Last Updated on 17.09.2022
A free video editor is not that rare. There are many free and quite professional video editing apps, and their capabilities are varied. In this review, we analyze the best free video editors.
Here we are not considering mobile video editors; there are separate publications devoted to them.
Here we will talk about free video editors that are installed on a regular desktop computer or designed to work in a browser window.
Free video editors are usually truncated versions of the paid versions or full-featured programs, the capabilities of which can be extended by adding paid plugins, modules or add-on programs.
These programs are clearly prevalent, although there are also “essentially free” products, whose authors find other ways to monetize them or use them to test solutions that later go to commercial development, or through advertising in programs or in their information environment.
Online video publishers are more likely to make money from advertising, or in the more basic and limited free version of services that are fully available with a paid subscription.
However, current data rates have made it possible to use online services for video processing, and this can be a very practical solution in some situations.
Avidemux – basic free video editor
Exactly what the developer says about this program: a free program to easily trim and edit videos. There are some simple filters and effects.
However, all the basic functions are competently provided and implemented:
- color correction,
- simple video transformations,
- work with sound,
- work with titles,
- quality improvement (noise reduction and sharpening adjustments),
- export management.
Compact, fast and simple solution for everyday use. There is documentation and a functional forum.
Blender – free video editor and more
In truth, this app is not really a video editor. This is an application that allows you to create 3D graphics, 3D animations and make videos using them.
However, the video editor is an integral part of this app and even with its modest capabilities it is quite effective.
This is what this app can do:
- create and edit 3D models,
- draw 2D models and combine them with 3D models,
- animate 2D and 3D models,
- create animated “stories”,
- render using materials, lights, effects and textures,
- simulate rain, wind, fire, smoke, liquid, clothing, solids and particles,
- import video, images, sound,
- edit the video sequence using the compositing technique,
- apply various effects and filters.
A nice and expected advantage is the ability to use 3D printing modules.
The app is available in versions for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Steam. If you are a programmer and want to add something important and undying on your part, you can download the full source code of the application and update it at your discretion.
DaVinci Resolve – maybe, the best Free Video Editor
Professional video editor. In principle, this practically says it all, and in the opinion of a large number of its users, any comparison is unnecessary. However, the features of this program require some explanation.
The fact is that the program is developed and supported by a company that specializes not only in software.
The company supplies a wide range of professional equipment for shooting, storing, editing, converting and transmitting video data.
There is even a special keyboard (expensive but beautiful, absolutely necessary for a professional) to work with a video editor!
DaVinci Resolve Video Editor:
- has an intuitive and well-designed interface,
- supports import and export of project files from all popular video editors on the market,
- provides a separate dedicated page for cropping, pasting, trimming, flattening and aligning, because there are so many editing options that they just don’t fit into the usual menu system frames,
- provides the most complete set of tools for working with titles, subtitles and annotations,
- includes many video effects and powerful compositing tools,
- allows you to remove and adjust the image by painting over the video, selecting and removing unwanted objects,
- supports individual object rotoscoping, tracking and isolation,
- Effective means of working with multi-camera material.
And these are just its main features! It goes without saying that all the tools available for other video editors are fully compatible with DaVinci Resolve.
Not being film professionals, we find no fault with this video editor, except that the sheer variety of its capabilities will require patience and time to master, as well as fairly high equipment requirements.
The application is available in versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Running Linux on top of DaVinci Resolve, you can build your own studio system that supports up to 8 graphics cards.
HitFilm Express – Professional Free Video Editor
A professional level fully functional installable video editor. The user has access to a fairly classic design interface, it has good documentation in English.
The free version has extensive tools:
- work in 4K resolution,
- tools for working with audio tracks,
- advanced composition tools,
- support for panoramic videos,
- a sufficient set of effects and filters,
- good tools for working with color.
HitFilm Express video editor in the basic version does not require any hardware resources and can run on a common modern computer.
The free version can be extended by purchasing inexpensive plugins with the required functionality. However, in our opinion, a more practical solution is to buy the Pro version, in which case each of the possible extensions and additions will cost much less.
The app is available in both Windows and MacOS versions. In addition to extension modules and plugins, there are companion applications for it, designed to solve related tasks.
iMovie – free video editor for MacOS
iMovie Video Editor, as you can guess from its name, is a free app from Apple. Installable on all types of Apple devices, completely free.
iMovie Video Editor provides users with:
- a complete set of editing tools,
- chromakey (green),
- a set of high-quality filters and effects,
- 4K video support,
- decent quality credits,
- split screen and picture-in-picture options,
- tools for working with sound, a collection of free sound effects and soundtracks.
The video editor has a built-in trailer generator, which is really useful when working with a lot of video material.
In short, iMovie is a quality entry-level “everyday” video editor. Exactly what you expect to find in the bundled software bundled with an expensive computer.
The interface, like all interfaces of programs produced by Apple, is of controversial quality and no less controversial ergonomic properties, but an experienced user of “Apple” technology will feel absolutely comfortable with it.
