Video editing is an interesting process for professionals, amateurs, and hobbyists alike. It is also a skill that is in great demand in different sectors for various purposes.

So, if you are beginning to learn video editing, you can speed up the process by practicing with good software. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of free and paid video editing software that is suited for beginners.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

List of best free video editing software for beginners

1. VSDC Video Editor

VSDC’s free video editor is one of the best software for video editing beginners. The program allows you to perform many editing tasks, such as cutting, merging files, visual effects, color correction, etc. Although it offers some advanced functionalities, the interface is intuitive, allowing for an effortless editing experience.

The free version of the VSDC video editing software comes without restrictions, trial periods, watermarks, or ads. The team also provides full and fast customer support to users.

Key features of VSDC:

  • Non-linear editing.
  • File conversion tools for easy file conversion.
  • Multicam feature for live events and interviews.

Pros of VSDC:

  • You can use the tool’s Instagram-like filters to change the look of your videos.
  • The free version has a standard masking tool you can use to create masks for blurring, hiding, or highlighting specific elements.
  • You can easily export your videos to various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and more in the appropriate formats.
  • You can position objects in your videos with subpixel accuracy. This ensures smoothness in animation, transformation, and precise relative positioning of the object.
  • The software also has a wide variety of visual and audio effects that you can use for free.
  • It also supports almost all formats and codecs of video, audio, and image.
  • It lets you export in the H265/HEVC codec. It is crucial for making HD and 4K videos.
  • It also comes with a desktop video-capturing tool.
  • The software has a built-in LUT editor that lets you apply ready-made LUTs and also lets you create and save your own LUTs as templates.
  • It supports almost all video, audio, and image formats, including MKV, 3GP, FLV, MP3, WAV, MPG, WMA, WMV, AVI, PCM, MP4, AAC, M4A, BMP, PNG, TIFF, PSD, JPG, ICO, and more.

Cons of VSDC:

  • It is only available for Windows PCs.
  • The workspace is a little complicated, and you need time to learn how to use it with ease.
  • It isn’t easy to preview videos during editing.

Operating System: Windows (32-bit and 64-bit)

2. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is one of the best creative tools for video editing. Even movie-making professionals in Hollywood use this tool. It is an all-in-one solution for editing, color manipulation, motion graphics, VFX, and more. The free version is compatible with almost all 8-bit video formats at up to 60 fps in resolutions as high as 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD). It also includes multi-user collaboration and HDR grading.

DaVinci Resolve’s color correction and color grading toolset set it apart from the rest of the competition. This is not the easiest software to use, but you should choose DaVinci Resolve if you want to experience cinematic video editing and want to become a professional video editor.

Key features of DaVinci Resolve:

  • Unlimited video tracks.
  • Motion-tracking.
  • Multicam editing.

Pros of DaVinci Resolve:

  • It gives users access to a variety of editing tools for precise control.
  • It allows multi-user collaboration and even includes a chat feature.
  • It has an intuitive timeline.
  • It is the best video color-grading tool in the industry.
  • It gives users enough resources to help them learn to use the software.

Cons of DaVinci Resolve:

  • It may require a powerful computer system to run smoothly.
  • It is complicated and has a steep learning curve.
  • It doesn’t have GPU-accelerated encoding for faster rendering.
  • It doesn’t have noise reduction.
  • The file exports are limited to 4K Ultra HD and 60 fps.
  • It supports only a limited number of file types.
  • It lacks integration with external software for image editing, music creation, 3D modeling, etc.

Operating System: Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

3. Videopad

Videopad is a video editor designed to be intuitive and easy for beginners and amateurs. The free version is only meant for non-commercial use, and you get access to a wide range of editing tools and a template gallery.

NCH Software, the developers, has made it easy for users to operate Videopad by offering various video editing tutorials on their website.

What is great about Videopad is that it lets you optimize your videos for search engines.

Key features of Videopad:

  • Drag and drop video clips to the timeline.
  • A wide range of visual effects and transitions.
  • Intuitive user interface.

Pros of Videopad:

  • The layout is neat and user-friendly.
  • Users have access to detailed support pages to answer software-related queries.
  • It supports all popular video formats.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It supports VirtualDub plugins.
  • It offers a large library of sounds, sound effects, clipart objects, frames, etc.
  • There are no format, resolution, or duration restrictions.
  • It allows direct upload to YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

Cons of Videopad:

  • You can use only two video tracks at the same time.
  • It does not support plugins.
  • It is not suited for movie-making, as it lacks many advanced features.
  • It does not have a sound editor.

