features:

  • 180+ editing effects
  • Wide range of import formats
  • 2D and 3D video support

User Friendliness: 4/10
Advanced Features: 9/10
Easy to Learn: 4/10

Hitfilm Express offers all of the basic features that editing enthusiasts need for free. The option to add on more features starts at $9 each lets you pay-per feature from there.

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. The free video editor includes color adjustments, keying effects, lens flares, and lightswords.

For being a non-professional video editor, 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

Best Video Editor for Windows Free Download

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 expertise.

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

Download PowerDirector today and see how quickly you can become an expert-level video editor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is video editing software?

Video editing software is a program that allows you to cut and trim videos in order to combine them into a longer video. It can be used to modify and manipulate footage in a wide variety of ways.
You can use it to add text, images, special effects, sound design and color correct your videos.


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.


Does Windows 10 have a free video editor?

Yes, Windows 10 comes with 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.


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.


Does Mac have a free video editor?

Yes, Macs come with iMovie, a basic video editor. However, the video editors on this list do have more features and tools which is why iMovie isn’t listed among them.


What is the best free video editing software for Mac?

The best free video editing software that doesn’t break the bank and lets you create pro-level videos.

  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.


What is the best free video editing apps for mobile?

The best video editing apps for iPhone and Android allow you to create compelling content from your mobile device.Here are our choices for the seven best free video editing apps for iPhone and Android.

  1. PowerDirector (iOS, Android)
  2. iMovie (iOS)
  3. Splice (iOS, Android)
  4. Quik (iOS, Android)
  5. KineMaster (iOS, Android)
  6. Filmmaker Pro (iOS, Android)
  7. Inshot (iOS, Android)
Looking to edit on the go? Check out our review of the Best Free Mobile Video Editing Apps in 2022.


Is free editing software good enough for my videos?

Absolutely. Free editing software have cut home movies to feature films for years. They may not have all the bells and whistles as a 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.


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 thanks to their name recognition.


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 have stylized transitions and special effects.

Here 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?


How do I choose a video editor?

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

  1. Budget and price
  2. Learning curve/ease of use
  3. Video format support and Multi-GPGPU acceleration
  4. Advanced editing tools
  5. Special effects, music, and other perks
  6. Quality customer support

How can I edit videos quickly and easily?

My favorite tips for editing videos faster, no matter your skill or editing experience.

  • Use at least 2 monitors for larger workspace
  • Create keyboard shortcuts for repetitive tasks
  • Edit in Stages, starting backwards
  • 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 it’s tempo
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