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17 Best Video Editing Software for YouTube Beginners in 2024

Last Updated on Jan. 5, 2024 – by David Morgan
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There are many things to learn and do before starting a YouTube channel, such as understanding the complex YouTube algorithm, creating eye-catching thumbnails, studying the YouTube code of conduct, and brushing up on things like monetization and music licensing rules. Not to mention coming up with amazing content your viewers will actually want to watch.

By the time it comes to choosing the best video editing software for YouTube, you might just skip the research and go for the first software you come across. But choosing a YouTube video editor should not be an afterthought. The tools you choose can mean the difference between becoming a YouTube success or having a major headache.

We’ve done the research for you and found the best video editing software for YouTube beginners available today. So let’s dive in!


Snapshot of Our Top 3 Video Editing Software for YouTube

PhotoDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector 365 - Best Overall

PowerDirector is the best video editing software for YouTube. Users will find everything they need to edit YouTube videos from start to finish, including intros, outros, a royalty-free background music library, direct uploads to YouTube, and much more. It’s also filled with beginner-friendly features like AI-powered tools and Guided Edits. Detailed Review >

Download the best video editing software for YouTube for free by clicking the link below.

OpenShot Logo

2. OpenShot

Openshot is one of the best video editing software for YouTube because it is lightweight, completely free, and has a user-friendly interface. Detailed Review >

Premiere Elements Logo

3. Kapwing

Kapwing is a web-based YouTube video editor with an easy-to-use layout and professional-level tools. It is the best video editing software for YouTube for adding subtitles to your videos. Detailed Review >

How to Choose the Best Video Editing Software for YouTube

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best video editing software for YouTube. Fortunately, they come in all shapes and sizes, price ranges, and skill levels. For every software you consider, make sure these three things line up with your needs:

Budget

Decide how much you are willing to spend, and don’t even consider software outside of your budget. Fortunately, there are YouTube video editors available in every price range.

Skill Level

The best video editing software for YouTube covers a vast range of skill levels from Hollywood pro to first-timer. Check user reviews to make sure any YouTube video editor you get will be appropriate for your skill set.

Compatibility

This might seem obvious, but make sure your video editing software for YouTube will work on your device and OS. If you edit YouTube videos with video/audio from multiple devices (such as a webcam, screen recorder, gaming console, DSLR camera, or microphone), make sure they are also supported by your software.

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How We Test the Video Editing Software for YouTube on This List

Why trust us to bring you an unbiased list of the best video editing software for YouTube? Read below to find out how we test and rank YouTube video editors.

Check Overall Performance

First, we look at the video editing software for YouTube as a whole. We test rendering speed, stability, and accuracy of effects. We check format support and price to see how it compares to other YouTube video editors. We test them on different operating systems or web browsers, and older or newer model computers and laptops.

Test YouTube-Specific Features

We compare the lists of YouTube-specific tools and test each one. We are looking for features that make it easy to edit YouTube videos, like animated titles, a music/sound effects library, YouTube-specific overlays/stickers, intro/outro templates, direct upload to YouTube with editable metadata, audio restoration, etc.

Rank Ease of Use

While testing features and performance, we are also looking at ease of use. How intuitive is the user interface? Are tools easy to find and figure out? Are there tutorials or guided edits built-in, or did we have to scour the internet for help? Can we quickly edit YouTube videos with beginner-friendly tools such as AI-powered effects and templates?

Compare Results

Finally, to remain impartial, we use an outside reviewer rating to help rank the best video editing software for YouTube. We check multiple reviews from both well-known critics and regular users and pick a score that is most representative of our findings. This research also helps us look at our results and check that they align with the general consensus.

17 Best YouTube Video Editors for Beginners in 2024

1. PowerDirector 365


Best For: Users looking to edit YouTube videos with ease


Why We Picked It 

PowerDirector is the best video editing software for YouTube because it streamlines the editing process and makes even the most complicated editing seem effortless. With pre-made templates and AI-powered tools to automate time-consuming edits, you can have your video posted quickly. There’s even a Magic Movie Wizard that uses intelligent recognition technology to combine your photos and clips into premade templates.   