Operating System: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Chrome OS.

4. Kdenlive

Kdenlive is a free and open-source video editing software designed as a response to professional and basic video editing needs. According to the website, this tool requires no license fees, registrations, subscriptions, or premium payments to unlock features.

Key features of Kdenlive:

  • Multitrack video editing
  • Use any video or audio format
  • Customizable interface and keyboard shortcuts
  • Multicam editing
  • Semi-automatic 2D motion tracking
  • Proxy editing
  • Automatic backup

Pros of Kdenlive:

  • All video editing features and tools are available without payment.
  • You can lock or mute any video or audio track according to your convenience.
  • Its proxy editing technology automatically creates low-resolution copies of source clips, so you can edit them on any computer. When exporting the video, it applies all the edits and effects to the source files, so you get the original resolution.
  • It automatically backs up your video editing project every few minutes. It also stores older versions if you want to roll back any changes.
  • It allows you to prerender parts of your video timeline for a smooth preview.
  • You can keyframe most elements in the project.
  • You get access to many visual effects and transitions.
  • You can configure the interface and set the keyboard shortcuts to suit your preferences.
  • You can get tremendous support in the form of a user manual, Telegram channel, and forum available on the website. There is also an active community on Reddit and plenty of video tutorials on YouTube.
  • You get access to a vast online resource of fonts, transition templates, and more.

Cons of Kdenlive:

  • The latest update can be confusing to anyone who is new to non-linear editing. However, you can rely on the tutorials and community for help.
  • There is no GPU acceleration.
  • If you have a low-end computer, the software will lag or crash as it needs a lot of memory.
  • The output options are extremely limited. It supports only WAV, MP3, OGG, AC3, WebM (VP8/Vorbis), MP4 (H.264/HEVC), MPEG-2, VOB, FLASH, MPEG-4, FFV1, HuffYUV, Ut Video, BMP, DPX, JEPG, PNG, and PPM file formats.

Operating System: Windows, Mac OS, FreeBSD, Linux, and Ubuntu.

5. Shotcut

Shotcut is an open-source, free, and cross-platform video editing software. The biggest benefit of this software is that it uses native timeline editing, eliminating the need for the software to import or convert files. It means that you can edit multiple file types on a single timeline. That includes raw videos, varying frame rates, and different resolutions.

Shotcut is also codec-independent, so it can even be run as a portable app from an external device.

Key features of Shotcut:

  • Advanced effects and tools
  • Adjustable panels for a customizable workspace
  • Codec-independent
  • Run as a portable app from an external device
  • Supports GPU-based processing

Pros of Shotcut:

  • It is completely free, and you don’t have to pay for any additional features.
  • You can drag and drop files into the software for editing.
  • It allows multiple video layers.
  • It supports many videos export formats
  • It is lightweight software and does not require much CPU memory to run.
  • You can customize the workspace according to your preferences.
  • It is regularly updated with bug fixes and new features.
  • It uses the native timeline editing process so that you can edit multiple file types on the same timeline.

Cons of Shotcut:

  • It takes time to get used to the features and interface. However, you can refer to the many tutorials on their website to learn how to use the software. You can also use the forum and other resources for help.
  • It is less stable than most other paid software.
  • It doesn’t have as many advanced features as paid software does.

Operating System: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

List of best paid video editing software for beginners

6. Adobe Premiere Elements

While Adobe Premiere Pro is considered the best overall video editing software, Premiere Elements is the best tool for beginners who want simple editing. Adobe Premiere Elements contains basic and intuitive features that make it easy for beginners to edit videos quickly. It is designed for those who need easy and quick ways to trim videos, add fun filters, and create beautiful, professional-looking movies to share with others.

The software also has useful tutorials and guides to help you understand and perform higher-level editing techniques.

Unlike most paid software, Premiere Elements is not subscription-based, and you can buy it for a one-time fee of $99.99. The best part is that you can get a full-featured version for a free 30-day trial!

It supports various file formats like AVCHD, HEVC, DV-AVI, Windows Media, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Apple ProRes, H.264, HDV, MP3, QuickTime, and more.

Key features:

  • Easy editing with AI and automation
  • Web and mobile companion apps
  • Smart organization for easy sorting and locating
  • Numerous templates
  • Guided edits for quick editing, cinematic effects, and more

Price: One-time purchase at USD 99.99 (excluding taxes); Free 30-day trial

Operating System: Windows and Mac OS.

