In a world dominated by visual content, a captivating video can help drive your brand’s success. But creating stunning video content is only possible with the help of an editing program. Most renowned video editing tools carry a high price tag, but there are some equally good options that don’t cost a penny. That’s great news for the starry-eyed entrepreneur. Whether its Instagram stories, Facebook ads, or YouTube product testimonials, using the best free video editing software out there will make your brand look slick and professional.

With the amount and quality of video editing software available, you don’t have to be Spielberg – or have his budget – to get epic results.

For this article, we compiled the best free video editing software for 2020. Our list focuses on the most versatile editing software for videos which we could find. While each user has different needs, this guide will provide you with a good overview of what you can expect from each video editor and how to get the best out of it.

We’ve divided our selection into the best free video editing software for desktop, mobile video editing apps, and video editors for Instagram. Ready to get started?

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Best Free Video Editing Software for Desktop

The following list of the best video editing software is desktop-based, and contains free apps. Desktop applications typically have more editing power than mobile apps. Use these video editors when you need to produce longer-form content for YouTube or your website.

All of these video editors are either entirely free to use or have an excellent free version. And their use ranges from basic to advanced.

1. Blender

Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Blender Video Editing Software

Blender, one of the best free video editing software on the market, is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Blender is an open source program that is entirely free to use. The tool was actually designed as a 3D animation suite, but it does come with a very useful video editor. Blender’s video editor should be enough for most of your video needs.

The editor allows you to perform basic actions like video cuts and splicing. You can also use it to carry out more complex tasks like video masking. This makes it a very flexible video editor that caters to both beginner and advanced users.

The Blender Video Editor includes the following features:

  • Live preview, luma waveform, chroma vectorscope, and histogram displays.
  • Audio mixing, syncing, scrubbing, and waveform visualization.
  • Up to 32 slots for adding video, images, audio, and effects.
  • Speed control, adjustment layers, transitions, keyframes, filters, and more.

Pros: Perfect for advanced users who are not put off by all the features.

Cons: The sheer array of features make the learning curve a little steeper. Most of the tutorials are focused on the 3D animation/modeling side. The resources to help you with the video editor are very limited.

Best for: More advanced projects that may involve 3D animation.

Blender Reviews: Check out Blender user reviews

2. Lightworks

Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Lightworks Video Editing Software

Lightworks is another great free video editing software, available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Lightworks is one of the more powerful video editors on the list. It’s packed with tons of useful features. The free version should be more than enough for most users. 

  • Lightworks’ free version includes: High precision video trimming.
  • Multicam support.
  • Export to 720p for YouTube.
  • A wide range of video formats supported.

While most features are included, 4K video support for YouTube and Vimeo is only included in the paid version of the software, which costs around $25 a month. 

Compared to Blender, Lightworks has many great video tutorials which can make it quicker to get up and running. Check out this feature comparison to make sure the free version has what you need.

Pros: Very powerful video editor with many advanced features.

Cons: 4K video support only in paid version. Some users may find Lightworks too advanced.

Best for: All-round desktop video editing.

Lightworks Reviews: Check out Lightworks user reviews

3. Shotcut

Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

shotcut best desktop video editing

Shotcut is one of the best free video editing software programs available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Shotcut, like Blender, is a fully open source program. This means that after downloading it, you get access to all the features without the need for a paid upgrade. This video editor supports a wide range of video formats and boasts a great collection of tutorial videos.

While this video editing software has great features, some users may find the interface a little quirky. That’s because Shotcut was originally designed for Linux and it definitely shows. But, under the hood, it’s still a quality video editor.

Two of Shotcut’s most striking features are 4K HD resolution support and its timeline editing. Not many free video editors offer 4K resolution support. Plus, Shotcut doesn’t require you to import your video into the editor: this can be a timesaver if you are dealing with large video files.

Pros: Native timeline editing and 4K resolution support.

Cons: The quirky interface may be off-putting for some users.

Best for: 4K, HD video projects.

Shotcut Reviews: Check out Shotcut user reviews

4. DaVinci Resolve

Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

DaVinci Resolve Video Editing Software

DaVinci Resolve is arguably the most advanced video editor on the list. While it has many professional video features, its interfaces remain intuitive. Alongside video slicing and trimming, you can master audio and correct color. The app also gives you the option to add 2D and 3D titles to your video. 

