The best free video editing software in 2021

 The most effective Free Video Editing Software is the right tool for you to give film making an attempt without spending a penny in the beginning.

The days of free software for editing videos were considered to be a subpar alternative to paid versions. In fact, many of the options on our list have advanced features, such as 3D rendering as well as auto image stabilization and color correction.

If that appears to be a bit much, do not worry because the most effective free video editing software can aid you in understanding the basics of how to make transitions and also add a soundtrack text overlay.

best free video editing software

However, these free video editing programs do come with some limitations when compared to paid ones. For example, certain programs will only allow you to export up to a specific resolution, and others don’t offer certain features you’ll find on programs like Adobe Premiere Pro and CyberLink PowerDirector. 

They’re nevertheless capable enough to make the home movie of your recent vacation, and if you pair them with one of the top action cameras or drones, you can easily create an epic sports documentary The possibilities are endless.

Check out the following article to find our top picks of the top free video editing software applications. If you decide to move on take a look at our list of top video editing software programs including the top paid alternatives.

Top three video editors in the world in 2021.

If you’re prepared to move into advanced video editing options There are some amazing value-for-money options there. If you’re making videos for commercial use specifically it’s worth investing in the right tools. These are the current top three video editors that are paid for available:

Here’s the top program for editing videos that is free.

After evaluating a variety of suites, the top free software for editing videos for editing video is HitFilm Express 16. It’s compatible with Macs as well as PCs. It has a new interface that’s robust yet easy to use and customizable to meet your needs. 

While HitFilm is completely free but you can also purchase 30 additional packs that are priced from $15 to $50. They include features such as 360-degree editing of videos 3D titles advanced color-grading tools, LUTs as well as audio tools like Doppler Noise Reduction and Shift. 

Lightworks is another excellent option with a variety of sophisticated tools that are completely free, with the caveat that its exports are restricted to 720p.

Mac users who just require an easy video editor will discover the Apple iMovie can be the top free video editing software due to its seamless integration with the operating system of Apple and the easy-to-use editing tools.

Movie can handle 4K videos and comes with a variety of tools for smoothing shakey video as well as adding titles and even music soundtracks within music stored in your iTunes library. But, you don’t get advanced features like 360-degree video editing or special effects in this version.

Of sure, there are some options that are only available in paid software Be sure to take a look at our choices for the top video editing software that costs less than $100, too. If you’re looking for just the essentials, you’ve arrived at the right spot.

The most effective Video Editing Software for free that you can download now

The most popular Free Video Editing Software available.


Compatibility with Mac, Windows

The minimum system requirement is Windows 8 (64-bit), Mac OS 10.13 Sierra

Reasons to buy

Customizable interface + Drag and drop special effects are simple to apply. platforms and libraries of fantastic instructional videos for free.

The reasons to stay clear of

No Linux support. There may be a small learning curve for those who are new to Linux

Hitfilm Express is the best free software for editing videos. Its lively style attracts young filmmakers who wish to create a unique experience on an event of their own or experiment with a video blog, yet it’s also simple enough for those who are looking to make their own fun with friends and family.

The most recent release, Hitfilm Express 16, comes with a variety of improvements like physically-based 3D rendering and customized Light Flares effects, a built-in voice recorder, and many more. 

All of this is in addition to the numerous additional features that are already included in this high-quality package: it has an auto stabilizer that makes bumpy footage appear smoother motion tracking as well as a color selector that allows you to change colors selectively and a crop and pan tool, also called”the” Ken Burns effect.

Hitfilm Express supports resolutions up to 4K, and GPU-accelerated decoding on Nvidia, AMD, and Intel graphics cards (on PCs only), as well as changes in the user, interface as well as integrated support for Dolby AC3 audio. It also allows VEGAS file formats and effects. Additionally, it comes with an easy interface but if you’d prefer a darker interface, you’ll be up with $9.

Other fantastic features include the capability to make your own lightsaber battles with 360-degree video editing as well as lens distortion corrections from action cameras. There is also the option of purchasing several add-on packs for around $10, which will add more features to the program.

Full-featured, free video editing application with an additional Pro upgrade


Compatible with Windows 7/8/10and Mac, Linux

Reasons to buy

Completely free, with advanced and basic features. Excellent performance, active Forum for users

The reasons to stay clear of

Export options are limited to 720p resolution and H.264/MP4-Steep the learning curve for beginners- No included Help-Paid upgrade that can be used for specific features

Lightworks is sophisticated enough that it is so advanced that the Pro version can be used to create numerous award-winning films, including Pulp Fiction and The Wolf of Wall Street however, it’s free and slightly less complete.

There’s a myriad of tools for creating professional-looking videos. These include quite advanced options for editing audio including VFX, color adjustments, and much more. While the interface might require some getting familiar with but even the most novice user can learn the fundamentals quickly. It works on nearly every platform, including versions available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The biggest disadvantage is that in this version for free, the output options are limited to the 720p resolution, however, depending on the format you’ll upload your movie to, it might not be a problem. If you choose to upgrade to Pro it’s possible to upgrade for $24/month and also get the possibility of 4K export, along with additional features.

