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Best Free Video Editing Software Programs

Sharing videos on popular sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion has grown tremendously over the years. If you want to post high-quality videos on such sites or you just want to produce memorable videos that capture the moments of your life, you need a good video editor to edit and enhance your videos. As a casual video creator, it doesn't make sense to shell out a lot of money upfront for a professional-grade video editor. There are numerous free video editing software offerings to choose from that will do just about anything a casual user needs. The problem is there are so many free video editing software programs available that it is hard to know which ones are most suitable to meet your needs.

There are many free video editors to choose from.

There are many free video editors to choose from.

Advice Regarding Choosing a Video Editor That Best Fits Your Needs

For the most enjoyable video editing experience, choose an editor that best fits your needs. If you are just getting started with video editing or only need to do basic video editing, then choose one of the free editors with limited features that is easy and intuitive to use. Advanced free video editors such as some of the ones featured below have powerful editing capabilities but are inherently harder to learn and master. For most casual and common video editing situations a basic editor is all you will need. You can always download an advanced editor in the future once you have mastered a basic editor and are ready to learn about advanced editing.

Openshot Video Editor is one of the easier to use free video editors that has many useful features.

Openshot Video Editor is one of the easier to use free video editors that has many useful features.

Free Video Editors That Are Easy to Use

There are a number of free video editors that are easy to use and meet the basic video editing needs of casual users. Some of the best ones are detailed below.

  • VideoPad is one of the simplest and easy to use video editors that is well suited for beginners. It includes some cool effects to enhance videos such as transitions to smoothly splice together clips, filters to add visual effects, and a library of sound effects to enhance audio. Its user interface is very easy for beginners to master and its built-in exporting capabilities make it easy to use if you intend to upload videos to YouTube, Facebook, or other video sharing sites.
  • Avidemux is one of the most basic free video editors, which means it is easy to use and is a good choice for a person that just wants to perform basic splicing and filtering of their videos for their personal use or for uploading onto social media. Its video editing functions are very basic with no ability to do smooth transitions between video clips that are joined together and no timeline to help put multiple clips together. While basic, it does provide a powerful encoder that can create videos in many of the popular video file types and has a variety of filters available for adding effects. If you want to add music, audio can be added to videos using this program.
  • Openshot Video Editor is a free open-source video editing program that I personally use. It is set up in a very simple way with tracks along the bottom to add video clips you want to splice together and audio clips you want to overlay onto your video to add music. It provides several easy-to-use filters to add special effects to videos. It also has a number of transitions that can be used to transition between video clips in a smooth and artistic way. Its graphical user interface is quite simple and well laid-out compared to more complex editors, which makes it good for a beginner or a casual user.

Free Video Editors With Advanced Features

You may find yourself in need of a free video editor that has more advanced features than those offered by easier to use applications. There are a number of free offerings that provide many of the advanced features found in video editors that cost a great amount of money. They can be a bit quirky and lack technical support, but unless you intend on making a career out of video editing, there is likely a free version that will be suitable for the more sophisticated video editing projects you want to accomplish.

  • Blender is one of the best choices if you need a sophisticated video editor that is capable of performing advanced tasks like producing 3D models and animated films. It is a free open-source program. It has some interesting features that can be used to add effects to videos that the more basic editors do not have. Ultimately, Blender is one of the best choices if you are ready to move beyond the basics and want to try to learn how to add some advanced effects to videos.
  • Shotcut is yet another free open-source program. This is a better choice than Blender if you don't know much about video editing and are willing to learn since its creators provide a number of useful videos that teach you how to use their editor. Shotcut offers 4K HD editing, which can be utilized to create stunning high definition videos. It may be a bit more difficult to use than other free video editors, but if you want to create quality content, then it's a good option.
  • VSDC Free Video Editor is a freeware video editing program. Its wide support for various video and audio formats that include both high-definition and ultra-high-definition video outputs, including 4K resolution, makes it a good choice if you're seeking to produce high-quality videos. It has an easy to use user interface that allows you to set up a video on one track and an audio file on another track to easily overlay audio onto a video. It also provides many filters that can be used to enhance videos and add special effects. One thing that sets it apart from other free video editors are the other free applications available from its creators, including one that allows for video capture from a computer screen and another that performs video recording from a camera embedded in a computer. The output from these tools can be easily integrated into the VSDC video editor for a seamless editing experience.
  • Hitfilm Express is a powerful but somewhat complicated free video editor. It includes a number of tools that can be used to create both 2D and 3d visual effects in videos. One of its most useful features is its integration with YouTube, allowing direct uploads to YouTube upon completion of a video editing project. It is designed to allow users to make Hollywood film quality videos. While its advanced capabilities can be useful for advanced users, it is probably more than what most casual users need. But, if you are up to the challenge, the creators offer a number of tutorials that teach you how to use their video editing software. You may need to purchase some of the add-ons that the creators offer to truly unlock the power of this editor. However, the free version is robust enough for many common video editing projects.
  • Lightworks is a video editor that is available as either a free version or an advanced version that requires a monthly subscription to use. The free version has every editing feature that a casual video creator would need to create high-quality videos. Lightworks is a good choice if you are finding the more basic video editors to be too limited since it offers many ways to edit and enhance videos that are not offered in other free editors. Its user interface can be challenging to use, but the creators provide a number of tutorial videos to help users learn how to use their software. You’ll be working like a video editing professional once you master the Lightworks user interface.
Blender's free video editor is just one aspect of this program that can be used to create video games and animations, among many useful features.

Blender's free video editor is just one aspect of this program that can be used to create video games and animations, among many useful features.

Free Video Editor Poll

Video Editing for Beginners

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 John Coviello


John Coviello (author) from New Jersey on June 10, 2019:

I'm glad this article has encouraged you to take a look at your video clips for editing. It's a lot of fun to go back and look at videos from the past and edit them so they're more watchable. There's a lot of help online if you get stuck trying to do something with one of the video editors.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 08, 2019:

Many years ago I used to make and edit videos of family onto VHS tapes, which really dates them. Your article has encouraged me to consider uploading current video clips and editting again.