/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNet ZDNet independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNet Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

The 4 best free video editing apps: Free but powerful software

What is the best free video editing software? iMovie, of course, thanks to its ease of use for beginners. But if you're not an Apple user, you can still perfect your videos with any of the following free video editing apps. We researched and compared the best by pricing and features such as ease of use, free trials, and system requirements to come up with our No. 1 pick and several other honorable mentions.
lena-borrelli-author.jpg
sean-jackson-author.jpg
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer and  Sean Jackson on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Videos do not always come out the way we want them, which is why it is so important to have the right video editing software. This type of software can help you transform lackluster footage into a brilliant videographic work of art. All it takes is the right program, and that is where we can help.

Using our exclusive expert methodology, we concluded that this is the best free video editing software in 2022.

imovie-best-free-video-editing-software.jpg
Apple

Features:

  • Compatibility: Mac, iOS
  • Price: Free

Designed specifically for Mac and iOS comes Apple iMovie, Apple's touted video editing program. Use the videos right on your Apple device to make instant movies that rival professional editing programs. Simply choose the media you want to use and then let Magic Movie do its work, highlighting the best footage and automatically editing out the rest. Add titles, music, and transitions to up the ante and employ one of the 20 different styles to give your video extra flare. Trimming and splitting clips are made easy with the use of additional tools. Tell a story with Storyboards or showcase your expertise with video storytelling. Regardless of how you use the program, sharing is easy when you are finished, thanks to several sharing options, including your photos library, messages, and mail. 

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Auto-save feature
  • Easy personalization

Cons:

  • Missing more advanced tools of other programs
  • Only compatible with Mac OS
  • Not for advanced users
davinci-resolve-best-free-video-editing-software.jpg
Black Magic Design

Features:

  • Compatibility: Linux, Mac, Windows
  • Price: Free

There is no doubt about it: DaVinci Resolve is an advanced program favored by Hollywood and used by graphic enthusiasts worldwide. It comprises four parts: professional 8K editing, visual effects, color correction, and audio post-production. It is a program equipped for advanced editing needs, making it difficult for some novice users. In contrast to beginner-focused programs, DaVinci Resolve offers tools to focus on high-end post-production. There is 32-bit float YRGB image processing for improved clarity, as well as advanced audio tools to improve your sound. You can work at up to 60 frames per second, with the option to produce your choice of SD, HD, or Ultra HD resolution files. Unlimited secondary corrections are provided with the HDR primary color grading tools, and you also gain access to Fusion, the 3D workspace designed to elevate your film. There are more than 250 tools to help you transform your video, whether it is vector paint or 3D particles. 

Pros:

  • Fantastic color correction
  • Active user community
  • Great compatibility

Cons:

  • Requires a lot of space
  • It may be too much for beginners
  • It takes some adjusting coming from Final Cut
lightworks-best-free-video-editing-software.jpg
Lightworks

[Isn't iMovie the best?]


Features:

  • Compatibility: Linux, Mac, Windows
  • Price: Free 

Lightworks is a free app that provides instant tutorials and excellent customer support to its customers. To get your inspiration going, there are two-minute tutorials available from actual LWKS editors, with exclusive tips to help make you successful. There also are blog and editing insights, as well as optimized proxy files from three types of media: HD, 4K and 8K media. The AutoSave feature is an especially thoughtful feature, ensuring that you do not have to worry about losing your latest project should your computer crash. You can share projects and use the cloud to store, browse, and manage all of your video clips. Even better, there is a simple user-friendly interface that is fantastic for newcomers to video editing programs. 

Pros:

  • No cost to use
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Simple editing tools

Cons:

  • Not ideal for advanced users
  • Limited features
  • Subject to glitches
vdsc-best-free-video-editing-software.jpg
VSDC

Features:

  • Compatibility: Windows
  • Price: Free

The VSDC free video editor is a full video editing suite with several extras to enhance your videos. There also are tools to help you make edits and improve audio. You can also record voice overs with available screen captures. The Chroma key tool eliminates green backgrounds, plus there are a host of extras like filters and other effects to make your video pop. Other tools include color correction and 360 video editing with extra tools for zoom and charts. Because it is a non-linear program, there are additional editing features, like picture-in-picture and split-screen effects. VSDC offers fantastic accessibility, too, with minimum system requirements that suit even older PCs. Between the Chroma Key, enhanced resolution, and hardware acceleration, VSDC makes it simple to quickly and efficiently create high-quality videos -- even if you are on a budget.

Pros:

  • Loaded free plan
  • Multiple formats available
  • Advanced editing tools

Cons:

  • No Mac version
  • It may be a little intimidating to beginners
  • Restricted media library

What is the best free video editing program?

Our pick is iMovie

Among the programs we have deemed best for 2022, the best video editing program for you depends on your specific needs. Our list of the best video editing programs could be a huge help in helping you find the best video editing apps for you.

Free video editing software

Price

Trial

Compatibility

Apple iMovie

Free

N/A

Mac, iOS

DaVinci Resolve

Free

N/A

Linux, Mac, Windows

Lightworks

Free

N/A

Linux, Mac, Windows

VSDC

Free

N/A

Microsoft

Which is the right free video editing software for you?

With so many great choices, it can be a little difficult to discern which is the best video editing program for your specific needs. Our expert suggestions may help. 

Choose this free video editing software...

If you...

Apple iMovie

Want free software compatible with your Mac

DaVinci Resolve

Want a program worthy of expert users

Lightworks

Want great features at no cost

VSDC

Don't have a lot to spend

How did we choose these free video editing apps?

In our search for the best video editing programs, there were several factors to consider that may also help you in your own search. 

  • Features: To make the best videos, you need the best features to do things like adjust lighting, change the order of clips, and add special effects.
  • Cost: While some apps are truly free, others may charge fees to use the platform. Be sure to consider whether there is a one-time fee or a recurring membership fee that can make a big difference in total dollars spent.
  • Trial: Many programs, including the ones featured here, offer a free trial. With this, she can ask all of the questions you have and learn invaluable tips.
  • System requirements: Before you can choose the best video editing programs, you first need to know which systems are compatible with your computer, so you can download and get to work. 

What is a free video editing program?

Also known as a video editor, a video editing program allows you to edit and polish your video post-production with special tools and effects. It breaks your video down into several clips that you can move and manipulate to fit your needs. 

What is the easiest free video editing software?

iMovie is easy to use. Just click to download and install from here on your Mac or iOS device. The UI is not difficult to master. You may not be able to edit a blockbuster movie right away, but you'll be able to make your personal videos look polished and snatched.

Do I need a free video editing program?

There are many benefits to using a video editing program. You can add voiceovers and text captions with all sorts of special effects to give your video that extra pizazz. It can greatly improve clarity and help with creating a more cohesive sequence of clips.

What is the best free video editing software for Windows?

If you're not an Apple user, try Lightworks. It's just as easy and is loaded with editing tools.

Are there alternative free video editing programs worth considering?

In our search, we found several options that almost made our list. These free video editing programs also may be worth your consideration:

Related

The 5 best remote desktop software apps of 2022
replace-this-image.jpg

The 5 best remote desktop software apps of 2022

Enterprise Software
The 6 best LastPass alternatives of 2022
50144597.jpg

The 6 best LastPass alternatives of 2022

Password Manager
The 5 best stock apps of 2022
Placeholder product image alt text

The 5 best stock apps of 2022

Services & Software