This YouTube video editor comes with YouTube-specific intro and outro templates, animated “Like” and “Subscribe” overlays, and direct uploads to the site. You can add music and sound effects from the large royalty-free stock library and use Smart Fit to match your music to the length of your video. Clean up audio recorded outdoors with wind removal and noise reduction. You can even create your own stickers and overlays from text using the new AI Sticker Generator. The possibilities with this YouTube video editor are endless.

Pros
  • Thousands of drag-and-drop effects and AI-powered tools allow you to edit YouTube videos with incredible ease
  • A user-friendly interface that lets you locate every tool in 2 clicks or less
  • The fastest rendering speeds of any software
  • Lots of easy-to-use advanced features like motion tracking, title masks, keyframes, multicam, and 360-degree editing
Cons
  • Only subscribers gain access to millions of royalty-free videos, images, background tracks, and sound effects from world-renowned stock libraries

Key Features:

  • Easily customize thousands of YouTube intro/outro templates using the intuitive template designer
  • Apply one-click AI tools like Speech Enhancement, Body Effects, Object Removal, Sky Replacement, and more
  • Create animated titles with templates featuring motion graphics and sound effects
  • Choose from hundreds of pre-designed drag-and-drop transitions
  • Accurately remove and replace backgrounds of any color with one click

Compatibility: Windows, Mac


PCMag Rating: 5/5


Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $4.33/month


Bottom Line

PowerDirector is the best video editing software for YouTube because it offers many professional tools at great value and a low learning curve. It is also filled with features YouTubers need, such as YouTube-specific intro and outro templates, animated “Like” and “Subscribe” overlays, pre-selected YouTube aspect ratios, and direct uploads to the site. You can add music and sound effects from the large royalty-free stock library and use Smart Fit to match your music to the length of your video. Clean up audio recorded outdoors with wind removal and noise reduction. You can even create images and stickers from text using AI. The possibilities with this YouTube video editor are endless.

Download the best video editing software for YouTube for free by clicking the link below and see how PowerDirector makes it a fun and painless process to edit YouTube videos.

2. OpenShot

Openshot Interface

Best For: Learning advanced editing techniques on a budget


Why We Picked It 

OpenShot is one of the best video editing software for YouTube if you are new to video editing. It has a slimmer feature set than other YouTube video editors, and its interface is non-intimidating. It also has more advanced features than you’d expect. The program has a range of color adjustment tools, a background remover, keyframe animations, unlimited editing tracks, and over 400 preset effects. It is also completely free, making it a good option for hobbyists, beginners, or anyone on a budget.

Pros
  • All tools are available at no cost, without any watermarks or limitations
  • Lightweight and efficient in terms of computer resources
Cons
  • Users may experience stability issues such as freezing, lagging, or unexpected crashes
  • Importing, exporting, and rendering videos is slow compared with other YouTube video editors

Key Features:

  • Animate the speed and direction of your clip with time mapping
  • Manipulate clips in a variety of ways including snapping, slicing, panning, zooming, etc.
  • Easily create vector titles with over 40 customizable templates

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux


G2 Rating: 4.4/5


Price: Free


Bottom Line

This video editing software for YouTube has an uncluttered layout, although many features were hidden and took time to locate. It is missing many of the pre-made design and creative assets found in other YouTube video editors. However, because it is entirely free, we placed it above Kapwing, which has the same rating. OpenShot is one of the best video editing software for YouTube for learning how to edit YouTube videos before moving on to more substantial software.

3. Kapwing

Kapwing Interface

Best For: Team collaboration


Why We Picked It 

Kapwing is one of the best video editing software for YouTube beginners because it has tons of AI-generated content, including videos, images, scripts, memes, and more. In our test, we found this YouTube video editor to be a great option for editing in teams, thanks to collaboration tools that work similarly to Google Docs. Anyone on your team can edit YouTube videos and leave feedback simultaneously, with no experience required.

