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Edit Videos Like A Pro: The 12 Best Free Video Editing Software Programs For 2021

edit-videos-like-a-pro:-the-12-best-free-video-editing-software-programs-for-2021

Good video editing software can help you showcase your products from every angle by producing professional promos for platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or anywhere else you share brand videos. There are a number of easy-to-use free video editing programs that can help you stand out from your competition.

Well-produced product videos are a more engaging form of content marketing than photographs alone and can reduce a customer’s hesitation in making a purchase. In fact, according to online publication Small Business Trends, ecommerce product videos can increase conversion rates by up to 144%.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best free video editing software from around the web, as well as a few with affordable paid versions. Each entrepreneur has their own specific needs, so we’ve run down some of the most useful features of each tool.

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Best free video editing software for desktop

There’s a lot of desktop-based editing software available for businesses looking to create promotional videos. The biggest advantage of free video editing software for desktops is that they tend to have more features than most mobile video editing apps.

If you’re looking to edit your promotional videos on a budget, check out our list of free video editing software you can use to edit long-form content for YouTube, your ecommerce site, or a variety of other platforms:

  1. Lightworks
  2. VideoPad
  3. HitFilm Express
  4. DaVinci Resolve
  5. VSDC Free Video Editor
  6. OpenShot
  7. Shotcut
  8. Blender
  9. Movie Maker 10
  10. iMovie
  11. Magisto
  12. WeVideo

1. Lightworks

The best overall free video editing software 

Lightworks dashboard

Lightworks includes a simple and intuitive interface, so it’s easy to pick up. Lightworks also offers a collection of detailed video tutorials, making it one of the more accessible and easy to learn Linux video editing software options on this list.

Lightworks has a suite of original stock videos and music clips licensed for use in any videos you edit on the program, letting you give a polished look to any marketing video.

Features include:

  • High-quality simple trim functions for fast and precise video editing
  • Speed optimization, letting you continue to edit while importing new content
  • Multicam editing for syncing clips from multiple cameras
  • Real-time team project sharing with full control over which user has editing access
  • Easy sharing of videos with fast export to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Support for a wide range of video formats

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free, $24.99 per month for Pro version

2. VideoPad

Best free video editing software for beginners

VideoPad dashboard

VideoPad is a great free option for anyone who wants to create high-quality videos without spending a dime. With VideoPad, you’ll find all kinds of simple and easy-to-use features—such as 3D video editing and a sound effects library—to try different video compositions and styles. 

You can edit your videos with special effects, overlays, texts, and transition, as well as color adjustment and sound effects. Then export all your finished video to YouTube, Facebook, Google Drive, and other mobile devices quickly and easily. 

The only drawback is that it may be too simple for advanced video editors. It doesn’t come with as many advanced features as some of the other free video editing software on this list, but with options to add light effects, fine tune colors, and overlay text and images, there’s enough here to make it worth the free download.

Features include:

  • Double built-in screen (one to preview selected clips, one to preview complete sequence) for easy and intuitive editing
  • Pre-made, customizable transitions for polished professionalism
  • Exporting presets to easily create video files optimized for specific platforms—such as Facebook and YouTube—and post them directly from within the software
  • Social media sharing and publishing tools to share videos online instantly
  • A large library of video transitions and visual effects to customize videos
  • Video optimization tools, such as stabilization 

Available for: Mac, Windows

Price: Free

3. HitFilm Express

Simple free video editor with professional visual effects and tutorials

HitFilm Express

If you don’t have a lot of experience with video editing, HitFilm Express may feel a little advanced at first—it’s used to produce Hollywood-style films—but it’s worth the learning curve, as it’s one of the best all-in-one free video editors available. (HitFilm does ask you to share a social media status update when you download the software, but that’s a small price to pay.)

HitFilm includes animation tools that let you create and edit audio and video transitions without the need to create composite shots, which is a huge time saver when editing.

Features include:

  • Professional-grade video editing with motion tracking, color pickers, and cropping tools
  • Composite shot enhancements that allow you to animate two separate shots together for surreal video effects
  • An auto-stabilizer to make shaky footage look smooth
  • Unlimited video and audio timeline track creation
  • An adaptive trimmer that lets you re-trim your clips after adding them to the timeline
  • Ability to copy a group of attributes from one clip and apply them directly to another or to a whole project
  • Audio mixer for fine tuning sound for professional quality output
  • Various transition options, such as push, zoom, and dissolve

Available for: Mac and Windows

Price: Free, $349 for the Pro version

4. DaVinci Resolve

Top free video editor for advanced editors

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve combines professional 8K editing, color correction, visual effects, and audio post-production in a single production tool, which is why it’s the software of choice for many professional editors of films, television shows, and commercials.

