Top 5 free video editing software for 2021





Using free video editing software 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.
Whether you're looking for a free video editor or a professional editing suite, we've found the best software for you – if you're making a whole movie or just need to trim a single video clip.

If you're a total beginner, there are affordable video editors that will make the whole process as easy as possible, with automated tools that will optimize and transform your clips with just a couple of clicks.


Adobe Premiere Pro

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Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry-standard video editor and getting the most from it will require an investment of time as well as cash, but if you’re serious about video then it’s well worth the effort.

Premiere Pro's interface (based around panels and a timeline) is often aped but rarely bettered. Unlike other apps, however, Premiere Pro is highly customizable. Once you've mastered the basics, you can tailor the interface to suit your own workflow.

Whereas previous versions of Adobe Premiere Pro required users to switch to different apps for some parts of post production, the latest edition tucks everything into one neat interface, including captions and audio editing.

It's hard to do justice to all of Premiere Pro's features, but there's a vast assortment of stackable audio and video filters, support for 360-degree and VR video, native support for a huge number of raw file formats, and the ability to work collaboratively with others. You can even start editing your videos before they've finished importing. 

Adobe Premiere Pro is available as an individual subscription, or as part of the Creative Cloud suite (a better investment if you want more than one of Adobe's apps). If you join CC, you'll benefit from easy transferring of project files and other resources between Adobe apps like After Effects.

This kind of power doesn't come cheap and the monthly or annual subscription fee adds up, but the lack of a large initial outlay makes Premiere Pro surprisingly accessible. It's worth downloading a trial of the other video editors here before making a decision, but Premiere Pro is extremely versatile and the cloud-based model means you won't have to pay for upgrades as they're released.




OpenShot (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

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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.

What We Like

  • The easy to use interface.
  • It's Open Source.
  • Great user forums.
What We Don't Like

  • The application has multiple layers of setup.
  • Occasional lag. 



Apple Final Cut Pro X

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Final Cut Pro X (also known as Final Cut Pro – Apple uses the two interchangeably) is Apple's premium video editor, and it's every bit as polished as you'd expect. It's also exclusively for macOS, so Windows users will need to look elsewhere.

This is a video editor aimed squarely at the professional end of the market, but it's not needlessly complicated. Its interface is a little different to most, and is built around a 'trackless' timeline that encourages you to organize elements into specific 'roles', such as voiceover, music and titles. It's a clever design and works well in practice.

If you're looking for a video editor to pair with your drone, Final Cut Pro is an excellent choice. It supports raw video from all the major makes and models, and is regularly updated with additional profiles. It also supports 360-degree video editing (fast becoming mandatory for premium video editing software) and HDR, with advanced color grading.

Rather than adopt a subscription model like Adobe, Apple has chosen to make Final Cut Pro available for a one-off flat fee. It's relatively expensive, but includes all major updates and will work out cheaper than Premiere Pro if you keep using it over a couple of years. If you own a Mac and are torn between Apple and Adobe, we recommend taking the free trials of both for a spin before making up your mind.



iMovie (Mac)

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iMovie is completely free for macOS. It offers many options for editing video and audio plus adding photos, music, and narration to your videos.
One of my favorite features of iMovie is its ability to make 4K-resolution movies, and you can even start doing so from your iPhone or iPad and then finish it on your Mac. That's pretty cool!

What We Like

  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • Plenty of tools to improve video and audio quality.
  • Supports 4K.
What We Don't Like

  • Limited features available.
  • Output controls could be more robust.


VideoPad (Windows & Mac)

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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.

VideoPad can also change the video speed, reverse the video, burn DVDs, import music, and export movies to YouTube (and other similar sites) and a variety of resolutions (like 2K and 4K).

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