Pros
  • Save time with AI text-to-speech, translation tools, and accurate subtitles that are generated with one click
  • Includes pre-designed YouTube templates including intros, end screens, and outros
Cons
  • Costs more than most YouTube video editors with similar features
  • Many users complain of slow imports and frequent glitches

Key Features:

  • Speed up, slow down, or reverse videos for a cool effect
  • Remove and replace backgrounds with an easy-to-use green screen editor
  • Automatically add corresponding stock footage with an AI B-roll generator

Compatibility: Web Browser


Trustpilot Rating: 4.4/5


Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $16/month


Bottom Line

Kapwing has a simplistic, easy-to-use layout and lots of tools a beginner can use to edit YouTube videos. The problem with Kapwing is that if beginners get comfortable using the free version, it is expensive to move up to the Pro version. If you want to try free software that will grow with you and stay affordable, try PowerDirector

4. Lightworks

Lightworks Free Interface

Best For: Users of any skill level who wish to become proficient video editors


Why We Picked It 

We think Lightworks is one of the best video editing software for YouTube beginners who are serious about learning video editing. YouTube video editors will find it includes some excellent tools such as YouTube presets, a stock music library, voice-over, direct uploads to YouTube, and professional editing features such as trim-slip, ripple, roll, slide, insert, replace, and backfill.

Pros
  • Offers different versions at varying price points and feature sets, making it accessible to a wide range of users
  • Supports background processing, so you can save time by importing, exporting, and rendering while you edit YouTube videos
Cons
  • There’s a learning curve for both beginners and users used to other software

Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop clips into place or utilize advanced editing techniques thanks to a customizable timeline
  • Enhance and color grade videos with pre-built filters or custom LUTs
  • Add movement to videos with over 700 customizable titles and motion graphics

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux


Capterra Rating: 4.3/5


Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $9.99/month for Create and $23.99/month for Pro


Bottom Line

If you are willing to put in the time to learn Lightworks, you could become proficient at industry-leading editing software without paying a dime. However, if you want a free YouTube video editor with advanced features that you can use on your first try, we recommend PowerDirector.  

5. iMovie

iMovie Interface

Image from gsmarena.


Best For: iPhone footage


Why We Picked It 

iMovie is completely free to Mac users, making it one of the best video editing software for YouTube for those on a budget. Our testing found it worked best on iPhone footage, especially when using the Autocorrect function to adjust colors and lighting. Also, you can edit YouTube videos on your iPhone right after filming, and then resume editing later on your Mac.

Pros
  • Uncluttered interface that only shows the tools you need at each stage of editing
  • Allows users to edit across multiple Apple devices through cloud storage
Cons
  • Limited to 2 video tracks, restricting complex editing and layering
  • Users often wait years for updates
  • Automatically adjust the length of your music to your video with Smart Soundtracks
  • Modify depth-of-field on iPhone footage shot in Cinematic Mode
  • Transport your subject to any setting with automatic background removal

Compatibility: Mac


G2 Rating: 4.3/5


Price: Free


Key Features:


Bottom Line

iMovie has a good amount of movie-making tools and effects for beginners, however, it is not the best video editing software for YouTube pros. It lacks motion tracking, multicam editing, 360-degree/3D support, and is limited to 2 editing tracks. Also, it is updated very infrequently. If trending tools and new features are something you crave, try the best video editing software for YouTube, PowerDirector, which is updated frequently.

6. Shotcut

Shotcut Interface

Best For: YouTubers who need a wide range of format options


Why We Picked It 

Shotcut is open-source, cross-platform, and one of the best video editing software for YouTube because of its phenomenal format support, including 4K and 8K resolutions. This YouTube video editor also has a wide selection of device and transport options, including webcam capture.

Pros
  • Updated regularly with improvements and bug fixes
  • Offers advanced functionality at no cost
Cons
  • Lacks social media-friendly output options
  • Has a slight learning curve due to a lack of presets and templates

Key Features:

  • Create composites with blending modes including Dodge, Burn, and Luminosity
  • Color correct footage with 3-way color wheels and an eye-dropper for white balancing
  • Add an audio filter such as Compressor, Downmix, Invert, Reverb, and more for a unique sound

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux


G2 Rating: 4.2/5


Price: Free


Bottom Line

With Shotcut, you can edit YouTube videos with a wide range of video and audio filters, transitions, and unlimited undo and redo options. The interface is not as clean and user-friendly as other free YouTube video editors, but it is very customizable. Shotcut is a good way for beginners to learn complex video editing without any monetary commitment but it has a bit of a learning curve.

7. VideoPad

VideoPad Interface

Best For: Quickly creating content and uploading directly to YouTube


Why We Picked It 

We found you can use VideoPad to edit YouTube videos quickly with voiceover, transitions, and visual effects. This YouTube video editor has time-saving templates including intro, outros, and custom logos. Once completed, you can upload videos directly to YouTube and add/edit metadata, such as the title, tags, and description.

