YouTube has been the internet’s most popular place for video sharing for a long time, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. And while the YouTube Studio feature has been in beta testing for a while, its editing functions are really limited. It works well for trimming video, adding music, and adding captions, but most higher-powered edits aren't supported.

In this article, I'm going to teach you how to edit your videos for YouTube, without paying a cent or leaving your browser! I'll show you how to use Kapwing, a free online video editor, to make the most important edits for your YouTube content. I recommend Kapwing for several reasons:

• It’s free to use
• It’s easy to learn
• It doesn’t make you download any apps
• It works well on computers, phones, and tablets
• You can upload videos from any source

I'm going to go over the four main things that you'll need to know:

  1. Uploading your videos to Kapwing
  2. Adding videos, music, & photos
  3. Editing your video
  4. Publishing & uploading to YouTube

Uploading Your Videos to Kapwing

The Kapwing Studio is Kapwing's primary feature, allowing you to use nearly all of Kapwing's editing tools in one place. Once you've found the content that you need to start with, go to Kapwing.com. If you haven't logged in, click on "Get Started" to access the Studio, and if you've logged into your Kapwing account, select "New Project," then "Start with Studio."

Now you need to upload your content. If you're starting with a video you have saved on your device, simply click the purple button that says "Click to Upload" and find it in your file browser! If the file is conveniently located, you can also click & drag it into the Studio window.

If you're starting with something you found on the internet, you need to copy its URL. If you're using content from YouTube, you can simply copy the link from the top of the window. For most locations like Google Drive, you'll need to make sure the video's link is shareable, then right-click on your content and select "Get shareable link." To upload your video, just right-click on the URL field and select "Paste." Kapwing will automatically start uploading your file to the Studio.

Adding Videos, Music, & Photos

Now you're ready to create & edit your YouTube video! To add other videos to the project, just click the "Add Scene" button on the left side of the Studio window. Select the new scene and choose "Upload" from the top toolbar. Here, you can add another video the same way you added the first! You can reorder your scenes by clicking & dragging them into the positions you want.

To add a new audio track to your video, select "Audio" from the top toolbar. In the Add Audio window, you can upload music from your device or from web sources like YouTube and SoundCloud. Once you've added your audio track, you can trim it, choose its starting point, adjust its volume, and loop it. If you haven't muted your video, the new audio track will play on top of the existing audio – if you'd like to hear only the new track, just select your video and choose "mute" from the right-hand toolbar!

To add photos to your project, you can click "Upload" from the top toolbar, just like adding video. Or, select "Images" from the top toolbar and search for pictures the way you would search in Google Images! To change the picture's duration in your video, select its scene and choose "Timeline" from the top toolbar. You can change the length of the image clip and move the beginning & ending buttons of the image layer.

Editing Your Video

The Kapwing Studio gives you tons of options for editing your project. When you click on a part of your project, you can see all your editing options on the right side of the screen. With a video layer selected, you can trim, crop, resize, add padding, and add filters.

You can also custom text and shapes to your project. Just select "Text" or "Shapes" from the top toolbar. Once you've added a text box, choose "Edit" from the right toolbar to change its text, font, color, style, and alignment. You can even animate it by selecting "Animate" from the right toolbar! If you've added a shape, you can edit its color, outline color, and outline thickness using the tools in the right-hand toolbar.

You can resize, rotate, and reposition any text, image, video, or shape by clicking & dragging the layer, its corners, or its "rotate" button.

Publishing & Uploading to YouTube

Once you're done creating and editing your project, you're ready to process it! Double-check all your edits and click the red "Publish" button in the top right corner of the Studio. Kapwing will immediately begin processing your project. Keep in mind that for longer or larger videos, this could take several minutes. But images and shorter videos should only take a few seconds to process! Once your project is finished processing, just select "Download" from the right side of the screen to save the project directly to your device.

If you’re using a mobile device, you’ll need to download the very small Kapwing mobile app from the App Store. The app doesn’t require any login – it’s only meant to help you download your videos! To download your video on your iPhone, just copy the URL of the download page and paste it into the URL field in the Kapwing app. Now your video is ready for you to share anywhere!

Now you're ready to share your project on YouTube! Just go to YouTube.com and log into your Google account – if you used the same account to log into Kapwing, you're probably already logged in. To upload your project, click the "Create" button near the top right corner of the window (it looks like a camera with a "+" on it). If you're using your phone, click the camera icon on the top edge of the screen. Now, search in your file browser for the video you downloaded from Kapwing. If you're using a desktop browser, it's probably easiest to click & drag your recently downloaded file from your browser's recent downloads. Add your title, description, tags, and thumbnail photo, and your YouTube video will be ready to go!


Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.

How to Edit YouTube Videos

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