While some paid video editing applications offer extra features and capabilities, you don’t need to spend any money to create professional videos.
In fact, both professionals and home users have more choices than ever when it comes to free video editing.
Let’s take a look at 15 of the most powerful free video editing platforms to consider using in 2022 and beyond.
iMovie is a free video editing software that comes pre-installed on every Mac computer.
Along with the desktop client, iMovie is also available on both iPads and iPhones through the Apple App Store.
With a familiar interface and no complicated installation sequence, it’s an easy way for Mac users to get started on an upcoming video editing project.
iMovie also gives users the ability to upload videos directly to YouTube or Vimeo, making it simpler than ever to get your content online.
Of course, the key downside to iMovie is that it currently isn’t available on Windows, Linux, Android, or any operating system that isn’t developed by Apple.
Using a different operating system? Skip to the next entries below for a free alternative to the iMovie application.
Lightworks is another popular video editor that’s available as a free download.
You can access Lightworks on most major operating systems and devices including Mac, Windows, and Linux.
However, there is no Lightworks client for either iOS or Android, so the platform is currently only available on desktop.
Despite being totally free to use, Lightworks comes with a surprisingly robust platform including transitions, timeline-based editing, cloud and local storage, and no watermarks on the final product.
With that being said, some advanced features are limited to Lightworks premium license.
For a single user, the paid version of Lightworks costs $23.99 per month, $239.99 per year, or $389.99 for lifetime access.
The monthly and annual options will end up costing more than a lifetime license in under two years, so you should go for lifetime access if you think you’ll continue using Lightworks for a long period of time.
Like Lightworks, DaVinci Resolve is a free video editing platform that also offers a premium option for users with more robust needs.
It’s also worth mentioning that DaVinci Resolve sells some hardware including an editing keyboard, speed editor, advanced panel, channel fader, audio accelerator, and more.
These devices can supplement your editing software and help you develop even more interesting projects.
The DaVinci Resolve client is currently available for download on their website for Mac, Windows, and Linux devices.
It comes with flexible editing features such as trimming, cutting, and multicam editing plus color correction, post-production audio optimization, and more.
DaVinci Resolve also includes unique collaboration tools that make it surprisingly easy for even large teams to work together on a shared project.
Lifetime access to DaVinci Resolve Studio currently runs $295, but most users will be fine without a premium license.
The benefits of the paid option are mostly advanced features like stereoscopic 3D, additional audio plugins, and improved HDR grading.
VSDC is a popular free video editor that supports every version of Windows going back to XP SP3 including Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
However, there is no support for either Mac or Linux devices, so users of those devices will need to look for an alternative.
The VSDC client comes with visual effects in a total of five categories: color correction, object transformation, object filters, transition effects, and special effects.
Users can also quickly create masks in order to hide or emphasize specific elements of the shot.
Furthermore, VSDC offers powerful support for motion tracking, making it easy to configure elements to follow the motion of a specific object.
You can upload the finished product directly to YouTube without opening another application or even another tab in your browser.
Like Lightworks and DaVinci Resolve, VSDC offers a premium client for users who need more features than are available in the free version.
Blender is a free, open-source video editing platform that’s available for download on Linux, Mac, and Windows computers.
Unlike most other free video editing software, Blender doesn’t offer any paid subscriptions or add-ons, so the same features are available to all users.
3D editing is one of the areas where Blender stands out from other applications.
Users can open the 3D viewport and draw directly in a 3D space, giving creators more freedom than ever to experiment with both 2D and 3D designs.
Blender also comes with a surprisingly powerful suite of animation editing features including an animation pose editor and non-linear animation controls for independent movement.
Developers and other advanced users can take advantage of Python scripting to customize the application and add to its native toolkit.
As an open-source platform, Blender has benefitted from contributions from hundreds of home users who have introduced a variety of new features.
While Blender may not be as easy to learn as more popular platforms like iMovie, it’s one of the most robust and flexible free video editors currently available.
HitFilm Express is another video editing platform with both free and paid options depending on the user’s budget and needs.
While it supports Mac OS 10.13 and up as well as Windows 8 and 10, there is currently no client available for Linux.
The free HitFilm Express comes with everything you would need for basic projects including features like motion tracking, animation, 4K export, and a deep library of effects and transitions.
Users who want more out of the platform can get a wide range of advanced tools through a unique “pay what you want” model.
The Starter pack, for example, starts at $9 and comes with some extra visual effects along with a dark mode option.
At $19, Content Creator adds in new editing capabilities such as skin retouching, grain removal, and a rolling shutter.
Finally, VFX Artist is available from $39 and introduces lens flares, wire removal, channel swapping, audio waveforms, and more.