Pros
  • Optimizes videos for social media with pre-defined aspect ratios and an editor for metadata
  • Offers customizable, drag-and-drop templates
Cons
  • If you want to monetize your YouTube videos, you can’t use the free version
  • Slow importing, exporting, and rendering that drastically impedes workflow

Key Features:

  • Create videos quickly with the Video Maker Wizard, providing guided help with pre-defined templates and settings
  • Correct shaky footage with video stabilization
  • Edit and export 360-degree video files to create an immersive experience

Compatibility: Windows, Mac


G2 Rating: 4.1/5


Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $7.72/month, or buy outright for $80 for Home Edition and $139 for Master’s Edition.


Bottom Line

VideoPad is one of the best video editing software for YouTube beginners, home videos, or social media posts. It’s great for learning the ropes, however, serious YouTubers may find they need to upgrade to a more powerful and feature-rich YouTube video editor.

8. Avid Media Composer First

Avid Media Composer First Interface

Best For: Budding professionals


Why We Picked It 

Avid Media Composer First is the free and pared-back version of professional editing software used by Hollywood professionals. It is the best video editing software for YouTube for budding professionals who can learn Avid in a much cheaper and easier-to-use package. This free YouTube video editor contains many pro-level tools like video stabilization, advanced color tools, 4-way multi-cam editing, audio punch-in, and more.

Pros
  • Includes a range of professional-grade features such as multicam editing, best-in-class trim tools, cinematic video effects, advanced color correction, and audio editing
  • Offers direct uploads and publishing tools for YouTube and Vimeo
Cons
  • Avid’s free version caps export resolution at 1080p
  • Even the “beginner-friendly” version requires time and patience to learn

Key Features:

  • Adjust the size and position of video frames with Frame Flex
  • Color correct footage with predefined filters, HSL controls, hue offsets, and luma ranges
  • Automatically lower the volume of background audio when there is voiceover or dialogue

Compatibility: Windows, Mac


G2 Rating: 4.1/5


Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $23.99/month for Media Composer and $49.99/month for Media Composer Ultimate


Bottom Line

While Avid Media Composer is easier to use than Avid Media Composer, it’s not exactly “beginner-friendly.” So if you aren’t looking to learn Avid and need a YouTube video editor that a novice can use, try the best video editing software for YouTube, PowerDirector.

9. Movavi Video Suite

Movavi Video Suite Interface

Best For: Instructional videos that require screen recording


Why We Picked It 

Movavi Video Suite is one of the best video editing software for YouTube beginners because it has excellent screen recording capabilities, including manual control over the capture area. It’s perfect for YouTubers who primarily make instructional videos or webinars. In our test, we found you can quickly edit YouTube videos with chroma key, color adjustment, pan/zoom, crop/rotate, and video stabilization with no experience necessary.

Pros
  • Offers a visually pleasing and intuitive UI that is easy to navigate
  • New users can edit YouTube videos right away with simple, one-click tools
Cons
  • Much longer rendering speeds than you find with other YouTube video editors
  • Poor level of control and customization options available for effects and transitions

Key Features:

  • Instantly adjust the mood of your footage with 180+ filters
  • Insert ready-made YouTube intros into your videos
  • Attach visual elements to moving objects with motion tracking

Compatibility: Windows, Mac


PCMag Rating: 4/5


Price: 7-day free trial, then $55.95/year or $79.95 for a Lifetime License


Bottom Line

Movavi has a user-friendly interface, a low learning curve, and doesn’t require a lot of storage. However, seasoned editors won’t like that they don’t have much control over effects, nor will they like the glacially slow rendering times. If speed and control are features you need to edit YouTube videos, we recommend PowerDirector.

10. VideoProc Vlogger

VideoProc Vlogger Interface

Best For: Creating extreme sports or travel videos from action cam footage


Why We Picked It 

VideoProc Vlogger is the best video editing software for YouTube for action videos because it comes with advanced motion and speed adjustment tools. It includes 20 speed presets and cinematic camera movements like dolly, tilt, and roll. Pan and zoom over still images to create a Ken Burns effect, and remove lens distortions and visual noise.

