The Best Free Video Editing Software
Videomaking isn’t a cheap hobby. Between cameras, lighting fixtures, and microphones, most of us don’t have the money to spend on professional video editing software. Fortunately, for those on a tight budget, there are lots of free options for video editing software.
In this article, we’ll be rating some of the best free video editing software out there.
What Makes Good Editing Software?
Some software options only give you the bare bones functionality, locking all the useful tools behind a membership fee or “Pro” version. There will always be drawbacks when using free software.
However, all of the options on this list give you a lot of functionality. Some do have paid versions, but the free options are definitely useful.
Every suggestion on the list has some unique features, which is why we included them. We hope it gives you everything you need to know to make the right decision for you.
TikTok actually has a lot of great tools to help you get creative with your videos. In addition to letting you add music or speech to your videos, TikTok also has filters, transitions, and even a green screen. The platform also provides you with popular music and a tool to sync the music to your video.
The biggest downside to using TikTok to edit videos is that you can only post your videos on TikTok. There is a plethora of great editing tools, but it doesn’t help you with lighting or sound. You’ll need to buy your own set ups if you want to have the best sound and lighting for your videos.
Another downside is video length. TikTok has done a lot to improve the length of videos you can post, starting at 15 seconds and now reaching 10 minutes. However, if you’ve got something longer than 10 minutes, then TikTok isn’t the one for you. All of your videos will also have the TikTok logo and your username on the bottom right of your videos, as well as a page with the logo at the end of your video. It’s not particularly intrusive, but clearly visible nonetheless.
Overall, TikTok has a lot of great options for video editing and its all completely free. However, if you want your videos on other platforms, then TikTok isn’t recommended. If you just want to make short videos with your phone, then TikTok is a top tier app that lets you do everything with your mobile device. Something to remember is that your TikTok videos will be shot in Portrait mode to suit mobile devices.
Adobe Premiere Rush
Adobe’s Premiere Rush still offers quite a few good options for those who don’t need anything advanced. Premiere Rush has mobile and desktop options. You can access any work you do on either device through Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
In addition to transitions, Adobe Premiere Rush offers automatic and manual color correction, custom title cards, and even some special effects like slow motion. Adobe’s free offering is quite robust for free software. It even allows you to upload your videos directly to YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, converting the files to match each platform’s specifications.
Adobe Premiere Rush has very few drawbacks. It offers some of the best video editing tools on the market – for free! In addition, you get 100GB of storage space, letting you get a lot of editing done without a hassle. There are some features (like 10 TB of space) that are locked behind a paywall. Adobe charges $9.99 for its basic plan, but it will unlock all of the premium features on Premiere Rush. If you plan on doing a lot of editing for different platforms, Adobe Premiere Rush is a great free option.
Windows Video Editor
Hiding there, amongst all of your other programs, is free video editing software you didn’t even know you had. Windows Video Editor, formerly Windows Movie Maker, come pre-installed on all computers that run Windows 10. To access it, simply click on “Photos” in your “Start” menu and then the “Video Editor” tab.
Windows Video Editor has a lot of useful functions that you can use to edit videos. You can add music, credits or titles, add some 3D effects, and there are even some good options to make easy cuts.
Windows Video Editor is completely free, so it’s great for complete beginners or those who just need the most basic video editing software. However, it doesn’t offer options for more advanced video editors. It’s not recommended for long videos, because it’s made for photo slideshows more than videos. However, it’s still functional and most importantly free!
Mac users are often spoiled for choice with multimedia projects. Apple offers a great set of free tools for those in media, and iMovie is no exception. iMovie comes installed on all Mac computers. There’s no Windows version, so PC users are out of luck.
iMovie offers 4K support, giving users the best video quality around. In addition, you have access to the Apple cloud, where you can drag and drop files between all of your Apple devices. iMovie has filters that are tailor-made for specific genres like westerns or horror movies, making it easy to give mood to your video. It also offers speed controls and audio recording tools so you can add voiceover or music seamlessly.
