Chromebooks provide convenient access to the Internet, but they don’t have a hard drive that allows for software downloads. As a result, many video editing programs including Adobe, iMovie, and Camtasia don’t work on a Chromebook since they require storage space for installation.
However, new online creative software options make it easy to edit photos, music, and vides on lower-end devices. For making videos, I tested 10 Chromebook video editors to find the best editing suite for 2021. In this post, I’ll review the three best software options for editing videos on a Chromebook.
Kapwing is an online image and video editor that has both visual layout tools (for making collages and adding overlays) and timeline editing tools. It works for MP4s, PNGs, and GIFs, and the interface updates depending on the tool you need.
The first thing I noticed about Kapwing is that you don't need to sign in or create an account to get started – you can immediately upload or import a video. The editor unbundles tasks like adding subtitles, trimming, making montages, and converting video, making it simpler and easier to learn. Kapwing creators can edit videos with a familiar drag-and-drop interface that reminds me of Google slides.
More sophisticated creators can open the "Timeline" tab for a familiar iMovie-like user interface. Split, splice, and time out layers relative to each other.
Highlight: Users can import from Giphy, YouTube and Google Drive, so everything is saved conveniently in the cloud and users don’t need to download the video they want to edit. You can import and adjust music layers and resize the background however you like.
Pricing: Like Adobe Spark, all of Kapwing’s features are free forever. There is no watermark as long as you sign in. Kapwing is also great for school projects; interested teachers can sign up for Kapwing’s EDU pilot program to get a free Kapwing Pro account.
- Ideal for: Creative professionals, schools, and casual creators.
Adobe Spark is Adobe’s web-based platform that allows anyone to create content like short video clips and web pages. In its free plan, Adobe Spark has highly structured templates, which are easy to make but don’t allow for much customization.
Pros: This video making platform makes it easy to create visual stories thanks to its pre-designed layouts and its ability to import images from cloud storage services like Adobe Creative Cloud and Google Photo.
Pricing: Adobe Spark is mostly free, but requires a monthly paid subscription to access its full features. Premium features include removing the watermark plus live technical support and brand personalization with templates.
- Ideal for: Content marketers looking for structured video templates to bootstrap video creation.
Clipchamp is a unified video editor that lets people edit from their web browser regardless of their video file’s size. Content creators can also take advantage of its prominent features, such as filters, a splitter, and a combine feature to create longer videos. Content creators must sign in with Facebook, Google or their email. Clipchamp also offers a limited free trial where users can create and edit videos free of watermarks and have trial access to its stock library. However, content creators who want to produce more high-definition content will have to subscribe to Clipchamp’s monthly premium plan.
- Ideal for: Long-form film makers.
The Google Chromebook team recommends ClipChamp and Kapwing as the preferred video editor for a Chromebook. In fact, both companies have exclusive deals for Chromebook users who want to upgrade to a premium plan.
Creating great media doesn’t require an expensive laptop or heavyweight, pricey software. Today’s modern and reliable online editing platforms, enable creators to edit on their Chromebooks.