Pros
  • Runs efficiently on computers with lower specifications
  • All tools are available at no cost without ads, watermarks, bloatware, or export limits
Cons
  • Exporting and rendering videos may take longer than desired
  • Lacks advanced features such as collaboration tools, a video converter, a stock library, 3D editing, and multicam support

Key Features:

  • Show change over a long period of time with the time-lapse tool
  • Extract audio, fade in/out, change your voice, add audio effects, and more with audio editing features
  • Color grade and correct footage with over 90 built-in LUTs

Compatibility: Windows, Mac


CreativeBlog Rating: 4/5


Price: Free


Bottom Line

This YouTube video editor is perfect for vloggers who record on the go. It also has great customer service and user support. VideoProc Vlogger lacks some advanced functionality and probably wouldn’t cut it for professionals. However, for beginners (especially those using a GoPro or similar action camera), it’s one of the best video editing software for YouTube.

11. Canva

Canva Interface

Best For: Making high-quality designs with no experience


Why We Picked It 

The site has millions of design assets, ensuring no 2 YouTube videos look the same. Canva is known for its beautifully designed templates, allowing you to flex your design skills and creativity and still have a video done in minutes. There are thousands of customizable templates for a variety of uses, including YouTube intros and video thumbnails.

Pros
  • Online, desktop, and mobile versions are available providing flexibility and convenience
  • Offers a vast library of free templates and graphical elements to enhance video projects
Cons
  • Mostly a graphic design platform with very few video editing tools available
  • Does not offer direct uploads to YouTube

Key Features:

  • Peruse thousands of animated stickers, graphics, shapes, charts, and more
  • Automatically sync your video to your music’s beat
  • Resize videos automatically for different social platforms

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Web Browser


CreativeBlog Rating: 4/5


Price: Free
*Pro version available for $119/year


Bottom Line

Canva has an impressive amount of stock and design assets, plus basic video editing tools. Serious YouTubers should consider the Pro version for necessary tools like Magic Resize, a background remover, brand kits, and content management. We were surprised to find that Canva doesn’t support direct uploads to YouTube, even though it offers that feature for other platforms such as TikTok and Facebook.   

12. WeVideo

WeVideo Interface

Best For: Automatic video creation from templates


Why We Picked It 

We chose WeVideo as one of the best video editing software for YouTube because of its easy-to-use tools and plethora of learning materials. There are 30 effects that beginners can apply with one click, and animation tools that anyone can use. There are also 50 transitions, a voice-over recorder, and a large selection of YouTube templates.  

Pros
  • Comes with a library of YouTube-specific intro/outro templates
  • Excellent customer support for troubleshooting and assistance
Cons
  • Stock libraries, brand kits, and direct uploads to social media are only available in the expensive Professional/Business plans
  • Users may experience long wait times when importing videos into the software

Key Features:

  • Customize text templates to your liking with a variety of pre-set animations, colors, and fonts
  • Record your screen, webcam, or both
  • Remove and replace the background of your green screen footage, or use a green screen stock video

Compatibility: Web Browser


Trustpilot Rating: 3.6/5


Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $4.99/month for Power, $7.99/month for Unlimited, $19.99/month for Professional, and $36.99/month for Business


Bottom Line

This YouTube video editor offers several tiers at varying price points, however, the free version is more of a “try before you buy” offer. WeVideo saves features needed to edit YouTube videos, like recording your screen and webcam simultaneously, stock, brand kits, and direct upload to YouTube for the expensive Professional plan. We recommend PowerDirector, which comes with many more video editing features, yet costs a fraction of the price.

13. Premiere Elements

Premiere Elements Interface

Best For: Organizing media with facial recognition and geotags


Why We Picked It 

This YouTube video editor allows you to quickly find and organize your videos with automatic tagging, facial recognition, and curation. We found Premiere Elements to be one of the best video editing software for YouTube beginners thanks to AI-powered tools, templates, and 26 guided edits. There are also YouTube aspect ratios to choose from right on the starting page and an output option that allows you to compress large files before uploading.