If you just want to trim and upload your videos, the rich feature set of DaVinci Resolve may be too extensive. However, if your video project is a little more advanced, the free version of this software is hard to beat.

DiVinci Resolve’s features include:

  • Advanced trimming
  • Multicam editing
  • Color correction
  • Audio mastering

Pros: Intuitive interfaces and incredible color correction.

Cons: Its wide array of features make it a little overwhelming, and not all tutorials are free.

Best for: More advanced projects where you need to correct colors.

DaVinci Resolve Reviews: Check out DaVinci Resolve user reviews

5. Openshot

Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Openshot Video Editing Software

Openshot is entirely open source, which makes it one of the best video editing software that is accessible. 

It may remind some Mac users a little of iMovie with its easy to use drag and drop interface. However, Openshot packs more features than iMovie, including unlimited layers and audio mixing. 

This free editor strikes a nice balance between advanced features and a simple interface. It also allows real-time previews when you create transitions between clips.

Openshot’s features include:

  • Unlimited tracks/layers
  • Clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, rotation, and cutting video transitions with real-time previews
  • Compositing, image overlays, watermarks
  • Title templates, title creation, subtitles 3D animated titles (and effects)
  • Advanced Timeline (including drag & drop, scrolling, panning, zooming, and snapping)

Pros: Open source, unlimited layers.

Cons: Not that many video tutorials.

Best for: Great for users just starting out with video editing.

Openshot Reviews: Check out Openshot user reviews

6. Avidemux

Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Avidemux Video Editing Tool

Avidemux is one of the best video editing software for beginners as its interface is very simple to navigate. This program can help you to perform basic tasks including:

  • Simple cutting
  • Encoding
  • Filtering

If you are completely new to video editing, this might be a good place to start.

Pros: Very simple software; no need to read technical docs.

Cons: Not as many features as other video editors.

Best for: Basic editing tasks for beginners.

Avidemux Reviews: Check out Avidemux user reviews

7. HitFilm Express

Available for both Mac and Windows.

Hitfilm video editor for Mac and Windows

HitFilm Express is one of the more professional video editors to make the list. It contains all the features you would expect from a basic editor (splicing, trimming, and audio editing) plus much more. While some users may find HitFilm a little advanced, it’s certainly one of the best all round free video editors out there. The free package includes over 180 special effects.

The tutorials are mainly based on well-known Hollywood movies like Star Wars, but these are very interactive and engaging.

Before you can download this software, Hitfilm asks you to share a status update on social media. However, this is a very small price to pay for such advanced software. Hitfilm’s features include:

  • Advanced cutting tools
  • Keying for green screen effects
  • Audio and video filters
  • Compositing tools
  • Layers and masking
  • 3D video support

Pros: Truly professional video editor without the price tag.

Cons: May take some time to learn the interface.

Best for: YouTuber Vlogs – YouTube uploading is built-in.

HitFilm Express Reviews: Check out HitFilm Express user reviews

8. InVideo

Available on Windows and Mac

invideo online video editor

This online video editing tool is great for marketers, publishers, individuals and agencies alike. With support for intelligent frames, automated voice overs, and much more, this software is best in class for many different reasons. Users praise this video editing software for it’s amazing customer service, UX, value for money, and of course it’s features. 

With new high-quality video templates added most months, this tool is good for beginner and seasoned video editors alike. It is deceptively simple to use, and has amazing flexibility. 

Invideo’s features include:

  • Audio Tools
  • Brand/Text Overlay
  • Collaboration
  • Speed Adjustment
  • Split / Merge
  • Supports HD Resolution
  • Video Stabilization

Pros: Awesome to easily make quick presentation videos.

Cons: It is not an all-in-one video editor, as you cannot add more than one audio file, etc.

Best for: Creating marketing videos or listicles for your blog.

InVideo Reviews: Check out InVideo user reviews

9. iMovie

Available on Mac

iMovie Video Editing Mac

Good old iMovie comes baked into Mac OS. Like most native Mac apps, this video editor is very intuitive to use. 

iMovie’s drag and drop interface makes it quick to move and edit video elements. Mac users can use it as a playground for learning the basics of video editing. iMovie’s features include:

  • Library of pre-made transitions
  • Video trimming
  • Audio editing
  • Split screen
  • 4K resolution support

Pros: Easy to learn.