OpenShot is a free and open-source video editor with no paid option—while the website includes an option to support the developers, you can access the full set of features at no charge.
The client supports all versions of Windows going back to 7 as well as Mac OS 10.15 and most distributions of Linux.
For a free platform, it also provides a surprisingly comprehensive collection of visual effects covering everything from title templates and video transitions to 3D animations.
OpenShot also stands out from most other video editors due to its regular updates.
Unlike some other platforms, OpenShot has received several new releases in 2021 alone, addressing bugs and introducing a variety of features.
Unfortunately, some users report significant slowdowns, so keep an eye out for any performance issues when editing with OpenShot.
VideoPad is a video editing platform with clients for Mac and Windows computers.
While you’ll have to pay for a commercial license or certain advanced capabilities, most of VideoPad’s features are available for personal use at no charge.
The VideoPad application is compatible with virtually every major video format including avi, mp4, mpeg, and even VHS and DV camcorders.
It also supports full 4K video along with 3D video editing and 2D to 3D stereoscopic conversion.
Furthermore, VideoPad users can take advantage of a collection of assets including sound effects, video transitions, and themed templates.
They can even add the MixPad multi-track mixing software to their workflow for access to more robust audio editing features.
Unfortunately, VideoPad’s pricing system is surprisingly ambiguous.
The homepage says that the free version is “available for non-commercial use only,” but it doesn’t say which tools are included with this option.
On the other hand, you can also buy a license for the “Home Edition” of the VideoPad application for a one-time charge of $39.95.
This tier is described as “fully featured,” but with no external plugins and just two audio tracks.
However, there’s no information about how many audio tracks are available with the free option.
You can remove the limitations on plugins and audio tracks for $16.50 per quarter, or $69.95 for a lifetime license.
ShotCut is another free and open-source option for beginners as well as experienced video editors.
Clients are currently available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, including Mac releases from 10.10 and Windows updates starting at Windows 7.
The ShotCut website offers quick tips for a variety of keyboard shortcuts such as page up and down for one-second skips, and J, K, L for playback speed adjustments.
The ShotCut team has updated the application several times in 2021, illustrating their commitment to optimizing the user experience.
ShotCut supports the most popular image formats such as GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, SVG, and TIFF.
With audio editing features like filters, mixing, fading, and pitch compensation, you won’t need to rely on third-party software for audio optimization.
ShotCut also stands out for its unique commitment to translations, with more than 30 languages currently supported.
WeVideo is a video editor with both free and paid options available depending on your use case.
With dedicated solutions available for businesses, educational institutions, and other niche projects, it’s an ideal option for teams that need to create videos for brand development.
The platform comes with more than one million different pieces of stock media to help creators develop the perfect content without paying for third-party assets.
Unlike some of its competitors, WeVideo offers surprisingly robust clients on both iOS and Android devices as well as Mac, OS, Linux, and ChromeOS.
The WeVideo free plan comes with 1 GB of cloud storage, but it also limits users to 480p resolution.
Additionally, free members are restricted to 5 minutes of publishing time per month.
They also have to put up with watermarks on all finished content.
Paid subscriptions start at $9.99 per month for the Power tier, or $4.99 per month when billed annually.
Power comes with 30 minutes of published content per month, 20 GB of cloud storage, non-branded exporting, and up to 720p content.
Subsequent plans include Unlimited ($15.99 per month), Professional ($39.99 per month), and Business ($73.99 per month).
Both the Professional and Business tiers support 4K content plus social media uploads and unlimited stock assets.
The Business tier is designed for enterprise users with features like access permissions, customizable templates, and multi-user collaboration.
Filmora is a video editor that supports releases of Windows and macOS going back to Windows 7 and macOS 10.12.
While there is a free version available, free users will have to put up with a Filmora watermark in their finished content.
However, that free option at least gives you the chance to test out the platform’s features before spending any money.
If you’re new to video editing or just need some tips, Filmora offers a highly informative learning and support center with text guides as well as video tutorials for editors of all experience levels.
One potential drawback of Filmora is that the Windows and Mac versions are sold separately, so you’ll need to pay for two licenses if you want to access the application on both platforms.
Non-branded exports, free technical support, and other key features are available for $51.99 per year or a one-time fee of $79.99.
Filmora also offers dedicated solutions for businesses and educational institutions along with bundles that include other Wondershare applications such as Filmstock, FilmoraGo, PixCut, PixStudio, DemoCreator, and UniConverter.
FilmoraGo is the mobile version of Filmora, with apps available on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
While a mobile app can’t offer the same functionality or performance as a desktop client, FilmoraGo is a relatively robust option for editing on the go.
It comes in a sleek, professional interface that makes it surprisingly easy to craft perfect videos on a smartphone or tablet.