7. CyberLink PowerDirector 365

PowerDirector is a video editing software that is made for everyone. It is designed in such a way that anyone can edit videos, even without knowing how to do so. The software comes with a large variety of AI-powered visual effects tools to help novices edit like professionals and create stunning videos with incredible effects.

Even if you know how to edit videos, PowerDirector 365 can help you elevate and show off your creative skills.

The software also gives you access to a library of stock content like videos, music tracks, and photos from Getty Images and Meta Sound Collection. The library also contains numerous pre-made titles, transitions, animations, sound effects, transitions, etc.

You can get this video editing software on a perpetual license or a subscription basis. However, the perpetual license doesn’t come with generative AI, monthly features and content updates, or a stock of videos, photos, etc.

Key features:

  • Desktop screen capture or live streaming of desktop screen
  • AI motion tracking
  • Chroma key with beginner-friendly green screen effects
  • Beginner-friendly blending tools
  • Various AI visual effects

Price: Perpetual license for USD 139.99 or subscription of USD 74.99 (per year).

Operating System: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android.

8. MAGIX Video Easy

Magix Video Easy is a video editing software that makes it easy for beginners and amateurs to edit videos like professionals. The software has a simplified and intuitive interface that displays the tools you actually need. This makes it easier for you to track down the tools you want to use.

It also has step-by-step wizards that can help beginners create professional-looking videos using various titles, transitions, and special effects. You can also easily add narration or background music, burn the videos on DVDs and Blu-ray discs, or upload them directly to YouTube and other media.

The software comes with various tools to help you make your videos look professional and creative. Use effects like time-lapse or slow-mo and get access to templates, titles, transitions, and more.

Key features:

  • Slow-mo and time-lapse effects
  • Automatic color correction.
  • Direct video sharing to YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Price: Annual subscription of USD $2.50 per month or monthly subscription of USD 3.49 per month.

Operating System: Windows

9. Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is an intuitive video editing software that is perfect for all types of video editors, from beginners to professionals. Unlike Premiere Elements, Premiere Pro has more features and tools you can use to create beautiful videos. However, it has a user-friendly interface, which makes it perfect for beginners.

If you want to start your career in this field, you cannot go wrong with Premiere Pro. It is a standard among professionals in the industry, and learning how to edit with this software can make things easier for you later. It has all the tools and features you will need to use once you become a professional video editor.

If you ever feel overwhelmed with this video editing tool, you can check out the many Premiere Pro tutorials on Adobe’s website.

Key features:

  • AI features include color correction and background noise removal.
  • Text-based editing
  • Collaboration using Frame.io
  • Filler word detection

Price: USD 20.99 per month. 7-day free trial.

Operating System: Windows, and Mac OS,

10. Movavi Video Editor

Movavi Video Editor has a user-friendly and clear interface that makes it easy to use for beginners. The software offers simple and fast editing, artistic effects, soundtrack music, and smooth transitions that are perfect for video editing hobbyists.

The software also comes with a unique feature called the Montage Wizard that automatically transforms your video into a themed movie.

Movavi Video Editor is among the fastest when it comes to exporting videos. You can even upload your finished video to YouTube or Vimeo directly from Movavi.

You can get the software for a one-time fee or on a subscription basis.

Key features:

  • AI motion tracking
  • AI background removal
  • Chroma key feature
  • Unlimited video tracks
  • 4K XAVC-S format support
  • 265 (HEVC) export

Price: ~ USD 59.56 per year. 7-day trial with Watermark.

Operating System: Windows, and Mac OS.

Wrapping up!

Now that we have seen some of the best free and paid video editing software for beginners, let’s see which one is the best. If you have noticed, some of the software on this list is made for professionals. However, they have many beginner-friendly features, tutorials, and AI-powered tools to make video editing easy. So, the answer to which video editing really boils down to your personal preferences and goals.

Of all the software listed above, Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve are generally considered to be the best video editing software for professionals. However, they are also intuitive and have plenty of user-friendly features to allow even beginners to edit videos with ease. So, you can choose any of these if you want to edit videos as a career.

If you want to edit videos as a hobby, you can opt for any software that has basic editing tools, like Adobe Premiere Elements, Videopad, or VSDC.

If you are a complete beginner in video editing, you will benefit from using the free versions of Videopad and VSDC. You can then move on to using some of the open-source software, like Kdenlive and Shotcut if you want exposure to more advanced tools without having to pay for them.

We hope this list has helped you decide which video editing software is best for beginners. Have fun experimenting!