With constant updates, iMovie is always functioning at its best and the updates often add new or tweaked features, keeping things fresh and exciting. For a free product, iMovie is one of the best video editing software out there. However, its limitations to Mac make it a fantasy for PC users. Luckily, the other free software we’re covering are great options compared to iMovie. Also, if you don’t have an iPhone or an iPad, transferring files to iMovie is slower and more tedious.
Vimeo has been the go-to streaming site for those looking for more professional and high-quality videos. In recent years, it has released its Vimeo Create video editing software. Vimeo Create is unique editing software, because it uses AI and templates to edit videos for you.
In Vimeo Create, you can upload your raw footage, and choose a template for your video to be edited. All you have to do is answer some basic questions about your video so the AI can use that data to edit the video for you. It will add transitions, colors, titles, and any other text you’d like. This is great for the less editing-savvy out there who want to save time and get our videos out there ASAP.
It doesn’t have to be automated, and you can edit videos in the ways you’d like, while still taking advantage of all of Vimeo Create’s library of colors, effects, and transitions. You’ll even get suggestions from the AI, if you need some creative guidance. Vimeo Create is a great tool for those who don’t have the skill or patience to edit videos.
Not all videos have to be made with a camera. In fact, there are millions of animation videos on YouTube and Vimeo. Blender is the software for the animators among us, giving users an excellent set of tools to create great animation videos.
Blender gives you full range of options when you’re making animations. With Blender, you can perform entire animations from scratch. You can do modeling, add effects like camera tracking and objecting tracking, and it even comes with its own rigging and animation tools. Blender covers everything for animation. You can also import your own video files and still use all of the tools Blender has. If you just want to add some animations to your videos from your camera, you can do that as well.
The best thing about Blender is that it is free and also open source. Community contributions are a huge part of Blender so you will always find new things to play with. It’s the best animation software around, even being used by professionals. If you’re a novice animator or a veteran, Blender is a must-have for all your editing needs.
Kinemaster is built exclusively for videos shot on mobile devices. Often, when the words “mobile version” show up, it usually means it comes with a lot of features missing for the sake of size. Kinemaster doesn’t suffer from this problem, giving you a full range of editing options for your phone videos.
You can do everything through the Kinemaster app. Shoot, edit, and upload all using the app. You can even upload your videos to Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube directly from the app. It comes with a full range of tools, including color correction, 4K exporting, VFX tools, and downloadable transitions and camera effects. There’s nothing you can’t do on Kinemaster. It is all built to be used on a mobile device, so the UI has a simple and clean look, making navigating a breeze with Kinesmaster.
Kinemaster is the best option for those who don’t want to carry a lot of equipment around. Everything is handled on your phone, letting you shoot and edit whenever and wherever you want. There isn’t a desktop version, as it is designed for mobile devices. It is available on Android and iOS devices.
Lightworks is a great free video editing software. While it doesn’t have a lot of editing tools, it makes up for it with some other cool features.
Something unique to Lightworks is the ability to collaborate edits. Using real time project sharing, you can control who is able to edit the video. This allows you and others to work on a project simultaneously, making it quick and painless to get work done.
It also features multi-cam editing, which is useful when you have lots of shots from different cameras. Lightworks also allows you to import files while continuing to edit, getting rid of wait times, and letting you work uninterrupted. Lightworks may not offer the most comprehensive experience with free video editing software, but it has all of the most essential functions as well as some unique features, making a great option.
Which One Is the Best?
Each of these free video editing software options offers its own set of benefits. However, in terms of overall functionality and accessibility, Adobe Premiere Rush offers the biggest set of tools and is available on all platforms, including mobile devices. The paid version is the best on the market and even the free version comes with other Adobe features, saving you more money in the long run.
That said, all of these software options are a great choice. Apple users are spoiled with iMovie and Kinemaster is the best software for mobile users. Blender is arguably the best animation software on the market. Vimeo Create even does the editing for you. You can’t really go wrong with any of them, so happy editing!
Which free video editing software do you use Have our suggestions helped? Let us know in the comments section below.