Pros
  • The interface is uncluttered and easy to navigate
  • Provides ample guided edits and tutorials to assist new users
Cons
  • Tools are very basic and lack advanced functionality
  • Slow exporting and rendering of videos which can impede workflow

Key Features:

  • Make your video look like a popular art style with AI art filters
  • Overlay two or more videos to create a double exposure effect
  • Change the weather with animated overlays

Compatibility: Windows, Mac


PCMag Rating: 3.5/5


Price: $99.99


Bottom Line

Premiere Elements is not the best video editing software for YouTube pros, as it is missing some advanced tools like 360-degree editing, multi-cam editing, and screen recording. However, the slimmed-down offerings make it an easier choice for novices. We found this YouTube video editor also had very slow rendering times and output speeds. PowerDirector, by contrast, has the fastest rendering times in the business.  

14. Movie Maker Online

Movie Maker Online Interface

Best For: First-time video editors creating simple videos


Why We Picked It 

It’s one of the best video editing software for YouTube beginners because it is completely free with no watermark and even has a free stock library. Users can edit YouTube videos immediately, as there is no signup and nothing to download. It offers easy-to-use tools like reverse video, slow-motion, chroma key, text tools, and a mirror effect.   

Pros
  • Access to royalty-free stock images and music at no charge
  • Completely free with no watermark added to exported videos
Cons
  • Contains frequent and disruptive ads causing it to run slowly
  • Horizontal timeline is confusing for those with editing experience
  • Only provides very basic tools and patchy effects

Key Features:

  • Adjust the duration, motion, sound, and style of any transition effect
  • Convert video footage to black and white with the greyscale effect
  • Pixelate an entire clip or a chosen area with blur tools

Compatibility: Web Browser


TechRadar Rating: 3.5/5


Price: Free


Bottom Line

If you are looking to edit YouTube videos with simple tools, Movie Maker Online will get the job done. Its tools aren’t up to par with downloadable or paid software, but it’s hard to complain when you aren’t spending a dime. Those with editing experience will find it lacks advanced tools and may be confused by the atypical horizontal interface.

15. Magix Movie Studio

Magix Movie Studio Interface

Image from Techradar.


Best For: Quick editing for busy YouTubers


Why We Picked It 

We found Magix to be one of the best video editing software for YouTube for both beginners and busy influencers. This YouTube video editor offers plenty of one-click solutions such as Remove Beginning and Split Movie, and includes over 900 effects, transitions, and titles. Direct upload to YouTube and fast rendering speeds mean you can edit YouTube videos and post in mere minutes.

Pros
  • Includes one-click tools and manual adjustments plus a choice of timelines to cover a wide range of users
  • Simple tools and quick rendering times for an efficient editing workflow
Cons
  • Some features, such as stock libraries from Storyblocks and the Text-to-Speech Wizard are only available to annual subscribers on the Platinum or Suite level
  • Suffers from stability issues such as crashes and unexpected shutdowns

Key Features:

  • Display multiple videos or images simultaneously with split-screen effects
  • Create ultra slow-mo or lightning fast playback effects
  • Choose the intensity and duration of effects using keyframe animations

Compatibility: Windows


PCMag Rating: 3/5


Price: 30-day free trial, then $69.99 for Movie Studio, $99.99 for Platinum, and $129 for Suite.
*Annual subscriptions are also available for $35.88, $47.88, or $59.88


Bottom Line

Like our top choice, PowerDirector, Magix Movie Studio is one of the best video editing software for YouTube for any level of editing expertise, with tools that can be applied either automatically or manually. But although the prices are similar, Magix doesn’t have a dedicated free version, and we found it wasn’t as stable or highly rated as PowerDirector.  

16. Animoto

Animoto Interface

Best For: Busy creators and daily vloggers


Why We Picked It 

Animoto is a cloud-based free YouTube video editor for busy creators trying to churn out content quickly, such as daily vloggers. It has hundreds of video templates you can easily customize with professional fonts and millions of stock assets. It is one of the best video editing software for YouTubers with little design experience to create a professional-looking video in minutes.

Pros
  • Offers time-saving templates that adhere to social media best practices
  • Provides access to a library of royalty-free background tracks - even in the free version
Cons
  • Few customizations are available, offering little creative freedom
  • Many users reported unhelpful customer service, and great difficulty canceling paid subscriptions

Key Features:

  • Invite anyone to leave a time-stamped comment on your video with collaboration tools
  • Trim/Crop unwanted sections or adjust the frame size of videos
  • Record, upload, and edit voice-over narration

Compatibility: Web Browser


TechRadar Rating: 3/5


Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $15/month for Basic, $24/month for Professional, and $65/month for Teams


Bottom Line

Animoto is one of the best video editing software for YouTubers who need a quick fix and don’t mind forgoing creative control. This video editing software for YouTube only has basic editing tools yet the cost is similar to professional software.

