6 Best Free Video Editing Software Programs for 2018

Edit video on your PC or Mac with one of these free video editors

An image of a person working at a video editing board in a newsroom.

 Getty Images

Using free video editing software is a 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 editing program 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, 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 making advanced edits. For editors with more-advanced features but that aren't free, check out mid-level digital video software or these top professional video editing programs.

If you need to convert your video files to different file formats such as MP4, MKV, and MOV, this list of free video converters has some great options.

01
of 06

OpenShot (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

OpenShot
Wikimedia Commons

What We Like

  • The easy-to-use interface

  • It's open source

  • Great user forum

What We Don't Like

  • The application has multiple layers of setup

  • Occasional lag

Editing videos with OpenShot is extraordinary when you see everything you can do with it. You can download it free for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

The supported features in this free editor include 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.

02
of 06

VideoPad (Windows and Mac)

VideoPad/NCH Software

What we like

  • Supports a wide range of video formats

  • Easy to install and use

What we don't like

  • Lacks advanced features

Another video editing software program for both Windows and Mac is VideoPad, from NCH Software. It's 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 including 2K and 4K.

03
of 06

Freemake Video Converter (Windows)

Freemake Video
Wikimedia Commons

What We Like

  • Supports many input formats

  • Burn files directly to a disc

  • Easy-to-use editing features

What We Don't Like

  • May require purchase of needed features

  • Can be slow to make conversions

  • Limited number of output formats

Freemake Video Converter is a free video converter with simple and easy-to-use editing features that set it apart from some of the more complex and confusing editors.

Being able to do light editing to your videos with the same tool you use to convert the file to a variety of other formats, or even burn the files directly to a disc, is convenient.

Some of the video editing features of this program include adding subtitles, clipping out sections you don't want in the video, removing or adding audio, and merging or joining videos.

04
of 06

VSDC Free Video Editor (Windows)

VSDC Free Video Editor
Wikimedia Commons

What We Like

  • Features you won't find elsewhere

  • Exports to a variety of file formats

  • Includes optional screen recorder

What We Don't Like

  • Not super user-friendly

  • Some video lag with free version

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 seemed when you first opened it.

There's even a wizard you can run to make things easier. Use it to do 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 lets you easily install the company's video capture program and screen recorder. These are optional, but they may come in handy in certain projects.

05
of 06

iMovie (Mac)

iMovie
Apple

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 not robust

IMovie is free for macOS users. It offers many options for editing video and audio plus adding photos, music, and narration to your videos.

One of the best features of iMovie is its ability to make 4K-resolution movies. You can even start doing so from your iPhone or iPad and then finish on your Mac. That's pretty cool!

06
of 06

Movie Maker (Windows)

Movie Maker
Wikimedia Commons

What we like

  • User-friendly with a classic Microsoft feel

  • Great for beginning video editors

What we don't like

  • Limited functionality

Movie Maker was Windows' pre-installed free video editing software. While it is no longer pre-installed, you can still download this application from some third-parties and use it to create and share high-quality movies.

It's included 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.

Online-Only Options

If you've tried out these video editing programs but prefer some other options or you're more interested in editing videos online for free than downloading software, there are several online editors that function in the same way as these downloadable tools:

If You Need to Edit a Video, Check Out These Free Websites

These services are great for re-editing and remixing web videos, and some even let you produce DVDs of your videos.