Cons: Advanced users may find features a little limited; import and render times can be a little slow.

Best for: Mac users getting started with video editing.

iMovie Reviews: Check out iMovie user reviews

10. VSDC Free Video Editor

Available on Windows.

VSDC Video Editing Software

One of the best free video editing software only available on Windows is VSDC. The free version has a powerful set of features including color correction and audio editing. Color blending lets you modify the look of the video to suit your brand image. Instagram-like filters are also available to help beginners save time editing. Additionally, VSDC allows you to create varying shaped masks for blurring, hiding, or featuring specific elements in your footage.

The pro version costs $19.99 and includes image stabilization, voice over support, and visual waveform. If you choose not to update to the pro version, then technical support costs $9.99 for one month, or $14.99 for a year.

Pros: Relatively straightforward to learn with many powerful features.

Cons: Technical support is not free; Windows only.

Best for: Windows-based editing projects

VSDC Reviews: Check out VSDC user reviews

11. Machete Video Editor Lite

Available on Windows.

Machete Video Editor Lite

Machete Lite is one of the more simple editors in the list and is great for quick editing tasks. In the free version, you cannot edit audio, but you can remove audio tracks. Also, the free version only supports AVI and WMV files. 

Machete Video Editor Lite’s features include:

  • Copy, cut, paste, and delete video file fragments
  • Integrate one video into another of the same format
  • Edit metadata (file tags) for all compatible media formats
  • Extract video stream as an individual file

The full version costs $19.95, and it allows you to edit audio and supports more file types.

Pros: Super simple to learn and use.

Cons: Windows only; does not support as many file types as other programs; no audio editing.

Best for: Simple video splicing.

Machete Reviews: Check out Machete user reviews

12. VideoPad

Available on Windows

VideoPad Video Windows Editing Software

VideoPad is one of the best video editing tools to take your first steps into the world of multimedia video editing. It’s perfect for anyone starting to play around with video compositions as it is simple and easy to use. Advanced video editors may find it too basic though.

VideoPad’s features include:

  • Library of pre-made transitions
  • Export Movies In Multiple Resolutions
  • 3D Video Editing
  • Reduce Camera Shakes
  • Sound Effects Library

Pros: Robust features for directly exporting to YouTube and other social platforms.

Cons: Too simple for more advanced users.

Best for: Beginners getting started with video editing.

VideoPad Reviews: Check out VideoPad user reviews

13. Freemake Video Converter

Available on Windows

Freemake Video Editor

Freemake is a free video converter that can modify and convert videos, extract audio from video clips, and embed videos to websites. Simple and fast, Freemake allows you to convert video clips to be played on various mobile devices and gadgets. 

The software can convert videos between more than 500 video file formats and supports multiple audio and image file formats for creating slideshows and video clips.

Freemake’s features include:

  • Convert Videos Fast And Simple
  • Convert Movies With Subtitles
  • Convert Between 500+ Formats
  • Cut, Join, And Rotate Clips
  • 4K resolution support

Pros: No specialist knowledge required.

Cons: When you first install some features are locked for three days.

Best for: Converting videos into a myriad to file formats.

Freemake Reviews: Check out Freemake user reviews

Best Free Video Editing Software for Mobile

These apps are for people who like to capture and share videos from their smartphones and edit videos on the go. While there are many great video editing apps out there, this list covers some of the best, most intuitive, and free to use video software for mobile devices.

14. Quik

Available on iOS and Android

Quik Free Video Editing

Quik is another free video editing app from the makers of GoPro. This app is similar to Splice but takes a little editing power away from the user. It has auto trim and edit features that do speed up the editing process, however, you can still manually edit your clips if you want more control.

It’s impressive what Quik can do automatically: it searches your video to find great moments and can even add transitions. If you really need a fast edit, this is the app for you. Also, unlike Splice, it’s available to Android users, too!

Pros: Auto editing features.

Cons: Some users may want more editing control.

Best for: Quick, individual video edits.

Quik Reviews: Check out Quik user reviews

15. Adobe Premiere Rush

Available on iOS and Android

adobe premium rush free video mobile edits

Adobe Premiere Rush is a very popular mobile video editing app. Add music (your own or from the library included), transitions, auto-correct the color, and you’re ready to share your video.

