The best video editing software could be the difference between an enjoyable project and an eye-melting struggle. That's why we've rounded up the best video editing software for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android, among others, so you can find the ultimate tool for you.
From professional editors to would-be filmmaking amateurs, there is something there to suit all levels. There are also, as you'd imagine, a range of prices from pretty pricey premium stuff all the way to totally free video editing software.
If you want easy video editing or simply the best free option, then will be something in this broad list of the best options out there right now. (If you're working with still images, explore our rundown of the best photo editing apps.)
From trimming clips and applying filters to working with green screens and adjusting playback, there are plenty of features to look out for when deciding which is the best video editing software for you. You might be on team Adobe – a big player in the video editing software space, with a few excellent dedicated apps available through a Creative Cloud subscription. Alternatively, you may be more open to trying some lesser known names that offer a great experience for a lower price.
We've got the best video editing software right here, each organised by what they offer, which stands out. You should be able to find the right tool to create your next work of art on video right here.
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The best video editing software
The very best video editing software title has got to go to one of the oldest players in the game: Adobe, with its latest Premiere Pro CC. As the name suggests this is the do-it-all tool that professionals use to create top-end video. As such this isn't cheap, paid for on a subscription model. If you're just doing video editing, you can opt for the single app plan, but if you're doing other creative tasks, you'd be better off plumping for a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
Whatever you go for, Premiere Pro CC offers everything you could possibly want, from basic trimming and layering right up to 8K and 360-degree video editing support – presuming your machine has the power to run that. It works on both Mac and Windows and is crammed full of keyboard shortcuts to help make the process easy to use. There is also an option to upload directly to YouTube, making this a one-stop shop for any self publishing social media video makers out there.
Final Cut Pro X is simply the best video editing software you can get on Mac. Adobe options are great too, but this is built by Apple, for Apple. So, as you'd expect it's super clean, minimal and as such easy to use. But that doesn't mean to say it scrimps on features – far from it.
This software offers lots of features to justify the high price. These include special effects, grouping tools, adding and editing audio plus multi-camera editing and smart colour balancing tools. You also get access to unlimited video tracks so you should never feel constricted. With a 30-day free trial it's definitely worth giving this powerful video editing tool a try.
Adobe Premiere Elements is the second Adobe software on the list in just three so far. Yup, Adobe is that good. This video editing suite offers a more affordable and easy to user alternative which is crammed full of useful features like facial recognition, to name but one.
Simple but really effective features we love include video stabilisation, automatic motion tracking, audio effects and a selection of soundtracks included as standard. The fact it's all easy to use is just a great bonus. If you work with a lot of people based videos then the smart toning is a great feature for skin – a bit like how a selfie camera makes you look smoother skinned. This helps give the videos a more professional finish. And for the pros you can enjoy effects like chroma-keying, opacity, transitions and more. Something for everyone then.
If you're hunting for the best free video editing software, we recommend Lightworks. This software is good enough to get you professional quality videos without charging you pro-grade prices. The hidden cost? This isn't quite as easy to use as some of the above options, but if you put in the effort to learn, it can be as effective.
Import and render footage in the background then preview video effects in real-time – some seriously high-end features you might not expect to see in a free tool. Set custom keyboard shortcuts to speed up the working process and enjoy multi-track editing for complex end results.
There is the option to spend a little money and upgrade to Lightworks Pro, which will let you export projects to different formats and enjoy features like 3D modelling and straight-to-YouTube uploads.
Hitfilm Express is another really useful free video editing programme which comes with a friendly and easy to use interface. That makes this a great option for anyone new to video editing that wants to give it a try. That said, it does have some decent features for more seasoned users too.
You can enjoy features like 3D composition tools, green screen chroma key setting and create custom video masks. Plus there are more day to day tools like trimming of clips, colour balancing and, of course, exporting to various video formats.
The system is simple enough to use, with a traditional interface that's easily recognisable to anyone who's used video editing tools before. Just make sure you have a machine with plenty of power as this makes your hardware work hard to crunch that data.
Adobe Premiere Rush is the ultimate mobile editing tool, designed specifically for use on smartphones and tablets. That means you can fire up this app on your iOS or Android device and edit a video entirely within that app. Presuming your phone or tablet is new enough, you can even edit high-quality 4K video footage with up to four video and three audio tracks at once.
Since this is on your phone is makes exporting super simple, with specific options to export straight to social media accounts. All that can be enjoyed for free using the Rush Starter Plan, with a three video export limit. Or pay a nominal fee and enjoy the full service right there on your phone or tablet.
The GoPro App is a great way to instantly start editing your live action video footage from a GoPro camera, or any other compatible device for that matter. Since this is made to be used quickly, on the move, it's super simple to work. It will automatically import footage and can create videos synced to music right away, without you having to do much at all.
There are more complex options like adding photos or time lapse sequences as well as cool graphs and charts to express speed – ideal for action camera footage. Share the videos on YouTube or Facebook easily with a great option to go through, frame by frame, to find the perfect picture to lead your post.
If you pay and subscribe to the GoPro Plus version you'll have a lot more than the standard 20 soundtracks and can auto upload videos and photos to the cloud for editing from whatever device you want.
CyberLink PowerDirector is a great option for anyone relatively new to video editing that fancies a fully fledged and complex tool which is also easy enough to get to grips with. That means features like 8K video editing and 360-degree support but also super simplifying tools like a wizard that optimises video in seconds. This is a great tool for a quick edit to bung up on social media in a hurry.
But there are more complex features too with a standard post production interface that includes motion graphic titles, social media friendly 1:1 video ratios and high-quality video editing. What you'll have to pay extra for, with the Ultimate version, are features like 4K video editing, audio scrubbing and library preview features.
KineMaster is a great video editing option for Android, ChromeOS and iOS users with a device new enough to run it. We say that as this has some seriously complex features that make this good enough even for professional editors to use on the move.
You can edit multiple layers with up to four audio tracks in one project. There are also little extras like the ability to add handwriting and text annotations and even edit at frame and subframe levels. All that is free, so even if you're not sure we'd say give this a go as it'll more than likely serve the needs of most, even the more demanding editor.
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is a really great video editing option for anyone new to splice and hacking clips together. While it might be a bit basic for professionals, this has a lot of features despite how easy it is to pick up and use. That includes high-end extras like 4K, multi-cam editing and 360-degree VR video editing.
The interface is easy to pick up and features a music library as well as a whole host of effects that can be added to your video project. The key here is that the software is intuitive enough to make it easy but also – crucially – fun, so you can actually enjoy the process of creating the final cut of your video edit. And with over 2,000 customisable filters to pick from this gives you a great opportunity to really personalise your footage to offer something uniquely fun.