Check out our complete Lightworks Review.

The most popular program for editing videos that is free that is available to Mac users

Reasons to buy

+Professional-looking themes and trailers+Abundant audio tools+Supports 4K

There are reasons to avoid

It is missing Multicam, motion tracking, and 360-degree feature-limited output controls

iMovie is the top free video editing program for Mac users. It offers themes, trailers that resemble Hollywood, and video effects that have a minimalistic style with a cinematic style and extensive integration and optimization with macOS. Recent updates improved the interface, and also added Touch Bar support for the most recent Macs.

Although you are able to modify and upload 4K video, iMovie lacks features found in other apps for free like the possibility of editing 360-degree video as well as Multicam editing and motion tracking. There is also very limited control over the settings for output.

Since it’s so closely intertwined with macOS, iMovie was always one of the most efficient apps in the world of encoding video. After that, the program also offers many options for sharing: you can directly upload your video into YouTube and Vimeo, and also you can share every footage frame in an image. If you combine the iMovie application with iMovie Theater and iCloud, you can view your videos from any Apple device, or on Apple TV.

Read our complete Apple iMovie evaluation.

A great video editing program for those who are new to video editing and social media.


Supported by: Mac, Windows

Reasons to buy

Easy to use and intuitive. YouTube, Social Media and mobile output specifications and formats

There are reasons to avoid

It’s missing some sophisticated features such as motion tracking and Multicam editing. the ability to create slideshows for free.

The free video editor allows you to export your videos for YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive, and other mobile devices using the simple menu that you can choose from. It is necessary to sign in to these services before you can upload a video however, while YouTube posted directly onto my channel with no issue, you might need to save the file to your hard drive using specific social media specifications, then upload it to the social media platform yourself.

As opposed to HitFilm’s vibrant design, VideoPad has a simply elegant, and relaxing design, making it the most affordable video editing software for beginners. It is compatible with Macs and PCs and allows you to edit 360-degree videos, in the same way, the traditional ones but the process of adding text to 360-degree videos isn’t always easy. VideoPad is also lacking some features that available in HitFilm including Multicam editing, premium motion tracking, and special effects However, you can buy a variety of extensions to increase the features of VideoPad. collection.

Our main issue with VideoPad was not knowing what features were not available when using the free version, versus the paid and trial versions. We discovered VideoPad as a little slow in the transcoding tests over Hitfilm also. However, this may not be a problem for those who are looking for an application that allows them to swiftly and easily edit videos and upload them to the social media site that they prefer.

Check out our complete VideoPad Review.

The best free video editing software for advanced users


Supported by: Mac, Windows, Linux

Reasons to buy

+Free with no limits or watermarks+Intuitive interface for most routine functions+Exquisitely deep app for color grading, compositing, and audio production

The reasons to stay clear of

The learning curve for advanced features-No transfer directly to social networks

DaVinci Resolve is the best free video editing software available for people who are skilled video editors. An extremely powerful, professional-grade, cross-platform program it is recommended to install an operating system that has high-quality graphics in order to make the most of the video editing.

The most recent version of DaVinci comes with a major update to Fairlight an audio editing software and also gives users who are free the option of working on projects simultaneously this was a feature that was prior to that only accessible to those who paid for the version. The previous versions also had options such as facial recognition, quick exports for YouTube and Vimeo, and 3D audio. There’s a number of options to look into in this version.

DaVinci Resolve also incorporates Fusion which was previously a stand-alone program that includes four advanced video-production software modules to edit and audio production, color correction, and video effects as well as motion graphics.

Davinci is extremely powerful however, there is a learning curve. If its 256-page guide doesn’t scare you, the most advanced enthusiasts will have a variety of options.

Check out the DaVinci Resolve review.

A Windows-only, free video editor that comes with a few good features

Reasons to buy

+Variety of stylish built-in effects, transitions, and audio filters+Consumer-oriented and easy enough for simple video tasks+Includes a screen-capture tool

The reasons to stay clear of

Old-fashioned interface with unorthodox features like 360-degree motion tracking, and Multicam editing

VSDC is a hybrid program that includes controls for making and editing videos, as well as hyperlinks to instructional videos which are extremely helpful in navigating the interface. VSDC is an editor that is not linear that allows you to have more flexibility in editing, but it also means that it has a higher learning curve than other video editing programs.

VSDC isn’t bad for basic editing, but its interface is a steep learning curve that is missing a few of the most well-known features. VSDC is also a Windows-only application. When you purchase the premium version of VSDC for just $20 (good all year and two computers) it comes with additional options like tech support complete multimedia suite with advanced settings Hardware acceleration, sub-pixel resolution masking tools with chroma keys, and a visual audio waveform.

Read our complete VSDC Review.

A highly effective cross-platform, free video editor with a steep learning curve.


