5 Free Video Editing Apps to Level-Up Your Videos

edited July 6 in Acer Corner

Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube—across diverse social media platforms, sharing videos has become the number one means to connect with friends and family, interact with followers, and market for increased sales. 

This means video editing is no longer an optional, nice-to-have perk. In order to compete with other brands and make an impression on your audience, video editing apps are now must-haves in your toolbox. 

Here are the top five free video editing apps you can use to take your videos to the next level:

DaVinci Resolve - Best for Advanced Users

Price: Free; $269 for the full studio version

Top Features:

  • Professional 8k editing
  • Color correction
  • Audio post-production
  • Transitions, effects, and titles
  • Import options
  • Dual timelines

With a robust set of features, DaVinci Resolve is a top choice among pro editors. Whether you’re working on content for films, TV, commercials, or other outlets, DaVinci Resolve has an impressive lineup to help create professional, high-quality videos that impress. 

For example, color correction tools allow you to edit skin tone, eye shade, and lip color with ease—but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to DaVinci Resolve’s many editing capabilities. You can also take advantage of professional 8k editing alongside Multicam editing and a host of transitions, effects, and titles. 

A real win for DaVinci Resolve is its high-performance playback engine. This allows you to save time when editing and trimming your content—even when working with processor-intensive file formats. Plus, because you can edit your video content both online and offline, DaVinci Resolve is a reliable video editing app for experts on the go. 

A Drawback: DaVinci Resolve is a highly-advanced video editing app—and it might even be too advanced for newbies. If you’re just getting started with video editing, this app may not be the best choice for you.

VideoPad - Best for Beginners

Price: Free; $60 for Home Edition and $99 for Master’s Edition

Top Features:

  • 60+ supported video formats
  • 3D and 360-degree editing
  • Chroma Key
  • Audio Effects
  • Beginner-friendly

Feeling a little intimidated by all that DaVinci Resolve has to offer? 

Turn to VideoPad. This video editing app is designed for first-timers—but that doesn’t mean it’s compromising on capabilities. 

Supporting over 60 different video formats, VideoPad helps make video editing easy for beginners. You can play around with 3D and 360-degree editing, add different audio effects, and get creative with Chroma Key. If you’re totally new to the video editing world and aren’t sure what to do when it comes to editing your content, VideoPad can be a great place to start. This video editing app even comes with a suite of pre-made transitions and sound effects to help you find your editing feet. 

VideoPad’s biggest advantage is that it’s simple but powerful; even without a lot of video editing experience, you can still turn out some pretty great content. If you’re ready to get serious about video editing, though, bear in mind that you soon may outgrow VideoPad. It’s a great place to get your feet wet with video editing, but as you learn more and start expecting more sophisticated features, you may need to eventually look elsewhere.

A Drawback: The free version is for non-commercial use only.

Lightworks - Best for Professionals

Price: Free; $24.99 per month for pro version

Top Features:

  • High-quality simple trim functions
  • Speed optimization
  • Multicam editing
  • Real-time team project sharing
  • Fast export
  • Instant Autosave

Not everyone is an expert video editor—but not everyone is a newbie, either. If you fall somewhere in between and are trying to find the best video editing app for intermediates, Lightworks could be your best pick. 

With a simple and intuitive interface, Lightworks is easy to pick up but is still chock-full of robust features to help you take your video content to the next level. For example, LightWorks’s speed optimization means you can comfortably and efficiently work on editing content while simultaneously importing new footage. Real-time project sharing, meanwhile, makes it easy to collaborate with team members and keep tabs on who has access during the editing process. And Instant Autosave—that speaks for itself. No more nightmares of losing hours worth of work when you forgot to hit SAVE. 

With an established 30-year reputation, Lightworks has been used to create fan-favorite Hollywood films (Pulp Fiction and The King’s Speech, to name a few). With detailed video tutorials and excellent customer support, it’s also a great first step for those entering the world of professional editing.

A Drawback: Note that the free version is likely not robust enough to support the needs of very advanced editors.

VSDC - Best on a Budget

Price: Free; $19.99 for pro version

Top Features:

  • Color-correction tools
  • Suite of transitional effects
  • Easy-to-use image filters
  • Mask tools
  • Social media link for sharing
  • Minimum system requirements

You may be working on a budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t produce high-quality video content. 

While all of the video editing apps mentioned here have free versions, deciding to splurge on a pro version of an app can quickly become expensive. With VSDC, even the pro version is less then $20—and it still offers plenty of sophisticated editing features.

A big perk of VSDC is its baked-in social media link that makes it easy to share videos across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. You can take advantage of its full suite of transitional effects or stay simple by turning to its easy-to-use image filters—think of the filters you’d use while editing on Instagram.

A Drawback: This one is PC-only and, unfortunately, not available for Mac users.

PowerDirector Essential - Best Overall

Price: Free; $4.08 per month for PowerDirector 365

Top Features:

  • Color correction tools
  • AI motion tracking
  • PC Magazine Editors' Choice award-winner
  • Chroma Key

Compatible with both Windows and macOS, PowerDirector Essential is a quality, comprehensive video editing app for editors of all skill levels. Its intuitive and straightforward design means it’s easy to pick up for beginner editors, while its advanced features and hardware acceleration make it suitable for even experienced editors who need robust video editing capabilities. 

An award-winner of the PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Award, PowerDirector Essential has proved itself to be both a critic and fan favorite. It has an impressive suite that’s stacked with compositing tools (e.g., Chroma Key, masking, etc. ) and AI tools (e.g., motion tracking, audio enhancement, etc.) that make it possible to create sophisticated, Hollywood-level content all by yourself.

A Drawback: Be warned that the free version is missing some features, such as the royalty-free stock library.

Creating high-quality video content doesn’t have to be difficult—or expensive. With a host of sophisticated and (often) free video editing apps, you can find what you need to help you produce show-stopping videos, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a new editor on the scene.

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