12 Best Free Video Editing Softwares for Beginners

We've rounded up twelve of the best free video editing softwares of 2023. Check out the list and find the best free video editor for you.

12 Best Free Video Editing Softwares for Beginners

Creating viral videos for TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, or any other popular social media app requires advanced video editing techniques and professional video editing software.

With more people creating videos than ever before, a professional-grade video editor needs to be easy enough to use for beginners but have the functionality that an advanced video editor would use to really take a video to the next level.

In this article, we’re going to share the best free video editing software on the market whether you’re looking for an editor on Windows, Mac, Linux, or your phone.

The 12 best free video editors in 2023:

  1. Kapwing
  2. DaVinci Resolve
  3. Apple iMovie
  4. HitFilm Express
  5. Lightworks
  6. Shotcut
  7. OpenShot Video Editor
  8. ClipChamp Windows Video Editor
  9. Vimeo
  10. VSDC Free Video Editor
  11. Final Cut Pro (Free Trial)
  12. Adobe Premiere Pro (Free Trial)

Now, let's dive into the details of each editor and what makes it special.

The 12 Best Free Video Editing Softwares for Professionals

1. Kapwing

Best free video editor for teams

System Requirements: Browser-based software that works on all devices, no downloads required

Great for: Repurposing longer videos into short clips for social media

Skill Level: Intermediate

Kapwing is the best free video maker for teams. If your team is creating video content for social media, you can use Kapwing to create viral or meme videos for any platform. You’ll also be able to screen record for gaming videos, product demos, and educational content.

You can work collaboratively with other video editors on your team, even on the free version. That means, you and multiple team members can edit the same video at the same time. Plus, you can have multiple collaborators leave comments while you’re editing without any issues.

On the free plan, you’ll have access to several AI-powered smart tools, the complete template library, and even some cloud storage. You’ll be able to create videos up to 4 minutes long with 720p video quality. The best part: Kapwing is a browser-based editor, which means you can use Kapwing on any device. No need to download bulky software that will take up RAM and slow down your computer.

For more functionality and premium features like removing silences automatically, you can upgrade to Pro for $16/month.

Free Features Include:

  • Intuitive editor that supports a multi-layer timeline
  • Real-time collaboration with team mates
  • AI functionality that improves editing speed by 10x
  • Library of transitions and video effects
  • Stock template and assets library
  • Video resizing for any social media platform
  • Find Scenes tool — helps turn long videos into short social clips
  • Auto-level audio across multiple files
  • Chroma Key for easy greenscreen editing
  • Record screen, camera, and audio
  • Auto-subtitling (10 mins/month)

2. DaVinci Resolve

Best free video editing software for color correction, visual effects, and color grading

Image courtesy of DaVinci Resolve

System Requirements: macOS 10.15 Catalina, Windows 10 Creators Update, Linux CentOS 7.3

Great for: High-production YouTube videos, short films

Skill Level: Advanced

DaVinci Resolve is surprisingly robust for a free video editor, which means your computer definitely needs to meet system requirements in order for the latest version to run properly. And there's definitely more of a learning curve with this movie maker. But if you're willing to put in the time to learn it, DaVinci Resolve offers great functionality for studio quality films.

The editing process is simplified with various features, such as replacing clips for a set duration, a full suite of special effects plug-ins, advanced audio controls to enhance sound, and more. Those working on feature films, commercials, television shows, documentaries, or other high production video content will love the ease of collaboration among other editors. You’ll also be able to transform video formats into different sizes for social media.

Free Features Include:

  • Multi-user cloud collaboration
  • Drag and drop editing
  • Ideal for larger projects, such as movies, commercials, shows, streams, documentaries
  • Beauty tool
  • Vertical resolutions for social media apps
  • Timeline locking
  • Voice isolation
  • 25 Multicam angles
  • Chapter markers for social media
  • Text and shape acceleration
  • Clip replacement
  • Special effects library

3. iMovie

Best mobile video editing app for iOS and iPad

Image courtesy of iMovie

System Requirements: macOS 11.5.1 (or later), 4 GB RAM, 3.5 GB of available disk space

Great for: Mobile editing, personal projects

Skill Level: Beginner

For beginners who aren't looking to do anything too complicated with their video editing, Apple iMovie is one of the best free video editing apps. iMovie allows you to easily create video clips on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Unlike many other free video editing software, there are no watermarks when you export videos from iMovie.

You can create a photo slideshow, a social media video, or a simple documentary with iMovie. Easily stabilize shaky cam in this video editor when recording videos with hand. You can also storyboard your video using templates. Plus, sharing your final video on social media, via messages, or over email can easily be done from the iMovie app.

Free Features Include:

  • 29 trailer templates
  • Clip shareability
  • 4k resolution, 1080p
  • Add titles, animations, transitions, and 3D globes and travel maps
  • Fast-forward and slow-motion effects
  • Advanced picture-in-picture effects
  • Video stabilization
  • Zoom feature
  • Green screen effects
  • Built-in music and sound effects
  • Custom fonts
  • iPhone and iPad screen recording

4. HitFilm Express

Video editing for professional results

System Requirements: macOS 10.14 (or later), Microsoft Windows 10, internet access for online activation, 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended)

Great for: Long-form YouTube videos

Skill Level: Beginners

HitFilm Express is a beginner-friendly free video editor that allows you to create professional looking videos. This video editor is great for those looking to create YouTube videos, gain experience in video editing, or make high-quality videos without any expensive tool.

You can access all the basic editing tools you need for your video from cutting to flipping. You’ll also be able to export in multiple file formats with 2x faster exports. This user-friendly video editing program has hundreds of presets for you to choose from, an extensive asset library, and even has lighting and lens flares.

Free Features Include:

  • Drag-and-drop functionality
  • 100s of customizable presets
  • Asset library: stock videos, photos, music, templates, sound effects
  • Fast workflow
  • Text tools to add video subtitles and more
  • Color grading and color correction
  • Motion tracking
  • 8x faster playback

Related Article: The Best Software for Editing YouTube Videos

5. Lightworks Free

Professional video maker for beginners

Image courtesy of Lightworks

System Requirements: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.11 or higher, Linux Supported Debian Distros

Great for: Multicam editing

Skill Level: Beginner

Lightworks Free is a free video editor that allows you to save and edit videos in the cloud. Used in popular movies, such as Jerry Maguire, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Pulp Fiction, professional video editors have used this tool to create some of the biggest films of all time.

Despite its Hollywood fame, it’s still user-friendly enough for a beginner editor to use. With the free plan, you’ll be able to edit videos directly inside cloud storage, access editing features such as replace, fit-to-fill, slip, and more, and record voiceovers while playing footage.

Free Features Include:

  • Export video projects in any file format
  • 720p Exports
  • Multiple frame rates
  • Background processor
  • Automatic save
  • Proxy workflows
  • Cloud storage editing capabilities
  • 100’s of pre-made graphics
  • Custom and pre-built keyboard shortcuts
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Hundreds of transitions
  • Color correction tools

6. Shotcut

Best free open-source video editor

Image courtesy of Shotcut

System Requirements: Windows 7 to 11, macOS 10.14 to 12, 64-bit Linux

Great for: Projects with multiple scenes/transitions

Skill Level: Intermediate

As an open-source platform, Shotcut provides access all the editing features on the platform for free, making it one of the best video editors online. You’ll be able to do seamless fade ins and outs, wipe transitions, clip reversals, and more.

You’ll also find dozens of video filters, such as blur, fish eye, saturation, gradient, and video editing tools like chroma key, crop, gradient, and many more. All those features gives it a slightly steeper learning curve. From an editing perspective, Shotcut allows you to easily cut and paste clips, separate audio from video, name custom clips, and more.

Free Features Include:

  • Video and track compositing
  • Color wheels for color correction
  • Countless video filters
  • Drag and drop video files
  • Easy audio removal
  • Unlimited undo and redo with history
  • Audio mixing
  • 4k resolution

7. OpenShot Video Editor

Powerful open-source video editor for professionals

Image courtesy of OpenShot

System Requirements: 64-bit operating systems, such as Linux, OS X, Chrome OS, Windows 7, 8, 10, 11

Great for: Internal communications and trainings

Skill Level: Intermediate

Openshot Video Editor is an open-source tool with a whole suite of free editing features you can access to create stunning videos. You can add unlimited layers to all your videos, such as watermarks, audio tracks, background videos, and more.

Related: What's the Best Video Editor for Chromebook Users?

Choose from over 400 transitions and preview them in real-time to ensure you’ve selected the right one for that clip. Fast-forward or add slow motion effects to any clip. Plus, you can select from 40 different vector title and subtitle templates so people can easily watch your video content without audio.

Free Features Include:

  • Frame animations
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Unlimited layers and tracks
  • Easy scaling, rotation, trimming, snapping, alpha, and more
  • Real-time previews of over 400 transitions
  • Easily add image overlays and watermarks
  • 40 vector templates for titles and subtitles
  • 20 3D animations
  • Frame by frame editing
  • Clip speed adjustor
  • Separate audio from video
  • Visual effects: brightness, gamma, hue, chroma key, greyscale

8. ClipChamp Windows Video Editor

Best free video editor for text-to-speech videos

System Requirements: 64-bit computer with 64-bit Chrome or Edge, 8 GB of RAM

Great for: Organic social media

Skill Level: Beginner

ClipChamp Windows Video Editor is an extensive tool for editing videos that has sort of replaced Windows Movie Maker. It offers 170 lifelike voices for text-to-speech and AI-powered translation, which allows users to translate videos into multiple languages and record audio without needing a voice actor.

One feature ClipChamp offers that makes it one of the best free video editors for Windows users is a speaker coach. If you’ve just started a YouTube channel, you can improve how you speak with real-time feedback so you can get better at creating engaging videos.

Free Features Include:

  • Speaker coach real-time feedback to improve public speaking skills
  • Smart voice technology and auto captions
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Speed adjustor
  • Enhanced cropping
  • Gap removal
  • Video folders
  • Over 1,000,000 royalty-free videos, images, templates etc.
  • Seamless transitions
  • 170 AI voiceover voices in over 70 languages
  • Camera and screen recorder
  • Green screen functionality

9. Vimeo

Easiest video editing tool for beginners

System Requirements: Internet access

Great for: Social media ads

Skill Level: Beginner

Vimeo is the easiest video editing tool for beginners with no editing experience. You can create template-based videos for social media. From 30-second videos to GIFs, you can create any type of video using Vimeo’s video maker.

It’s one of the best free video editing softwares because of the broad range of video templates available. For instance, if you wanted to make a video resume or a product video, you could easily use the drag and drop functionality to quickly complete a polished video without any prior video editing experience.

Free Features Include:

  • Over 2,000 video templates
  • Polished videos without editing experience
  • Video editing tutorials, blogs, and resources
  • Asset library with stock videos, images, and music
  • Logos, colors, and fonts customization
  • Video resizing tool
  • Social media analytics tool for video performance
  • GIF maker
  • Add music, text, stickers, filters, and more

10. VSDC Free Video Editor

Best video editor for older computers

Image courtesy of VSDC

System Requirements: Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8/10/11, 2 GB of RAM, 500 MB of free disk space

Great for: Organic social, YouTube

Skill Level: Beginner

VSDC Free Video Editor is one of the best free video editing software for older computer models. Most video editors require newer computer models. However, professionals using older hardware can download this video editor and access useful editing features, like motion tracking, masking, and color blending.

Free Features Include:

  • Chroma key tool for background removal
  • Countless video effects, filters, and transitions
  • Editing tools, such as zoom, color correction, charts, and more
  • Various video and audio file formats
  • Works on outdated computer models
  • Masking tools to hide or blur elements
  • Export to social media
  • Various visual and audio effects, such as object transformation

11. Final Cut Pro (Free Trial)

Best video editing software for Mac users

System Requirements: macOS 11.5.1 (or later), 4 GB of RAM or higher, metal-capable graphics card, 1GB of VRAM, internet access for some features

Great for: Long YouTube videos

Skill Level: Advanced

We've added Final Cut Pro to this list on a technicality: Final Cut Pro offers a generous 90-day free trial, which technically makes it a free video editing software. After the trial is up, though, it costs a hefty $399.99. Still, if you want to try before you buy, Final Cut Pro is widely considered the best video editing software for Mac and is popular among YouTubers.

Whether you shoot Cinematic mode on your iPhone 13 or need to create videos on your Mac, you’ll find various editing features from color correction to enhanced speed. With so many moving parts in video editing, keeping track of everything can be difficult. Final Cut Pro offers duplicate detection to prevent duplicate audio or video from appearing more than intended. You can also compress your content without impacting video quality and stunning High Dynamic Range videos, whether you’re using a studio-grade camera or an iPhone.

Features Include:

  • Object tracking to follow movements of objects or people
  • Focus point enhancer
  • 8k ProRes video
  • Magnetic timeline
  • Color coding
  • Motion graphics in 2D and 3D; filters
  • Voice isolation
  • Multicam with up to 16 angles
  • Advanced color grading

12. Adobe Premiere Pro (Free Trial)

Best video editing software for making films

Image courtesy of Adobe

System Requirements: macOS 10.15 (or later) on Mac devices from 2016 or later, Windows 10 with 6th generation (or later)

Great for: TV commercials, YouTube videos, short films

Skill Level: Advanced

Like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier Pro has a free trial, but at the time of writing this, there's no forever free plan. If you're looking to test before you invest, Adobe only offers a 7-day trial, which is why we're putting it below Final Cut Pro. That said, Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most advanced video editing softwares you can find online.

While Adobe has added more beginner-friendly features to appeal to those who edit social media videos, this video editing software is typically used by professional film editors in Hollywood. If you’re looking for a video editing tool to edit films, music videos, or other high value pieces of video content, you might choose Adobe Premiere Pro due to its advanced features, such as visual and sound effects. When it comes to creating videos for YouTube channels or other social media platforms, though, there are other sophisticated tools to use that don't take as long to learn or cost as much.

Features Include:

  • Automatic tone mapping
  • Offline editing functionality, such as sequence locking
  • Speech to text in up to 16 languages
  • Music that won’t get flagged
  • Custom captions
  • 1000s of graphics, stickers, effects
  • Built-in tutorials
  • Drag and drop video functionality
  • Precise trimming tool
  • Advanced audio editing
  • Stock video and photo library
  • Hollywood-level video effects
  • Color-adjustment panel

Conclusion

Picking the right video editor for your needs doesn’t need to be complicated. You now have a better understanding of the amazing tools out there and what their key benefits and features are.

Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time video editor, there are various free tools you can use loaded with amazing transitions, drag and drop functionality, templates, and the whole suite of editing features you’d need to create world class videos. If you’re looking for a video editing tool for your company or agency, we recommend trying out Kapwing today where you’ll be able to create social media videos fast.

FAQs About the Best Free Video Software

1. What do most YouTubers use to edit videos?

YouTubers and the video editing agencies they hire typically use multi-layer video editing software capable of handling their large roughcut files, like Kapwing, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro.

2. How do I start video editing?

If you're new to video editing, it's best to get started on a platform for beginners. Many video editors have drag and drop functionality, tutorials, and one-click features to make editing a video user-friendly for beginners. Signing up for a free trial or a free account with a video editing software is the best way to learn.

3. Where can I edit my videos for free?

Kapwing has a free plan that allows you to edit videos for free. You'll have access to many editing features designed to make your workflow faster, like the video resizer, auto subtitler, and chroma key effect.

Create content faster with Kapwing's online video editor →