DaVinci allows for both offline and online editing, and its high-performance playback engine saves time when editing and trimming—even for processor-intensive file formats like H.264 and RAW. DaVinci Resolve’s complex features may be too extensive for some users, but its free version is perfect for more advanced projects.

Features include:

  • Dual timeline for quick navigation, cutting, and trimming
  • A dedicated trim interface that gives you the ability to edit in minute detail
  • Intelligent auto-editing that syncs audio and visual clips for you
  • Built-in tools for picture-in-picture effects, retiming, stabilization, dynamic zoom, text, and audio
  • Facial recognition that detects faces in your clips and automatically creates bins based on the people in each shot
  • High-quality motion estimation speed changes and frame rate conversions to easily and realistically speed up or slow-down clips

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free, $269 for the full Studio version

5. VSDC Free Video Editor

Best free video editing software for Windows only

VSDC

VSDC’s desktop video editing software is available as both a free and paid version. Although the free version has reduced features, it still comes with VSDC’s full video editing suite—including a mask tool and chroma key functionality for green-screen video effects.

If you have the funds to spring for the full version, the suite of tools expands to include video stabilization, robust post-production effects, slideshow/presentation capabilities, 3D diagram templates, and direct social media publishing.

Features include: 

  • Color-correction tools for a more professional look
  • A full suite of transitional effects
  • Easy-to-use image filters, similar to what you’d find on Instagram
  • Mask tools for hiding, blurring, or highlighting specific elements
  • Social media link for sharing videos on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Vimeo
  • HEVC/H.265 (an advanced video-compression standard), for maintaining the highest quality at the minimum file size—essential for processing 4K and HD files

Available for: Windows

Price: Free, $19.99 for Pro version

6. OpenShot

The easiest free video editing software for intermediate editors

OpenShot

OpenShot’s easy-to-use user interface makes it a great video editing program for beginners. While more complex tools may offer more editing components, OpenShot’s intuitive interface and minimal design are perfect for simple editing.

OpenShot is an efficient option for small businesses and is best for clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation. It also offers credit scrolling, frame stepping, time mapping, audio editing, and real-time preview.

Features include:

  • Unlimited layers for watermarks, background videos, and audio tracks
  • Customizable title-card templates
  • Drag-and-drop functionality for easily adding video, audio, or image files
  • Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, and chroma key compositing for green-screen effects
  • Powerful key-frame animation capabilities for creating animated videos

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free

7. Shotcut

Best open-source movie maker for audiophiles

Shotcut dashboard

Shotcut is an open-source, cross-platform video editor with a vast collection of tutorial videos. It also supports a wide range of formats, including FFmpeg, 4K, ProRes, and DNxHD. A warning, however—Shotcut was originally designed for Linux, so some may find the interface a little quirky. Despite this, it’s still a top-notch editor.

Shotcut also provides extensive audio editing options, making it ideal for audiophiles. Its host of fine-tuning audio tools allows users to make bass and treble adjustments, create bandpass filters, adjust gain, add dynamic compression, and much more.

Features include:

  • Support for the latest audio and video formats via FFmpeg, the leading multimedia framework
  • Native timeline editing, which allows users to import video files directly into their project file rather than a media library
  • Multi-format timeline for mixing and matching resolutions and frame rates within a project
  • Advanced audio filters like balance, bass and treble, bandpass filters, compressor, and more

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free

8. Blender

Best professional video editing software with 3D creation suite

Blender

Blender video editing is a free, open-source 3D creation suite. It includes features to help model and render 3D animations. The software is a collaborative creation of hundreds of developers from around the world. The huge community of users gives Blender’s software an extensive group of tools.

Blender is designed as a 3D animation suite but comes with a functional video editor that should be enough for most users’ needs. It can also tackle more complex edits, like video masking, making Blender a flexible video editor for both novice and experienced users and an excellent option for more advanced projects that may involve 3D animation.

Features include:

  • Path-tracer engine for realistic rendering of animated objects
  • Advanced rendering processes to speed up the saving and exporting of your project
  • Option to code game logic into the software for video game development
  • Advanced character animation tools for realistic kinematics
  • Extensive library of visual effects and vignettes

Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Price: Free

9. Movie Maker 10

Best free video editing software for Windows 10 

Movie Maker 10

Movie Maker 10 is a convenient video editing software for Windows for people looking to go back to basics. It’s great for making quick edits to short video clips you need ready right away.

Movie Maker 10 comes with a free version that includes its suite of video and picture editing tools as well as the ability to add captions with customizable fonts and colors.

Features include:

  • Auto-preview tool for edits and effects
  • Auto-movie options for creating customizable cuts of your video clips
  • Animation tab to easily add music, titles, and credits

Available for: Windows

Price: Free

10. iMovie

Best free video editing software for YouTube

iMovie

Popular standby iMovie comes bundled with Mac OS. Like many native Apple apps, iMovie is uncomplicated and uses a simple drag-and-drop interface for moving files from your drive to your workstation. It’s an easy way to build powerful videos to boost your YouTube marketing efforts. 

