Best Free Video Editing Program

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Introduction

Whether you're a professional looking to save money, a student looking for a program to help with a school project, looking for software to edit videos for YouTube channels or its just for intertainment?, then you've come to the right place! Note that other non-windows product like QuickTime works in a complicated manner in Windows OS, due to this, Apple has discontinued production of QuckTime windows version as of January 2016.

I'll be available to address any issues you might have, in the comments section and on our forum. So please, if you need some help picking the right program or if you are an experienced video editor and feel that a specific free editor should be reviewed, because it has worked so well for you, let me know and hopefully, together, we can help everyone find the Best Free Video Editing Program for them!

Disclaimer: Be careful when installing the software(s). Choosing custom installation will often give you the opportunity to see exactly what components the software is installing and choose which parts you do or do not want. Downloading free software on the internet is (usually) risky, so ALWAYS pay attention to exactly what you are downloading and where you are downloading it from; it's for your own machine's health!

Note: This category is regularly updated including the viewers inputs, so if you got good news share with us in the comments section so we can bring this to the best it can be.

 

Rated Products

DaVinci Resolve  

The best free video editor you can come across and even rivals some of the best paid software


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Open source)
Professional non-linear video editing combined with advanced color corrector. Scalable and resolution independent, suitable for personal, studio or large Hollywood usage.
Contains complex interface that might be difficult for average users.
Read full review...

VideoPad Video Editor  

Basic video editor for personal use


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Limited features)
Intuitive interface, easy to switch from Movie Maker. Installations available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and even Kindle.
The difference between free and paid version is unclear. The program might be unstable, according to user comments.
Read full review...

Shotcut  

The Shotcut to your video editing!


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free
has Advanced graphical node based compositiong. Very good audio mixing capabilities Combined motion tracking with creation suite. Renders videos in almost all outputs.
Needs time to get used to as it has complex mechanisms. Requires a strong PC so it might affect its performance. Some distributions require additional extensions/plug ins.
Read full review...

Avidemux  

An open source video editor with a large selection of filters


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Powerful, easy to use and well documented tutorials.
As with any other video editing program, it can be confusing.
Read full review...

HitFilm 4 Express  

Free video editor focused on special effects and animation


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
lightweight, minimum system requirements, numerous creative special effects, powerful 2D and 3D composition tools.
limited export options, some essential features - such as premium format export support - need to be paid for
Read full review...

Lightworks  

Cross-platform NLE Video Editing System with a free version


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Impressive fast and easy trimming feature, second monitor output and multi-cam editing available. Minimalistic interface, Hollywood usage.
Free version allows you to export videos online only (YouTube or Vimeo).
Read full review...

VSDC Free Video Editor  

Professional video editor, alternative to most paid solutions


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Rich tool-set suitable for professional video editing, opens any video and audio format, no conversion needed. Multiple output options, including HEVC/H265 codec for highest quality.
Getting familiar with all the features might take some time if you are a newbie, as technical documentation is not very detailed.
Read full review...

Veamcast  

Enables simple, fast, time shifted video/voice collaboration and sharing.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Free version has limited features, you have to write motivation to get full access.
Has fast video sharing platform amongst social networks including YouTube, with just one click.
Read full review...

OpenShot  

A cross-platform video editor supports many video, audio and image formats based on FFmpeg


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Open source)
Powerful with many other add-ons like 3D animated titles
Should download some other add-ons like PPA if users' OS above Ubuntu 9.10
Read full review...

Other Selections

This section holds other alternative software products that did not end up on the main list. This is because  i am still running some tests and reviews on them. Hopefully they might end up on the main list if my final reviews have found them to be amongst one of the best. If one of these works best for your projects I am happy for you and would honestly like to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Gilisoft Video Editor
  • Youtube Movie Maker
  • VideoPad Masters Edition
  • Cyberlink PowerDirector
  • Cinelerra
  • Blender
  • ZS4 Video Editor
  • Cinefx Jahshaka
  • VDSC Free Video Editors

 

Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 

Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Mesh. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

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Comments

You're clearly a smarter dog than me. I didn't get to square one with Freemake - it has zero help/documentation. Oh there's one video, but it's just a 2 minute ad [music only].