17. Windows Video Editor

Windows Video Editor Interface

Best For: Windows Photos users


Why We Picked It 

Windows Video Editor is found inside the Windows Photo App and is the best video editing software for YouTube for users who are already using it to edit and organize their photos. Beginners can edit YouTube videos quickly with the Auto Movie option, and it comes with all the basic editing tools you need such as filters, themes, transitions, music, and text. 

Pros
  • Included as part of the OS on devices with Windows 10/11 eliminating the need for separate installation
  • Interface is easy to use and navigate for beginners
Cons
  • It has a very small feature set with only basic editing tools
  • Users have experienced frequent crashes or instability while using the software
  • It is considered Legacy software and is no longer being updated

Key Features:

  • Create cinematic titles and credits sequences with templates and adjust colors, speed, and duration
  • Draw or annotate directly on the video frame
  • Add 3D effects and objects to add depth and visual interest to videos

Compatibility: Windows


TechRadar Rating: 2/5


Price: Free


Bottom Line

If you use Windows Photos to store photos and videos, Windows Video Editor is the best video editing software for YouTube for putting together fun video projects. However, the software is too basic to grow with you as your YouTube career progresses. Also, Microsoft has replaced Windows Video Editor as its built-in editing software and is no longer providing updates.

Best Video Editing Software for YouTube Comparison Chart

Software OS YouTube Templates Upload Directly to YouTube Motion Tracking MultiCam Editing
PowerDirector 365 Windows, Mac Yes Yes Yes Yes
OpenShot Windows, Mac, Linux No No No No
Kapwing Web Browser Yes Yes - on Pro and Business Versions only No No
Lightworks Windows, Mac, Linux No Yes Yes Yes
iMovie Mac No No No No
Shotcut Windows, Mac, Linux No No No No
VideoPad Windows, Mac Yes Yes No No
Avid Media Composer First Windows, Mac No Yes Yes Yes
Movavi Video Suite Windows, Mac Yes Yes Yes No
VideoProc Vlogger Windows, Mac No No No No
Canva Windows, Mac, Web Browser Yes No No No
WeVideo Web Browser Yes Yes No No
Premiere Elements Windows, Mac No Yes Yes No
Movie Maker Online Web Browser No No No No
Magix Movie Studio Windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
Animoto Web Browser Yes Yes No No
Windows Video Editor Windows No No No No

PowerDirector 365 vs

OS

Windows, Mac

-

YouTube Templates

Yes

-

Upload Directly to YouTube

Yes

-

Motion Tracking

Yes

-

MultiCam Editing

Yes

-

Download the Best Video Editing Software for YouTube for Free

If you are launching a new YouTube channel, you probably don’t have time to look for the perfect YouTube video editor.

Save yourself the headache and start with PowerDirector 365, the best video editing software for YouTube beginners. It has all the features you need to edit YouTube videos, like title templates, transitions, animated overlays, video speed adjustment, a video stabilizer, special effects, and so much more.  

This video editing software for YouTube has a large royalty-free library of background music, sound effects, photos, and videos, as well as fun audio effects like a voice-changer. You can change the background or remove unwanted objects from your shot and upload your video directly to YouTube.  

Click the link below to download PowerDirector 365 for free and edit YouTube videos today.

Best Video Editing Software for YouTube FAQ

1. What features should I look for in video editing software for YouTube?

The top ten features you need to edit YouTube videos are

  1. Titles
  2. Royalty-free background music
  3. Transitions
  4. Split/Trim/Crop features
  5. Animated stickers/overlays/text
  6. YouTube templates
  7. User-friendly interface
  8. Background replacement
  9. Object removal
  10. Filters

If you’re looking for video editing software for YouTube that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PowerDirector 365. Download the best video editing software for YouTube for free today by clicking the link below.

2. What software do YouTubers use to edit videos?

Content creators use PowerDirector 365 to edit YouTube videos because they can create high-quality, unique videos quickly, easily, and affordably. PowerDirector is a Google Play Editor’s Choice, PC Mag Editor’s Choice, Tom’s Guide’s Best Video Editing Software, and TechRadar Best Free Video Editing Software.