A big advantage to iMovie is that files are saved on Apple’s cloud, meaning you can work on your project interchangeably on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. iMovie is constantly being updated as well, so you can always look forward to new features and improvements.

Features include:

  • Support for 4K resolution, allowing users to create cinema-quality films
  • Cloud-storage functionality that allows you to work on the same project from your iPad, iPhone, and Mac
  • Dozens of studio-quality title animations for professional-looking credits
  • Stylish, contemporary video filters built for specific film genres, such as Western and sci-fi
  • Built-in music, sound effects, and voiceover recording so your sound and picture editing are always consolidated
  • Speed controls that let you make high-octane action scenes faster and sports highlights slower

Available for: Mac

Price: Free

11. Magisto

Best free video editing software for Chrome OS

Magisto

Magisto, a great online video editor for Chromebook users, uses AI to create video content in minutes. You only have to do three things: choose editing style, add footage, and upload an audio file. Magisto then automatically edits and makes your video. It also makes music suggestions to match the style and theme of your footage, or you can use your own. 

It’s especially useful for creating videos at scale, such as if you start a YouTube channel for your business and want to streamline the creation process. Also, if you want to see how many people watched your video, the app has a simple insights dashboard built in. It’s a popular video-editing tool with over 90 million smartphone users and counting. 

Features include:

  • Wide variety of themes
  • Facial recognition, filters, effects, and auto cropping
  • Professional auto-editing ability
  • Ability to share videos across marketing channels
  • iStock integration for high-quality stock images
  • Unlimited HD movie downloads

Available for: iOS and Android

Price: Free. Premium and Professional subscriptions start at $4.99 per month and offer access to a wider range of editing tools. Magisto’s free software is available online, no download required. 

12. WeVideo

The best free video editing software online

WeVideo editor

WeVideo is the best cloud-based online video editors for businesses, educators, students, and everyday consumers. You can access it from anywhere that has internet: home, work, school, etc. All files are stored in a secure cloud where you can edit, view, and share videos in minutes. 

With WeVideo, you can add cool features, like a green screen for professional-grade looks, without the cost or hassle. It also has over one million pieces of stock media, from videos to images and audio files, all royalty free when you buy a business plan. Even with the free version, you can easily create videos on social media, web, and mobile displays—all with unlimited storage and no downloads or software to install. 

Features include: 

  • Stock media library with over one million images, videos, and music assets
  • Ability to export videos in 4K resolution
  • Branded templates with your logo so you always have a unified look
  • Shared project libraries to manage and collaborate with teams
  • Unlimited cloud storage to create endless videos
  • Rich editing tools including green screen, animated text, screen recording, and more

Available for: Chromebook, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android

Price: Free, paid plans start at $4.99 per month

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Choosing a professional video editing software for you

Now that you know your options in finding the best free video editing software, you can start testing them out. While each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, hopefully, you now have a better idea of which free video-editing program is best for your business.

Videos consistently are shown to get more engagement on average across all social media platforms than pictures or text posts. A professional, well-made marketing video can help tell a story about your products, beat the YouTube algorithm, capture the attention of your audience, develop your brand’s personality, and maximize your ROI on paid social ads.

Take your content marketing to the next level. With so many free video editing software options to choose from, there’s no limit to the creative potential of your brand’s marketing video content.


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Free video editing software FAQ

What is video editing software?

Video editing software refers to tools that help businesses successfully edit, modify, generate, or manipulate a video or movie file. You can cut and arrange video to give it a better flow, remove sections, and add effects to improve the video. Companies, regardless of size, can benefit from a good video editor to create powerful video content.

What video editing software do YouTubers use?

  1. Adobe Premiere Pro
  2. Final Cut Pro X
  3. Adobe After Effects
  4. Lightworks
  5. Freemake
  6. iMovie
  7. Shotcut

What is the best video editing software for beginners?

  1. Movavi Video Editor Plus
  2. Pinnacle Studio
  3. Apple iMovie
  4. Lumen5
  5. HitFilm 4 Express
  6. Blender
  7. Nero Video

What is the best free video editing software for Mac?

  1. iMovie
  2. DaVinci Resolve
  3. Lightworks
  4. OpenShot
  5. Video Editor MovieMator

What is the best free video editing software for PC?

  1. Lightworks
  2. Movie Maker 10
  3. HitFilm Express
  4. Shotcut
  5. Openshot

What is the best free video editing software with no watermark?

  1. VSDC
  2. OpenShot
  3. Lightworks
  4. Shotcut
  5. DaVinci Resolve

Special thanks to our friends at Shopify for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

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