PS: Lightworks installing is erratic. I never did manage to install it. LW is helpful, but they just shrugged [evidentally it's not uncommon]

A new open source video editor. Vidiot: http://sourceforge.net/projects/vidiot/

this is a mess. The usual minimal documentation. Wouldn't import any of my videos [in any format], so it didn't last long on my hard drive.

Virtual Dub doesn't work with MP4 files? Tried opening some but no luck.

Avidemux: Awesome program for a beginner. I'm experienced in computers, but just starting with video editing and right out of the box, I was able to cut out portions and get rid of black frames on my home movies.
One of the best wiki's I've seen.
http://tinyurl.com/n4dsv2j
Also a very good forum: http://tinyurl.com/l5ul2kl

Perhaps it will be a bit more challenging as I get into more intricate editing, but just to get my home movies broken down into smaller chunks, it's been a breeze.

While I appreciate the generic caution re: the practices of software companies like NCH, I think you failed to fully warn readers of the risks of NCH software specifically. You also failed to consider these practices in your evaluation.

If you ignore the spammy, malware-like bundling and the under-the-table installations of NCH software, your evaluation might be spot-on. But, I don't think you can or should ignore the fact that NCH Software (and others like them) engage in deceptive practices like:

* installing code on systems without proper disclosure or permission
* redirect browsers without notification
* use misleading techniques to trick users into installing additional software
* leaving code on systems after uninstall

Gizmo's really should NOT ignore these malicious practices in their reviews. Taken into consideration, ALL NCH software ratings should be reduced by a measure of at least -25% and should include both strong warnings in the actual NCH app review and a in the Con's section to fully warn readers.

I also dislike NCH practices and might replace there software with another program in the near future.

I downloaded Videopad and tried installing it. The install stopped running when I selected the "Finish" button. I did not select any of the optional programs. It basically locked up. I could not stop the install and had to do a hard reboot (not an easy thing to do with a laptop). I will be contacting NCH about this issue and until then I will not be installing this program.

Which of these can do simple cut and trim, and save without re-encoding?

I just tried Avidemux and it appears to save trimmed videos without re-encoding. It is available as a portable version at http://portableapps.com/node/19409. It worked fine with an AVI but crashed with a MOV. Freemake Video Converter couldn't handle a MOV either.
For quick cuts or trims I use the free Freemake Video Converter at http://www.freemake.com/. After you trim you can save it as almost any video format.

Note: in the newest version of Freemake, 4.0.4 onwards, it ads a Freemake logo to the end of any video over 5 minutes long. Other than that, good stuff but watch for 3 toolbar options when installing. Use 'custom install' to uncheck them.

Just took a quick look at it. Original file is AVI. When I do a trim and then save as an AVI, one of the options is one-pass or two-pass encoding. Doesn't that mean it is re-encoding to save the edited clip?

Yes, it is re-encoding but it is really quick and easier to use then most other programs. The free VideoPad appears to re-encode also. Virtualdub is limited in file type compatibility.

I'm a beginner. I just want to remove part of the commercial in the video recorded from over the air tv broadcast. And maybe remove a little bit of starting/ending section. That's all I need for now. Please any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

Your best bet is to download the free VideoPad Editor. It allows you to cut out unwanted parts of your videos.

Thanks for info. Is remaining parts still one video? Or several shorter ones?

After you cut out the unwanted part, what remains is just one video.

Get a professional video editor for FREE!
Sounds too good to be true?
Well it is true…

Explore Lightworks for yourself.

Here’s a review and import guide:
http://video.atheart.dk/review-lightworks-video-editor-part-1.html

Here you can download the program:
http://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_docman&gid=8&task=cat_view&Item...

And here you can see some of the movie productions edited on Lightworks:
http://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15&Item...

Thanks for the tip. I plan to test Lightworks in the upcoming future and will post my findings.

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