Sign In
4
PowerDirector

Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac in 2021

Last Updated on Dec. 10, 2020 – by Sam Campbell
Add to My Favorites
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.

Searching for a free video editing software?

Maybe this is your first time editing video and you’re not ready to invest in expensive software. Or perhaps you want to create professional look videos or add cool effects without paying for pricey programs like Premiere Pro.

Video editing can be a casual hobby or a full-time career. With so many different needs and reasons to edit there are lots of free programs to choose from.

But beware, with so many options out there a lot of the free choices can be hit-or-miss; some only offer the most basic of features, while others provide the same or better tools than expansive programs.

With that in mind, we have crafted a list of the best video editing software available for free on Mac. Learn the pros and cons of each to help you determine which option is best for your video editing needs.

The Best Free Video Editor for 2021

1. PowerDirector Essential: The Best Free Choice Overall



PowerDirector offers the functionality and features of an advanced, paid program without the hefty price tag. You can get most of its features for free and subscribe if you would like to take full advantage of all its creative design packs and a full range of export formats. Its intuitive interface and design will make you feel like a pro.

2. iMovie: The Best Free Choice for the Absolute Basics

iMovie Interface

If you’re a Mac user looking for free video editing software, you can’t go wrong using iMovie, which comes pre-installed on most Mac desktops. The program is simple, easy to use, and includes a wide range of basic features, making it one of the best bare-bones video editing software programs for Mac.

3. DaVinci Resolve: The Best Free Choice for Experts and Professionals

DaVinci Resolve Interface

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.

Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac

1. Cyberlink PowerDirector Essential - Best free video editing software overall

PowerDirector Mac Interface

Free version: PowerDirector Essential is a free editing suite with all the basic and advanced features you’ll need to create a professional video.

Pros:

  • Simple, easy-to-navigate audio and video editing
  • Wide selection of essential editing tools
  • Several choices of editing style
  • Designed for all experience levels, beginner to professional

Cons:

  • Exported videos include a watermark
  • Limited free export formats

If you’re new to the video editing world, you will appreciate the comprehensive free features that PowerDirector Essential offers.

This free version introduces you to the mechanics of the program and lets you dive into fundamental video editing tools before investing in the premium option. If you want to add basic effects or transitions to videos without paying for hundreds of advanced features, you will find that PowerDirector suits all your video editing needs.

The free version of PowerDirector includes features such as:

  • Timeline interface
  • Video Collage Designer
  • Speed Controls
  • Chroma Key
  • Masks and Blending Modes
  • Special effects
  • Overlays
  • Titles
  • Transitions

Download the free video editing software:

Free Download
For macOS 10.14 or later Secure Download

2. iMovie

Best free video editing software for the absolute basics

iMovie Interface

Free version: iMovie is preinstalled on most Macs.

Pros:

  • Simple design
  • High-quality audio editing tools
  • Already installed on most Macs

Cons:

  • Limited advanced features

Why not use what you already have? iMovie should be pre-installed on your Mac which makes it an easy choice. It includes a set of easy-to-use audio and editing tools that can produce polished videos for free. It is a fantastic editor for basic video projects.

iMovie includes quality features such as:

  • Automated video editing
  • Audio adjustment tools
  • Effects, transitions, clipping, and splitting options
  • Background music/soundtrack

3. DaVinci Resolve

Best free video editing software for experts and professionals

DaVinci Resolve Interface

Free version: Free download on the website

Pros:

  • Intelligent color correction
  • Multi-user collaboration
  • Quality post-production audio tools

Cons:

  • Requires time to learn
  • Needs a powerful computer to run

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, along with quality audio-editing software.

DaVinci features:

  • Fairlight audio-editing tools
  • Color correction
  • Motion graphics

4. Lightworks

Great free video editing for Professionals

Lightworks Interface

Free version: Features a wide range of tools and effects

Pros:

  • Professional-level editing
  • Access to tutorials


Cons:

  • No 4K export with the free version
  • Tricky to master

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 software it’s a great choice.

Lightworks features:

  • High-precision video trimming
  • Export to 720p
  • Multicam support

5. Shotcut

Free video editing software for intermediate editors

Shotcut Interface

Free version: Free download on the website

Pros:

  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • Open-source program

Cons:

  • Little support for advanced projects
  • Unusual interface takes time to learn

For editors who have moved on from base-level editing software like Movie Maker or iMovie, Shotcut is an excellent next step. This program is open source, so once you download it, you will have access to all of its features and can customize your interface to your liking. Shotcut offers advanced effects and filters that will help you produce a high-quality video for free.

Shotcut features:

  • 4K HD resolution
  • Timeline editing
  • Video and audio editing

6. Movie Maker Online

Best free video editing software for online use

Movie Maker Online Interface

Free version: Always free online

Pros:

  • Access from any computer
  • Automated features
  • Library of songs to use

Cons:

  • Includes ads
  • Unusual interface

One of the biggest perks of Movie Maker Online is right in the name: unlike other editors in 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 is also the best video editor for laptop use, as it doesn’t have a RAM requirement or a specific operating system to run.

Movie Maker Online features:

  • Royalty-free content
  • Variety of editing tools

7. Openshot

Free video editing software for beginners with some advanced features

Openshot Interface

Free version: Free download on website

Pros:

  • Similar interface to iMovie
  • Unlimited layers
  • Open-source

Cons:

  • Few video tutorials

Openshot is free video editing software that simplifies advanced features you would see in more expensive 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.

Openshot features:

  • Real-time previews
  • Advanced Timeline
  • Variety of title effects

8. Hitfilm Express

Free video editing software for advanced editors

Hitfilm Express Interface

Free version: The basic version is free, but you can pay for add-ons.

Pros:

  • Customizable user interface
  • Professional tools
  • Direct uploading to YouTube

Cons:

  • A complicated interface that takes time to learn

Hitfilm Express offers all of the advanced, professional features that editing enthusiasts need for free. The option to add on features starting at $9 each lets you up your game without breaking the bank.

Hitfilm Express features:

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

Best Free Video Editing Software FAQ

What are the easiest free video editing software options?

The best video editing software options for beginners are built on easy-to-use platforms that users can learn quickly. PowerDirector has the most intuitive platform and offers dozens of tutorials to help beginners learn the ropes. iMovie is also easy to navigate, syncs smoothly with other Apple programs, and includes basic features.

Does Mac have a free video editor?

Yes, Macs come with iMovie, a basic video editor, that allows you to trim video clips, add text, music, and simple effects. Look in your Applications folder to find it.

To Sum It Up

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. Thankfully, because these programs are free, you can try them all out for yourself to find the one that suits your needs and expertise.

Check out CyberLink PowerDirector or our other free editing programs today to begin editing incredible videos.

Get PowerDirector 365 Essential for Free

Take your videos to the next level with the best video editor for Mac

Get PowerDirector for Mac, Free!

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like:

Recommend Products: