Since Microsoft deprecated Windows Movie Maker in 2017, there's not a single default when looking for the best PC video editors. Although there are plenty of options out there for video and audio creation, each program has its own benefits and tradeoffs.

In this article, I'll review the best programs for editing video on a Microsoft Windows machine. I'll cover the spectrum of free to paid editors and give my recommendation on which to try first.

Microsoft Photos

In 2017, Microsoft did away with Windows Movie Maker after years of packaging the free editor with their operating system. The Microsoft Photos app provides an alternative for video editing capabilities. This program lives right on your machine. When you view a photo on your Windows PC desktop, use the "Edit and Create" button to access the editor interface.

The editing tools available in Microsoft Photos

The name of the app may literally references photos, but the software allows you to load-in any video and make some simple edits. Start by right-clicking your video file and go to “Open with…”, then select Photos. The video will open up in the program for you to start working with.

While the program isn’t going to give you as many editing options as the paid software out there, it is free. If you only have simple video edits to make, then this may be a great option for you.

The CyberLink PowerDirector editor

Many modern editing tools require a subscription service or have a watermark, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay a lot of money in order to use them. Some programs offer cheap payment plans that will still give you full access to everything you need for video editing.

One example is CyberLink PowerDirector, which can be used on Apple or Microsoft devices. The app is a cheaper option with a UI that is easy to learn and understand. In my experience, CyberLink PowerDirector was easier to get accustomed to than most legacy editing programs. The program looks and feels familiar as you navigate it with a timeline, source footage, preview, and most of what you need from a desktop editor.

CyberLink PowerDirector offers a range of video transitions and effects

The program is available for $60 with an annual subscription, but you can also opt for a monthly price of $20.


The Kapwing Studio Editor

The final entry on our list is Kapwing. Unlike the other options, Kapwing works online, so you can access it from any Windows or Mac computer. This is a benefit if you're using multiple devices to make your video since you can access the project from anywhere.

Kapwing is also free to get started with no watermark. When you sign in, your projects are backed up to the cloud so that you don't lose your work. Plus, your video projects do not consume storage space on your hard drive. After a file is finished exporting, you can download it to your computer, copy the link to share it in a message, or quickly get an embed code.

Kapwing's Text Tool, for example, is a quick too to add flair and titles to videos, GIFs, or images. The Audio option helps you add any music you want to a video. You can upload your own file or even paste a URL to pull music or audio from another site like YouTube.

Unlike the Photos app or CyberLink, Kapwing has built-in recording tools. You can record your screen, webcam, or mic to add voiceovers, selfie videos, and tutorial videos to the canvas.

Each tool on this list is a great option for anyone looking to edit on their Microsoft computer. Editing videos shouldn't require a significant financial investment or take up all of your time.

Related Articles