All controls are simple, understandable and in place. Concise, good looking and works well.
Online free video editor for all – Kapwing
Another online service that provides its services by subscription and offers only two tariff plans: free and with monthly payment.
- the service does not leave its watermarks on the video,
- allows you to create up to 3 hours of video per month,
- limits the amount of information to 250MB total,
- export videos no more than 7 minutes long,
- provides full access to editing tools.
Only premium resources are not available, everything else can be used in full. The service provides access to a variety of specialized tools.
Key functions available to the user:
- a full range of editing tools, bundled within the “studio”,
- editing tools, transformations, effects, transitions,
- tools to work with subtitles,
- meme generator,
- image editing,
- tools for working with sound,
- many tools to work with animated stories.
In fact, the capabilities of the service are very diverse and deserve separate consideration.
It should be noted that this online system is mainly focused on social networks and platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter.
But their capabilities are much broader, and you can get detailed, multilateral information about them in the information resources section.
This service is especially valuable due to the possibility of teamwork.
In both free and paid version, the service is very good and can be recommended to anyone who is interested in creating video streams for social networks and platforms.
Lightworks – Free Video Editor as a Starting Point
Lightworks video editor is serious business. This is Hollywood film production, this is the red carpet, movie stars, high-precision video editing, a plethora of professional effects, teamwork, and much more.
This product also has fans. In the full version of Lightworks Pro, this video editor does not cost much money, and in the free version, there is a lot available except for video effects, and only 720px export for Vimeo and Youtube is available.
But really, the free version of the Lightworks video editor is adequate for the level of most videos on these systems.
The app has a user-friendly interface and edits very well with color.
There is very good documentation available.
Free Video Editor Machete Lite
An unbeatable example of a combination of simplicity and quality.
The simplicity in this case borders on primitiveness, and the quality is mainly achieved by the fact that the program does not re-encode the original streams.
What is this program?
Everything is very simple. It allows you:
- import files in AVI or WMV format,
- cut them into pieces,
- discard unnecessary pieces (eg ads) or save them in separate files,
- mix the rest in the order required,
- remove original audio tracks from imported video files.
The app is available in a Windows version. Very compact, fast and simple, it works without installation and therefore leaves no traces on the system. The paid version supports many formats and provides more options for extracting, assembling and saving information.
Movavi – a User-Friendly Free Video Editor
A simple video editor for beginner videographers. There is a paid version for advanced users, but it is also simple.
The program is very undemanding for computing resources, which is not surprising, since:
- performs only basic editing operations,
- does not support more than 6 tracks on the timeline,
- contains a very small collection of backgrounds, thumbnails, and audio files,
- Supports few filters, effects and transitions.
Movavi’s video editor interface is very good for its class. It is intuitive, simple and convenient.
The program supports various file formats, provides a reasonable and sufficient minimum of settings for each operation, provides the basic proportions of the canvas, and does not impose artificial restrictions on the edited video.
Great entry level tool. If it suits you and is comfortable enough, you can upgrade to a more feature-rich version at a low cost.
Movie Maker – Online Free Video Editor
A set of basic video editing tools and a collection of free music and images. The developers position their service as a completely free set of tools for creating music videos and slideshows.
The video editor site does not require mandatory registration. The editing tools do not leave any watermarks or website addresses on the finished videos. Just a service for whoever wants to use it.
The authors of the service reasonably believe that a potential user may be suspicious of a certain hack, and they assure that there is no hack, “otherwise, may the heavens open, our worker robot rust to its last virtual screw, and our server will crash. will stop forever.”
It is written like this. Of course, we had no desire to check the reality of such a local apocalypse and studied the tools provided.
This is what these tools do:
- you can upload your files and add clipart music and photos,
- cut and paste snippets,
- perform simple transformations (rotate, mirror, change speed, reverse),
- add filters and effects (blur, grayscale, animation),
- add a background image,
- use transitions,
- overlay text,
- save the final result in the selected format and download it to your computer.
All of this is done during a browser session. In order to be able to interrupt the session, save unfinished work on the server and resume it at a convenient time, you will need to register.
In addition, registered users have the opportunity to connect with their Facebook and YouTube accounts in order to import original materials from them and publish finished works directly from the server.
We have an assumption that only people who fully believe in the power of the promise of “virtual rusting nuts” can trust such a cute online service to access their social media accounts.
But we are not sure of our assumption.
OpenShot – Basic Level Free Video Editor
A fairly basic level free video editor. Open source software. It is actively being developed: regular updates are released, documentation is supplemented and functionality is expanded.
This app has everything you need for normal operation:
- support for many video, audio, image formats
- assembly tools – cut, paste, …
- support for keyframes and animation tools,
- color correction and quality improvement,
- video effects and tricks,
- sound editing,
- work with titles,
- 3D animation,
- deceleration, reverse, acceleration,
- unlimited number of tracks,
- nice and intuitive interface.
The app is available in versions for Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as source code.
Shotcut – Fundamentally Free Video Editor
A fundamentally free representative of the open source software universe. A quality product with a fairly long history, evolving, well documented and supported.