With its two modes, Freeform and Automatic, you can choose whether you retain editing control, or you let Adobe pick transitions and trim your clip automatically. Adobe users will be happy to know that this app syncs beautifully with other Adobe staples such as Lightroom.

Pros: Simple to use; Adobe Creative Cloud support.

Cons: Lacks a few basic functions like the ability to rotate clips.

Best for: Basic mobile video editing.

Adobe Premiere Rush Reviews: Check out Adobe Premiere Rush user reviews

16. Horizon

Available on iOS and Android.

Horizon Video Editing Software

Horizon is a simple app that enables users to capture videos horizontally no matter the position of their phone. 

When we rush to capture a moment we may forget to tilt the phone and capture the action horizontally. This app can help you solve that problem: all footage shot in the app is captured horizontally no matter how you tilt your phone. Check out this demo to see how it works. 

If you want to avoid vertically captured videos and make something quick, Horizon has you covered.

Pros: Very simple to use; never waste vertical content.

Cons: Android version is not as advanced as iOS version; some in-app purchases may be necessary depending on your needs.

Best for: Always capturing film horizontally.

Horizon Reviews: Check out Horizon user reviews

17. Promo.com

Available on iOS and Android.

promo mobile video maker

Promo.com is a great tool to create gorgeous, professional videos, especially for social media posts and advertising. With a web and mobile version of the program, you can edit videos at your desk or on-the-go easily. 

Features include: 

  • Audio Tools
  • Brand/Text Overlay
  • Social Sharing
  • Speed Adjustment
  • Split / Merge
  • HD Resolution
  • Video Capture

Pros: Super easy to use, very intuitive UX, and great automation.

Cons: It can be hard to position text and images in the mobile version due to the screen size.

Best for: Quick and simple way to create high-quality ads.

Promo.com Reviews: Check out Promo.com user reviews

18. GoPro

Available on iOS and Android.

GoPro video free editor mobile

GoPro is one of the most popular free video editing apps available for iPhone and Android users. This app is simple to learn due to its intuitive interface. 

With GoPro, you can edit and cut videos in just a few taps. Add some transitions and sounds from the large built-in library, and your video is ready to share.

Pros: Simple and very easy to use.

Cons: Can be a bit glitchy.

Best for: When you need to edit a video quickly.

GoPro Reviews: Check out GoPro user reviews

Best Free Video Editing Apps for Instagram

We all love Instagram. But, as an online entrepreneur, you know the importance of making your brand look professional on the app. So why not take your Instagram Stories to the next level with these video editing apps? By the way, all the mobile video editing apps listed above also work great for Instagram, too. The  video editing apps below, however, have been designed specifically with the Instagram platform in mind.

19. Magisto

Available on iOS and Android.

Magisto Instagram Video Editor

 

Magisto is an award-winning AI video editor. Add your photos, video, music, and whatever else you want to include, and it will automatically edit and create your video. And the results are pretty impressive. 

By choosing the type of story you want to tell, Magisto can save you lots of time, using its smart video editor to deliver you a professional video. It’s awesome for making quick Instagram posts. It makes it look like you spent at least a couple of hours editing your work.

Pros: The AI results are truly impressive.

Cons: You sacrifice some editing control for speed.

Best for: Quick, professional looking video edits.

Magisto Reviews: Check out Magisto user reviews

20. Boomerang

Available on iOS and Android.

Boomerang Instagram Editing Software

Boomerang, available on iOS and Android, is an app created by Instagram. This app helps you use your photos to create more engaging content. Shoot a burst of up to 10 photos, and Boomerang will turn them into a mini video. Thanks to native support, you can post to Instagram straight from the app.

Boomerang’s features include:

  • Shoot mini videos for Instagram Stories
  • Smooth out video bumps
  • Loop videos forth and back
  • Save footage on camera roll

Pros: Very easy to use and share content.

Cons: This is pretty much a one feature app.

Best for: Turning photos into engaging video content.

Boomerang Reviews: Check out Boomerang user reviews

21. Hyperlapse

Available on iOS only.

Hyperlapse best Video Editing Software for Instagram

Hyperlapse is great for time-lapse videos. This app was created by Instagram, so it really does have that platform in mind. By condensing a lot of time into a short video, Hyperlapse can create interesting videos for your followers. 

This app also does away with the need for tripods due to its impressive stabilization technology. This type of time-lapse video could work great to show how a product is made. When you’re done with your timelapse video, you can share it straight to Instagram. You can also speed up your time-lapse by up to 12x.

Pros: Stabilization technology means you don’t need a tripod.

Cons: iOS only; may take a couple of attempts to get great results.

Best for: Shooting stunning time-lapse.

22. PicPlayPost

Available on iOS and Android.

free video editor picplaypost

There are times when you just want to post a video collage without making fancy edits. PicPlayPost is just the app for such moments. With the app, you can put together a college in seconds, to share travel videos, display how-to’s, and more.

PicPlayPost’s features include:

  • Choose from 9 frame video collages
  • Add background soundtracks
  • Import and add gifs from Giphy
  • Add watermark with an image logo or text

Pros: Simple video editor without the unnecessary, confusing features.

Cons: Stitching multiple collages together requires an upgrade.

Best for: Creating gorgeous collages of your video footage.

PicPlayPost Reviews: Check out PicPlayPost user reviews

23. Apple Clips

Available on iOS only.

 

Apple Clips video editing iOS

While some native Apple apps fall short, Apple Clips is one of the good guys. This app covers most of your video editing needs for Instagram. You can stitch clips together, and edit your timeline.

Two of the coolest features are the ability to edit your background and give your content a comic book feel. The next awesome feature is Live Titles: Just record a video, and Apple Clips will add captions automatically while you speak (that are in sync with your voice). After you’re done, just go back and edit the titles to make sure they are correct.

Pros: Quick and easy to use; Live Titles feature.

Cons: iOS only.

Best for: iOS users looking for quick, interactive, Instagram friendly editing software.

Apple Clips Reviews: Check out Apple Clips user reviews

24. FilmoraGo

Available on iOS and Android.

Filmorago Video Editing

Last but not least we come to FilmoraGo. FilmoraGo is a solid video editing app without any watermarks or paid subscriptions. Add music, transitions, and trim video clips all from within the app. 

You can easily add themes, text, and titles to your videos. There is a desktop version starting at $44.99 a year, but you can still get a lot of editing joy from the free mobile app.

Pros: Great for basic mobile video editing.

Cons: Not quite as good as the desktop version.

Best for: Adding text, themes, and overlays to customize your videos.

FilmoraGo Reviews: Check out FilmoraGo user reviews

Summary: Best Free Video Editing Software

Use the free video editing software in this list to start creating stunning videos today. Boost your ROI and maximize your ad spend by creating product videos and ads that present your brand in a visually appealing way.

So, let’s summarize and take a look at the video editing software that best suits your needs.

What video editing software is the best for beginners?

Avidemux, Openshot, VideoPad

What video editing software to use for advanced projects with 3D animation?
Blender

What video editing software to use for 4K, HD video projects?
Shotcut

What video editing software is best for Windows-based editing projects?
VSDC

What video editing software is best for Mac users getting started with video editing?
iMovie

What video editing software is best for video splicing?
Machete Lite

What video editing software is best for uploading vlogs to YouTube?
HitFilm Express

What video editing software is best if you need to correct colors?
DaVinci Resolve

What video editing software is the best to modify and convert videos, extract audio from video clips, and embed videos to websites?
Freemake

What mobile app to use when you need to edit a video quickly?
Splice, Quik, Adobe Premiere Rush

What mobile app is best for capturing videos horizontally?
Horizon

What Instagram video editing apps are the best for quick video edits?
Magisto, Apple Clips

What Instagram app is best for turning photos into video content?
Boomerang, available on iOS and Android

What Instagram video editing app is best for turning audio files into social shares?
Anchor Video Maker, available on iOS and Android

What Instagram video app is the best for shooting time-lapse?
Hyperlapse

What Instagram video app is the best for adding text, themes, and overlays to customize videos?
FilmoraGo

Take your desktop, mobile, and Instagram videos to the next level by using these video editors to quickly achieve professional results.

Happy editing!

Want to Learn More?

Do you have your own recommendations for the best video editing software? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.