FilmoraGo also advertises itself as “the first iOS video editor with Double Take/multicam,” with multicam support available on iOS devices starting with the iPhone XR.
However, multicam capabilities aren’t yet supported on the Android application.
Unlike Filmora, FilmoraGo doesn’t provide any ongoing free option, but you can try the application for up to three days before making a decision.
Premium subscriptions cost $32.99 per year after the trial period, which works out to roughly $2.75 per month.
With no lifetime license, you’ll have to continue paying for FilmoraGo as long as you keep using it.
That makes it much more expensive over time compared to the desktop Filmora client.
One payment of $79.99 is enough for lifetime access to Filmora, but that amount won’t even cover three years of FilmoraGo.
InVideo is a unique video editing service that specifically caters to the needs of businesses and organizations.
It comes with more than 5,000 content templates and flexible customization options to help users create the ideal content for their brand.
You can even use InVideo’s text-to-video tool to quickly develop professional videos based on blog posts and other forms of text content.
InVideo will match relevant images to your provided text and create a natural-sounding voiceover for your video.
On the other hand, InVideo is lacking some of the video editing features that are available with more well-rounded competitors.
For example, InVideo doesn’t offer support for 4K content, and it’s also missing basic tools such as stabilization and color correction that make it easier to optimize video content.
With that in mind, it’s best suited to users who have footage ready and simply need to turn it into a professional video.
You should consider one of the alternatives we’ve mentioned if you need access to a more powerful set of editing features.
Like some other services, InVideo limits free users by applying watermarks to all of their videos.
Free users are also limited to 720p resolution, 1 GB of cloud storage, and no access to premium templates.
At $15 per month billed annually, the Business subscription offers 1080p exporting, 10 GB of cloud storage, premium templates, and other advanced features like priority support and background removal (20 images per month).
Unlimited ($30 per month billed annually) supports unlimited video exports plus more access to stock media, background removal, and cloud storage (100 GB).
Take some time to play around with the free tool before paying for a full year of either premium subscription.
Adobe Premiere Rush is a more streamlined alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro, one of the most popular video editors currently available.
New subscribers can use Premiere Rush to export up to three videos and access up to 2 GB of cloud storage before paying for a subscription.
The Premiere Rush client is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, but there is currently no application for Linux users.
This platform is designed for seamless editing across both desktop and mobile, so it’s an ideal choice for people who work on different devices throughout the day.
With 100 GB of cloud storage included in the premium subscription, you can edit projects one one device and pick up where you left off on another.
Premiere Pro subscribers can also import existing Rush projects into the Pro application in order to continue working with a more flexible set of editing tools.
You can access the Premiere Rush platform for $9.99 per month through a standalone subscription, but the application is also included with Premiere Pro for $20.99 per month.
Creative students and professionals should consider paying for a subscription to all Adobe Creative Cloud applications.
This option is available for $79.49 per month, but you can get it for just $52.99 per month when you commit to an annual plan.
Vimeo Create is another good choice for businesses and organizations that need to craft video content for brand development.
With a library of templates covering everything from seasonal promotions and birthday deals to slideshows and tutorials, you’ll be able to find something for virtually any type of project.
Like InVideo, Vimeo Create lags behind the competition when it comes to more general video and audio editing features.
Without fundamental capabilities like stabilization, audio editing, color correction, and multicam editing, you may need to rely on another application for more involved projects.
Instead, Vimeo Create focuses on customization for things like fonts and color schemes to help users make videos that align with their brand image.
Vimeo Basic is a free option for users who don’t want to spend any money on a video editor.
This tier comes with 500 MB of weekly uploads and a total of 5 GB in account storage.
Videos are also limited to just 30 seconds, and they’ll come with a Vimeo watermark unless you upgrade to a paid subscription.
At $7 per month billed annually, the Plus plan supports up to 5 GB of uploads per week, ten times what you can get for free.
All paid users can also publish videos to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Shopify through the Vimeo application.
Pro raises the weekly upload limit to 20 GB, introduces support for up to three team members, and adds other helpful features like file versioning, advanced analytics, and access to unlimited stock updates for $20 per month when paid annually.
Finally, Premium comes with a focus on live streaming and includes support for unlimited live streaming with unlimited viewers for $75 per month billed annually.
The Premium tier offers features like audience chat, live Q&A functionality, and integration with third-party marketing software, making it easy to integrate live streams into your digital marketing campaigns.
You can start with a 30-day free trial of any of the paid subscriptions, and Vimeo also offers custom solutions for organizations that need dedicated support, enterprise-level security, and other features that aren’t available with the Premium plan.
While premium video editing software sometimes offers extra features and functions, free applications provide more than enough for a variety of use cases.
Install one of these 15 programs today to get started on your next editing project.
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