Edit video on your PC or Mac with these free applications
Using a free video editing program is an easy and convenient way to edit your videos. Plus, most of them are so easy to use that they’re great for beginning editors.
You might want a video editor if you need to extract audio from a video or add different audio, cut out parts of the video, add subtitles, build a DVD menu, merge video files together, or fade a video in or out. Most vloggers need a video editor of some kind.
Because most free video editors limit their features to advertise their professional versions, you may find roadblocks that stop you from doing more advanced edits. For editors with more features, but that aren’t free, check out mid-level digital video software or these top professional video editing programs.
Note: If you need to convert your video files to different file formats like MP4, MKV, MOV, etc., this list of free video converters has some great options.
OpenShot (Windows, Mac, and Linux)
Editing videos with OpenShot is extraordinary when you see the list of its amazing features. You can download it absolutely free on not only Windows and Mac but also Linux.
A few of the supported features in this free editor includes desktop integration for drag-and-drop, image and audio support, curve-based Key Frame animations, unlimited tracks and layers, and 3D animated tiles and effects.
OpenShot is also good for clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation, plus motion picture credit scrolling, frame stepping, time-mapping, audio mixing, and real-time previews.
The fact that you get all of this for free is reason enough to download it yourself and try it out before you purchase a video editor. More »
VideoPad (Windows & Mac)
Another video editing software program for both Windows and Mac is VideoPad, from NCH Software. It’s 100 percent free for non-commercial use.
It supports drag-and-drop, effects, transitions, 3D video editing, text and caption overlay, video stabilization, easy narration, free built-in sound effects, and color control.
Freemake Video Converter (Windows)
Freemake Video Converter functions mainly as a free video converter, which is why I’ve added it to this list. However, its simple and easy-to-use editing features is what sets it apart from some of the more complex and confusing editors.
Being able to do some light editing to your videos is great when you can also use the same tool to convert the file to a variety of other formats, or even burn the files directly to a disc.
Some of the video editing features of this program includes adding subtitles, clipping out sections you don’t want in the video, removing or adding audio, and merging/joining videos together.
VSDC Free Video Editor (Windows)
VSDC is a full-featured free video editing tool that you can install on Windows. A fair warning though: this program might be a little hard to use for beginners because of the sheer number of features and menus.
However, if you poke around for while and play with your videos within the editor, you’ll find that it’s not quite as daunting as it was when you first opened it.
There’s even a wizard you can run to make things easier. Some of things you can do is add lines, text, and shapes, as well as charts, animations, images, audio, and subtitles. Plus, as any good video editor should, VSDC can export videos to a variety of file formats.
The VSDC Video Editor setup also lets you easily install their video capture program and screen recorder. These are of course optional but they may come in handy in certain projects. More »
iMovie is completely free for macOS. It offers many options for editing video and audio plus adding photos, music, and narration to your videos.
Movie Maker (Windows)
Movie Maker was Window’s free video editing software that comes pre-installed on a number of versions of Windows. You can use it to create and share high-quality movies.
I include it here in this list because it’s already on lots of Windows computers, which means you might not even need to download anything in order to start using it.
Although it was discontinued at the start of 2017, you can still download it through non-Microsoft websites. See our review of Windows Movie Maker for more information on what you can do with it. More »
If you’ve tried out these video editing programs but would prefer some other options, or you’re more interested in editing videos online for free, there are several online editors that function in the same way as these downloadable tools. These services are great for re-editing and remixing web videos, and some even let you produce DVDs of your videos.