Try the best video editing software for YouTube today by clicking the link below.

3. How do YouTubers get paid?

YouTubers get paid through ads and sponsorships. 

There are 2 kinds of YouTube ads - pre-roll and bumper. Pre-rolls are the ads that play before a video and give the viewer the option to skip. Bumper ads are quick ads that play in the middle of longer videos and can’t be skipped. The higher your video’s view count, the more the ad plays, and the more money you make.

When a company pays to have its product mentioned or used in the video for YouTube directly, it’s a sponsorship. You see this a lot in toy unboxing videos and movie promotions.

4. How do YouTubers record their videos?

This depends on the individual YouTuber and the type of content they are making. A gamer will record using a webcam and screen recorder, while a vlogger might use a webcam or mobile phone to record. DSLR cameras are often used as well, although these days mobile phones record just as well! Travel or Action vloggers use an action camera such as GoPro to record in bumpy or wet conditions. 

Whatever you use to record, make sure the resolution is somewhere between 1080 and 4K. When you edit YouTube videos in that resolution it will look high-quality, yet won’t exceed YouTube’s size limit.

5. Can I edit videos on YouTube?

Yes. There is a free YouTube video editor available on the site that is easy for beginners.

Follow these steps to edit YouTube videos using YouTube Studio:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio. You need to have an account to use the video editor.
  2. Click Upload and choose the video you want to edit.
  3. After your video uploads, click Content, then click on the thumbnail of your uploaded video.
  4. Click Editor to open the video editing suite.

6. Is the YouTube editor free?

Yes. YouTube Studio is free for anyone with a YouTube account.

7. Can I pay someone to edit my YouTube videos?

Yes, you can pay someone to edit YouTube videos for you. If you will be posting several videos a month, consider signing up with a subscription-based editing service, which will save you money overall.

8. How much does it cost to hire a video editor for YouTube?

Subscription-based YouTube editing company VidCHOPS charges $325/month for 4 videos, $595/month for 8-12 videos, and $995/month for 16-20. 

The company Upwork hires out YouTube video editors by the hour, and most cost between $15-30/hour. 

If you hire an independent editor, it can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000, depending on the complexity of your video. 

9. How do I learn to edit videos for YouTube?

You can learn to edit YouTube videos easily with PowerDirector, our choice of the best video editing software for YouTube. If you need help along the way, PowerDirector has a Learning Center that gives simple, step-by-step instructions for every tool. 

Try it for yourself today by clicking the link below.

10. Does YouTube still have an editor?

Yes, the YouTube video editor is still available for free in YouTube Studio.

11. Do YouTubers pay their editors?

Yes, if they don’t have the time or know-how to edit YouTube videos themselves, they will pay an outside editor.

12. Is it worth hiring a YouTube editor?

Whether to hire a YouTube video editor comes down to 3 things: time, money, and expertise. Everyone’s combination of the three will be different, but you can use them as guideposts to decide if an outside hire is right for you. 

For instance, a popular YouTuber who is bringing in lots of money and has little time available would probably find it beneficial to hire an outside editor, even if they have video editing experience.

13. Do fan edits on YouTube make money?

No, most fan edits cannot be monetized because they are considered copyright infringement. 

However, you can monetize a fan edit if you can prove the content you used is in the public domain (i.e. the copyright has expired or been forfeited), or if you have written permission from the copyright holder.

14. How much income per 1,000 views on YouTube?

YouTube monetization is not an exact science, so that number can range from $4 - $24 per 1,000 views. Your take depends on where you live, your video length, how many viewers skip ads, how many YouTube Premium viewers you have, and many other factors.

15. How many hours do YouTubers edit?

A good rule of thumb is about 30 minutes to 1 hour for each minute of edited video. Therefore, it could take 2.5 - 5 hours to edit YouTube videos that are 5 minutes in length. If you add features like special effects or advanced color correction, it will take longer. 

However, many of the video editing software for YouTube on our list are made specifically for beginners and have pre-made templates and one-click effects that allow you to edit YouTube videos at a much quicker pace.

16. How much money are 100K YouTube streams?

This number can fluctuate from as low as $500 to as high as $2500 depending on a number of factors, including video length and whether viewers skip the ads. Most people will make closer to the lower end, while only the most famous YouTubers will get near the top amount.

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