Supports compatibility with products from Blackmagic Design, the same company that developed and maintains the DaVinci Resolve video editor. It also manufactures professional equipment.
The application provides a standard and fairly complete range of editing tools.
Also, Shotcut video editor:
- Supports 4K resolution,
- provides audio and image capture from a webcam,
- works with native timeline, no real video import,
- supports streaming,
- has good sound editing tools,
- provides an impressive list of tools to color correct footage,
- has a great set of video effects and filters.
The app has a customizable interface and supports many languages. There are many tutorials and videos available and an active forum.
It is possible to work with two monitors at the same time.
VideoPad – Free Video Editor
A universal video editor with a simple and intuitive interface, light and fast. It can do everything most users need and even more:
- import and capture videos from any source,
- conversion to stereoscopic 3D video is supported,
- work with 360º videos for YouTube and virtual reality devices,
- great possibilities to work with sound,
- export to various media and devices, as well as YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.
The video editor has all the necessary editing tools, a large number of built-in effects, tools for fine color work, and a balanced set of video optimization tools.
The app is available in both Windows and MacOS versions.
Of particular interest is the fact that the developer company offers a large number of applications to solve specific tasks when working with video, sound, photos and graphics.
They are all fast, light and easy to use. As a rule, the programs are paid, but they are inexpensive and have a trial period.
VideoToolBox Online Free Video Editor
That’s right, a complete and fundamentally free online video editor. It allows you to perform all basic manipulations on a video file up to 1500MB in size.
What are your chances:
- can view and create all major video formats,
- can import webcam videos,
- carries out cutouts, gluing, general assembly,
- add custom watermarks and titles,
- extract video and audio tracks,
- crops, generates thumbnails and snapshots.
There are no filters or transition effects at all. However, this video editor can be useful to quickly process your videos.
Registration on the VideoToolbox.com video editor site is required.
VSDC Free Video Editor
Another brilliant representative of the world of open source applications. True, this product exists in two versions: free and paid.
Alternatively, you can get a low-cost support service subscription. No trial period, no watermarks, no ads.
At first glance, this app is a regular video editor. But this is only at first glance …
Taking a closer look at the capabilities of this app, we find the following features, some of which, individually or in combination, make VSDC video editor unique.
- combination of objects of any size, located at any coordinate, is supported, and all this can be changed over the course of the video,
- filters and effects can be applied individually to individual objects, both visual and sound,
- advanced tools to work with masks to select, hide or blur objects,
- a collection of customizable Instagram-style filters,
- means to follow the path of the specified object and the ability to assign the resulting path to other objects,
- many profiles ready to export to social networks,
- ultra-precise “sub-pixel” positioning of objects,
- the ability to create videos for playback on various types of media players and game consoles,
- a huge set of tools to create dynamically time-varying graphs, charts, and histograms,
- record a video from PC and external devices,
- built-in DVD burning software,
- Video downloader from online sources and format converter.
In our opinion, this video editor contains a well-selected set of tools and allows you to solve a large number of practical problems.
Of course, the paid version is much more powerful than the free one. It can do a lot, it’s not expensive.
Important Note: The developer limits the use of the free version to home and educational use only.
Wideo Online Free Video Editor for Businesses
Here everything is serious, no swearing or theatrical exclamations. A complete and comprehensive business tool available via subscription, one of the subscription options is free.
In the free version, the user can create short videos (1 minute maximum) and upload them to YouTube with the service’s watermarks.
In this case, limited tools are available. It is based on the use of ready-to-use templates that allow you to create:
- business presentations,
- presentations of goods and services,
- marketing elements,
- videos for e-commerce,
- promotional videos,
- startup videos,
- training videos,
- Instagram stories.
The service provides a number of interesting tools and a large number of examples and tutorials.
Installable video editor
All the video editors discussed in the review are interesting in their own way. A committed perfectionist can install them all on his computer and get the most out of life. In our opinion, in some cases the choice can become a real problem, and in some it is quite obvious.
For serious work on films of various lengths and as a leap in career growth, we recommend trying HitFilm Express and DaVinci Resolve.
Both products are comparable in class, features, and cost to the paid versions. Try both and choose the one that is most comfortable for you.
After all, it’s never too late to adjust your choice. By the way, Lightworks is also interesting.
We recommend Movavi, Shotcut, VSDC, and VideoPad for daily work on short videos for family viewing or posting on YouTube.
Blender can be useful for animation and entertainment video production, but if you need to include animated business graphics in videos, VSDC is there for you, out of competition.
Novice videographers who are not yet very familiar with the video creation process may find IMovie, OpenShot, Avidemux, and Machete Video Editor Lite.
Online video editor
For simple, episodic work on short videos and music videos, Movie Maker Online, and VideoToolbox are suitable.
Wideo is suitable for financial consultants, marketers, managers and business coaches.
We can recommend the Kapwing service for the widest possible use. Our lives and work are now largely connected with social media, and Kapwing provides the most impressive opportunities to prepare videos for social media.
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