Supported by: Mac, Windows, Linux

Reasons to buy

The flexible interface supports many formats for video and audio. Large selection of video and audio filters

There are reasons to stay away from

It has a faster learning curve than consumer apps. Different interface conventions from other video applications

Shotcut is a no-cost open-source, cross-platform, and open-source video editor that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux that can work with a range of resolutions for video and other obscure codecs. It’s a platform-neutral program. Shotcut will appeal to both prosumers and amateur filmmakers thanks to its wide format support as well as numerous effects for video and audio as well as editing tools. However, the learning curve could be too steep for beginners and there isn’t an easy way to upload videos to social media platforms.

We love that the interface of Shotcut is initially sparsely filled You can add windows however you best, however, it can be cluttered fast. Apart from being multi-platform, Shotcut also works pretty well on devices with no discrete graphics, which makes it more accessible for those who don’t have the money to invest in the most modern GPUs.

Check out our complete Review of Shotcut.

The most popular online video editor we’ve tried


All devices equipped with an internet connection

Reasons to buy

+ Free photos, music and sound effects, built-in help, and video and slideshow capabilities

The reasons to stay clear of

A clunky and confusing interface

Movie Maker Online is just its name: a web-based video editing software, which means you can run it on any device that has an internet browser. It has an advantage over the top free software programs for video editing since there’s no requirement to possess an extremely fast computer or lots of space on your hard drive.

The program also offers free music and stock images that you can use to enhance your video. There’s also the option to add simple effects and transitions. Don’t expect to achieve the HitFilm level of sophistication. The interface of Movie Maker Online can be somewhat confusing — for example, the timeline is arranged in a horizontal direction rather than vertically as well as additional limitations, like the limitation that you are able to export your work in MP4 format. Ads are annoying however if you want to make short films with little effort it’s definitely worth checking out.

Check out our complete Moviemaker online review.

What is the best free video editing software?

The free vs. freemium

There’s free and there’s freemium. Some software, such as iMovie is truly free. However, just like some video editing programs are offered in tiers and have more expensive versions with more and more options, the free version of a video application might be the lowest level of a paid version. There could be an untested version that hinders the end product in different ways, such as placing a massive watermark on your video or restricting output formats.

However, there are different variations of this concept. HitFilm, VideoPad, DaVinci Resolve, and VSDC for instance, provide premium versions that have features that the majority of consumers will not miss, but let you use the fundamental program.

Another unintentional “cost” is periodic or even ongoing in-line ads or reminders to upgrade is in the works. VideoPad (on the Mac) will require you to confirm each time you launch that you’re only using the free edition only for non-commercial use.

The two programs DaVinci and VSDC include paid features in their programs in the beginning, however, they don’t explicitly label these options as paid features. If you attempt to access these features they will display an error message, as well as an advertisement. We don’t blame the companies that make software to convince users with paid versions, however, be aware that these problems are part of the costs of video apps that are otherwise free.

Basic functions

The main thing to consider when using free apps is typically the most complicated software that you’d otherwise need to pay big dollars. Every video editor must, at least, come with a combination of common features such as playback or viewer windows as well as a library, timeline as well as access to effects and transitions.

Tech assistance and documentation

One of the major distinctions between free and paid software is the amount of tech support and documentation Paid software comes with more explicit and detailed information and guides than free versions. In addition, the majority of software programs upload instructional videos on the most popular features on YouTube and more complex free software may provide detailed information.

A lot of independent vendors, often sole proprietors for the program, are available to customers via email and social media to assist users with issues or troubleshooting, offer suggestions and critiques as well as manage the software. Applications with easy-to-use interfaces and tips and tricks for the tool, or even integrated tutorials for new users make the software extremely popular.

System needs

A variety of free software applications are designed to work with the majority of consumer hardware systems that have integrated graphics, in contrast to powerful graphic cards that are discrete. If you own a consumer machine, such as an Apple MacBook or Windows laptop that has integrated graphics, be sure your computer is powerful enough to handle them effectively.

Export options

Another instance where free is met with difficulties could be towards the of the project in the event that you wish to convert your footage only to find it’s not possible to export your video using the paid version. does not export to the desired format. Before you decide to use the free software, make sure it saves your video on the resolution and platform you require, regardless of whether the video will end up on YouTube or on Blu-ray discs.

How can we test the Free video editor software?

To determine which is the most effective free software for editing videos that we will look at a range of aspects of the program. To begin what exactly “free” is it? The software that is marketed as free comes with limited options or watermarks on all your videos unless you pay for a fee. Let’s look at what you can actually get for free, as opposed to what you pay for.

We will then take a look at the interface. Software for editing videos that are specifically designed for novices will be user-friendly and come with plenty of tutorials to guide you on your route.

Of course, we will test the programs by editing videos and noting the process, and the ease at the ability to add things as filters as well as effects, transitions text, and so on.

Make sure to go through our recommendations for editing photos and videos:

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Jackie has a passion for obsessive and insane Tech writer and editor based in northern California. A wildlife lover as well as a cat lover and avid user of photo apps Her expertise includes cross-platform software and hardware art, design and photography, as well as video as well as a range of productivity and creative applications and systems. Formerly, she was the senior editor of Macworld and editor of creativity for The Next Web, Jackie is now a writer for a variety of tech-related publications for consumers.

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